Tomorrow’s polling day

Vote Labour tomorrow, there are many reasons to do so.

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I have not been well and not got out as much as I’d hoped, can’t really say how I feel and what I know. My part of Deptford seems solidly pro-Labour, if not always enthusiastic; I went to Harrow East, with hundreds of people. It was empty! But if doorstep work makes a difference, the Tories can still lose this.  …

Can MPs be ranked?

Can MPs be ranked?

I look at, with help, ranking MPs, by work effort and incomes. Change.org have produced a an index claiming to illustrate the assiduousness of the MPs in the last parliament. They document their methodology on one of the site pages. and publish their data file. It claims to measure, constituency presence, parliamentary activity and constituency campaigning including their use of … err … change.org. They state that they have reviewed Hansard to get some of the results and such research will be valuable.

They present the results as an index which exacerbates the difference between MPs results. I have presented the results as frequency distribution which shows a clustering around the mean average of 25 and reverses the effect of the index which equalises the gap between a pair of data points when the difference can be exceedingly small.

Another tool of interest, is http://richest.mp, by SetReset which they describe as a data essay. The fact is that Boris Johnson has overtaken Jeremy Hunt and trousered £1.7m, and except for Hunt, the top 5 are all cabinet members. Some books generate a lot of money, sadly mine, didn’t but being a cabinet member is full time, and financial assets should be in a blind trust

There are some strange results in the change.org study, for instance the Sinn Fein MPs vary from 60th to 280th which since they don’t attend Parliament is interesting. This is caused by the category weighting where they weight constituency presence at 60%, and the other two categories, including Parliamentary activity at 20% each; voting records earns up to 8% of their total score. They also normalise this behaviour and that of ministers but there remain some further unlikely results. ( I am sure that many MPs would argue that their score on social media, which emphasises twitter and email and the web site “writetothem” is also unfair, or of limited relevance.  Many MPs devalue writetothem and similar tools inc. Change.Org because they belive, often with justification that correspondence is as a result of 3rd party campaigns. )

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Does NATO have a useful future?

Does NATO have a useful future?

This was posted by Stephen Bush, in his morning mail; it’s part of a longer article and referred to the Nato Summit.

The big, unspoken agenda item is: what happens to Nato when the commitment of the United States to Article Five – that an attack on one Nato member is an attack against all – is up for grabs? Donald Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds shows you just how much consideration he will show to his allies, no matter how many times they might roll out their head of state for tea and cake.

Once the US commitment to Western Europe’s security was unquestioned, some might argue the price was high but France & Germany have resisted acting as proxies for the US; one can see clearly that while Macron is not necessarily acting in good faith, the EU as the sole organsation capable of speaking for Europe needs to consider its defence policies, expenditure and alliances. While there is no plans for an EU Army, it is planing to co-ordinate some design and expenditure programmes. …

A glimmer at the end of a tunnel

A glimmer at the end of a tunnel

The Guardian reports a change of leadership in the SPD. The winners are Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken, from the left of the SPD. They have called for major policy concessions from Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), and say they are prepared to pull the plug on the partnership. We should remember that the decision by the SPD to re-enter the coalition for a 2nd time in 2017 was controversial within the Party and followed the decision in 2013 not to attempt a coalition albeit with a tiny majority with Die Linke & Die Grüne. When discussing the proposal of “Remain & Reform” with respect to Brexit, it has become clear to me that European Socialists in the European Parliament need to end their commitment to the Grand Coalition and look to their left for a majority, athough we’d need to avoid the fuck-ups that led to Labou halving it’s EU Parliamentary Group earlier this year. This is most unlikely to happen while the SPD is wedded to an alternative. (They should learn from the sectarianism of Merkel and the CDU in her imposition of Von der Leyen as President of the Commission.)  There’s a glimmer of hope that the German SPD is changing it’s mind.

Image rightsfrom DW, (c) picture-alliance/dpa . This picture is cropped, and stored and processed for reasons of addressability, longevity and performance. This has not been made available. …

Back me or …

Back me or …

A couple of days ago, the Guardian brought to my attention that a major political candidate for Prime Minister gave a Conference speech, where they demanded their party back them or sack them. They got a standing ovation, I assume for their courage and clarity. The Leader is Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Leader of Germany’s CDU, the major party in the country’s coalition government. Can you imagine how the press would report such an event in the Labour Party? …

It’s not a double whammy!

And it’s back to tax! WTF.  😵  Labour’s income tax proposals will not affect anyone earning under £80K, contrary to the bollocks on Question Time earlier this week. This increase represents the top 5% income earners in the country. Labour propose to tax those on over £80,000 at 45% rather than 40% and increase the rate for those earning over £150K to 50%. (These are marginal rates i.e. they are only paid on that income earned over the threshold. See http://calculate.forlabour.com.

Currently one pay’s zero on the first ~£12,000, 20% in the next ~£35,000, 40% on £46K to 150K and 45% on whatever’s left if you lucky enough to earn that much.

While issues remain about the zero rate claw back, as it impacts benefits package design i.e. encourages tax avoidance by transferring benefits from money to NPBs and particularly in London, this is not unfair; it might be better if another layer was introduced at £¼ million p.a. so that the newly burdened feel that those better off then them are carrying their share of the burden. (We should also work out how to forgive the student debt, since one of things this tax payment will generate is free (higher) education for tax payers and their children.) …  …

Help Labour win!

We have a General Election coming, here’s what you need or can do to get involved. Help Labour return Vicky Foxcroft as a Labour MP in Lewisham Deptford. The timetable of events is here, on Lewisham Council’s Web site.

  1. If not on the electoral roll, register to vote before the 27th November 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 before the 27th Nov.
  2. Register for a postal vote here …, before 17:00 pm the 26th Nov; you’ll need a printer
  3. You may apply for a proxy vote until 4th Dec.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Donate to Labour’s campaign in Deptford here …
  7. Join the Party here …
  8. Donate to the national party here…
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