Category Archives: politics

Everyone is doing it

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Since PMQs earlier this week, when Ed Miliband accused the Tories of relying on donations from the rich and tax avoiders to fight and win the election, the fight of words has been rumbling on. Lord Fink, an ex-Treasurer of the Conservative Party first threatened to sue Miliband and then stated that everyone is doing it. Not so!   … » Read more …

Boris Johnson, President of the USA

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While writing up the pointer to my linkedin piece on banks and customer service I looked up Google’s view of Boris Johnson and FATCA, possibly the world’s most famous dual citizen tax exile.   The press have been keen to comment, here’s one of the Forbes article’s and here’s Nigel Green in City AM. Green reveals that Johnson claimed that he was going to renounce his US citizenship in 2006, but clearly hasn’t. I wonder why?   … » Read more …

PASOKisation in Britain

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The once mighty PASOK has been reduced to the smallest Party in the new Greek Parliament. In 2009, it won 44% of the popular vote and formed the Government; earlier this year, it won a under 5%. Its decision to join the New Democrat led coalition in 2010 had led to a split, with much of the left of PASOK leaving to support its eventual replacement, Syrizia. PASOK has been killed by its own austerity policies and walking away from the hopes and causes of their political base.   … » Read more …

Academies of Justice

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Will Hutton in the Guardian states that the Greens propose to extend the rights to belong to Trade Unions and to prohibit discrimination against TU members. It’s true see, check out their policy statement http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/wr.html, they also plan for a a right of Union recognition. Where’s the Labour Party on this? Actually, where’s the TUC and unions? I know it’s a long way from manifesto, to government policy, as a long term labour party member, boy do I know, but if the party policy ain’t right, then the parliamentary party’s policy and government policy is unlikely to be.  … » Read more …

New Copyright Laws

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The EU is considering a new Copyright law, its scrutiny committee is JURI (Legal Affairs) and the JURI Rapporteur is the sole remaining Pirate Party MEP, Julia Reda. She has posted her report, on her website here, and commented on a blog article here. She has also posted it to a collaboration site. This immediate debate has shown little support for Reda, which may suggest she has it right, or that her priorities are the troll friendly jurisdictions.  … » Read more …

The end of (British) privacy

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As the dust settles in Paris after the attack on “Charlie Hebdo”, politics in Britain returns to posturing as normal. Cameron states that the Tory Manifesto for the General Election in May will include promises to increase the legal powers of surveillance by MI5 to cover all communication. Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group writes a considered piece on what this might mean. The end of this road is prohibiting encryption for the use of ordinary law abiding citizens.   … » Read more …

Too much power

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The Dark Knight was released in 2008, five years before the Snowden leaks in 2013.  It was on UK TV last night, and I have referred to the surveillance machine that Batman built to fight the Joker. There were stories at the time that the US Federal Government were tapping everyone’s cell phones, and my reasons for quoting this piece of fiction is the conversation had between Batman and Lucius Fox on the latter’s discovery of the machine built by Batman. Listen to the dialogue in this you tube short cut.   … » Read more …

Grandstanding

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The gall of Julian Huppert and the LibDems beggars belief. Computer Weekly report that he is campaigning for a Digital Bill of Rights to be included in the LibDem manifesto.  I covered his intervention at OrgCon14 earlier this year. The LibDems have a serious problem in that they made a number of promises which they have broken, most obviously on tuition fees, but others have problems with some of the government reforms on welfare, the bedrom tax, and judicial administration, the introduction of secret courts for cases involving intelligence material. In the policy area of surveillance and digital politics, the LibDems are not as strong as they might like. The computer weekly article states that Huppert is looking to mandate encryption and ban “revenge porn”.   … » Read more …

Gordon Brown steps down as MP

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Gordon Brown announces his retirement to the clash of views from the press and the Labour Party. To be accurate, he has announced that he isn’t standing for re-election as an MP. He leaves a mixed legacy, well summarised by the Telegraph of all sites, who list his contributions to New Labour and the ’97 landslide, economic stewardship until 2007, his opposition to the UK adopting the Euro, his leadership in response to the 2008 global liquidity crisis and his critical contribution to the Scottish Referendum debate on the No side.  … » Read more …

London Labour in Europe

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I attended the lunchtime meeting hosted by three of London’s Labour MEPs. They started by saying thank you to the members at the meeting for the efforts made to secure London’s fantastic result in the Euro elections. The meeting was framed as “How to fight UKIP?” The old canard, started by Farage that London is inoculated from UKIP, because we’re young, liberal and cosmopolitan, the truth in my mind is that London’s multi-culturalism is its UKIP anti-body. One of the attendees, spoke on dealing with UKIP, which I summarised in this tweet,  … » Read more …

Going to London Labour’s Regional Conference

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Lewisham Deptford’s delegation to the London Labour Regional Conference, held at Hammersmith & Fulham’s Town Hall was reduced through illness but there were a couple of us who made the journey.The morning consisted of awards, keynote speeches from Harriet Harman & Sadiq Kahn and motions on Health and Economics. Sadly I didn’t get to read the Conference Arrangements Committee report which explained why many of the proposed Emergency Motions weren’t emergencies, were contrary to the rules, contrary to the law or, and my personal favourite, silly. (I might have made the last one up.)  … » Read more …

Campaiging with Politicians

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Still at orgcon14, the first session in the afternoon was titled “Campaigning with Politicians”. I wasn’t going to report this since on the whole it wasn’t that good, but it does set the scene for what may be coming and so I changed my mind. The chair opened the session by stating the session would be best used as a campaigning symposium and not treated as a hustings, he might have saved himself the trouble. The three speakers, Jullian Huppert MP (LibDem), Natalie Bennett (Green Party) and Claude Moraes MEP set out their (Parties’) stalls.  … » Read more …