Unanswered Questions

The terms of reference allow the Forde Inquiry panel to look at any issue it chooses. I have written to them and asked that it considers the following,

  1. Did anyone unnamed in the report take part in the activities identified by the report? If so who?
  2. Did ‘improper behaviour’ occur during the decisions taken in the selection process for candidates for the 2017 General Election? If so, by whom?
  3. To what extent did the ‘improper behaviour’ identified by the report also apply to complaints of bullying, slander, racism and the manipulation of selection processes for council and MEP candidates?
  4. To what extent were the selections, staff appointments and performance management processes improperly influenced by racism or factional advantage?
  5. Were Party funds spent in accordance with the Party’s financial control procedures and correctly accounted for? (Why did the Party run a £1.4m surplus in 2017, a year in which a General Election was held?)

If for whatever reason, it decides not to investigate these areas, I would ask that it highlights them as matters of concern and recommend that these areas are investigated by follow up independent panels. …

Why Labour lost, again

Why Labour lost, again

On Friday, Ed Miliband released his report into Labours GE 2019, you can find it here, Paul Mason and Phil BC comment on it here (Paul), here (Phil) & here (Phil again)., and the tanks, cranks and so-called Lexiters see this as a reason for attacking Starmer and Labour’s majority Remainers.

This, “The Man or The Manifesto? Labour Together Report Shows Uphill Battle for the Party’s Survival” on immigration news is also worth reading. …

Black Lives Matter

Over the weekend, there were many protest demonstrations about racism in the UK under the slogan #blacklivesmatter

There was violence at the demo in London, a police horse bolted after the police had decided to charge a bunch of protesters; it injured a protester, several statues inc. that of Churchill were defaced. In Bristol, the statue of Edward Colston a slaver, later a Tory MP and philanthropist was pulled down and thrown in the Avon. Both these actions have started debates, about Churchill, slavery, museums and how we do history in the UK.

The establishment was quick to apportion blame on the protesters, with Johnson calling them thugs, and Priti Patel yet again disgracing herself, but this is to avoid examining the racism within British society, the Tory led state and the Tory Party itself. Only when we, i.e. the people of the United Kingdom, have satisfactorily resolved the Windrush scandal, the hostile environment and, most recently the suppression of the report into BAME propensity and deaths from CV19 can the Tories have anything to say about anti-racism demos.

The Labour Party has its own demons to exorcise, apart from the record of the Attlee government in India and Africa, more recently there is the allegations of racism at the most senior levels of the Party towards its leading black MPs, and Keir Starmer, albeit in a longer interview criticised the Bristol demonstrators who had pulled down the Colston statue. He has been rebutted by Marvin Rees, the black Mayor of Bristol, who also criticised the Govt’s priorities and Dawn Butler, the black MP for Brent Central.

Len Duval, the Leader of London’s GLA Labour group issued a statement, in which he says, this must be a turning point. Anyone who disagrees is just not listening to their friends, co-workers, family and neighbours.

This is a challenge for everyone in the UK, together we can make a better society and move towards eliminating racism within our society.  …

Culture for all

Culture for all

Tracy Brabin, in her statement, “Culture for All” says,

When times are dark, culture and creativity provide a light. That’s why I’m proposing a vision of Culture for All to be at the heart of Labour’s forward journey.

She has great ideas on Football, the BBC, diverting the festival of Britain funding, access to the creative industries,and comments on nepotism, class bias and the impact of other informal networks, together with the impact of the growing gig economy relationships in the creative industries.

For instance on football, which she identifies as important community resources and hubs, she says, “We need to tackle the mostly undemocratic ownership and control of football clubs, and the way that sport is organised, so that fans and communities are properly engaged.”

While she recognises the stake holding interests of fans in sport, she doesn’t spend the words on talking about them in terms of acting, music nor film? Although she does say ” … Campaign to put more digital cultural content online. Just as the National Theatre has done in response to Covid-19, so too must we support our regional arts institutions in reaching new audiences.”, although this is also weak on the contribution of value by fans.

There is a good section on health and well being

On digital she says, amongst other demands, the UK needs, “a new properly resourced internet regulator to tackle online harms, abuse and misinformation” is needed and Labour should “Make the case for a Digital Bill of Rights so UK citizens have greater control over their own data”. She does not repeat the free broadband promise on which I comment positively here, and less positively here.

This is a thoughtful review of what we could do, it might be a shame she lost the shadow spokesperson position, but she remains Shadow Spokesperson (Minister) on Cultural Industries.


This does not repeat big media’s bollocks on the “Value Gap”, which is an unmeasured & unmeasurable concept aimed at appropriating the value created by fans and commentators and implementing a trickle-down approach for artists and performers. It appeared in one of the NPF reports.

Featured Image: cropped from Tracy’s twitter feed …

Sickness, Redundancy and Labour’s Policy

Sickness, Redundancy and Labour’s Policy

The new leadership have kicked off another policy consultation managed by the National Policy Forum; there are fears that this is an attempt to sideline Conference 19’s key decisions, but they have not yet deleted my previous contributions, so maybe not. I have just posted as follows,

Statutory Sick Pay and Redundancy Payment compensation, currently paid by Employers have been shown by  the CV 19 pandemic to be inadequate, they are too low and through bogus contractor schemes easy to avoid.

These social security systems must be improved and underwritten i.e. paid by the Government, funded, if necessary, by the Employer’s NI payments.

The party has published a number of consultation documents, one of which relates to the Work, Pensions and Equalities Commission, called Rebuilding a just social security system; people with more expertise than me, might like to have a look and make submissions on subjects such as, funding, in which the issue of universality and means testing is included, sanctions, benefit deductions, in-work poverty, job seeking support and equalities enforcement. It’s at times like this the movement will miss Tony Reay. …

but with a whimper

but with a whimper

Momentum now allegedly has a political election for its NCG; I not so sure of the relevance or the politics. Forward Momentum aka Fix Momentum main promise is to ‘democratise’ Momentum in the name of the members but more realistically in the name of disenfranchised Momentum local groups and have now developed a policy manifesto in some obscure manner and allowed themselves to be founded with a purge authored by the same people that founded LAW in the same way and in doing so split the campaign against the witch hunt, a trick they followed up with by behaving in a similar sectarian, party-building fashion so that the LRC walked away from the Labour Left Alliance.

Momentum Renewal are an articulation by the rump of the office, post Parker and Lansman, with their London Stalinist & trade union, mainly Unite, bureaucrats’ support, often the same people, together with their careerist MP hangers on. They also claim their priority is to have a single left slate for the next set of elections so let’s hope they have learnt from the mistakes & arrogance made by Momentum over the last 12 months in sending negotiators without a mandate , a starting position demanding everything,  and a hit list of other left wingers.  They claim to want an outward looking focus for Momentum, rooting it in community campaigns, the cynical would say it’s a diversion, asking people not to get active in Labour Party caucusing, and leave it to their betters.

The truth neither side get is that Labour’s Left is not Momentum and that Corbyn’s coalition is broken.

Too many have been taught that the victory of ideas is measured by the size of your majority on committees – it ain’t so! Ideas need resonance in the movement and the population.

We can now clearly see that Momentum’s brand is weaker than Corbyn’s which is why so many people joined it and others lied in claiming they supported him. The behaviour of parts of Momentum in the tolerance of bullying and slander is disgusting and matched or encouraged by some so-called supporters of Jeremy outside Momentum and some of their opponents in the PLP. So much for a “Kinder, Gentler Politics!”.

I will also mention that the value of the database is much less than once it was. They have not kept it up to date, people move politically and geographically, and it was built to support and inform people about Jeremy’s leadership campaigns. Many people signed up to it for that purpose, and never conceded concepts of leadership to its NCG, Officers Committee or even its Chairman (sic). (I’d best check, I’ve not heard from them for a couple of months, wonder if I have been purged; I stopped giving them money over a year ago after the office rigged the 2nd Lewisham Momentum AGM in a row.) …

E2E & Zoom

E2E & Zoom

The Zoom CEO stated at an Analysts Conference that they planned to introduce End to End Encryption (E2E) for their paying customers. At the moment, zoom does not do E2E encryption, they are encrypted between the user device and Zoom’s servers, but zoom’s servers can be tapped. This means that GCHQ can’t see what’s happening, but the NSA & FBI can. (This assumes that GCHQ can’t break properly configured TLS.) In the end, doing zoom rather than skype or google hangouts, if you believe them to be more secure, is like going to a meeting and trying to spot the special branch cop, preferably before you’ve fucked them. The rest of this blog discusses the issues of the device security, technical complexity, and the problem of user identity. See below/overleaf …  …