Dignity and respect at work

I was writing a motion for GMB Congress on Bullying and came across this, from one of the ACAS codes, as part of the definition,

Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect at work

I thought that maybe there’s a human rights dimension so went to check out the European Convention on Human Rights since we are losing the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights which does include it. Nope! ECHR doesn’t! Well done! …

1917

I have just seen 1917; I quite liked it, it was made for me by the speech from Benedict Cumberbatch as Colonel MacKenzie. We had been set up to expect an act of monumental stupidity, an expectation reinforced by just having re-watched Generation Kill, but we got something quite different. I was also reminded, a bit, of the Odyessy via “Oh Brother, where art thou?”

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On Open Selection

This is my experience of the reformed trigger ballots, others will have different ones.

The new rules did not make much difference. Only one MP failed to obtain renomination after losing a trigger ballot, although five lost their ballots. Some may have been saved by running out of time and or a lot of people stood down. However we i.e. the Left are losing because people aren’t turning up, and they aren’t turning up because we don’t know who they are and many of them have given up on us as leaders of the Corbyn project. People have not engaged in this process and it is not because of the fact they didn’t get a phone call or email. (There may be one or two places where piss poor organisation by the left had led to failure, and some where they ran out of time.) In some cases, the surviving MPs can be seen to genuinely have the support of the CLP membership.

We i.e. the Left have driven people away through our sectarian and indecent behaviour. We have failed to renew our leadership. The momentum database is now too inaccurate to be useful, incl. CLP/Ward Membership facts.

Those that support the incumbents are often better Labour Campaigners then we are, (except for some of our Trotskyist friends) and many of our recent members and new members first experience of the Labour Party is on the doorstep.

While this is controversial people are leaving! (Or were until the election.)

We need to discover nice, we need to build ward socials, and meet more people. Supporting Corbyn isn’t enough because people can think they do that by supporting him in the coup and voting for the JC9. They don’t have to support us, and don’t in many cases because we don’t talk to them.

In addition, by driving for All Member Meeting governance, we have ignored Branch activity and let them fail.

We have been looking in the wrong place.

ooOOOoo

This was originally written on 16th October. …

Some thought on Labour’s Leadership campaign

Some thought on Labour’s Leadership campaign

The Labour Leadership elections seem to be less inspiring than 2015. We should all remember and recognise that Corbyn’s victory in the 2015 Leadership election was the result of revolutionary change in British Politics, he surfed a wave; it was not created by the minuscule and impotent Labour Left. At the time, I was shocked by Ed Miliband’s defeat (at least its scale) and began to question my own sense of strategy. I engaged with several parts of Labour Left which I had not been associated with and found an entrenched sense of entitlement, that “it was their turn”. This has survived to today.

With respect to the current election, for Leader at least, I am concerned that should Lisa Nandy win, she’ll end up trapped like Ed Miliband, (and arguably Corbyn), in an office without the ability to win her policy agenda in the Party, either at Conference or in the PLP. It is my view that the faction around Ed Balls organised and blew Miliband of course and his genuine supporters were insufficiently powerful or skilful to defend his policy agenda. I sort of agree with her and Phillips that 40 second replies to “moderated” questions are not the best way to allow candidates to speak to the members, although Nandy has shown how well she can use even less time on the Andrew Neil interview. I also question the judgement behind her voting record over the autumn. She seems shocked that the Tories are reneging on promises they made to win Labour votes for both Brexit and the election and while her statements on Workers’ & Migrants’ Rights are welcome, her role in ending the Parliament and thus stymieing a “final say” referendum is not, in my opinion good.

For those that place the worst possible interpretation on Nandy’s comments on Catalonia and Scottish independence, you are wrong, she clearly did not mean to support the aggressive police or judicial response; suggesting she did  puts you in the same category as the anti-Catholicism surrounding Rebecca Long-Bailey. It infantilises our politics and buries much more important questions. Scotland and its relationship with the UK deserves a better debate than this.

Last night RLB made herself the first of the Leader candidates to commit to Open Selection. I suspect that I am in a minority amongst Labour’s Left in that I don’t consider that we failed to win re-selection ballots because of the rules, or the constraints/rules of the debate. It is clear that the argument, “we deserve a choice” didn’t have the resonance that one would have hoped, but, we lost the re-selections because on the whole people didn’t turn up, and they didn’t turn up because the Left don’t know who they are and many of them have given up on us as leaders of the Corbyn project. We must recognise that, we i.e. the Left have driven people away through our sectarian and indecent behaviour.

Another problem I have with Open Selection is that it is based on an elitist model of power. If we had a democratic policy making process which the leadership and the PLP would follow, then who the MPs are would matter less but that’s not how the Labour Party does and it’s looking as if the new Leadership nomination rules will end up restricting choice and not enhancing it.

I plan to look at my proposals over the last two years and see which one’s need to be resurrected, but we need to recognise that many of the democratic reforms stemming from the democracy review have not introduced member power, they have reinforced the power of the Party’s bureaucracy. We need a stronger Conference and stronger CLPs, but achieving these things will take a change of culture, the Party needs to become an instrument of collective endeavour not a battlefield of power.

In her speech last night Long-Bailey said,

This means open and democratic policy making at every level, properly resourced political education and a professional and accountable party operation. These are the basics.

Sadly Party Democracy is a critical issue, I’d prefer that policy and electoral strategy were at the centre but what the candidates say in response to my question will be critical in how I cast my vote and speak at the nomination meeting. …

A question

To Labour’s Leadership/Deputy Leadership candidates: What confidence can you give us that you will put a stop to the toxic culture of bullying & slander that comes from many parts of the factional disputes, often covered up, as shown most dramatically by Bex Bailey, by Labour Party full-timers, who in some cases act with impunity in breach of the law and the rules? …

Life continues

Life continues

The noise about Ubuntu Linux has increased over the last couple of days, much of it critical. I have been aware that the Open Source militants have for a long time had a down on it and Canonical for bundling proprietary software with the distro (coadecs and now graphic card drivers) and they have taken some odd diversions in their path to today ( Amazon Search Bar, I am talking about you), but it has a a commitment to a usable free desktop and server operating system and it’s not owned by a proprietary software company and is not a competitive weapon in the systems market, unlike say Red Hat who “own” Fedora, RHEL and Centos. The industrialisation of Red Hat was funded by IBM as a competitive weapon against Solaris and HP/UX and who now own it and offer it as their O/S of choice for their Intel servers.  At a meeting I attended, Richard Stallman expressed his tests as: does it do surveillance, doe it have restrictions (against the four freedoms) and does it have backdoors and documents his then use of GNewSense, a Debian derivative. He also argued, correctly, that one can’t know if the software is free of these defects unless one can read the code. I wonder how many of these Linux distributions meet these tests today?

My review of the meeting might be worth having another look at, unlike some of what I write, it has aged well. …