Monthly Archives: May 2013

Two political forecast models; a Labour landslide

If you check, You Gov’s midweek poll for last week, you will find they forecast, as follows. CON 29%, LAB 42%, LD 11%, UKIP 18%; the field work was done between the 21st and 23rd May. If you then go to the BBC’s House of Commons Seat Calculator, and set the dial as You Gov suggest, you get the following result.

A Labour Majority of 142, with the seats as follows, CON 190, LAB 396, LD 35 and the Rest at 29. This is on a scale of Tony Blair’s 1997 Victory.


There are a number of problems with this model, it is based on 2005 results, and there have been boundary changes since, it assumes an even swing which probably discriminates against the Lib Dems who claim a positive incumbency factor, and it almost certainly underestimates the Scottish Nationalists. It’s a shame that there is no ‘hover’ over the seats to see which seat is which.

Other potential long or medium term factors i.e. the increasing xenophobia and the rise of UKIP are likely to be under-estimated or ignored. The YouGov report does count and report on the UKIP and SNP voting intentions.

I have placed the you gov news page and the BBC page together with Political Betting’s home page on my Blogroll.

This is already out of date, YouGov published a further poll with field work conducted over the 23rd and 24th May in last weekend’s Sunday Times, with the Tories having stolen 1% from the Liberal Democrats.

Read more …

Cameron, Free Trade, copyright and the NHS

So Cameron and the Tories are up shit creek on the subject of Europe. The disarray of the Tory Party and the coalition makes front page reading for the last few weeks, but I want to explore a slightly different dimension. The Tory malaise is actually aggravated by the UK’s Chairmanship of the G8 which Cameron is using as a platform to evangelise a US-EU Free Trade treaty. This is no doubt to try and focus the Tory/UKIP spatfest on “Common Market” & Trade issues so as not to have to deal with his right wing critics on justice, sovereignty and immigration.

Read more …

Vicky Foxcroft wins the Labour Party selection

Yesterday, Vicky Foxcroft, one of Brockley’s Labour Councillors won the support of the membership of Lewisham Deptford Constituency Labour Party to become Labour’s candidate for the Member of Parliament in the constituency. This is also reported on Labour List where one of the comments has published the full result. Vicky won on the first round of voting. Congratulations to Vicky, commiserations to the losers.

The voting results suggest that about 55% of eligible members voted. (I am not sure of the number of eligible members, and the list ages, as does the real electoral roll.)

Read more …

Today, I shall be mainly

voting for Labour’s next prospective parliamentary candidate for Lewisham Deptford

Read more …

Some thoughts on the NEC and parliamentary selection rules

The Labour List article on the Orgsub’s tuning of the Parliamentary Selection process has attracted some interesting comments which gives some ideas as to how people think in other constituencies, or at least so I assume; you don’t have to be a Labour Party member to comment (or post) on Labour List.

Read more …

Last Week

I have just posted my write up of last week’s Lewisham Deptford Labour Party General Meeting where we discussed “Anchors and Whips”.

Read more …

Private Members

So the European Referendum amendment to the Queen’s speech fell, the Tories will now be pursuing a Private Members bill. The Tory Party draft bill is published here….. It’s not very long, and it says that voters will be the same as for parliamentary elections plus peers, who can’t normally vote in parliamentary elections. (It’s a left over monarchy thing). This means that EU citizens living here can’t vote, except the Irish (it’s a left over Empire thing). Also many British citizens living abroad won’t be able to vote.

Read more …

The Tories Dilemma

So, Queen’s Speech or Private Member’s bill? To express regret by voting against the Queen’s Speech because there is no referendum bill, or to enshrine Cameron’s (last) promise to Britain, to renegotiate and then vote into Law. The Tory’s are now trying to outflank UKIP by legislating for their promised 2017 referendum. No doubt they feel they deserve the UKIP votes because after all, they agree with them, it seems the electorate’s less sure.

It’ll be dramatic stuff, and it’s not a month since Cameron recalled Parliament to pay tribute to Thatcher, allowing the Tory Party to demonstrate its tribalism and cohesion at its most powerful.

Read more …


I dropped into Ivana Bartoletti’s campaign launch rally. She is a candidate in London Labour’s selection process to be a candidate for the European Parliament. I was pointed to her by a Deptford comrade, Joe Dromey, visited her web site and like her story. There were three speeches, thankfully short, and she wrapped up. The other speeches were by Seema Malhotra MP and Jeanette Arnold OBE AM, and her supporters page includes statements of support from Dianne Abbot MP and Mike Gapes MP; oddly,

Read more …

Distributing ideas

The site, “If this then that” offers trigger actions as a web service. It works with objects it calls recipes and channels.

Recipes are the “if this then that” relationship, and channels define the this and that. It has a long list of pre-canned channels and recipes, but sadly NOT an output RSS/XML channel.

I have today, just created a trigger that takes my blog feed and posts it to facebook. Obviously I need to test it. This is part of the exploration on how to rebuild my personal streams which have been damaged by Facebook, Google and Twitter’s attempts to enclose our speech into their “secret gardens”.

Read more …

Anchors and Whips

Down to New Cross for the Deptford Labour Party May General Committee, now a members meeting. The business was as expected, you know, minutes, matters arising, reports etc; although we raised the excitement level by debating the Parliamentary Whip on the NHS S75 vote in the Lords; we think those, i.e. Lord Warner of Brockley that broke the Labour whip should have the whip withdrawn,  and then we debated last month’s workfare vote and Labour’s abstention in the Commons, where we agreed that the whipping instruction was inappropriate and embarrassing.

There was even more excitement when I raised the issue of the Deptford High Street Anchor which has been moved from its home while some road works and redevelopment are being done. There is some fear that it might not return and the story has been covered by the Deptford Dame and Brockley Central. Jimi Adefiranye, one of Brockley’s Labour Councillors spoke passionately about how despite its recent provenance the Anchor belonged in the High Street and that he’d start to work with other members of the Labour Group  to ensure that Deptford’s history and heritage remained available to the public and that the Anchor will return to the High Street.


I have hyperlinked to a Lewisham Council published picture of the anchor which they have kindly posted on Flickr but placed an “All Rights Reserved” copyright notice on. This is wrong, the Lewisham residents and taxpayers across the country have already paid for this “property”, we shouldn’t be restricted from using it. If they’re worried about revenue loss or commercial opportunity leakage, they should use a creative commons, attribution, no commerce, no derivatives license. If there are any litigious staff from the militant photographers brigade, or Lewisham council staff, hyperlinking is legal, and republishing an image to discuss the image itself is not a copyright breach.

Read more …

Modern Monetary Theory

The Right’s attempts to fetishise the level of the deficit both in the UK and the US has led to one interesting response. While discussing this with friends, I was pointed at the group of economic theories called Modern Monetarist Theory. So I decided to a bit of reading.

Read more …

This House, or when whips served the Party

I went to see “This House” earlier today. It’s the story of the Labour Whips who kept the Wilson and Callaghan government in power for 4½ years, without a majority for much of the time, from 1974 to 1979. It brought back many memories as I had joined the Labour Party in 74 and of course much of my politics was learned and established in the next 10 years.

Read more …