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.

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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. …

Cannonballs

During the age of sail, cannons could use cannonballs or grapeshot. Cannonballs damaged the hull, gun decks and masts, grapeshot killed people and had a larger damage area although each shot caused less damage. One has to choose the ammo depending on the target; the same is true when building cases in disciplinary and grievance hearings. Choose your [metaphoric] ammo with care and in the knowledge of the target i.e. discover the weaknesses in their case and make sure its on the table with the maximum of force, don’t get distracted by personal anger or irrelevant detail! Use a cannonball!

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How to rejoin the EU

How to rejoin the EU

This is the treaty obligation on the EU that governs entry into the EU. It’s Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union.

Any European State which respects the values referred to in Article 2 and is committed to promoting them may apply to become a member of the Union. The European Parliament and national Parliaments shall be notified of this application. The applicant State shall address its application to the Council, which shall act unanimously after consulting the Commission and after receiving the consent of the European Parliament, which shall act by a majority of its component members. The conditions of eligibility agreed upon by the European Council shall be taken into account.

The conditions of admission and the adjustments to the Treaties on which the Union is founded, which such admission entails, shall be the subject of an agreement between the Member States and the applicant State. This agreement shall be submitted for ratification by all the contracting States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

Article 49 Treaty on the EU

Might come in useful sometime soon. …

At long last we have a Brexit deal – and it’s as bad as you thought

At long last we have a Brexit deal – and it’s as bad as you thought

The UK Government and the Commission have agreed a Free Trade Agreement, it is reviewed by Tom Kibasi in a piece in the Guardian and the Commission have produced a simple info graphic. I highlight some quotes from the Kibasi article, which touch on Starmer’s disgraceful and stupid plan to whip the PLP behind this deal. Once again we are doing what those who do not vote for us want, not what those that do.

Here are some quotes from Kibasi’s article …

We already know its contours: a barely-there treaty that will make trade harder and destroy jobs. Labour should oppose it …

It was Labour’s abject failure to arrive at any coherent political position on Brexit in the last parliament that was one of the many reasons for its dire showing at the polls in December 2019. …

But the plan to vote for the deal shares the same political thinking as Labour’s disastrous embrace of austerity under Ed Miliband – where the same Westminster logic led it to follow polling rather than to show leadership. Do not expect the electorate to thank Labour for abandoning its principles and voting in favour of a deal that will damage Britain. They won’t. …

Convictions in politics matter. Had the 2016 referendum gone the other way, does anyone seriously imagine that Tory Brexiters would say they had to accept the result and march through the lobbies in favour of the latest EU treaty? Voting in favour of a shoddy deal will surely dampen the enthusiasm of many of Labour’s supporters, the vast majority of whom have always been rightly hostile to the hard-right Brexit project.Failing to oppose the Tory Brexit deal will leave Labour mute for years to come as the damage unfolds, unable to prosecute its central argument to sack the Tories. …

A thumping majority for the Brexit deal would hand Johnson precisely the “reset” moment that his rocky premiership so desperately needs. It would see the prime minister end a torrid year with endorsement not only of his deal but also the disgraceful tactics he employed to secure it.

Tom Kibasi – The Guradian 24 DEC 2020

Minds may have been concentrated by Macron closing the UK border, the chaos of turning Kent into both a toilet and lorry park to the chorus of headlines such as, “Brexiters left stunned after several EU countries demonstrate easy control of their own borders“, from News Arse.

More seriously and on a personal note, Erasmus has gone (except for Northern Ireland), recognition of professional qualifications has gone, as have pet passports and stays of over 90 days require a visa. We’ll have to see what happens with flights although it seems they’ve kicked it into the grass, although it seems intra-eu flights will be stopped (for airlines, I assume). They are fudging the reciprocal health care arrangements which might stay in place. We are out of all the police co-operation programmes because we won’t accept the Court of Justice of the EU. The New European in an article entitled, “The long and winding road (back to the EU)” enumerates the gaps from the current status quo.

I am looking to see what disputes resolution and monitoring arrangements are being put in place. I know there are some and the deal would seem to give the EU an exit point if the UK leaves the ECHR,

I am in two minds how I feel about being trapped in Great Britain, but I offer my solidarity to those EU citizens whose rights in the UK have and will be diminished.

What are Lewisham Labour with its sanctuary borough programme doing?  …