Recently, Conrad Landin wrote of how some of the boldest and most radical policies passed at Young Labour conference seemed to have disappeared into a policy making abyss.
At a time, coming out of a successful conference, when our party has never been so united and when our people are under attack from this vicious Tory Government, we simply cannot afford for our youth wing to be divided.
The failings of Young Labour’s policy making process, in particular the lack of transparency, have shifted focus from standing up for young people, fighting the Tories and winning for Labour, on to unnecessary internal divisions.
Refounding Labour offered young members the chance to take control of our organisation, but after youth conference, it is obvious that substantial reform is still needed.
Written policy motions and priority campaign ‘pitches’, with clear procedure on amendments, would eliminate any ambiguity over what was or wasn’t endorsed by conference. Procedure on making amendments and guidelines and advice on debating, circulated in advance of conference, would ensure a broad, inclusive and respectful discussion, free from confusion and disagreements and in which no-one feels their voice is ignored.
Publishing minutes, attendance and voting records of committee meetings would not only improve the legitimacy and transparency of the policy making process, but would also allow members to hold their representatives to account more effectively. Regular reports, published online and circulated to members, would also work towards a more open and inclusive Young Labour.
Clarity in what proposals are being voted on as well as openness in how this policy is then used to formulate the priority campaign and motions to conference is critical to ending divisions and disagreements. Reform is key in building a Young Labour which young members have faith in and which moves forward as a cohesive force to fight for social justice and a Labour Government.