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Monday’s Yellow Pages at Conference 2017

Each year the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, Left Futures and Labour Briefing (the magazine of the Labour Briefing Co-operative), produces a guide to conference called Yellow Pages. This guide aims to help delegates understand conference goings-on and point out which motions to support in order to best support Jeremy Corbyn and the policies he supports.

Monday’s version of Yellow Pages can be downloaded here.


  1. David Pavett says:

    The two items on page 2 concerning the NPF annual report do not encourage the view that policy matters are being taken seriously.

    (1) Under the heading Islington given the cold shoulder it is clear that the will to manipulate Conference to avoid a reference back of policy documents, however bad, is the main concern of the Conference Arrangements Committee. The treatment of the legitimate point raised by Islington delegates showed how undemocratic Conference still is.

    When all the cheering and applause in response to the tub-thumping speeches has died down that leaves us with the cold reality that Labour still cannot handle adult policy debate and that the balance of power in the party us such that effort to obtain such a debate can be slapped down in full view of the leadership and the entire conference.

    (2) The second item, headed NPF Report Revisited is disturbing for a very different reason. We are told

    Sunday’s CAC Report 1 advised delegates that the NPF Report to Conference has been revised. It now includes the policy on Palestine set out in this year’s General Election manifesto.

    (a) How does a document put before Conference (published weeks in advance) get changed without putting the change before Conference? Besides, this is far from being the only case where the NPF Report is at variance with the Manifesto.

    (b) The YP item suggests that the change means that all is now well with the International report

    Delegates will welcome this correction. The document now supports Jeremy’s commitment to Palestinian human rights.

    However, that issue is far from being the only serious defect in the International report, nor the only one where it is at variance with the views if the leadership. Thus, an absurdly pro-US line is taken:

    Along with deep ties to Europe, Britain’s partnership with the US has long served as a key pillar of British foreign policy. With close cooperation on Intelligence, diplomacy and counter-terrorism, and as the two biggest spenders on defence in NATO, Britain and the US together play a pivotal role in international security.

    To which is added that our relationship with the US “has always been based on shared values, including respect for the rights of women and minorities and a strong commitment to democracy, freedom of the press and the rule of law.”

    The Report makes no attempt to evaluate the known problems if UK defence spending – despite serious research on the issue having been submitted to the Commission.

    (c) It is difficult not to conclude that despite fiddling with the document over Palestine to avoid a reference back this Report is is still a seriously inadequate document.

    Three of the NPF reports went through on the nod yesterday. Will this be the same for the remaining five in a conference held with Jeremy Corbyn in an unassailable position and backed by the majority of delegates? If so then one has to ask what circumstances are required for democracy to break out in matters of Labour policy formation.

    1. JohnP says:

      The utterly focussed Labour Right continue to run rings round “corbynism” where it matters. The kids may well be having a culturally uplifting time down the road at The World Transformed, but at Conference , despite our Delegate majority, the Right are still blocking ANY significant policy shift to the Left.

      The Corbyn Circle probably don’t care – because they think all that matters is that will write the Next Manifesto again , and can ignore the NPF stuff. However, IF there is a Corbyn government coming , possibly even next year, the fact that the official Labour “policy bundle” will remain firmly, neoliberal, pro NATO, slavishly pro US imperialism, will provide a huge excuse for the PLP majority to obstruct the implementation of an anti Austerity, anti privatisation, economic policy and non US led foreign policy , and split the Party in Parliament – on the basis that they, the PLP majority are “staying true to agreed Conference policy” , whilst Jeremy and his team are simply “making it up as they go along”.

      1. Danny Nicol says:

        No tradition of party democracy is being developed and the 10% compromise means that a left candidate for Leader post-Corbyn is far from guaranteed.

        1. Verity says:

          Remember that the 5% amendment was voluntarily remitted to ensure it gets included in the democracy review in one year avoiding the limitation for it not to be discussed again for ‘n’ years. It was smart move given the possibility it could go one better by allowing (say) 15% of one of: union representative, members or PLP to be the threshold for nomination. A very good compromise avoiding partially satisfactory outcomes.

  2. Bazza says:

    Yes the Katy Clark Labour Democracy Review becomes more important and members should be looking at reforming Labour rules, Conference, the NPF, Labour in local Govt, harnessing techology etc.
    I note the 46 key marginals will select by December 2017 and with more AWS we need to be encouraging more Corbyn supporting women to apply plus hopefully we select the rest by March to May 2018.
    I don’t know about you but I want to help to greatly DEMOCRATICALLY reform Labour to give the grassroots more say and I want us to help to SELECT 620 diverse left wing democratic socialist parliamentary candidates!
    Some of the Left seem to be happy with the feel good factor but don’t forget – organise, organise, organise! Solidarity!

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