Posts Tagged ‘wikileaks’

Those who think the Corbyn leadership can change are dreaming. Appeasement will only strengthen the hard left’s hand

12/07/2017, 10:38:05 PM

by Rob Marchant

Last week Luciana Berger, prominent centrist, Jewish MP and Corbyn critic, underwent a coup on her local party’s Executive Committee, with nine out of ten places going to Momentum members.

Shortly afterwards, one of said members, Roy Bentham, demanded a pledge of allegiance to the leadership from her, the implication being that, if she did not start to be behave herself as a good Corbynite, she would soon face deselection: “Luciana needs to get on board quite quickly now…she will have to be answerable to us. We would like her to come out publicly like other MPs have done and apologise for not supporting him in the past.”

We could look at this story in two ways. First, the way that the local party and, ultimately, Berger herself have spun it: that it was an exaggerated story from the Liverpool local press, stirring up trouble. There was a tweet to that effect from Berger, disassociating herself from the Sunday Times tweet on the story, and a statement that the party was doing well under Corbyn. The local CLP also distanced itself from the remarks made by Bentham.

The second way is this: exactly what the Times said in its leader (£). In short, whatever the local party or MP might claim, there will definitely be a move to oust Berger, at least unless she toes the Corbynite line from now on. It is not hard to see that this is the right interpretation, whether Berger wants to accept it or not. One has to ask why Momentum would bother to take control a local party and then leave in place an MP who has views diametrically opposed to the Momentumites.

One might also reasonably ask the question, why mention the fact here that Berger is Jewish? The answer is, sadly, because it matters in some quarters of the Labour party nowadays, especially for some (although surely not all) members of Momentum.

There are four female, Jewish MPs in the PLP. All have experienced considerable and documented anti-Semitic abuse in recent months. While some comes, inevitably, from the far right, much comes also from the far left, particularly the Palestine-supporting, BDS (sanctions against Israel) crowd.              But it also seems that the vitriol is particularly reserved for women, where the misogynism of the far left is already a well-known phenomenon (cf. the Comrade Delta rape case in the Socialist Workers Party).


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Open data: by itself, the big society amounts to little more than “behave decently”

08/12/2010, 12:00:10 PM

by Jon Bounds

Cablegate, while sounding like a new property development in a run-down corner of Birmingham city centre, has provoked a little bit of excitement.

For me, though, it felt like a diplomatic version of Facebook. Suddenly, the minutiae and all the slightly wrong things that we all say in private are recorded and popped onto the internet for anyone who can be bothered to search. And, if you are realistic, and not prone to Daily Mail-ish bouts of outrage, the content was not that shocking.

What has been shocking is the reaction. Both in the press – which should really be able to square Wikileaks with the principles of investigative journalism – and within governments, which are all for transparency and open data these days, aren’t they?

Transparency and open data are the new online panaceas. They are wonderful. Except, of course, when they arise from anything that is not tightly controlled by government. Releasing spending data is “forward-looking”; releasing diplomatic cables (or even details of transactions alleged within FIFA) is “not in the national interest”. (more…)

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