Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Is Neil Kinnock in print for @guardian on #corbyn and #remain ?

Yesterday I saw online an opinion from Neil Kinnock and a news story around it. This repeated the claim that Corbyn is to blame for the Brexit vote because of a poor contribution to the campaign. I saw some negative comments on this on Twitter, some about Kinnock in general, and a robust defence from   .

I was interested to wait till it appeared in print. Would there be any context such as facts about Corbyn during the actual referendum?

Today I find there is nothing in print at all. Maybe I missed it yesterday. If anyone knows where or when Kinnock was in print please let me know.

As in previoius posts my impression is that Corbyn contributed a lot and the idea of blaming him for losing votes seems to have been around for a long time. Spectator podcast had the "give him enough rope to hang himself" narrative as early as during the first leadership election.

So maybe somebody realises this is getting a bit thin and the Kinnock comment is free is not being promoted.

What would be interesting is how decisions were made as to who got which slots on TV. How closely was Will Straw working with Downing Street. Honors list might be a clue. Who had the idea that Lord Darling should share a platform with Osborne? Did Corbyn know this was going to happen?

The Guardian has got another story about leaked emails showing reservations about #remain. Actual Corbyn views and actions are way down the text. I wonder if there are any emails showing how Corbyn was treated by the #remain players. If the gameplan for any election or vote is to blame Corbyn later then there must be some difficulty in the situation.

Anyway, main point today is just to check a fact. Kinnock not in print so far.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Margaret Beckett MP , request for comment

This is only a blog but I am trying to move forward a bit in the social media discussion around the Labour leadership election. Anyone can respond to the Today prog  @BBCr4today     so this is another version.

I am slightly asleep when listening to Today but I think I heard that most of the £25 vote forms rejected were because of previous membership of the Greens. Not sure how that will help with tactical voting in 2020. But anyway the main event was an interview with Margaret Beckett. As reported in the Guardian -

She said some in Jeremy Corbyn’s inner circle appeared “perfectly happy” for a split to happen, adding: “I’ve got no idea what they think is going to happen in the future or whether they actually don’t care at all what happens in parliament.”

 As mentioned previously I am now using the hashtags #nonspiracy as well as #remain and #corbyn. Rather than just raving on I have accepted that there has been no conspiracy to blame Corbyn for lost votes / get rid of him. But I am still puzzled as to what happened. I still think Corbyn was under reported during the referendum. So how were decisions taken? Lord Mandelson on Laura Kuenssberg report seemed upset that Downing Street took control. Will Straw part of Cameron honours. Did Corbyn end up on the Last Leg on his own initiative or part of a series of media deals? If Lord Mandelson has been correctly reported in suggesting moves against Corbyn should wait on vote problems what to make of comments in media from undisclosed sources that Corbyn is terrible etc.? When did this start? Certainly I think the #remain case would have worked better if Corbyn was reported.

How did it come about that Lord Darling shared a platform with Osborne to announce a "punishment" budget? My guess is that if we knew about the "nonconspiracy" around this we might know more about the "nonconspiracy" around Corbyn.

Apparently there has been a random sequence of events. Hilary Benn is reported in the Observer and Sunday Times but had no idea at all how the report happened. Later it is mostly just mentioned that he was sacked. Most of the Shadow Cabinet resigns, apparently in a series of individual decisions. The PLP continues to be what appears to be a series of events intended to destabilise the leadership. Personally I find it even more shocking to be told nobody had thought this through than to consider it was some sort of plan.

But the danger of a Labour split must have been considered at the time. You would think.

Meanwhile the Guardian , back on topic for this blog , has repeated reports on every form of Trotskyist or Bolshevik organisation ever to exist in the UK. In most cases there is a named leadership and a postal address.  So far as I know there has been no Guardian reporting on who is involved in #savingLabour or where the money is from.

Anyway I am sticking with the #nonconspiracy idea unless I get some solid info on something else. There is just a random set of people who more or less know how to work with each other. No detailed script.

On a previous occasion when social media was under scrutiny for a lack of politeness that some MPs found shocking, Margaret Beckett said something like it did not worry her because "I don't do Facebook". So I don't really expect to get any direct comment from her. But possibly someone will add something. They may or may not be Labour voters. Considerate Greens maybe. Any comment welcome, especially clues on how the #nonconspiracy actually works.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Guardian advert clue for MBA cost story, check at BETT 2017

Following previous post about Guardian story on parental funding of bring your own Apple device, today I find an advert for online courses from Liverpool University. Checking the website I find some details but no clear claim made about costs. Then I find a website, Startclass, that seems to have some numbers. they show Liverpool MBA cost at under $20,000 compared to similar at over $100,000. Now these numbers may be out of date. I have tried other search on Startclass that suggests they concentrate on the USA, (Exeter is in the UK by default, just my take but not much easily found about our local uni) Also I realise that as a Russell Group member Liverpool is not going to advertise strongly with the feature of saving money. However they are clearly promoting online options, a move on from just the MOOC. Questions about costs do arise.

At BETT previously I have not been able to discover much from the Leadership streams, either for HE or FE. Presumably moves towards online courses are considered. FutureLearn may turn up as part of BETT Futures but the OU has stopped having a stand. BETT 2017 is towards the end of January so a good time to check some facts. Have any schools or universities got a clear plan for moving online or using more tech such that there are lower costs for staff and buildings? Is this evident in how courses are promoted? Student feedback so far?

By the way, based on visiting the campus in Exeter and Lancaster every so often my guess is that the budget for iconic buildings is still steady on course.

Meanwhile I have been thinking about the Guardian story and the way parents are expected to pay the costs of tech as an extra. What about a Chromebook or similar? Has it got to be Apple? other tech is available. BETT worth a visit even if you just think of learning as something at home.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tech for Education, Guardian has missed the crunch time my guess

Education pages yesterday complain that parents are expected to pay £785 extra for an iPad for each child in school.  Tom Bennett from ResearchEd explains that tech may not be needed. This seems to continue a long line of such articles. They do have a point. Schools should by now have worked out some savings on buildings and staff costs so that tech resources are free for students. But there has been no encouragement of this from Guardian coverage.

Page 13 report from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology that children who play games on computers get better results on subject tests. Peter Etchells from Bath Spa calls for more nuanced data and more research to discover what is happening "if anything".

Peter Scott recently wrote about the troubles of UK universities post Brexit. He made no mention of technology as an option that might be positive. Polytechnics now usually described as "post 1992" without any consideration of tech as such. Outside the UK there are universities with the word "Technology" in the title.

Peter Scott a while ago promised not to write about the MOOC. He sticks to this resolve. My guess is that the technology around the MOOC is now doing well in the locations where it has been acted on. I think the Guardian fails to report anything because they don't really have a plan to get beyond print and somehow think that readers will be happier if online is played down in all respects.

Not sure where or when but some sort of news event will crop up eventually. Search on Twitter could be a way to find it.

Print version seems at another angle to online

I continue to update the Blog about Fleet Street and Europe. It seems to be becoming more about television. But often the Labour Party aspect gets more space than seems balanced. It is still interesting how the Guardian and BBC spin things around Corbyn. But more should be in this blog.

Found this link through Twitter. Long interview by Ewen MacAskill but I have not seen this in print. Maybe I missed it but seems mopre likely the Guardian is hiding things. G2 today  features Tom Watson on the Trotskyists in the Labour membership apparently. Nothing about who is behind #savingLabour.

So my guess is the Guardian will connect a bit online still but the print version not so sure.

Monday, July 25, 2016

more about the absence of any sort of plot re #Corbyn

Various bits about Corbyn and Labour Leadership will be in this blog because else the #EUref blog will be out of proportion. I still think the rewriting of referendum story as part of the leadership story is interesting but not so interesting to forget what the blog was about to start with.

Anyway here is a quote from Liz McInnes MP found through a tweet by Polly Toynbee.

Since my resignation I have been bombarded with conspiracy theories from some of Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters. I would like to confirm that I was not bullied into standing down, as some would have it. I have not been offered a job/promotion or any other incentive, another favourite conspiracy theory. Nor was I ‘got at’ by plotters, indeed I am unaware of any plot ever having existed. The series of resignations appeared to be an organic process triggered by the sacking of Hilary Benn, leading to members of the shadow cabinet considering their own position and making their own decisions. Some of them, like my colleagues Lilian Greenwood and Thangam Debbonaire, have since written very eloquently about their own experiences of Jeremy’s leadership. Their accounts are shocking and, knowing both Lillian and Thangam, I have no reason to doubt them.

This is where I find things hard to believe. Repeating previous blogs I get the early versions of newspapers in Exeter. Both Observer and Sunday Times had stories of  a move or whatever you want to call it against Corbyn with the Hilary Benn name very clearly reported. Later stories seemed to start with Benn being sacked for no clear reason. I do not see how any leader could allow the stories to be published as first appeared without doing something.

Later we are told that Hilary Benn was not the source of either story. So who was then? No plot, no coup , just a series of personal decisions made on the spur of the moment without any long term plan. Surely not.

This is just a blog so I have n way to find out other than ask questions. Not sure who reads this anyway. Somebody at either the Sunday Times or Observer might have a rough idea of how things come to happen. It was not that long ago.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

more investigation please @guardian #plot #coup

Having read much of today print Guardian there are a few things I would like checked out.

Decca Aitkenhead for interview with Len McCluskey puts a couple of words or phrases into quote marks-

"the plotters" and "Blairite grandees" as if these terms were about something imagined or made up for some spurious motivation.

I am still trying to make sense of proper journalism such as the Guardian given what I know from tweets and links.

For example this video, uploaded to YouTube by Portland Communications on 30th June



There is not a complete plot here. Other than regime change, the phase when Corbyn might not have gone is a bit vague, but there is mention of possible candidates and it is hard not to imagine that someone from Portland has not had conversations.

Corbyn heckles as reported on BBC news turn out to be from individuals connected with Portland and the Lib Dems. I am assuming this as fact based on tweets. I realise response to this blog is asking a bit much but I have not seen any refutation of these facts in main stream media. So the attack on Corbyn came very fast after the EUref result.

Steve Richards suggests the attempts at a coup were uncoordinated. This may be true but is hard to believe. He writes that Hilary Benn had nothing to do with the reports in the Observer ( also Sunday Times but not mentioned in Guardian) . In Exeter I think I get the earliest version of the papers. Later ones from what I hear reported a sacking for no good reason. From the story I saw I don't think Corbyn had any alternative. How did the story happen?

Recently there has been a well funded campaign by #savingLabour though no info about who this is or where the money comes from. the Daily Mirror did have some info but not followed up in more recent stories.

Angela Eagle had a website registered some days before she decided to run. Maybe this was just another PR being over hasty? but again how could this happen?

I am often half asleep when listening to the Today prog but I just about remember a suggestion that words like #plot and #coup could be seen as bullying if linked to the PLP in a tweet. Well all I can suggest is that in the absence of transparency speculation is more possible and imagination can take various forms.

Anyway, Steve Richards is surely right that there can be some sort of Third Way. Possibly what Corbyn actually said during the #EURef will be reported, discussed and amended. Something like that is clearly needed as part of the post BREXIT debate. So more on this later.

But meanwhile I find the idea that recent events were just a series of isolated decisions without any awareness of a series of consequences to be actually more shocking than the theory around #plot and #coup.
  

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Daily Mirror has info on #savingLabour

I rushed into too many tweets yesterday about the lack of reporting on #savingLabour. Had the info come in a different order I would not have been so blunt about the Daily Mirror. I found it a bit strange to report J.K.Rowling as a supporter of #savingLabour when there is no information at all on who organises it or how it is funded.

I later found a Mirror report from 7th July that names Reg Race as having a connection with an address linked to the website.

 asked if he was the sole person involved with the site, he said: "Absolutely not - it's a whole bunch of people".he said the group was planning to announce more about itself in due course. 
but as far as I can tell this aspect of investigation has not featured in more recent stories. It is interesting that Reg Race has a connection with the NHS
He is a director of Quality Health Limited, the country's biggest provider of NHS staff surveys working for 360 health trusts.
Despite being listed as the managing director on the firm's website, Dr Race said he is now retired and the information is out of date.

given the concerns about Owen Smith in the Times it is surprising that more journalists are not interested in this situation.
Search on Twitter will reveal speculation. But in fairness to Fleet Street it should be acknowledged that the Daily Mirror is on the case.
Meanwhile the Guardian has several pages in G2 with an update from the SDP years with some guidance on which groups may support Corbyn. However nothing about #savingLabour at all that I can find. Still, the leadership campaign has only just started and the Guardian has a lot of space to fill.