The Fabians canvass for policy

The Fabians canvass for policy

Momentum have run a policy primary to decide what topics and motions to push for Labour Conference 2021. The Fabians seem to have decided that this is a good idea and issued a shorter, more guided questionnaire to the world at large. They ask five questions, ... a new policy Labour should back that could transform the country, one thing Labour should do to reconnect with voters who rejected the party in 2019, one commitment from the 2019 Labour manifesto that the party should abandon, one idea for creating more unity and harmony in the Labour movement, and name one Labour MP the party should make more use of. The last is just asking for trolling, my answers are overleaf/below and feel that I have a right to offer my advice as I only left the Fabians last year having joined it to help me rethink my ideas about policy and strategy. ...

Voting in May

Sadiq for London

America has Super Tuesday, and in the UK this year we have Terrific Thursday. In London we are running the elections due last year, the Mayor and Assembly and in New Cross, there is a by-election in New Cross Ward. In order to vote you need to be on the electoral roll.

Register for an early vote

  1. If not on the electoral roll, register to vote before the 20th April i.e , here…I didn’t know you could vote if homeless, but it seems you can, If you can’t provide an address, you are advised to contact your local Electoral Registration Office i.e. Lewisham Council for advice in time to register before the 20th April.
  2. Register for a postal vote here …, by 5pm on Tuesday 20 April 2021.; you’ll need a printer/scanner, if you don’t have a printer, email Lewisham Council who will send you a form by post, if you don’t have a scanner then you will need to send the application by post to arrive before the 20th April
  3. You may apply for a proxy vote until 5pm on 27th April.

Join our campaign

  1. Join us, in Lewisham Deptford on the doorstep, find out where & when here …,, we also run phone banks for those who can’t or don’t want to knock on doors, contact us via this web form.
  2. Put a poster, or posters up in your window, or garden, tell us here …, you’ll need to say that you want a poster and tell us where to deliver it.
  3. Donate to Labour’s campaigns in Deptford here …
  4. Join the Party here …
  5. Donate to the national party here…
 …

An unhappy anniversary

An unhappy anniversary

Someone writes to me, “I’m not sure the UK can pat themselves on the back for intentionally looking after themselves, much like the US. Germany also funded research into the Pfizer vaccine but didn’t secure a 1st order before the EU, taking a more Internationalist approach. They’ve also secured their own orders since, probably because of Germans getting fed up with the slow EU roll out. Without the EU a lot of smaller member states would have struggled to get in the queue that’s the difference. Unfortunately now that UK have received plenty but not exported any to EU it’s getting tense and the rhetoric unhelpful. Macron has been an idiot but Merkel and the EMA have not. Good distraction for UK government from world leading death toll and billions wasted on PPE and test and trace. It’s also a good case for saying that the UK should be part of the leadership of the EU then this drama may not have happened.”

To which I added, that the grandstanding and threats by Macron & Von der Leyden has been exceptionally unhelpful; it’s possible that this Commission is the 2nd worse there’s been and for the record, the German’s like us, only seem to put 2nd rate politicians onto the Commission. We don’t need to defend the Commission but should always remember that for vaccines to work, we need people other than those that paid for it to have it. We should also forcefully make the point that vaccines are not enough, it is necessary to have a well functioning, track, trace and isolate programme which the UK does not, with adequate compensation for loss of income from public health compliance.

By saying it’s a vaccine bounce and there’s nothing we can do, we collude with a policy that has led to the highest death total in Europe and a policy which is trying to get people back to the work place irrespective of safety, again! I hope that there is no reason to slowdown or reverse the unlockdown, but it is not planned as a complete reversal even today. …

Privacy Regulation

Privacy Regulation

I wrote a little piece on my linkedin blog on the EU Commission’s proposal to agree a data “adequacy” agreement. I point out the next set of hurdles, although I downplay the likelihood of any intervention by the CJEU but note that not was critical in striking down the original EU/US “Safe Harbour” agreement. I note that one threat to its renewal at the end of its four year live is the desire and plans of the British Govt to depart from the current legal protections which are based on the EU’s GDPR.

Issues of state surveillance, the European Council’s Convention 108 and the Human Rights act are all engaged. We’ll probably get it, but for it to be renewed, we’ll have to remain aligned with the GDPR & C108. The right to seek judicial redress by EU citizens may become important as it is a point of contention between the EU & US over the Privacy Shield.

One indicator of a desire for divergence is the advert for the role of Information Commissioner, which asks for,

The Government’s National Data Strategy sets out its ambition for the UK’s pro-growth and trusted data regime, one that helps innovators and entrepreneurs to use data responsibly and securely, without undue regulatory uncertainty or risk, …

cabinetoffice.gov.uk

This has been picked up by the Open Rights Group, who are asking people to write to their MPs, we need an independent Privacy Regulator.

The retreat from the promise of the GDPR is not just a UK phenomenon, across Europe pro-business politicians are beginning to say that it’s too onerous. It’s a shame we’re out, our voices no longer count …

Is there a storm coming?

Is there a storm coming?

In an article on CNBC, with an article entitled, Bank of England's Haldane warns on inflation; bond yields move higher (cnbc.com), they summarise the article, "In a recorded lecture, Haldane noted that there were both upside and downside risks to the inflation outlook, but cautioned that an inflationary “tiger” had awoken. ... Global markets have been jittery over the past week due to a spike in the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield, driven in part by rising expectations for inflation and economic growth. I review the comments and look at the basics, present some charts on employment, inflation, growth and investment and ask if this is just fear mongering by monetarists ....

Thank you Lewisham Deptford Labour

daveinbrusselsepchamber

I was elected as Secretary of my CLP tonight. We were running late and so I wasn’t able to speak. This is what I would have said.

Thank you for your confidence in me.

Most of you know me, I have been in Deptford for 10 years and in the Party for much longer. I campaign more than some, less than others. I ave done a couple of branch offices and been on the EC for a number of years although not last year. I am Union delegate from the GMB.

We have a task to pick ourselves up after our defeat in 2019, the last year has not been easy for local activists due to the pandemic, we need to learn new tricks to keep in touch with our voters and those our MP and councillors represent.

I hope to serve in maintaining members power in the Party, a manifesto based on our collective experience with democratic legitimacy is a powerful tool that will help us reconnect with voters, win power and allow us to build a better society.

Our strength is our collective experience, knowledge and thirst for justice, together we develop a programme, distil a manifesto and then choose candidates for public office to pursue these policies.

We, in Lewisham Deptford, have a proud record fighting racism, we campaigned to oppose NRPF in Lewisham and London, opposing the hostile environment, and acting in solidarity with the families of the dead and dispossessed of the Grenfell fire, and in solidarity with the Windrush generation, supported by our MP who has signed the “MPs not border guards” pledge. I hope we continue with this.

We need to make the party welcoming for all, everyone’s opinion counts, everyone must be able to speak without fear.

Let us remember the Labour Party is a cause not a career. Let’s win the London Mayoral election and have a great Conference as we prepare for the next council and general election. …

In Germany

In Germany

There is a Federal Parliament election in Germany later in the year. It’s not looking good for the SPD who are the minority partner in Merkel’s CDU/CSU coalition. Both or all three parties find Die Linke and AfD to be unacceptable partners but this may test the CDU’s principles. One lesson for the left is that supporting right wing govt’s or pursuing right wing politics kills the Party, with obvious examples being Greece & Scotland, and now Germany. Solidarity to my German comrades, irrespective of which parry they’re in; it would seem they have a choice of three.

 …

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 ...

Neither buffalo nor basin

I follow Rewilding Britain as I think it’s a fab initiative, I want to see a wolf park and bears back in the UK. This article in the Guardian, from where the picture also comes talks about plans to bring Bison back to England as do Rewilding Britain . I am surprised they think there’s room, but the Kent Wildlife Trust plan to bring some European Bison to Blean Woods by importing them from Poland where they have been rescued from a zoo only existence.

I hope the lorries bringing them have their ‘Kent Access Permits’. …

Whatsapp?

Whatsapp?

I am a bit confused over the whatsapp privacy update furore. Whatsapp say it’s only about business correspondence, Alec Muffet agrees, and so does the Independent Schneier thinks it’s a bad thing, and points at Nick Slatt’s article which adds to my confusion by pointing out that early users of whatsapp had the opportunity to deny Facsebook access to their data and that European users are managed under a different policy to ensure Facebook’s compliance with the GDPR. I am an early user and so they shouldn’t be mining my address book however they maybe doing so for my correspondents, particularly any US correspondents. However, I wonder if they or Facebook still consider the UK regime as equivalent to that of European Union, the Independent article confirms it does. I don’t consider the update notice to be a collection of consent that is freely given nor ‘informed’, as the future purpose is not clear, at least not to me but I may not have to worry yet. The problem is Facebook, both the company and the service, if we’re serious about our privacy, we’d stop using it but until then they can obey the law. …