Category Archives: politics

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 …

Labour & Digital

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Trefor Davies of trefor.net commissioned and published an article by me on the state of the politics of digital and its likely impact on the General Election. In the article I classify the issues around citizenship and economics. Obviously the manifesto has not been published and so prediction of its content is not easy. Regular readers will know that I am a supporter of both the Open Rights Group and Privacy International. I have also served on NESSI, the EU’s internet/I.T. R&D project incubator.  I am hopeful on the issues of citizenship, unsure on copyright and intellectual property laws and expect a good offer on digital government.  … » Read more …

Don’t lose your vote!

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Don’ t lose your vote, you need to apply in advance, before the 20th April and they’ve changed the law; you have to apply for yourself. Here is the Government site that allows you to do so.  … » Read more …

The EU D.P. Regulations falls at the hurdle

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Glynn Moody, of course,  at TechDirt, syndicates the EDRi scoop about the final stages of the new EU Data Protection Regulation exposing the National Governments’ role in weakening the current legislation which have completed their 1st & 2nd stages. The EDRI have published a document called “Broken Badly” which contains their critique of the Council’s behaviour and positions because they weaken the rules around consent (both authorisation and purpose), corporate sanctions, duty to notify breaches, and the problematic one stop shop for jurisdiction. Correspondence to Chris Grayling I suppose.  … » Read more …

On the economics of copyright

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When looking at the furore surrounding Julia Reda’s report to the European Parliament’s JURI committee, I am coming to the conclusion that those of us who argue for a fairer, more pro-consumer copyright settlement have won the economic arguments. The massive focus on the tiny change in duration reinforces this. All arguments I have had recently with proponents of the current settlement have rapidly moved from public good arguments to the issue of equity in investment, and the moral failure to compensate creators for their speculative investment.   … » Read more …

Lewisham Labour keeps its promises, as well is it can

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Yesterday, Lewisham Council at its Budget Setting meeting, agreed a legal budget. While this involves reducing expenditure in some areas because of Tory central government grant cuts, the Labour Council kept its key manifesto promises, to freeze the Council Tax, sustain the living wage & build new houses. I made a storify from tweets and blogs from the Mayor and councillors. which tells part of the story. John Coughlin, the sole Green Councillor allowed himself the luxury of voting   … » Read more …

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 …

Digital Question Time

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I went up to Blackfriars to techUK’s offices to listen to their Digital Question time. They had arranged for Vaizey, Onawurah and Huppert to speak. I covered the event using storify. They covered privacy, access and inclusion, start-ups, brexit (briefly) and government IT. Computer Weekly have hosted a video here…, if you want the complete story. The Guardian ran a story, “Vaizey calls for tech firms to ‘meet politicians halfway’ over encryption” and sub-titled, “Debate needs  … » 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 …