Starmer, a new chapter?

Starmer, a new chapter?

Late last week, Kier Starmer made what was billed as the first of his major policy speeches. You can see it here, and read it here. (I have only read it.) Some people’s reactions seem instant, and I am not sure how well thought out they are. I am OK with the economics of "Recovery Bonds". This article I look at what James Meadway & Phil BC have to say, on the economics and what it means for strategy. I add that failing to mention or criticise Brexit continues the mistake of only permitting the Tories to talk about the growing disaster, you’d think we’d learned the message over deficit fetishism, we can’t let the Tories set the narrative unchallenged. Silence on climate change is also very disappointing. I conclude, So on economics, strategy and justice, it’s all a bit meh, but also dangerous for Labour. If Starmer, his consiglieri and acolytes misjudge the Tories and/or our core decides that the compromises with Blue Labour are too much and if Brexit's costs gets worse as more of the exit deadlines pass, his collusion with Brexit and errors of psephological judgement will also cost him and Labour dear. ...

Let’s see the Brexit deal risk assessment

Let’s see the Brexit deal risk assessment

While thinking about how to make waves around the Tories Brexshite mess, I have come to the conclusion that the fact they’ve turned off parliamentary scrutiny is a big problem; we have no effective politicians to engage with. They are also treating us to mushroom therapy by withholding the impact analysis on the future relationship treaty. It’s clear that small businesses are having difficulty exporting, jobs in finance and distribution are moving to continental Europe, there are stirrings of border fetishism rising in Northern Ireland and the settled status programme will lead to massive hardship although in the latter case it’s as much be design as by accident. Let’s see the Impact Assessment, we’ve paid for it.

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Eire is an independent country!

I was pointed at this article, in the Guardian, by Ireland’s President, Michael Higgins, foreshadowing the 100th Anniversary of the Anglo-Irish Treaty that established Eire as an independent state. Given the lethal violence that has occurred ever since those that came to be called British arrived in Ireland, this is a remarkable piece. This is a remarkably gentle offering recognising that both the British & Irish peoples are victims trapped by their own history, a history rarely studied in the Great Britain, at least not by me. It is more urgent than at any time since 1997 due to the growing inter-state animosity between the UK and the EU over the issues of the Irish Border resurrected from its resting, and it was only resting, place by Brexit. The full article says more ...

News on the Forde Inquiry

News on the Forde Inquiry

The Labour Party have announced further delay in the issuing of the Forde Inquiry into the leaked document prepared for the General Secretary on antisemitism in the Labour Party. The Forde Inquiry reports this delay here, which includes the text of a letter to the General Secretary and a note for the NEC. I believe the report is essential for the Labour Party to begin to work together in a unified fashion and to genuinely begin to end factionalism. I believe it is important to do so and do so in a way that doesn't involve one side winning. If wrong doing has occurred, it needs to be discovered and punished. The delay, it seems, is caused by a fear that premature publication would interfere with the ICO investigation. Some commentators dispute that this is the case. Forde says, in his letter to David Evans, hosted on the Inquiry site on a page named, 'Update on the Forde Inquiry', For more, inc. the text of Forde's statement, use the read more button ...

Is he up to it?

Is he up to it?

Reading Polls takes some care which is why I suggest that one reviews polls that illustrate the range of results rather those that at the moment maximise Labour’s support.

Whether the polls suggest Keir is better thought of than Boris seems to depend on the question asked. Straight forward net approvals, Keir’s score is better than Boris although the gap seems to be closing, over the last few weeks, Boris score has improved, Keir’s has fallen. When asked who’d make the best PM Boris often wins although not at yougov, you can inspect their numbers here, or or in chart form on  Starmer vs Johnson, approval ratings, on this blog from last week. Opros, who I have not heard of,  has Boris ahead and also discusses the different questions asked.

I am concerned that neither he nor we are doing well enough, and I am not alone nor isolated with those his supporters might consider the usual culprits and those who expressed disappointment or opposition from day 1, sadly making what was a moment, into a tradition.  Unlike 172 members of the PLP in 2016, I am not calling for a no-confidence in either Starmer or Rayner within a year of their election since that would be an act of contempt for the tens of thousand that voted for them; what I am asking is that those that did, honestly answer the question, “is he up to it?”

He has been good in the Commons, but it only counts if the press report it; he’s been poor on PPE, poor & late on lockdown,  poor on last summer’s exams, poor on COVID-19 safety in schools, the choice of competence and not corruption is questionable, we are poor, virtually silent, on sick pay and redundancy pay, have abstained on human rights law diminutions by not properly opposing the spycops law,  nor supporting the extension of the eviction  ban and his collusion on Brexit, both not arguing to extend transition and agreeing the, what is now obviously seen even in such a short time, terrible future relationship and withdrawal agreements makes dealing with the fallout from Brexit more than tricky and we again collude with the laws that may yet reopen the lethal armed violence in Northern Ireland. He is also backing Boris on Scottish independence, a brave move, given how we got to where we are in Scotland. Are you sure he’s up to it? I am not suggesting that given the choice you were wrong to vote for him, I thought about it, but is he meeting your expectations, if not, perhaps you should tell him. …

The EU, too early to ask to rejoin?

The EU, too early to ask to rejoin?

I am standing for anothereurope’s national committee, the poll closes tonight, if you’ve not voted, please do so and put me first, I explain why in another article on this blog and in this article I look at rejoining. I had thought “rejoining the EU” to be off the table for years but the post Brexit trade deal is turning to shit even more quickly than I expected. Again, I over-estimate the Tories; if I was planning to fuck up the economy, and betray noisy element of my electoral coalition, I’d have sort have planned to do it over a period of time, inspired by the instruction manual of how to boil a frog, hoping they wouldn’t notice. But no, within days, it’s clear that the threats identified by ‘Project Fear’ are well founded. I believe that we should rejoin, but there are two problems, one the Tories and secondly, there will need to be unanimity amongst the member states and many of them will be fed up with our behaviour over not only the last 11 months but in much of the time leading up to our 2016 vote. We will need to show that we’ll be better Europeans and probably show it for a sustained period. It will take time; in order to mitigate the damage being done to the economy now, I think we’ll have to pursue a stealth mission to re-join the single market either via a swiss route, of a bilateral agreement, by developing the future relationship agreement. This will be hard with this current Government and Parliament, partly because of its hard on for ‘controlling our borders’. The full article says more, with hyperlinks on the economics and on the paths to rejoining, ...

Making Policy in the Labour Party

Making Policy in the Labour Party

The Party have asked 10 questions, some of which seem very similar; I have not had time to decode many of them. I have submitted my answers which are based on the CLPD model answers but in some cases mine are shorter because argument is taken out and in some cases I have added new content. It's critical to ensure conference and the membership remain central to policy making and the manifesto. For more, use the 'read more' button ...

One problem with this plan …

One problem with this plan …

It still surprises me, just how blatant the lies the Tories tell are. They have posted a tweet, boasting of the UK's legislative commitment to workers rights by posting four facts and comparing them, favourably of course, with the EU. As Edmund Blackadder once said, "there's just one problem with this plan ... it's complete bollocks." The fact is whoever authorised this ad. will have known it's a lie and just doesn't care. To see the tweet and my notes on its rebuttal, use the 'Read More' button ...

Starmer vs Johnson, approval ratings

Starmer vs Johnson, approval ratings

Is Starmer thought of more highly than Johnson? The short answer, it would seem is "Yes". I have looked at yougov and re-presented their results here. But if he is more highly thought of, why are the Tories ahead in the polls when nearly 100,000 people are dead from the coronavirus. The charts showing each leader's score since Starmer's election to the leadership, a comparative score and a look at the Party scores are overleaf. I have used yougov's figures. ...

Total Rewrite

judges gavel

I am writing something else about a positive response for the Labour Party to the EHRC’s excoriating report on the Party’s disciplinary process. Unlike many I consider the lack of process and the lack of process controls to be the worst finding, I think that the EHRC has failed to balance Human Rights vs. Equalities law but the Labour Party’s disciplinary process needs to be reformed because it’s dreadful on every dimension. I propose to say,

The Labour Party needs to rewrite its disciplinary code, embedding Article 6, together with the principles of natural justice, innocent until guilty, proportionate punishment, the MacPherson principle, technical & organisational controls to stop the destruction of records or other improper behaviour, robust victim care, fairness to complainants to stop the premature and arbitrary rejection of complaints, rules on how to deal with NEC & Staff, policy about how to exercise the Party’s safeguarding responsibility and inform the police or other responsible persons of any crime, policy on how and why administrative suspensions are to undertaken, prohibiting disguised double jeopardy and guaranteed timescales.

Dave Levy

It’s shameful that a committee i.e. the NEC, where every member is a trade unionist and over one third are activists or full time employees of and within the Unions, that such a piss-poor state of affairs can exist, and do so for so long!

Corbyn & Wadsworth

And the process needs to apply to all complaints, and as I think about it, the grounds for punishment, are currently, ” … [action which] is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party“, this permits expelling people due to the reputational damage caused by acts of speech, this is wrong. The test should be the contravention of the equalities law or other laws we consider critical such as the PPER or the Bribery Act. i.e. bringing the party into disrepute is not good enough, uncomradely behaviour might be, criminal acts of relevance to politics definitely is, although they should be dealt with, in the first instance, by the police. …