The events of the weekend have led me to the conclusion that my review of the manifestos as they relate to the internet and civil liberties were too factual and too dry. Over the weekend, three islamist terrorists attacked London with a white van and knives. It is now believed that at least one of them has been radicalised by Al-Muhajiroun a banned group and had been, yet again, notified to the security services and police. I suspect we’ll learn more over the next couple of days. This was a week after an attack in Manchester on a concert. Overnight the political parties agreed to suspend the campaign for the following day, but one of the parties broke that agreement. I look at the responses of May and Corbyn, linking to their speeches and analyse the meaning of the promise to deny the terrorists a safe space on the internet, to increase prison sentences together with the impact of the cuts to the police and intelligence service staff numbers.
The LP NEC is having an away day to discuss reforming its rules and internal democracy, mainly in the light of the massive increase in membership to more than half a million members. Here’s my manifesto for a member led party, I hope to supplement it with some ideas on the use of IT to aid in policy development and expressing the membership voice, but in terms of rules reform
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.
Last night I went up to Westminster for a Pictfor meeting; this time, Parliament 2.0: How can the internet revolutionise British Democracy. The panel speakers were, Jaan Priisalu, Director General of the Estonian Information System’s Authority, Katie Ghose, CEO, Electoral Reform Society & Ruth Fox, Director, Hansard Society, while the meeting was chaired by Stephen Mosley MP, it was kicked off by the John Bercow MP, the Speaker. The centre piece of Bercow’s speech was an introduction, for me at least, to the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy which is reviewing Representation, Scrutiny and the legislative process. Jaan Priisalu talked about Estonia’s e-voting paltform, while Ghose and Fox spoke about democratic engagement.
I have just published and backdated my first thoughts in response to Ed Miliband’s speech on “Cleaning Up” politics. This has been written over a six month period. It was started as I shaped my thoughts and was originally written as a contribution to what became the Collins Review but I decided it was insufficiently focused and made no proposals. It merely expressed my anger. The final version of the article was published today and backdated to near the point I started it. It was thus published after the closure of the Collins Review deadline, and before the publication of the Special Conference agenda.
Thank you very much for announcing that you were going to ignore the “Refounding Labour” consultation by writing to me from a “no reply” address. I always appreciate those. I’d also like to thank you for when you got round to it, allowing me to submit my views by posting them to what is becoming a classic one nation labour’s web property, the ‘consulting bit bucket’. I shall be putting this on my blog, and posting a summary to my member’s net bog.
Paul Cotterill came out of his self imposed blogging retirement to write about the Falkirk affair at his blog, “Though Cowards Flinch”. I am glad to see him back and hope it’s not a one off.
He argues that the secretive and exclusive way in which these decisions were taken, so soon after the Refounding Labour members’ consultation is not really a harbinger of a new politics.
Most of his article relates to the issues surrounding the management of Unions’ political funds. It was written before Ed Miliband’s speech and so most comments at this time were based on presumably embargoed press releases and interested spin. Paul finishes with,
He’s done the easy bit, challenging the affiliated unions to accept the virtues of opt-in engagement. The question is: does he have the guts to take on the PLP’s power base in the interest of real party democracy and growth.
While Paul’s journey to the obstructionism and downright destructive activities of some members of the PLP is fairly gentle, I have little doubt we’ll be hearing more.
The Labour List article on the Orgsub’s tuning of the Parliamentary Selection process has attracted some interesting comments which gives some ideas as to how people think in other constituencies, or at least so I assume; you don’t have to be a Labour Party member to comment (or post) on Labour List.