Notes of Democafe meeting, 2-4pm on Saturday 14th November 2015 at The Forge, Delancey Street, Camden NW1 7NL
Present: Eddie, Janos, Carol, Sara, Mary (notes).
Apologies: Michael (returned to France)
1. MINUTES of the last meeting held on Saturday 7th November 2015.
2. FRIENDLY LINKS:
• Coloured banner “2015 Constitutionalists” is replaced by an updated website “Independent Constitutionalists UK” • Also Momentum (see Labour Party Update below) • On the text side: “CCMJ” is replaced by “Global Table”, which provides a weekly update of Matters in the Air. • Centre for Labour & Social Studies, which provides regular blogs, including Paul Kershaw’s latest (see below) – is added • See Friendly Links for these and other website links, and let us know about other projects we should be connecting with.
3. HOUSING EVENT
See article 13/11/2015 by Paul Kershaw “Selling off the government’s stake in housing associations is the endgame for social housing” – http://classonline.org.uk/blog/item/selling-off-the-governments-stake-in-housing-associations-is-the-endgame-fo.
See also article 13/11/2015 by Joe Halewood “63% of social housing to be privatised by Tories – time to act”: https://speye.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/63-of-social-housing-to-be-privatised-by-tories-time-to-act/
Venue: Eddie had also come up with the idea of the January Housing Sale (only £1!). We debated the idea of the outdoor venue outside Kentish Town tube, but some of us felt that the weather is now unreliable. Janos felt that we needed a proper venue, and more resources. Mary felt that we could do a Housing Workshop in a larger conference, and/or engage with Tenants Associations and Housing Associations, to get access to people interested in the topic, and possibly to gain access to a Tenants Hall. Carol felt that it was key to hold the event in such a way that people who are not already politically engaged come across it, and are given a copy of the paper we have produced about Housing. After discussion, Sara agreed to pursue the idea of a pop-up shop, but Eddie felt despondent as he thought that this would be a way of getting more people to engage. Janos reiterated that in his view the aim of the DemoCafe was to engage with people in thinking about what matters, not just planning a conference.
4. LABOUR PARTY
News from Momentum: http://peoplesmomentum.com
Sat 14 Nov: is Labour Assembly Against Austerity’s conference. It runs from 10 am to 5 pm and takes place at the Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL. Speakers include John McDonnell, Dianne Abbott, Clive Lewis, and Ann Pettifor. Click here to book your ticket.
Sat 21 Nov: The Trade Union Co-ordinating Group is holding a rally to build alternatives to austerity. It runs from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm and takes place at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, Storey’s Gate, London SW1H 9NH. The rally includes a question and answer session with John McDonnell and Yanis Varoufakis. Click here to book your ticket.
Tue 1st Dec 7-9 pm. Islington North Labour Party: Women’s Forum AGM at the Old Fire Station Community Centre, 84 Mayton Street, N7 6QT.
See also message received today from Tom Watson: Hello Mary. It’s great to be getting in touch with you for the first time as your deputy leader. Thank you for the support you’ve shown Jeremy and me as we get to grips with our new roles…… It’s been a busy few months. We’ve focussed our energy on the government’s damaging proposals on tax credits, defeating them in votes in both the Lords and the Commons. I think we’ve won the argument that Cameron and Osborne have to ditch this policy but until they relent, the campaign continues with more events across the country this Saturday…… Next week I’m going to a meeting with our National Executive Committee (Labour’s governing body). We’ll discuss how we make sure members and supporters play a greater role in our party, including big changes to our digital strategy and greater support for organising in your communities. So watch this space….. Best wishes Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
5. OTHER REPORTS
St Paul’s Institute: a meeting was held at St Paul’s on 3rd November: “Post Capitalism, envisaging a shared future”, main presentation by Paul Mason, promoting his recently published book on the topic, with Ann Pettifor and Philip Blond: http://www.stpaulsinstitute.org.uk/videos/2015/nov/03/postcapitalism-envisaging-a-shared-future • YouTube: https://youtu.be/ht_x5PF5o1w – Mary felt that it would be worth having a meeting devoted to viewing and discussing the presentations.
Constitutionalists UK: Michael reports that he is working on the development of a new website for Constitutionalists UK – www.constitutionalists.uk – whilst the previous one – http://www.2015constitutionalists.uk – is awaiting input by Ray, in particular a glossary of terms: http://constitutionalists.uk/Mind-Your-Language.htm.
Gladio B: Eddie reported on what’s happening with false flag operations, the latest one exposed by Sibel Edmonds: https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Operation_Gladio/B
Global Table: now has its own wordpress site – www.globaltable.org.uk, separate from CCMJ – www.ccmj.org, which may be re-adopted by members of the original organisation. Janos also reported that recent visit, Martin Camden, who had also visited a meeting of Free Critical Thinking, has set up his own self-contained party.
Problems with British Telecom: Eddie reported issue with his BT connection – see his Letter of Complaint to BT – he called up about the fault, and spoke to different people, one of whom said he would be responsible for the work done by the engineer if the problem was within his property, but eventually an engineer came and fixed it. Mary had had a similar problem, with the engineer advising that our own equipment was out of date, but eventually they fixed it. It appears that the basic problem is that BT’s OpenReach controls all the infrastructure, negating all attempts to bring in competition between different providers. Fibre-optics may be provided on the main lines, but do not necessary reach people’s homes.
6. MEETINGS SCHEDULE: Sara suggested that on the last Saturday in the month, when they have wonderful live music at the Forge, we could take a break from the DemoCafe, rather than try changing the venue, which would allow individuals to simply enjoy the music or attend meetings elsewhere.