CLP Governance 2018

This is long, it’s a rule by rule analysis of the rule changes made to CLP rules by the Democracy Review and #lab18. It deals with GC sovereignty, Executive Committee membership, Branch & Delegate vs. All Member Meeting (AMM), equalities representation and organisation, meeting frequency, job shares and IT & participation. For completeness, I also mention Special Measures & Multi Constituency CLPs. The original text is held in Conference 18 CAC Report 1, which is on member’s net and mirrored here on my wiki. It should be noted that Conference determined these rules came into force on September 27. 2018. I reported on the debate in an article, on this blog, called The Denoument. For more see below/overleaf …  …

Freedom from Want!

I went to the internal relaunch/kickoff of the Labour Campaign for Human Rights last night. I am a member and wish them well. Long term fans will know I have been struggling for a while in getting the Party, with a few honourable exceptions, and its MPs interested in Digital Liberty and its Human Rights dimension; I sum up their attitude as “You can’t eat Human Rights”. I spoke to Matt Turner, the new Chair of their Committee and considered their next campaigns but our conversation moved on to Philip Alston, the UN’s rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights report on the UK. I had missed the fact that this was a Human Rights report, reported on briefly by the Guardian and at more length there too,  and that Article 25 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights includes the following:

Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

The UNDHR was agreed as the Cold War descended to its depths but for each important individual liberty written in by the UK & US, the Soviet Union insisted (possibly with Roosevelt’s support) for the establishment of collective rights of solidarity which still remain today reflected in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights as I discovered last week. Article 25 is a pretty comprehensive underwriting of the Social Democratic agenda which exercised hegemony in Northern Europe from 1945 to 1979.

We should note the appalling Tory reaction to the report, in the light of the fact that one of their Brexit Red Lines is the exclusion of the CJEU in Human Rights cases, and their disdain for the European Court of Human Rights and the Human Rights Act.

Perhaps we should take this into the Labour Party and destroy the image possibly more settled in my generation, that Human Rights are a bourgeois/middle class diversion. …

Brexit and Labour’s 2017 Manifesto II

In my article “Brexit and Labour’s 2017 manifesto“, and on my wiki article, “Stability & Growth Pact”, I talk about the reasons supporters of Labour’s 2017 manifesto might believe that they need to leave the EU to run fiscal deficits, nationalise critical businesses and offer state aid. I had come to the conclusion that our current terms of membership allowed the UK to pursue whatever macro-economic policies it chose and to be able to pursue its nationalisations. There would seem to be some questions on state aid and some people have raised the issue of the Railway Directive and its possible impact on the single market and nationalisation. A campaigning comrade of mine, from Southampton Itchen CLP has researched these issues and produced the following report, overleaf,  which he also published on Facebook wall.

He concludes, the notion that all EU activity is driven solely by Neo-Liberal ideology is in my opinion a mistaken assumption. In many instances there are additional rationales underpinning the EU rules that go beyond mere market obsession. The EU has pressed for more open networks in telecoms and energy but open access across national energy networks is critical for renewable energy production being made viable on a grand scale. Whereas in the water sector, where it is not feasible to create overlaying pan-European services, the EU has never shown any interest in legislating for open networks.

I would not go so far as to suggest the EU does not have an over optimistic view of the market system or tend to assumptions about private sector performance vs public sector that are not sustained by the economic models relied upon and it is possible to have a good discussion about Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage.

On the other hand, free market supremacy is a pretty widespread assumption in the modern western world. The victory of the Neo-Liberal ideology has been to shift public perceptions to accept the ‘private good, pubic bad’ mantra as a gospel truth. That human beings in the EU broadly accept the same mantra is not really a surprise. The challenge to us as socialists is not just to reshape the UK economy to provide for greater equality and justice but to begin to reshape the underlying assumptions about human and market behaviour that underpin much of the capitalist economic system. …

Phantoms

It’s that time of year when the large unions send out their affiliation cheques to the Labour Party for 2019. This raises questions in the minds of many Labour Party activists.  I have written about this a couple of times, Most importantly, on organisational eligibility and on communication with the affiliating entity. Bit back by popular demand …

  1. Only national committees and branches of Trade Unions may affiliate to a CLP, although most Unions will send a cheque (or on-line transfer) from a regionally administered political fund. (Affiliation payments must come from the political fund.) Regional bodies may not affiliate.
  2. Each affiliating entity must pay 6p/member resident in the constituency subject to a minimum payment of £6.00 and is entitled to 5 delegates unless local rules with an adjustment to the blank rule in Appendix 7 ((Ap 7.III.1)) change this or the affiliating entity has over 1000 members living in the constituency when a delegate entitlement for that entity may be negotiated between the Union, the CLP and RD/GS. This limit would also apply to National Committees of Trade Unions, only five delegates/affiliation.
  3. Only branches of socialist societies may affiliate to CLPs. (C7.III.1.c). Most don’t seem to have them.
  4. All communication between the CLP and the affiliating entity must be to the affiliating entities Secretary (C7.IX.6); without this fact the CLP cannot send notices of business nor validate that any proposals for business such as motions or requisitions for emergency meetings are validly authorised. i.e. an affiliation must include documentation detailing the entity’s secretary’s contact details.

Some organisations seem exceptionally casual at best in conforming to some of these rules.

Delegates must be LP members of the CLP and members of the affiliating entity (or full time employees).

A CLP has the duty to ensure the affiliation is valid, and thus it needs to have the branch name(s), the branch secretary’s contact details, the delegate names and the date of the meeting at which the delegates were appointed/elected.

CLPs should adopt rules that any money sent by Unions or Socialist Societies not accompanied by valid affiliation documentation is to be treated as a donation.

You may find that some members of LP regional staff will have some difficulty with the views expressed here. …

Norway+

Not so sure where this has come from, but it seems to have a small level of support in both the Labour & Tory parliamentary parties. It would seem that Norway is not in the Customs Union, which is why we want a plus deal but also it does not incorporate the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the CJEU’s rights of enforcement. That won’t do for me and shouldn’t do for the PLP as we require the same levels of protection for work, consumers and the environment as we have today. It seems to unite both left and right of the Labour Party against it, here’s Jim Denham and here’s MIke Gapes MP.

And here’s what one senior Norwegian politician has to say,

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Brexit, the end parliamentary end-game

Earlier this week, Theresa May’s Government lost three votes in the House of Commons on Brexit. It was held in contempt for withholding its legal advice on the Brexit Treaty. A couple of hours later, the House voted to ensure it would have a further say if it rejected the Government’s Brexit Deal.

This changes things in Parliament and has created a maelstrom in Westminster and on social media.

I have thought since July 2016, that Brexit must be negotiated in good faith by people who want to leave but then the people[1] should be asked if the deal was what they wanted and still want.

At Labour’s Conference in Liverpool earlier this year, the Party voted to oppose a Tory Brexit, recognizing that it failed to meet the six tests; the Party resolved to attempt to bring down the Government and force a General Election and should this not happen that all options including a public vote would be considered. This composite was based on primarily two views but it can’t be seriously suggested that rump New Labour could have got over 100 motions to Labour Conference. Also the supposed suggestion that wanting a general election is somehow in opposition to a second mandate is childish. Labour’s position is clear, if May is defeated, we want a general election, if we can’t get that, then all options including a 2nd referendum are to be considered.

It should be considered that this is a development of Labour’s policy, first stated at Conference 16, which is should the terms be unsatisfactory, Labour will campaign to remain.

It’s important that all wings of Labour hold their nerve, the Lexiter’s may get their chance to define exit terms, but our short terms goals are clear. They should note that some of us have been biting our lips and holding our nerve. It’s your turn.

  • Vote down May’s deal!
  • Vote down the Government!

Maybe Corbyn can “do a Wilson”, renegotiate the Tories terms and then put them to the people; that’s what happened in the seventies, but more and more Cameron’s deal is seeming more and more attractive, but if we stay we need to build alliances in Europe to reform the EU.

Now is not the time for freelancing, whether in the PLP, Union Leaderships or in Party in the country.

ooOOOoo

[1] Including EU citizens resident in the UK, and UK Citizens abroad who have lost their votes through absence. …

HRMS, a distressed purchase?

I was provoked by this on Hackernoon, and wrote a little piece on HRMS systems. I have just come back from a Trade Union course on Employment Law and wonder whether the US based systems built for Silicon Valley behemoths are suitable for UK based SMEs. I reference the Gartner MQ which seems to have come on in the last two years; google it, you can get to see it from one of the companies in the top right quadrant but I like their functional breakdown.

I state that a “person” data model is key and finish with the following quote,

HR functions need to define their mission statement, somewhere between “stop the staff suing us”, and “delivering a self-actualising company”; only then can the needs of the software be defined and developed, bought or rented.

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