First they came …


First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the sick, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not sick.

Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Pastor Martin Niemoller

This is based on speeches made by the anti-nazi German priest Martin Niemöller and sourced from Wikipedia; most versions of the poem seem not to include the sick, the so-called incurables, but I wanted a longer version and think its more relevant to the UK today. …

Vote for me!

I am standing for election as Lewisham Deptford Labour Party’s Secretary. I have been a member a member of the Labour Party for over 40 years and am an active Trade Unionist in the GMB. I made a video to explain why.

I am on the Left of the Party, a democratic socialist and voted for Dianne Abbott in 2010, and for Jeremy Corbyn in 2015 and 2016. I was and remain convinced that the Labour Party needs and needed to turn to the Left otherwise it will suffer the fate of its European sister parties. I support Corbyn’s 10 point plan and the 2017 manifesto together with the progressive changes made by the last two Conferences.

We need a tolerant member led party, that shows people that belonging counts, and that together, through working together we can make our society a better place. The stigmatization of views one disagrees with as right-wing, ultra-left or other political or criminal labels is sectarian, destroys debate and the party’s internal democracy. Neither a better Party no a fairer society cannot be built from such a debate or the bad behaviour it legitimises.

I served as Secretary in 2015, was part of the team that guided our successful election campaign, elected Vicky Foxcroft as our MP and ensured that the rapidly rising number of new members were welcomed, I defended those members that Labour’s bureaucracy sought to purge and together with the incumbent Chair, Gill Hart, ensured that the member’s voice was heard in the Leadership election by convening an All Member’s Meeting to make nominations. This did not happen the following year, when the CLP leadership was led another team.

I have worked all my life, except when made unemployed. I have felt the fear of being without work with a mortgage to pay, I have felt the fears of tuition fees and debt for my children, I understand the fear created by the education system and its post code lotteries. I have felt the fear of bullying employers threatening my job security. Labour’s priorities must be winning the next general election and bring hope for an economy, housing market, labour market and education system for the many not the few.

I voted “Remain” in the referendum and oppose a Tory Brexit. I believe that any Brexit is pointless if soft, or a catastrophe if a hard or no deal brexit. I strongly believe that remaining in the EU and seeking to reform it is th best option for the peoples of the United Kingdom. I support migrants rights, no matter their reason for entry; I support Lewisham Labour’s commitment to be a sanctuary borough.

I am committed to an outward looking party that campaigns in our communities and on the doorstep in public elections; we need a CLP organisation that is election ready. we should work with local Unions to defend our services, fight to return a Corbyn led Labour Government and will hold our comrades that hold public office to account to the promises they made to us and their voters.

I would urge your support for Rebecca Lawrence and other members of the Lewisham Deptford Left Slate, Solidarity, Tolerance & Respect …

Five steps to Compliance

As we entered the ground rush zone for the GDPR a number of organisations issued numbered guidance documents in preparation. I joined in and published a blog article on my linkedin blog called “Beyond Adequate Protection”. This had my five point list of tasks to be GDPR compliant. I summarise them here,

  1. Know and document your personal data catalogue and its lawful purpose
  2. Create an identity solution for your data subjects, so subject access requests can be fulfilled
  3. Build a record keeping solution
  4. Ensure that your incident management solutions are compliant
  5. Implement changes to the software development Life Cycle(SDLC) to include privacy impact assessments

The original article deals with these in a bit more detail but I finish by saying that it’s only this easy if your organisation already meets the need to provide adequate technical and organisational protection.


Maths, Economics and Mark Blaug

I just read Modern Economics is Sick, on the Real World Economics Blog which uses a quote from Mark Blaug to substantiate its thesis,

“Mainstream economics has become increasingly irrelevant to the understanding of the real world. The main reason for this irrelevance is the failure of economists to match their deductive-axiomatic methods with their subject.”

Mark Blaug (1927-2011) did more than any other single person to establish the philosophy and methodology of economics a respected subfield within economics. His path-breaking The methodology of economics (1980) is still a landmark (and the first textbook on economic methodology yours truly ever read)

One day, I’ll have look at it. …

On protecting air quality

On protecting air quality

Do Lewisham Council have a view based on science about the impact of green space, or the change in the amount of green space on air quality. ( I am advised that the quality of the planting may/will also impact this calculation, as of course would distance from the green space.)

It would seem useful to knowand I can’t find anything useful that goes beyond sq. m. …

Managing Compliance Software

Managing Compliance Software

I have just published on my linkedin blog a little essay on managing software used for the purpose of compliance. One key insight which one might consider is that these programs are being used because you have to not because you want to. Also society does not want businesses innovating the compliance software, we need to know it does what society requires not what the business wants. This makes the governing super strategy for these applications one of “operational efficiency”, or in Dan Remenyi’s model, a “support” system. For compliance systems it is advantageous to buy or adopt a package and to adopt the package’s optimum process; society has confidence that companies are complying with the law, and the companies share the maintenance costs and get a superior product and support. In some cases, the requirement that society has confidence that compliance is correct leads to the regulators giving companies the software or running it themselves.  …