Black Lives Matter

Over the weekend, there were many protest demonstrations about racism in the UK under the slogan #blacklivesmatter

There was violence at the demo in London, a police horse bolted after the police had decided to charge a bunch of protesters; it injured a protester, several statues inc. that of Churchill were defaced. In Bristol, the statue of Edward Colston a slaver, later a Tory MP and philanthropist was pulled down and thrown in the Avon. Both these actions have started debates, about Churchill, slavery, museums and how we do history in the UK.

The establishment was quick to apportion blame on the protesters, with Johnson calling them thugs, and Priti Patel yet again disgracing herself, but this is to avoid examining the racism within British society, the Tory led state and the Tory Party itself. Only when we, i.e. the people of the United Kingdom, have satisfactorily resolved the Windrush scandal, the hostile environment and, most recently the suppression of the report into BAME propensity and deaths from CV19 can the Tories have anything to say about anti-racism demos.

The Labour Party has its own demons to exorcise, apart from the record of the Attlee government in India and Africa, more recently there is the allegations of racism at the most senior levels of the Party towards its leading black MPs, and Keir Starmer, albeit in a longer interview criticised the Bristol demonstrators who had pulled down the Colston statue. He has been rebutted by Marvin Rees, the black Mayor of Bristol, who also criticised the Govt’s priorities and Dawn Butler, the black MP for Brent Central.

Len Duval, the Leader of London’s GLA Labour group issued a statement, in which he says, this must be a turning point. Anyone who disagrees is just not listening to their friends, co-workers, family and neighbours.

This is a challenge for everyone in the UK, together we can make a better society and move towards eliminating racism within our society.  …

Culture for all

Culture for all

Tracy Brabin, in her statement, “Culture for All” says,

When times are dark, culture and creativity provide a light. That’s why I’m proposing a vision of Culture for All to be at the heart of Labour’s forward journey.

She has great ideas on Football, the BBC, diverting the festival of Britain funding, access to the creative industries,and comments on nepotism, class bias and the impact of other informal networks, together with the impact of the growing gig economy relationships in the creative industries.

For instance on football, which she identifies as important community resources and hubs, she says, “We need to tackle the mostly undemocratic ownership and control of football clubs, and the way that sport is organised, so that fans and communities are properly engaged.”

While she recognises the stake holding interests of fans in sport, she doesn’t spend the words on talking about them in terms of acting, music nor film? Although she does say ” … Campaign to put more digital cultural content online. Just as the National Theatre has done in response to Covid-19, so too must we support our regional arts institutions in reaching new audiences.”, although this is also weak on the contribution of value by fans.

There is a good section on health and well being

On digital she says, amongst other demands, the UK needs, “a new properly resourced internet regulator to tackle online harms, abuse and misinformation” is needed and Labour should “Make the case for a Digital Bill of Rights so UK citizens have greater control over their own data”. She does not repeat the free broadband promise on which I comment positively here, and less positively here.

This is a thoughtful review of what we could do, it might be a shame she lost the shadow spokesperson position, but she remains Shadow Spokesperson (Minister) on Cultural Industries.

ooOOOoo

This does not repeat big media’s bollocks on the “Value Gap”, which is an unmeasured & unmeasurable concept aimed at appropriating the value created by fans and commentators and implementing a trickle-down approach for artists and performers. It appeared in one of the NPF reports.

Featured Image: cropped from Tracy’s twitter feed …

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a Minnesota policeman while using clearly unnecessary force in trying to detain him. This started initially a US wide protest movement which has spread throughout the world. There was a demonstration in London earlier this week and many Labour local councils lit their buildings with purple lights to show their solidarity with Floyd and the world’s black population. The act of police brutality, repeated in many US cities and states coming during the pandemic which is hitting ethnic minority communities the worst has led to a massive uprisings, and demonstrations.  Below/overleaf are tweets from Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham and David Lammy MP who spoke on Newsnight bringing it home to the UK.  …

Some IT technology & economics history

Some IT technology & economics history

I have finally installed a version of CA-Superproject under W98/Virtualbox and the experience reminded me of a couple of things, about the software, about its final custodian, Computer Associates (CA) and also some critical software project management issues. I have written a more formal note on Linkedin and this is my mirror/pointer to that; the rest of this article précises that article. For more, see overleaf/below. …  …

Fighting Corruption

Fighting Corruption

Sadly I have been looking to see what’s being said about Corruption and Anti-Corruption. I made a wiki post which includes some links on management strategy, which includes an article from McKinsey’s Journal which offers a brief taxonomy of corrupt practices, this is augmented by Transparency International’s tool kit, to which I link. TI also note that, “The UK Bribery Act, which was passed in 2010, introduces an offence of corporate failure to prevent bribery.”. There are also some specific action plans inc. current advice from the MoJ. Interestingly, to me, the action plans share many ideas from risk management practices and IT Security controls that I have been working with for many years, and that having a robust programme of controls is the only defence against the aforementioned corporate crime.

Construct a taxonomy, develop controls, measure the effectiveness of the controls and fix those that are broken.

This costs money and time, and companies may lose business because of it. No-one says it’s easy.

I have now made a post on my linkedin blog, which while repeating some of that I say here, looks at the MOJ Guidance and their six principles and offers some important definitions of pertaining to bribery.  I highlight the concept of ‘improper behaviour’ from within the legislation. …

Sectarianism

Sectarianism

This article is a review of Anatomy of the Micro-Sect, by Hal Draper, dated 1973. It thus refers to political sectarianism. I was particularly taken by this quote,

What characterizes the classic sect was best defined by Marx himself: it counterposes its sect criterion of programmatic points against the real movement of the workers in the class struggle, which may not measure up to its high demands. The touchstone of support (the “point d’honneur,” in Marx’s words) is conformity with the sect’s current shibboleths – whatever they may be, including programmatic points good in themselves. The approach pointed by Marx was different: without giving up or concealing one’s own programmatic politics in the slightest degree, the real Marxist looks to the lines of struggle calculated to move decisive sectors of the class into action – into movement against the established powers of the system (state and bourgeoisie and their agents, including their labor lieutenants inside the workers’ movement). And for Marx, it is this reality of social (class) collision which will work to elevate the class’s consciousness to the level of the socialist movement’s program.

There’s more below/overleaf, including a commentary on the featured image. … …

Class Wargames, a review

Class Wargames, a review

I read Richard Barbrook’s “Class Wargames” having played his referendum game. I was unprepared for two chapters on the history of the Situationist International. The book has been inspired by Guy Debord’s Game of War; I had assumed that Richard was fascinated by games for the same reason that managements are, that one learns quicker by doing than by listening but his enthusim and praxis comes from the tactics of the Situationist Intentional. He categorises the tactics as provocation, détournement, urbanism & participatory creativity and while it’s a bit difficult to see how war games is a tactic of urbanism, it’s clear to me how the others fit in by challenging the states monopoly of military knowledge and strategy, the revisiting of military history and the liberation effects of personal participation. Anyway everyone, or nearly everyone enjoys a good board or table top game.

The “Game of War” is simple, some might argue overly so and would seem a bit too like chess although Debord argued that it was good enough, or better than that.  …

Class Struggle 1939-1945, & Elbe Day

I was pointed at this review of, Chris Bambery’s book The Second World War: A Marxist History (2014) which takes a different from normal view of the politics & the history of politics of the second world war; the story where the people’s of the last democracies in Europe united with the United States to fight its fascist blight. I wrote a little review of the review and posted it on my wiki, in an article called “Class Struggle 1939 – 1945”. The wiki article looks at the US financial contribution to the Allied war effort, the Tory Party, even Churchill’s, ambivalence in fighting fascism, and US Capitalism’s contribution to the fascist victory in Spain. The review is more comprehensive and the book would seem to be even more so.

While looking for pictures to decorate the wiki article, I looked at my David Low cartoon book to see if there was one cartoon that would work to be used to decorate my article and my review but Low was contemporaneous with the events and reproducing pages for the book is hard to do with quality of my lockdown IT. In the book, Low draws a cartoon to mark the meeting of the US & Soviet forces on the Elbe on 25th April 1945. Low’s cartoon is typical of his portrayal of allied solidiers but on looking I found this image, published in an article about the 70th anniversary of Elbe Day which I assume from the article is still celebrated in Russia.

 

 

While I think this is a fabulous picture illustrating the penultimate phase of the war against Nazi Germany in Europe, and the, at least, short lived solidarity between the US and Soviet soldiery I wanted to find something closer to Low’s cartoon with a bit more of a personal voice.

 

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