‘Independent’ NEC slate feeding data straight to Progress/Labour First

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The contest for three additional places on the party’s NEC (National Executive Committee) is essentially between two ‘slates’ of candidates. On the one side is the ‘grassroots’ slate supported by left-wing organisations. On the other are popular comedian Eddie Izzard, Johanna Baxter and Gurinder Singh Josan in what styles itself the ‘independent’ slate.

The three extra places approved at Septembers annual conference are to represent Labour’s membership on its ruling committee. But is the ‘independent’ slate as independent as it claims to be?

Campaigning is now underway and the ‘Independent NEC reps’ website makes huge play of the supposed independence of the candidates and its significance:

indep nec 2

Members who remember Johanna Baxter’s part in the suspensions of ‘the Purge’ surrounding the 2016 Labour leadership contest will already be raising eyebrows – but there is a more current connection that raises questions about the claim.

The website invites visitors to register their details in order to receive information about the campaign and the candidates. The website’s homepage that contains the registration form (archived here) does not say what will be done with information submitted. However, after registration, those receiving the emails will find out where it went.

And given the claim that the ‘independent’ slate will ‘not take instruction from any faction’, recipients may be somewhat surprised by the answer:

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Not only that, but by signing up you provide Labour First and Progress – both limited companies unaffiliated with the Labour Party – with permission to send you their ‘opinions‘ about Labour and to try to get you involved in their campaigns and events.

Labour First and Progress are two organisations that tried strenuously to prevent Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour leader, who supported the challenge against him and are widely regarded as implacably opposed not only to his leadership, but to the vision and direction of the Labour party under him.

Labour First was even, at the beginning of this year, attempting to organise to control September’s conference in order to prevent measures Corbyn’s supporters were eventually able to welcome because Labour First failed spectacularly in that effort.

Both organisations were closely linked with manoeuvres at the 2016 conference that stacked the NEC against Corbyn and the vast majority of members who back him.

In other words, both organisations are well and truly factional.

The fact that the slate is supported by Progress and Labour First should be enough to warn any pro-Corbyn member not to touch it with a ten-foot pole, let alone consider voting for anyone on it.

The fact that it is being presented as an independent slate when in fact it is the Progress/Labour First slate, speaks volumes about why – and every member needs to be aware of it urgently.

And to make sure to cast their vote only for the grassroots left slate of Yasmine Dar, Rachel Garnham and Jon Lansman.

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24 responses to “‘Independent’ NEC slate feeding data straight to Progress/Labour First

  1. What happened to the informed consent that is a requirement under the DPA. Surely this is a flagrante breach of both the letter and the spirit of the law.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Man, so cynical and sly. What a joke. The “independent” slate, my God. Do they really think people are that dense?
    Man I really hope they don’t get selected. Members need to know exactly which dangerous, anti-unity factions are behind this slate. I hope this article gets seen by enough members, how could anyone want to vote for a slate including Baxter who claims to want to support members but did nothing against the purge or the supporter fee or the attempt to keep a leader out of a leadership challenge etc.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. If anyone thinks that all those who tried to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership election have gone away or have taken the left turn on to the road to Damascus, they are sadly mistaken. They are still there, plotting to regain control of the Party by whatever means they can and unfortunately they have powerful allies at the top of the Party in the executive.

    Like

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  5. They were “Centre-Left”, then “Moderates”, now “Independents”. They just don’r realise how clued up the left-wing members of the party have become. I’m a “Neo-AvaBlairite”, me…!

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  6. HAHAHAHAHA AS I LAUGH HISTERICLY!
    WHO ARE THEY KIDDING?
    NOT ME FOR ONE!
    INDEPENDENT MY “BACKSIDE”!
    THEY HAVE AS MUCH OF A CHANCE AS A SNOWBALL IN HELL!
    DO THEY THINK THEY ARE DEALING WITH MORONS?
    IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, THE ELECTORATE OF THE LABOUR LEFT WON’T LET IT!
    WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF RIGHT LEANING POLICIES THAT ONLY BENEFIT THOSE WITH LOTS OF MONEY!
    THE REST OF US PICK UP THEIR BILL OF THEIR CORRUPT DEALINGS AND LIES AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF THEIR WRONG DOINGS!
    TIME TO GIVE THE LEFT IN OUR LABOUR PARTY TO PUT THINGS RIGHT!
    MAKE THOSE PAY WHO PUT THEIR MONEY IN OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS!

    Like

  7. The other evidence is the internet whois data for the independentnecreps.org domain shows that the registrant is Labour First:

    Domain Name: INDEPENDENTNECREPS.ORG
    Creation Date: 2017-11-01T11:31:49Z

    Registrant Organization: Labour First
    Registrant Street: 9 Despard House
    Registrant Street: 43 Palace Road
    Registrant City: London
    Registrant Postal Code: SW2 3EW

    If the website is run by Labour First Limited, I think they would need to give an explicit DPA notice to have the informed consent to pass on personal data to a different organisation like Progress Limited.

    Liked by 2 people

    • … also they own up on the Privacy page:

      http://www.independentnecreps.org/privacy

      “…

      Our Details

      This website is operated by Labour First Limited, a private limited company (company number 10694816), and Progress Ltd, a private limited company (company number 03109611)

      You can contact us in writing at Luke Akehurst, Secretary, Labour First, 125 Oxford Road, Old Marston, Oxford, OX3 0RB or via email at labourfirst@gmail.com.”

      And the HTML of the website is littered with references to https://labourfirst.nationbuilder.com/

      Liked by 1 person

      • I thought not, but I checked the Act and the definition in s1 is “a person who (either alone or jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed”. I think it is worded thus to permit partnerships and unincorporated associations to be data controllers.

        But the wording seems to allow the possibility of a partnership of two limited companies to be a data controller, though I’ve never encountered such a thing or remember reading about it in any ICO guidance (and I read all of that a few years back). I think a partnership of two limited companies would be very problematic – as an example I think the partnership would likely have to register a third time explicitly as the partnership is a new data controller. I also suspect there would have to be some legal agreement between the companies to form the partnership in law, otherwise I can’t see how they could meet some of the legal obligations such as the Principle 7 security obligation “processing is carried out under a contract — (i)which is made or evidenced in writing”.

        I don’t really think a partnership of two limited companies is very practical.

        So I would think they would have to show a fair processing notice at the time data is collected by Labour First Ltd, who seem to own and operate the website, stating the data would be passed onto Progress Ltd. I doubt that the website general Privacy page would do, as most data subjects would not read that.

        A further difficulty may be that Labour First Ltd has been incorporated as a company with shares, normally the form of a for-profit company. (Progress Ltd is a company limited by guarantee without share capital – the normal form of a non-profit). As this data is political, it is defined as “sensitive personal data” under the DPA. Political organisations “not established or conducted for profit” have an exemption to process sensitive personal data, but as Labour First Ltd is a company with shares, they may have difficulty establishing their ability to use this exemption – which would force them unto the “has given his explicit consent to the processing of the personal data” requirement. This seems to make the need for an up-front very explicit fair processing notice all the more necessary.

        There are further difficulties but this seem plenty for the time being!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Very deceptive and underhand! Worth mentioning that you can find the info on the actual website without signing up. Just click on “privacy” at the bottom, and the info on “how we use your data” is there, plus details of who runs the website (Labour First and Progress) 😠

    Like

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    • On second thoughts, I think that Progress/Labour First have made a tactical decision to support them because they know that they themselves are out of the running.

      Like

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