Monthly Archives: June 2014

That’s not why we won, or lost

In London, Labour won 50% of the seats in the European elections, won control of  four more councils and increased our majorities in the others. This rather fucks up the right’s desired narrative that UKIP won the elections. The argument that London rejected UKIP because we are younger and better educated is deeply unhelpful and yet still reinforces UKIP’s story that they are the only party fighting an oppressive metropolitan elite. Funny that. It is ignored that Labour also did well in Manchester, Liverpool and North East.

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Stack Ranking

Many company’s, particularly US owned, staff evaluation schemes are based on ranking their staff, and additionally rewarding the top 20% and firing the bottom 10%. (This idea comes from the US, probably from GE; firing people because they are not as good as someone else is illegal in the UK and much of Europe.) Basically it is not about continuous improvement, it’s based on a world view that thinks people are lazy and need fear to make them work hard. Fear of not getting a bonus, or fear of dismissal. This cynicism and hate will never build a successful firm.

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Cameron’s pigeons are coming home to roost.

Back in 2005, in order to win his position as Leader of the Conservative Party, he offered his eurosceptic loonies the policy position of leaving the European Parliament’s main conservative alliance, the European People’s Party.  The Tories then created their own euro-caucus mainly with the Polish Justice and Law party and while in 2009 the ECR refused to ally with the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party and Italy’s Lega Nord, the new group meant that the Tories were no longer in the EPP and thus excluded from the European centre right’s central debates and policy making. (It should be noted that both the Poles and the UK are outside the Eurozone, making the EPP, more eurozone centric and the ECR less relevant to the EPP.) So while having a hissy fit and as a result of brutal self-interested calculation, Cameron cut himself, and thus the British people, off from the EPP and the German CDU

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About Political Strategy

Neil Foster writes that polls prove that it’s policy and the offer which determines the way most people vote. We need to remember that polls only measure what’s happening today but Foster’s corollary is that the offer needs to be sound and also that the government’s record is put under intense scrutiny. I should add that the policy offer needs to be believable. I have written a personal manifesto against triangulation and in favour of leadership and collective honesty by the political parties in my blog article “If only”. The poll is one piece of evidence that most agree.

I feel that Labour’s European campaign missed the opportunity to oppose austerity, and in doing sp failed to confront the ideology behind the Tories economic policies. We failed to engage in any vision as to the future of either Britain’s future or that of Europe. We have some way to travel.

The fact is that strategy must follow values! Triangulation legitimises your opponents politics and is not believed. No-one now believes that the NHS is safe on the Tory’s hands, and no-one really believes that Labour will be tougher on welfare or immigration. The policy offer and mandate must be based on an honest and truthful conversation with the electorate. It would seem that’s what they want.

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Spying and Network Effects

At Don’t Spy on Us’ Day of Action, I attended the seminar/panel “Changing the Law to uphold our privacy”. Amongst the speakers were Ross Anderson, Claude Moraes and Mark Stephens. Ross Anderson works at the University of Cambridge, where he is Professor of Security Engineering. He blogs at “Light Blue Touchpaper”. To me the most memorable contribution, was from Anderson, where he shared his views developed while researching and writing his paper, “Privacy versus government surveillance: where network effects meet public choice”.

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Don’t Spy on Us

dont spy on us

I was at #Dontspyonus day of action earlier today. Since it was more of a conference than a demo, one of the more comfortable I have been on. The plenary sessions were noted at this article at Liberal Democrat Voice. Apart from its cynical LibDem sectarianism, it’s reasonably accurate and gives a good flavour of the speeches made in the plenary sessions, particularly Alan Rusbridger & Cory Doctorow. Alan Walpole presents his report on his blog here. For more and less, you can see English Pen’s curated Storify here.

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