A target’s view of assassination

reaper-w650

The Independent reports on the target of he US drone attacks and the personal security measures he now takes to protect himself and his family and children. In the article he is quoted and repeats the statement that the drone campaign is one of individual assassination.  I have written previously on this blog and on storify opposing the use of drones and assassination as anti-terrorist tactics and its legality or otherwise.  The US have a different legal system and tradition, but throughout the ’80s the UK maintained the principle of civil primacy in its domestic anti-terrorist campaigns. The story though is as much about humanity rather than politics.  … » Read more …

On the coming Robot Revolution

AI at Work

At the Real World Economics blog, Dean Baker argues that, those proposing the Reign of the Robots, have some evidence to find and that (US) economic policy makers are pursuing policies in direct contradiction to the implications of such an event.   … » Read more …

CLPD’s 43rd AGM

clpd logo

Over the weekend, for the first time ever, I attended the AGM of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, their 43rd it would seem. Much of the right wing media locate the intellectual and organisational engine room of Corbyn’s victory in this body. It’s been around for a while, over 43 years it would seem, but I think it underestimates the changes in society occurring over the last 10 years and the changes available to and needed by the Party, and they’re not alone.  The meeting was as those of with experience of the movement know, a mix of set piece speeches from in several cases very worthy individuals, the receipt and acceptance of reports, and debate around motions. At the end of the day, I left disappointed.  … » Read more …

Labour’s front bench and surveillance.

big brother is watching you

The Labour Campaign for Human Rights organised an event at which Kier Starmer, Labour’s shadow spokesman on the Investigatory Powers Bill, he introduced himself, and pointed to his record as a Barrister where he has been involved in a number of cases prosecuting the government, the police and the intelligence agencies and his time as DPP. He says his experience shows him the “the reality of the crimes to be fought”.  (This is not necessarily a scarce resource if you came to adulthood living in the UK in the eighties, or were working or travelling in London on 7th July 2005.) The rest of this article looks at the critiques made by the guest speakers and audience; it’s a piece of reporting, not a polemic, there’s plenty of those around. Basically the view in the room was it’s not fit for purpose, the new powers are too extensive, the old powers are too extensive, the proposed oversight remains too weak and the powers are not necessary, effective or proportionate. Those of us in the Labour Party can also add, the question where did this come from as Party policy.  … » Read more …

The Snooper’s Charter again! :'(

digital-spy

The Tory Government, have republished the Snooper’s Charter, 😥 changed some of the words and it has been inching towards the House of Commons via three parliamentary committees of experts, all of whom have criticised the Bill as it stands. The Labour Party plans to abstain on the 2nd reading, and explains why here. The campaigning academic, Paul Bernal, has written a blog, welcoming Andy Burnham’s press release as the most pro-privacy comments made by a Labour Shadow Home Secretary and makes the following comments.   … » Read more …

Hacker’s Guide to Economics

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I went over to Hackney to attend the People’s PPE. This, their second event was called the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to Economics and I have produced a storify here which is a collection of tweets and other social media comments about the event. The rest of this blog is based on my notes and the thoughts it provoked, on debt, banking regulation and Islamic finance, a bit less about the class war.

Ann Pettifor, Director of PRIME, opened the session, stating that the problem was debt and the banks, which create debt.   … » Read more …

Unifying the Left in the Labour Party?

LRC SG< 2016 supports the Junior Doctors

I went up to London to attend the Labour Representation Committee Special General Meeting. The original LRC was the fore runner of the Labour Party, but today it is a left-wing pressure group and it called a special meeting mainly to discuss strategy after the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Party. The most important debate would be the LRC’s relationship with Momentum as Momentum regularises its position within the Labour Party. The meeting was opened by John McDonnell MP who reprised the previous nine months and then followed by the debate which shows the Left are as conflicted as the Right about the new members and renewed interest in the Labour Party.  … » Read more …

And now Spain turns to the Left

Madrid

The mould has been broken in Spain. Yesterday, in Spain’s general election, yesterday, the two Parties that have dominated Spain’s post fascist democracy both lost seats and votes. The new parliament has no natural majority. The PSOE, in particular, has some interesting challenges in front of it and the next few weeks and months may act as a signpost for the politics of Europe.  … » Read more …

On an informed citizenry

tomwatson-foispeech

I was invited to attend Tom Watson’s speech building on much of his campaigning work and presented in the New Statesman as reclaiming civil liberty for the Left, although sub titled by him as “David Cameron is governing from the shadows”. In this article I review the speech; I try to report on it and to comment by adding some personal views and insights, in some cases new ideas provoked by Tom’s speech. It was quite a long speech and it takes a diverse route to get to its polemical heart which is that Democracy is the choice by an informed citizenry of a government, subject to the rule of law and that the Freedom of Information Act is one of the pillars of this contract and should not be diminished or repealed.  … » Read more …

Working with others

No 10.

In this blog, Hopi Sen, allegedly a Labour Party member argues to fight Corbyn and the party until the day of the election and to resign from it for the election so as not to breach the rule prohibiting campaigning against it. This could only be suggested by one of the majority of LP members who only read the rules they want, or more accurately only quote the rules they like.  … » Read more …

Safe Harbour

Barcelona Harbour

Last month the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled the US Safe Harbour treaty to be insufficient for European data protection law purposes. How important this is, is subject to debate. One of the principles of European Data Protection law is that personal and confidential data must be “adequately protected”. The CJEU has stated that the US Safe Harbour agreement offers insufficient and uncertain protection to European personal data.  … » Read more …

Bombing Syria

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So Parliament is to debate if it should authorise the government to use the RAF to bomb ISIS in Syria. What we must keep in our mind is that we i.e. the British state must only act under the rule of law. While the UN resolution (SC 2249) last week makes military action more likely to be legal, the legality still depends upon the actions to be taken. Many argue that the UN security council resolution changes nothing, because it does not authorise the use of military force under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

Any actions need to remain an effective act of self-defence.   … » Read more …

Solidarity with the people of Paris

champs elysee

Solidarity with the people of Paris & France.  … » Read more …