According to the draft Labour Party Annual Conference timetable, rule changes and other matters arising from the Refounding Labour ‘consultation’ will be ‘decided’ on Sunday 25 September – the first day. The proposals themselves will be tabled at a deferred Organisation Committee on Thursday 15 September, and decided at the Labour’s pre-Conference executive committee on Tuesday 20 September. This is insane. Unless the proposal is for any rule changes to be deferred to a special conference in the late autumn as proposed by Bridgend CLP here.
Serious doubt about the process has prompted Labourlist editor Mark Fergerson to wonder whether it is a sham. Following publication of the Bridgend proposal which is a positive suggestion to a fraught situation in which loyalties to our new Leader are being tested, NEC CLP representative Johanna Baxter called for unity here. Let’s hope we can unite around the idea the due process must be observed and members’ rights to consider proposals are respected.
All submissions to Refounding Labour need to be published along with all the versions of the Refounding Labour report to Org Sub on 5 July, NEC on 19 July so that the long slow process of rebuilding members confidence in the Labour Party can begin. This is an essential first step to demonstrating to the electorate that the party is true to Labour Values.
An urgent statement is needed from the Leader Ed Miliband, the National Policy Forum Chair, Peter Hain and General Secretary Iain McNicol, who starts work at Victoria Street on Monday, to reassure members that there will be no attempt to railroad divisive and ill-thought through proposals at Conference 2011.