January 28, 2020
A newly-formed team of specialist community activists prevented “further destruction of the party” despite its election drubbing, a report presented to Labour’s ruling body has claimed.
Specialist Labour Activists Claim They Prevented Further Destruction Of Party At Election
The document – seen by HuffPost UK on Tuesday – says the party’s Community Organising Unit (COU), set up in January 2018, “significantly outperform[ed]” more traditional canvassing methods. 
It credits the COU, billed as an “empowering people” approach to boost the number of activists on the ground, with Labour’s win in Putney, as well as improving the party’s ‘contact rate’ (the percentage of people whose voting preference is known) with voters in the London constituency by more than 6,000%.
Produced by the unit itself for Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee, it also claims contact rates were significantly improved in seats across the country.  Among those listed are Calder Valley, Southampton Itchen and Broxtowe – all of which Labour lost to the Tories.
The report states: “The data serves to prove that, even under the most adverse political circumstances, community organising held the line against even further destruction of our support base.”Insiders dismissed it as a whitewash, “conveniently ignoring disastrous results” for Labour in traditional areas including Stoke, Walsall, Dudley and Blyth Valley – while one pointed out Glasgow South is listed as a Labour held seat, when it is in fact in the hands of the SNP.
“If you believe the nonsense in this report then I have got a bridge to sell you,” they told HuffPost UK.
“It contains no mention of the countless complaints made by candidates about their performance, but demonstrates clearly that they don’t understand statistics and will stop at nothing to try to save their own jobs.”
At the NEC meeting, the document was described as a “dodgy dossier” and “total bollocks” as it failed to provide the full picture of the heavily-criticised network, and it was “forensically torn apart”.
Labour’s former head of political strategy, Greg Cook, branded the document “the more worthless and disingenuous piece of electoral analysis I have ever seen”.This looks like the most worthless and disingenuous piece of electoral analysis I have ever seen. https://t.co/NHtLy9OPEk— Greg Cook (@GregCook10) January 28, 2020The COU, set up by senior strategists close to exiting leader Jeremy Corbyn, was intended to step up Labour’s presence in post-industrial towns and coastal communities, as well as build alliances beyond the party to help campaign on key local issues.
Party chair Ian Lavery, among those who masterminded the idea, claimed the unit’s mass meetings “bring energy to our movement in between elections, giving opportunities to everyone from trade unionists to business owners and faith groups to share their stories” and that the movement was “truly transforming” Labour.
In September 2018, several months after it was set up, the party was preparing to train 500 of its members in specific campaign skills during its conference, as Corbyn said it had to “gain marginal constituencies”.
A Labour source said of the report: “It was made clear this was intended as an overview ahead of a more detailed analysis, which will feed into a full review of all aspects of the election.”Related... Rebecca Long-Bailey: It's 'B******s' To Claim Voters Rejected Socialism Brexit 'Broke' Labour At Election For 'Overwhelmingly Unpopular' Corbyn - Report Blue Wednesday For Labour MPs As Boris Johnson Rams Home His Majority
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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