Latest post on Left Futures

Sunday’s Yellow Pages at Labour Party Conference 2016

yellowpages2016Download the Yellow Pages here. This Campaign Briefing is sponsored by ASLEF

Sunday’s Priorities Ballot: start taking on the Tories! 

In today’s priorities ballot, CLPs and the unions can each choose four sub- jects for debate. The unions have already agreed to prioritise Employment Rights, Industrial Strategy, Public Services, Energy, so these issues will be discussed by Conference. The CLPs’ vote can select an additional four top- ics for debate (giving eight debates in total). CLP delegates should not vote for any of the four subjects chosen by the trade unions.

  • All sections of the Labour Party must campaign with NHS users and workers (including the junior doctors) for adequate NHS funding, an end to privatisation and integration of the NHS with a social care system.
  • On housing, we must campaign against the implementa- tion of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and commit to a Labour alternative: a mas- sive increase in the supply of housing, including council housing with proper tenure and genuinely affordable rents, and rights for private tenants.
  • Jeremy Corbyn announced in his victory speech yesterday that Labour will hold a national campaign this coming Saturday for inclusive education and against grammar schools. Sign up at: www.labour.org.uk/ content/action-on-education
  • Conference should back calls led by Labour Peer Alf Dubs for a more humane approach to child refugees.

To vote in the priorities ballot you go to the ballot area in the Exhibition Hall between 10.30am and 3pm. After the priorities ballot, compositing meetings on suc- cessful topics will be held from 6.30pm in the Exhibition Centre. Delegates must attend and need to agree composites which establish clear policies setting us apart from the Tories.

11AM Sunday – Support CLPs, Support reference back 

The Conference Arrangements Committee has ruled out an important rule change from East Devon CLP that would allow Branch Labour Parties and branches of affiliated organisations to interview prospective parliamentary candidates and make nominations to the long list. The ruling out has been justified under a spurious interpretation of the “three-year rule”. However there has not been a rule change on this issue in the past three years and this rule change would be a minor but welcome addition to the selection rules. We should at very least be allowed to debate it. Please support any delegate moving reference back to the Conference Arrangements Committee report to get this rule change back on the agenda. Contemporary motions opposing austerity and expulsions/exclusions of members have also been ruled out because they “do not meet the criteria” despite recent reports of the worsening economic situation and falling living standards. Alternatives to austerity and investment for growth are not adequately addressed in the conference documents and are urgent topics for debate.

Structures set to be debated – Christine Shawcroft 

At the first NEC meeting of Conference, Jeremy Corbyn was congratulated on his win and welcomed back as Leader. A marathon NEC earlier in the week had put on one side the Deputy Leader’s proposal that the Shadow Cabinet be elected by the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) to allow for negotiations. At an NEC meeting on Saturday evening, this proposal was dropped – at least for now – pending a full discussion of possible rule changes on electing the Shadow Cabinet and the structure of the NEC, to be held at an NEC “away day” in November. The NEC held earlier this week had also agreed to add two new places to the NEC: one nominated by the Leader of the Scottish and one by the Leader of the Welsh Labour Parties. There was a suggestion at yesterday evening’s NEC that the November “away day” should discuss how these two NEC places should be filled – by selection or election. Unfortunately this suggestion was misinterpreted as an attempt to overturn last Tuesday’s decision – and the Chair closed down the discussion and moved on. It is likely, therefore, that a rule change adding these places to the NEC will be included in the rule changes coming to Conference on Tuesday Morning.

One leader, one vote? 

Early on Tuesday morning, the NEC will be proposing a rule change so that the Leaders of the Scottish Labour Party and the Welsh Labour Party can each pick their own representative to the NEC from their respective front benches. Members, supported by CLPD, have campaigned for years for Scottish and Welsh involvement in the NEC – but this has always been on the basis of demo- cratic representation. By contrast, the NEC’s proposal is ridiculously restricted. It would also alter the NEC’s political balance. It has been suggested in the media that this is the hidden agenda behind the seemingly “innocent” proposed rule change. There is a serious danger of yet further internal battles – at a time when our members want the Party to turn outwards and fight the Tory Government. This is the message Jeremy has stresed. Given the endorsement he received yesterday, Jeremy’s call should be echoed throughout the Party.

A note on party staff

Party officials are like civil servants. Our staff are there to ensure conference runs efficiently. They are not there to interfere in any way with delegates’ political decision making. This is spelt out in their terms and conditions of employment. Any infringement should be reported to CLPD at once. We will ensure appropriate action is taken. CLPs are fully entitled to mandate their delegates – all the trade unions mandate delegates.

Congratulations Jeremy! 

Another resounding victory for Jeremy Corbyn was celebrated at a packed Campaign for Labour Party Democracy rally last night. Diane Abbott MP praised Jeremy’s courage and fortitude and called on everyone to unite in fighting the Tories, sentiments echoed by Margaret Greenwood MP. Jeremy won with an increased share of the vote and a clear lead in every section. Jeremy gained 61,792 more votes than last year, including an increase of 9.4% in the members’ section.

Light at the end of the tunnel – Mick Whelan, General Secretary of ASLEF

Like most people in the Labour Party, and labour movement, I’m delighted that Jeremy Corbyn was yesterday re-elected as leader of the Labour Party. It is now time for everyone – especially those in the PLP who have spent so much of the last year undermining Jeremy – to get behind him, turn their fire on the Tories, and get ready for a General Election which could be just around the corner. Not least because we have such a good message to take to the country. Take transport, for example, the subject of a plenary session in the conference hall this afternoon. You don’t need to travel on Southern Railways – or Southern Failways as they’ve been dubbed by disgruntled passengers – to see that privatisation hasn’t worked.

On every measure put forward by John Major 20 years ago, rail privatisation has failed. Fares, and pub- lic subsidies, have soared – we now have the highest fares in Europe – while trains have got more crowded and, in most parts of the country, much older. I know why the privatised train companies like the failed franchise system – they talk about ‘risk and reward’ but realise there is no risk, it’s all reward – and that’s why we need a Labour government committed to putting our fragmented railway back together as a modern, integrated, publicly-owned system fit for the 21st century.

Jeremy – and this hasn’t always been the case with Labour Party leaders in recent years – is proud to talk about public ownership. He understands that ordinary people are suffering in the Tories’ Age of Austerity and wants to rebuild Britain as a fairer, more modern society, with a more productive economy that delivers for the many, not the few. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Campaign Briefing is produced as a service to delegates by:
CLPD, Left Futures and
Labour Briefing (the
magazine of the Labour Briefing Co-operative)

4 Comments

  1. Danny Nicol says:

    The story of the two Scottish and Welsh NEC seats keeps changing as the days go by – and not in a nice way.

    First, one got the distinct impression that the party executives of the two countries would choose the NEC members. Then the idea seemed to be that the two party leaders would themselves automatically be on the NEC. Now we are being told that the two leaders will each be picking someone else to serve on it!

    This “rise of the unelected” is textbook neoliberalism which deserves to be consigned to Labour’s Blairite past. The one sure thing is that it would do what it is designed to do: change the political balance of the NEC so that it is hostile to JC.

    The NEC majority is acting with all the speed and sleight of hand of a conjurer producing rabbits from a top hat. How are CLPs and affiliates supposed to have debated their position when the substance of the proposal has been so unclear and when there has been no serious opportunity for affiliates to consult their members? I hope Conference rejects this attempt to turn the clock back to the era of manipulation which we suffered under Blair.

  2. Stephen Bellamy says:

    There must be no unity before justice for the purged.

  3. Stephen Bellamy says:

    There must be no unity before justice for the purged

  4. Bazza says:

    Yes and on Tuesday conference delegates should refer back the proposed new rules from the NEC which includes the Scottish and Welsh leaders selecting (not members OMOV electing) one place on their behalf on the NEC – have you ever of heard anything so elitist and arrogant!
    IT IS A POWER GRAB BY THE TOP DOWNERS TO UNDERMINE JC!
    So vote to refer back and VOTE AGAINST the NEC paper – so they can all take it back to the NEC Away Day!
    But we should increase NEC CLP places (elected OMOV) from 6 to 12 (one CLP NEC member per 40,000 members) and perhaps we need a Special Rules Conference within 6 months to update our rules to take account of the very positive development of now having 500,000 members.
    So vote against the NEC recommendations on rule changes and send them back to the NEC as the ‘Flower of Scotland’ says, “To think again.”
    Power to the grassroots!
    Solidarity!

© 2017 Left Futures | Powered by WordPress | theme originated from PrimePress by Ravi Varma