MXV

So the momentum stitch-up has kicked off big time. I think I’ll constrain this little post to the e-democracy part of the debate. The momentum bureaucracy are proposing that the coming sovereign national conference is framed, decided or influenced by a digital platform and have conveniently launched one. It is called MXV and is based on a product called Consul which seems to have been built for Madrid City Council. When you arrive at the home page, you are offered the opportunity to “sign in” or “Join Momentum”. If you are already a member, and have not been issued with a password, you’re fucked. There is one email address on the site, to use if one has a problem. I have now mailed them twice to ask for login credentials, with proof that I am a member. (The second mail was sent today.) I’d have expected them to use getsatisfaction or user voice for their help desk interface since people can help themselves and see what’s happening; they seem to be learning from the Labour Party and the whole thing is just a black box bit bucket. Actually it’s several steps better because it’s open source, although I have not yet sought to prove that this code line is in use and I don’t do Ruby so I can’t check the vote counting routines. The original product offers oauth support.

What we have here is the construction of the electoral roll in secret. This isn’t good enough. It’s why we have polling agents, judicial review and even international observers in our public elections and why I argued that the Labour Party needs an independent reviewer of its own elections to make sure that the behaviour of the returning officer and his or her agents is transparent. This is all before we measure the value of the conference, the debate and the mandating meetings,

If this is the new e-democracy epitomising new politics, then frankly it’s wanting.

MXV

Alienation

Early last week, some Union brothers were solving the problems of the world and we were considering Tom Watson’s new proletariat of the self employed. Firstly, we need to recognise that not everyone wants to be a taxi driver, but secondly that the drive to self-employment turns people who are good at something into doing something else, from being a skilled and experienced trades worker into a sales person, credit controller, Head of Legal and accountant. Most don’t want to do this and initially outsource this work to a third party or often an insurance company and guess where the value is expropriated and customer stickiness occurs. The trend to monopoly and scale, and “ownership” of the customer relationship disintermediates the skills supplier and for the consumer, It becomes impossible to hire a plumber, electrician or odd job person; you have to go to a large provider which are either medium scale or massive. There is no personal liberation in this supply chain.

Alienation