GOLD

I had a quick look at the August Economic Journal over the Xmas break, and specifically at the article by Barro & Misra, ” Gold Returns”. They argue that the facts (1836 – 2011) suggest that Gold is not a long term extraordinary good investment, offering a long term rate of return of about 1% which they categorise as the equivalent of the standard risk free ROI although its volatility is much higher since 1971 when the US quit the gold standard. They also argue that it is not a great hedge against macro-economic disasters. It would seem it’s like everything else, you need to get it right when to buy and when to sell.

GOLD

Adrift

I tried to write something about the Momentum National Committee meeting earlier this month; what those who want to run a fan club without a national voice underestimate is the massive anger amongst the grass roots, who joined the Labour Party to be listened to and aren’t. Many were excluded from the Leadership and NEC elections, the NPF is designed as a filter and the Right are closing down any policy discussion in the CLPs. The old guard left organisations are also insufficiently welcoming and frankly don’t understand the dramatic shift in politics post 2008. (More soon)

Adrift

Backdoors

The investigatory Powers Act 2016 has empowered the Government to secretly instruct the installation of backdoors into encrypted telco systems including internet communication systems.

Some people seem to think this is bad but should we care?

Most consumer systems require a platform running on US authored software (Windows, MacOS, IOS or Android) in which we should also assume there are backdoors. We should note that the Snowden revelations didn’t stop people buying US (nor Chinese) software; there’s no other way to use the internet.

Do we think this change in Law will really make a difference to UK authored software exports?

This is a mirror of a comment I posted on Linkedin, I’d prefer it if you posted any comments, there, but otherwise feel free to comment here.

Backdoors

Abuse

I spend far too much time worrying about this sort of stuff, but since Labour’s Registered supporters are not mentioned in the rules and have no membership rights, equally they cannot have the disciplinary code placed upon them and are, thus, entitled to be abusive, or more accurately can’t be disciplined. 😝

Abuse

Show me a motion

And I’ll say that I wrote it myself dum-de-dum

It’s interesting which bits of one’s knowledge one takes for granted. I have been asked by several people how to write a motion. It would seem despite what may have been reported elsewhere that much of today’s Left have not grown up with experience of NUS student politics, thankfully, nor come from a Trade Union background which is where I learnt this stuff, initially at mandating meetings.

Policy motions come in three parts, a notes section, a believes section and an instructs section. The notes section is used to provide context and frame the problem, otherwise, when younger it seemed to me that the important piece was the instructions, but the believes section defines long term policy which may outlive the instructions. In some cases, one might have to amend the instruct verb and replace it with a calls on or strongly advises. This would occur when the meeting has no right to mandate actions such as if calling on MPs or Councillors to take actions. The rest of this article consists of an example motion and Life of Brian’s guide to committee procedure. Continue reading “Show me a motion”

Show me a motion

Copyright Reform

The ORG submit evidence to the EU review on copyright. The evidence opposes the placing of duty & cost on ISSPs, criticises the proposed new copyright for publishers, and criticises the narrowness of the new mandatory exceptions. In their summary, they say,

These very limited proposals are a wasted opportunity, given the past two years of pre legislative discussions about comprehensive copyright reform. The EU is about to throw away the first chance in over a decade to adapt copyright to the digital world, instead choosing classic protectionism for incumbent creative and media industries. These measures will not promote the creation of a vibrant digital industry in Europe capable of standing up to Silicon Valley – as EU policymakers ostensibly want.

Copyright Reform

Privacy Prosecutions.

How fab! The ICO has an enforcement actions page where it lists their enforcement actions. You can filter it by type of action and date. The type of actions include prosecutions of which they have conducted 25, 18 of those this year! Has someone woken up? This blog looks at the activity of the CPS and the Courts in defending privacy rights, dated 2014, averaging around 100 prosecutions each year. How real is a threat of GDPR enforcement? Although fines which do not require a prosecution by the ICO will/may hurt!

Privacy Prosecutions.