Last week’s decisions on the final recommendations of Refounding Labour by Labour’s national executive’s Organisation Committee offered absolutely nothing to young people. Not even a passing reference. Not surprising then the Chair of Young Labour, Susan Nash, and the NEC youth and student rep, Callum Munro, have to issue a call this morning for a party that embraces, not controls, the next generation. We hope everyone will sign up to their appeal here. Callum and Susan argue:
If Young Labour is to be the natural home for those young people who want to make a difference in our society then Young Labour must be able to make a difference in our party. Rights which have long been afforded to other sections of our movement must be given to Young Labour if our movement is to feel valued and able to shape the party to which we belong. The proposal to give Young Labour affiliate rights is a recognition that although Young Labour is very much part of the wider party, it needs a degree of autonomy and independent power if it is to exist as a movement and not simply as a grouping of Labour Party members under the age of 27….
We are not the only ones calling for these reforms, both Ed Miliband and Iain McNicol explicitly promised these rights prior to their respective elections.
We’ve argued that the party should go further still:
- The establishment of Young Labour branches at CLP level under the supervision of the CLP, with representation at CLP meetings, and the freedom to campaign on issues it regards as important to young people, and to recruit new members.
- An annual Young Labour conference convened by the Young Labour National Committee with representation from CLPs (or Young Labour branches where they exist) as well as Labour student organisations and trade unions.
- A sabbatical salary for the elected chair of Young Labour, with office facilities, administrative support and adequate resources to maintain an effective and autonomous organisation.
- Adequate resources and administrative support for Young Labour at a national level, and full access to for Young Labour officers to membership lists at the appropriate level.
- Young Labour should be able to feed into party decision-making at all levels – constituency, regionally and nationally, into the national policy forum, national executive and party conference.
- The Young Labour National Committee should be ex-officio delegates to Labour Party conference, and be entitled to move motions there which have been approved and prioritised by Young Labour conference.
Why not suggest that too to your NEC representatives before they meet tomorrow?