Category Archives: politics

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 …

Labour Friends of the ORG

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Over lunch, I & Claude Moraes, hosted a meeting of the “Labour Friends of the Open Rights Group”. Claude spoke of the European Parliament’s response to the Snowden leaks and its defence of citizens ECHR Article 8 privacy rights. He also signposted the coming Digital Habeas Corpus which being that it’s European legislation will take some time. There was a keenness to take the policies of the ORG into the Labour Party. The countdown to the general election and the Party’s adoption of its Programme in September means that the opportunity for short term changes in the policy are limited however @LabourDigital which is a de-facto caucus is campaigning around its manifesto and the Shadow cabinet policy review is due to be launched on 25th November. We agreed to keep in touch and to use the original google group, founded after #orgcon10 to do so.  … » Read more …

With TTIP, we mustn’t forget Privacy

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This was a two part presentation given by Glynn Moody (an independent journalist) & Neal Deardon (WDM). Moody, summarised the arguments against in terms of their economic effect and briefly mentioned the privacy aspects of TTIP, Dearden spoke of the global governance rules and the side-lining  of the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations  and the developing world. Moody questioned the worth of the economic benefits, and challenged the sinister nature of regulations to be “as simple as possible”, the words come from CETA.   … » Read more …

Big Companies and Surveillance

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This session started with an attack on F-Secure, one of the conference sponsors for over-promising on their adverts and then looked at the difference in response to the Snowden leaks between the US, UK and the rest of the EU. In the US, they are beginning to win the right to publish transparency reports even in the light of super-injunctions and while the so called Freedom Bill has hit a road block, US legislators on the whole are responding to the Snowden leaks by re-establishing citizen’s (constitutional) rights. The problem for the rest of the world is that the US Constitution only protects citizens and that excludes a lot of the US Datenkraken’s customers.   … » Read more …

Three Laws, Doctorow at orgcon14

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Orgcon14 was opened by its keynote speaker, Correy Doctrow, one of the UK’s leading digital liberty campaigners. This presentation was a bit of a reprise although he concludes by addressing recent developments in the politics of surveillance in the UK.  … » Read more …

English Revolution

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I have just seen the first of Melvyn Bragg’s documentaries in a two part series called “Radical Lives”. This was about John Ball, a radical priest in England who in 1381 supported the Peasants Revolt. The documentary does a fine job in describing the feudal economic and racist oppression by the scions of the Norman invasion. The original poll tax was levied at this time and the reaction from the peasantry was swift and violent. They rose up and marched on London, sacked the Tower of London and executed several leading government officials.   … » Read more …

Value, Solidarity and Exchange

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A couple of thoughts provoked by my trip to Labour Party Conference, one on the value of copyright, one on solidarity and one on the unfinished Hargreaves Review reform, the establishment of a digital exchange.  … » Read more …

Left & Right Wing Rights

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One of the big stories from the Tory Party conference is the resurrection of the proposal to leave the European Council’s Human Rights court. Several correspondents elsewhere question both the moral sense and the political tactics of pursuing this policy. David Allen Green has created a page on his blog to act as an index on the pro and anti views and includes links to the Conservative Party proposals and press release; the views of most lawyers are against the proposed reforms.   … » Read more …