April 17, 2020

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.