Contemporary Motions

In rule 3.II.2.C, Labour’s Rules describe a contemporary motion as one

… which is not substantially addressed by reports of the NEC or NPF to Conference

CLPs & Affiliates may only submit “contemporary” motions to conference. Contemporary, as in timeliness,  is taken as an issue, that has arisen since the publication of the NPF report and more controversially that could not have been raised before. In 2016, the CAC ruled motions on austerity and the economy out of order as these had both been in existence in the spring. The words themselves permit the raising of an issue on which the NPF is silent, such as my proposed anti-surveillance motion. Authors of motions need to take these rules into account.

There is a rule change on the order paper to abolish the “contemporary” constraint and the Democracy Review is recommending the abolition of the National Policy Forum. So this could be the last time we need to worry about this stupidity. …

Labour and Surveillance (#lab18)

In case anyone wants to try and take surveillance and privacy to #lab18. Here are some words.

Investigatory Powers to be subject to Human Rights Law.

Conference notes the report in the Register on 6th August that US Senators are challenging the NSA destruction of 4 years of phone usage records as they believe that this is in order to destroy evidence of illegal collection.

Conference notes the complete absence from the NPF report on the surveillance society and the illegal investigatory powers regime introduced by the Tories in 2016.

Conference notes that the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 legalised the use of bulk powers to allow the UK intelligence services to collect all the UK phone usage and internet usage records.

Conference notes that the intelligence services have made data on UK citizens available to the USA.

Conference notes that the exact terms of the data sharing between the UK & US are unknown

Conference notes that the Investigatory Powers Act has been ruled as contrary to EU law as it contravenes the Charter of Fundamental Rights which is the EU’s commitment to the European and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Conference resolves that a Labour Government will ensure that private and public surveillance technologies will conform to laws that meet the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Conference instructs the NEC/NPF to draw up a human rights based policy for the regulation of British law enforcement authorities and their investigatory powers.

218 words …

Surveillance, ignorance and a chilling effect

The Guardian, not exactly disinterested, publishes a leader on regulating Apple and its competitors. I would argue, Apple is the example of the 5th Industrial Revolution monopoly and we need to learn how to regulate it and is competitors and it is a problem for the US also. The authors  completely miss the fact that there are new forms of oppression, that of surveillance, caused by the datenkraken.

We need new forms of protest and defence even though we’ve know about it forever. It’s for this reason that we established the rights of privacy and free speech as part of the universal declaration of rights.

This quote is important, it establishes commonalities with their predecessors,

All [ the datenkraken] use remarkably few workers to generate their enormous profits. All operate an internal class system, which concentrates power in very few hands. None have any unions worth speaking of. All rely on the unglamorous work being done far from California, usually by subcontractors. All shuffle their profits around the world in an endless game of “Find the lady” with national tax authorities – a factor that should not be overlooked when it comes to asking why they are so immensely profitable. If this is the model of the company of the future, it will have consequences we have not yet learned how to manage.

They finish with,

The downside of the oil-based economy is now obvious all around us. The symptoms of apparently uncontrollable climate change have become undeniable. Cities are choked with polluting traffic while the seas are choked with plastics made from oil. Whole countries have been devastated by oil riches. The digital revolution seems, so far, much more benign. But the loss of trust that social media both causes and exploits may one day be seen as another form of unforgivable pollution.

I think this is weak, the threat is surveillance, ignorance and a chilling effect. …

The innovators dilemma in political parties

On my way to writing the article “Servants, not Masters”, I needed to check my material and links about Emanuelle Avril’s unfinished white paper called, “The (Unintended) Consequences of New Labour: Party Leadership vs Party Management in the British Labour Party”. and was presented to the Political Studies Association 2015 conference, in March so before the 2015 election and consequent Labour leadership election. Eaton’s source identified a failure of the New Labour leadership to renew itself as a cause of it’s failure and Avril’s paper explains why they were always going to be incapable of it.

…. it is true to say that internal consensus and cohesion, as they manifested themselves in New Labour, constituted obstacles to innovation and therefore endangered the survival of the party …

and the ambitions of their successors. … …

Servants, not Masters

More from my head provoked by Alex Nunn’s book  “The Candidate”, I am reading the chapter on the media. Alex states that George Eaton wrote a negative piece in the Statesman on Corbyn, and ended up supporting Cooper; it reminded me of his article, “The fall of Labour’s golden generation”, available behind their identity/pay walls here, or as a .pdf, written a month or so later.

This, though is the quote that makes me remember the article, it’s anonymously second hand,

Parties in the end are machines for capturing power and there is a sort of life cycle, and you’ve got to be absolutely vigilant about renewing it. Blair and Brown thought they could renew the machine with very clever people, but with one or two exceptions they were – what is the word I’m searching for? – they were servants, they weren’t masters, they didn’t really have a vision of where they wanted to go.

 …

The most left wing person that can win

I am reading Alex Nunn’s “The Candidate” and as exciting as the race for MPs nominations, and the struggle for supporting nominations in the CLPs and Unions are, one turning point is seen as the vote of the Tories Welfare Reform Bill. One thing missing from the narrative so far is how huge the task of winning in 2020 seemed to be; Labour had seemingly gone backwards and the task seemed insurmountable. I was reminded then and again in reading the book of an anonymous quote from a senior labour politician who said in 2010, that the Labour Party ” … will elect the most left wing person they think can win”. It was just in 2015, there wasn’t much confidence that any of them could do so! …

Making Labour’s Policy 2018

And now you can read Labour’s National Policy Forum Report … available from this site, I got it from Seema Chandwani who hosts it on here blog, and publicised it on twitter.

Wonder when it’ll be published by the Labour Party. …

Thoughts on DaaS

I am still struggling to make a remote DaaS for my tablet.  I have built an amazon image based on Server 2012, which is getting a bit long in the tooth and Skype fails to boot on it, maybe I should ensure I have implemented an Amazon “Desktop” experience, but I am not happy with the price. I wondered if Azure might be cheaper, although on first look it would seem not. I need to be more sure and having a remote DaaS would be cool for the tablet, as bit by bit, services will deprecate the version frozen browser. I suppose that bit by bit RDP will also fail, but let’s see. (Microsoft’s desertion of ARM maybe it’s last act of monopoly actions and is a lesson to both consumers and OEMs of the problems in  not owning your own operating system, a subject I used to write a lot about.)

 …

Stop and Scrap

A comrade in the Labour Party wants a motion on Universal Credit to go to #lab18. Here are his words,

Conference deplores the rollout, against numerous warnings, of Universal Credit (UC); a draconian system leaving many facing debt, eviction and hunger.

Conference notes the recent (1/8/18) report of the Commons Select Committee on Work and Pensions which highlighted women in abusive relationships having to choose between danger and poverty, the Committee Chair, Frank Field MP, saying:

“Not only does UC’s single household payment bear no relation to the world of work, it is out of step with modern life and turns back the clock on decades of hard won equality for women.  The Government must acknowledge the increased risk of harm to claimants living with domestic abuse it creates by breaching that basic principle, and take the necessary steps to reduce it.”

Conference further notes the report from the CPAG (6/8/18) highlighting the problems due to the monthly assessment period with one family whose UC payment varied from £0 to £1185 since last year, and others losing up to £258 work allowance per month.

Conference believes that these and numerous other documented but non-contemporary issues with UC demonstrate that it is beyond fixing and therefore calls on

– the incoming Labour government to:

1) Stop and scrap UC

2) Carry out a far-reaching social security reform that truly makes work pay and protects those unable to work

– and on the Party as a whole, under the leadership of the Shadow SoSWP, to campaign for this policy until such time as 1) and 2) are achieved.

This is 246 words by my count. Let’s see if we can help him. …