Category Archives: politics

Dianne & Sadiq for Mayor

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Finally, Vote for Diane Abbott for Mayor and give Sadiq Kahn your second preference. This is an odd one, there’s little to choose between the candidates on policy, although Gareth Thomas is for Heathrow Runway 3 and all the others oppose it. Jobs vs. Air Quality. I like Sadiq Kahn’s commitment to planting trees and buying up London’s Hospital’s debt, although there may be issues of ultra vires and I like Abbot’s bravery in pursuing rent controls, which should be Labour policy. With few exceptions, I expect each of the candidates to nick the best policies from each other, so it’s important to hear from them using their own words. Certainly at the South London hustings, Christian Wolmar was congratulated by several of the candidates for his transport policy initiatives and there’s little doubt that many of his ideas will make it into the manifesto.

The issue here is heart and commitment and I am supporting Dianne. She has a record of getting the big questions right.  … » Read more …

Tom Watson for Deputy

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I shall be voting for Tom Watson for Deputy and ask you to do so too. He is a long term campaigner on the side of the good. He has shown he stands up for what he thinks is right and has Government experience having served in the last labour Governments in Defence and the Cabinet Office. In 2010, he took the citizens position and opposed the Digital Economy Act, and during the last Parliament he opposed the Governments repeated attempts to introduce and legalise mass surveillance, most recently 15 months ago when he led the opposition to DRIP, an opposition he took to court and won, with the unique result that the courts have put a judicial sunset clause on the Act. He has also taken the government to court to have their information sharing with the USA declared illegal because of the military use the American make of it. He led the majority on the Culture Media and Sports select committee on phone hacking and media plurality   … » Read more …

Vote Jeremy Corbyn

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The political choice in selecting Labour’s next leader involves choosing a platform and strategy. The platform choice is pretty clear, growth vs. austerity-lite. The strategy choices equally so, triangulation vs. a clear choice. So that’s simple then; it has to be Jeremy Corbyn.  … » Read more …

Labour’s new extended family

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Labour’s electoral roll for its 2015 elections has now closed. We took a decision last year to extend the franchise for the election of Leader, Deputy Leader and its candidate for Mayor of London to supporters and over 120,000 people have signed up as well as over 100,000 new full members. I hope that this is a first step for them in helping Labour rebuild and create an effective opposition, although not only do we need them to stay with us, we need to respectfully listen to them.

As one minor elected voluntary official I welcome you to Labour’s movement.  … » Read more …

Labour’s Human Rights champion

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Left Foot Forward publishes an article “Who is the ‘human rights candidate’ for Labour’s leadership?”. This is based on a post on the Labour Campaign for Human Rights, who publish the candidates answers in their own words  on their own blog.  One of the LCHR’s questions was on Surveillance, and none of them have consulted me ;), but Cooper and Burnham both support the need for judicial authorisation and probable cause. Kendall and Corbyn both support strengthening the legal framework in favour of civil liberties. Kendall states she opposes the privacy breaches inherent in mass surveillance. Corbyn that he thinks mass surveillance is ineffective (and thus not justified?).  … » Read more …

It’s still the economy stupid

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Is the economics getting lost in Labour’s Leadership debate? I think so. Only Jeremy Corbyn is talking real economics, the others led by Liz Kendall are talking about credibility, which I assume is code for reducing the deficit through fiscal policy i.e. expenditure cuts and tax rises. I am disappointed in Yvette Cooper, yet strangely not surprised by Andy Burnham.

Corbyn is not arguing for a Soviet style economy, the macro-economics is Keynesian, the micro-economics maybe socialist because he argues, in contrast to the Tories and their media shills, that wealth is created by both workers and entrepreneurs.   … » Read more …

My other question to Labour’s Leaders

The question I wanted to ask,

How do you defend the right to privacy in the internet age, where governments and corporations are so keen to deny it? Will you support reform of the internet and telecommunication search warrants to ensure they are only issued with probable cause justified in front of independent judges?

  … » Read more …

London’s Labour Leadership Hustings

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So the Leader debate is becoming about winning in 2020, how to win back the Tories and the Presidential qualities of the candidates, that’s what the Press are saying and that’s what the supporters of the three wise monkeys are arguing. The question that needs to be proved by them is that they are any more likely to win than Corbyn with his Keynesian anti-austerity policy. I attended the London Hustings for Labour’s Leadership yesterday. I don’t think it will have changed many people’s minds.   … » Read more …

Getting welfare politics right and wrong

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Harman’s interview on the Andrew Marr show where she challenges Labour to leave its comfort zone by being shit to welfare recipients is a disgrace and arguing for abstention on the Tories new welfare bill. I am one of many who argue that Labour should come to terms with losing the 2015 election before we elect a leader, but the Harman leadership repeats the mistake of 2010, by having the Leadership election immediately and then in lieu of a debate we have a brutal illustration of the power of Labour’s leader position exercised by someone who only holds the position on an interim basis. This is deliberate, some in the Leadership don’t want to share that power with either the long term membership or its newly energised members. They substitute a personality beauty contest for a rigorous and accountable policy framework which dis-empowers the activists. She’s wrong on policy and wrong on strategy.  … » Read more …

Jeremy Corbyn is running for Labour Leader

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Earlier this week, Jeremy Corbyn MP announced he was running for Leader on an anti-austerity platform, he’s been welcomed by many; his campaign twitter feed, facebook page and web site are now all on line. I have a piece on what went wrong and other things waiting to be finished, but I am busy at work, at home and campaigning. I’ll say more when I have time.  … » Read more …

Vote Labour!

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And as the election campaign comes to a close, it’ll come as no surprise that I’ll be voting Labour and ask you to do so too. Labour’s Manifesto is worthy of support, and so too is Ed Miliband.   … » Read more …

Britain succeeds

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Labour launches its Manifesto with the tag line, “We believe that Britain only succeeds when working families succeed”. In his speech at the launch, Ed Miliband further makes the point that the obverse, that just because it’s working for the few, be they rent takers, landlords, entrepreneurs or press barons doesn’t mean its working for everyone, in fact it’s a proof point that it isn’t. N.B. A leader of the Labour Party said that, although his words are better than mine. It’s the first time in a long while that the Tories are going to have to argue why it’s in the interests of the majority that the economy is structured in the interests iof the rich. It’s an end of consensus that “trickle down” works.  … » Read more …

More reasons to be doubtfull

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I had reason to read the Register’s front page this morning and came across these three IT Security and e-voting gems. Firstly the New Zealand Government uses NSA surveillance tools to spy on the a number of APAC governments to help in their campaign to win one of the World Trade Organisation’s elected positions. Secondly the Australian ivote’s practice system has been compromised in such a way that cast votes can be infected. This project was lead by Vannesa Teague and Alex Halderman; Teague has previously spoken of the inherent weakness of [ei]-voting., not a fan it would seem. And thirdly, CISCO’s CTO gives up on security, or at leas that’s what the Register reports as a headline; the comments by Hartman, CISCO’s CTO are more nuanced but he definitely proposes that devices cannot be secure, and need to be monitored against change and current and future threats, and how do you do that in the home.  … » Read more …