April 2020

The Mind Killer

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
Frank Herbert, Dune

I read this novel Dune long ago, when I a teenager. The Bene Geserit quote came to mind today and I played with another app on my phone to cartoonise myself and my thought. The quotation is very relevant and perhaps Dune is very relevant too.

Puzzled

I’m not writing this to get at Branson but because I am genuinely puzzled. I read that:

“The Virgin Group boss said the airline needs taxpayer support in the form of a commercial loan. It has been reported that the carrier is asking for up to £500 million of public money.”

Why doesn’t Branson go to a commercial bank for a commercial loan? Could it be because a commercial bank wouldn’t make such a loan to a company that was a bad prospect? That they wouldn’t make a loan that doesn’t make commercial sense? And where does ‘the taxpayer’ get the money to loan Branson? Could it be from a commercial bank? I may be wrong but doesn’t that mean that we would be borrowing from the bank to make a commercially unsound loan that the bank won’t make? And we have to pay the bank back when things go belly up? So cuts in public services then and maybe sell off public assets to pay back the debts. Maybe sell public services to Richard Branson and his ilk?

No, I must be wrong. That makes no sense. Someone please enllighten me

Shocked and Dismayed

“If the leaked Labour Party Report is true, it means former senior staff deliberately undermined our chance of a Labour Government in 2017.‬

‪Understandably people are shocked, dismayed, angry but let’s be determined, stay in the party and make sure this can never happen again.”

John McDonnell


People should be shocked, dismayed, angry

1. That current leader Kier Starmer in trying to suppress this report was witholding relevant evidence from the ECHR.

2. That the LP operated and still operates a ‘stazi system’ of spying on the communications of ordinary members and extensively collecting/collating data on their use of social media without their consent. How does this relate to the privacy statement of the Party and to its data protection obligations?
See: Labour’s Privacy Statement

3. That this system which is wholly at odds with the implied spirit (and very likely the letter) of Labour’s privacy statement was operational under the leadership of Corbyn and McDonnell. To what extent were Corbyn and McDonnell complicit in its implementation?

I like several other LP members was accused of antisemitism and expelled based on the Party’s estimation of 14 Facebook posts shared between 2014 and 2018. People can make their own estimation by reading my blog here: Link to Page

But regardless of any estimation they may make with regard to my political opinions. I have made no statement that can be judged to be hateful or that is in breach of any law. Yet the LP used extraordinary means to collate data on me from FB to arrive at a conclusion that I am antisemitic and deserved to be expelled. From the leaked report I now understand those extraordinary means:

“At the time, the Nationbuilder software that Labour used to hold its member and supporter data had agreements with Facebook and Twitter that enabled it to “match” profiles, primarily through people’s email addresses. At the end of June 2016, Richard Shakespeare, Labour’s lead developer, quickly produced a web app that would scrape Twitter and Facebook for tweets, retweets, shares and comments that matched various search criteria, and then match them to profiles of members and supporters, with a basic interface for staff to review the evidence and matches produced.”

Labour Party Report – Page 128.


On my blog I ask:

What motivated the Labour Party to trawl through five years of my Facebook posts? These are presented as ‘evidence’ but evidence of what? Evidence in support of what charge? Think about it; evidence is usually sought in support of some allegation or conjecture. What is the allegation that preceeded the search for ‘evidence’ in this case?


My question has never been answered and John McDonnall does not address at all the issue of members who were suspended or expelled on the basis of a ‘web app search that matched various criteria. There is no hint of an apology from McDonnall only eagerness to vindicate the previous leadership of not having been sufficiently eager to prosecute and to expel members for alleged antisemitism. The leaked report was comissioned to provide that vindication. It is part of that factionalism and while I am happy that it has emerged, I have no illusions that its purpose has anything to do with respect for or fairness towards members.

Pixel Art

This is a first attempt at pixel art. The pixilart.com website looks like a great resource. Perfect for kids off school and for adults with poor drawing skills.

Page 667

My latest essay is called ‘The New Stasi‘ and refers to a phrase used in the leaked Labour Party Report. My name appears in that report – Page 667 – listed among other ‘miscreants’ expelled using what the report approvingly calls a ‘fast track expulsion powers’

In case anyone is wondering about my ‘crimes’ I have made no secret of what I was charged with and my responses. See Case Number 3461 on this blog.

Another victim of the January purge, listed in the report is Pauline Hammerton. It is highly likely that the shock of being accused of antisemitism and then expelled from the Party contributed to her death seven days after she was informed of her expulsion.

Frustrated

I’m frustrated by my failure to solve the posting problem. Is it my trying to upload images that causes wider problems – perhaps corrupting pages and making it impossible to save?

After successfully uploading an image and publishing the previous blog post. I tried to update and publish that same page but was unable to do so, whereas I have so far been able to update this post to which I have not tried to upload any images.

Perhaps the problem is temporary. Perhaps not. For the moment I give up.

Posting Problems

After the latest WordPress upgrade I’ve been having problems updating pages and posts. Dreamhost, my hosting service, tried to fix this but it didn’t work. My last response from them was basically ‘Sorry you’re having problems with your site. Good luck.’

This post is part of my effort to sort out the problem. I’ve tried disabling plugins and changing setting and am now trying different themes. I think this Button Theme might be successful even if I’m left with a look I don’t like much.

In addition to problems posting, I also have problems uploading images or videos. Button doesn’t solve the image upload problem.

YouTube embeds work:

I was able to upload an image using the Ajaira theme: