We’re all going on a summer holiday … or maybe not

We’re all going on a summer holiday … or maybe not

Will we go abroad for holiday’s this year? Boris, in Hartlepool, says maybe, Shapps says, dig out your passport. We’ll find out on May17th, but it looks as if the Govt will operate a traffic light scheme, requiring returning holiday makers to have a PRC test on return for Green list countries, and 10 day isolation for Amber, and a10 days in an approved hotel stay for Red list countries. Who bears the cost of testing is unclear, who bears the cost of hotel stay is not, it will be bourne by the traveller. I have taken the controls from the another BBC article. So it might be Devon, or Skegness?

Even if we don’t go abroad, are we putting our health in the once struggling NHS track & trace system? …

When 2nd best is actually best!

Another note on proportional representation. We elect MPs for two purposes, to represent us in Parliament and to choose a Prime Minister.

Sometimes the best and most supported answer is a compromise of 2nd bests which only a Parliament can deliver. i.e. the former role is more important.

Opponents of PR, within the LP, have a vision of a Labour Govt., exercising the powers of the elective dictatorship, (presumably without the corruption) ruling on the basis of a minority plurality. This always ends badly.

As other’s have said, the UK’s system i.e. FPTP is little used in democracies, and truth be told, not used in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales or London.

PR may or may not benefit Labour or the progressives in the UK, but the UK is a ‘flawed democracy’ and something must change to ensure this kakistocracy is never repeated. …

Pasokification: evidence from Germany

While Labour campaigns for the most extensive local elections in decades with one Parliamentary by-election, much internal attention is turned to its strategy. There are important lessons to be learned from Greece and now Germany. In 2013, the SPD, Grüne and die Linke won a tiny majority in the the Bundestag, but the result of the election was another Grand Coalition of the CDU & SPD. I wrote at the time,

We’ll see if her prediction, that the smaller party always get screwed remains true. It’s hard to believe that the SDP will allow her to do it twice.

Me on this blog 25 Sep 2013

The polls are quite different today. The SPD has been in government since the fall of the wall, mainly as junior partners in a Conservative led government. In 2013, the SPD won 25.7% of the vote, (in 1998 it was 40.9%) today they are trailing Die Grune at 15%. For those for whom the mantra without power we can do no good, I ask how much good do you think the SPD have done over the last four years.

Here is where all the parties stand today.

I have chosen to use a stock price chart type, solid boxes are movement’s down, white boxes are movement’s up, line’s up are the 6 month high (if different from the open or closing score) and lines down are the 6 month low (if different from the open or closing score). …

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. ...

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. …