Mish Raman on the NEC

Mish Raman on the NEC

Mish Raman reports on the July NEC. He talks abiut membership, the Forde Report, the NPF, Conference, and the HQ premises.

On membership, he reports that the membership figure is 385,000 (net of those in arrears) which is 3,000 up on this time last year, but 10,000 down on the quarter. We are still waiting for the end 2022 numbers; my last review, [or on Medium] quotes from an NEC report at end June 2022 as ~382,000 although I may not be treating arrears in the same way.

They are winding up the Forde Report working group, failed to present the report to the NEC and plan to issue some codes of conduct for both members and senior officers of the organisation. I mean to write a review of what they’ve done, and what they have not, and what they plan to ignore; but the papers are on my personal server as well the Labour Party’s site’s Forde Report pge.

Martin Forde, the author of the report, would seem to be unhappy as the Guardian and others summarise the report, that Party is operating a “hierarchy of racism” and the the process remains insufficiently transparent, certain and free from factionalism.  At a meeting hosted by Compass he is reported, again in the Guardian as,

The top lawyer echoed his previous comments that the Labour party must take seriously concerns of black and asian members that their complaints are not being treated as seriously as those related to antisemitism. “It’s not enough to say, ‘I’ve been on a course’, and that means I’m untouchable.”

Mish reports on the proceedings of the National Policy Forum, saying that, “The final NPF document will be available after conference.” Which is worrying  as its report has usually been published in order that CLPs can seek to amend the report at Conference; from Mish’s words this may not bet the case.

The Conference exhibition will be the biggest ever it seems. Business returns to a party of government. The conference floor will surely be smaller, as the membership has declined and they now have a cap on the number of delegates.

It seems the HQ is now in Blackfriars but is going to move again, and the next NEC may meet in Scotland.

Check out this thread at Thread Reader App page, or at the first tweet on twitter. …

On rejoining Horizon Europe

On rejoining Horizon Europe

tI wrote an article posted on my linkedin blog, on Horizon Europe and the will they/won’ they attitude of the Tory Government. This refers to Another Europe’s Brexit Spotlight article which covers the issues including the fact that the scheme ‘s rules state that an associate member may not be net beneficiaries, and showing that the UK government is seeking to ensure that it is.

This is wrong in so many ways, but critically, the problem is that it would seem the British Government, seem to think they are ‘buying’ the grant, they are not, they would be buying the research output. The research output will be significantly larger than any individual stake and or any member states’ stake.

The final mistake they make, is that access to funding makes British universities and companies more attractive partners to other European companies and research institutes and thus underwrites the attractiveness of the universities to European teachers and students, and funds jobs for British based researchers. …

What’s the point in the Liberal Democrats?

What’s the point in the Liberal Democrats?

Michael Meadowcroft, a once famous part of the leadership of the Liberal Democrats writes in a letter to the Guardian,

Having deliberately cut themselves off from the benefits of the identifiable tradition of political Liberalism, the Liberal Democrats now lack a solid base to advance electorally. And the almost ubiquitous abbreviation to “Lib Dem” diminishes still further any resonance with the past. It is high time the party accepted the harm done to Liberalism by its attachment to the SDP and rebuilt its Liberal base.

I think this misses a couple of points.

Firstly, I am unclear how much the ideology of Liberalism actually helped the Liberals electorally. To me they have always been, Tories with a bit of conscience, somewhere to vote if you don’t want the Tories and can’t support the workerism or socialism of the Labour Party.

Secondly the post-war high point for the Liberal Democrats was the 2004-2010 parliamentary party, where they were led by an ex-member of the SDP and presented themselves as to the left of “New Labour”. In an act of hubris, they replaced their then leader, Charles Kennedy.

This eventually led to a leadership election between Clegg and Huhne, both exponents of orange book liberalism, which prioritised macroeconomics, monetarism & austerity, and debt fetishism. This replacement of any solidarity with people be it, the social solidarity of the SDP aspirations or the individualism/do no harm of traditional liberalism together with the perennial claim to be able to moderate the extremism of the other two parties led them into the coalition, and proved the latter false. They prioritised macroeconomics, red boxes and government cars over their promises to the electorate, most obviously the promise on tuition fees which cemented their reputation for at least a decade. There are others who could learn from the failure that these priorities led to.

We should also note that the coalition led to a number of high profile left wing Liberal Democrats joining the Labour Party. I am suggesting that the social democrats added electoral appeal to the liberals and that the coalition and the faction that drove the Lib Dems into the coalition severely damaged it for at least a generation (or half a generation).

A return to liberal values is not enough, they need to jettison the orange book and require a better understanding of their own history.

On another point, the Libdems have a crude sectarianism; there’s rarely any campaigning with them on issues before they ask for political support, they rarely demonstrate a solidarity with co-campaigners and Jo Swinson’s role in the destruction of the 2017-2019 parliament for party gain which in a beautiful act of schadenfreude was not forthcoming, is another example of this.

The featured image is taken from the LibDem site, and stored and processed for the usual reasons.  …

Say no to extrawürst

Say no to extrawürst

Provoked by Nial Ó Conghaile who posted a thread today [html | twitter] in which he talks of the conflict between expanding the EU and deepening its integration. He suggests that Iceland could join easily but that the Ukraine has a long road to travel, and questions where the UK would sit on that spectrum. Originally written as a reply, I remind myself that “Mercantilist acquiescence is not enough and demands for extrawürst only prove we are not ready.”. The article looks at the opt-outs together with a call to remember and accept the internationalist and democratic vision at the heart of the EU project. There's more overleaf ...