CLPD ’18

Over the week end, I attended the CLPD AGM. The highlights were reported on Skwawk Box in two articles, “Hell Breaking Loose at CLPD AGM over ‘Ann Black’, Motion to depose Willsman” and “CLPD Debate Motion to support Formby and ask Lansman to stand down for Labour JENSEC”. He’s pretty much right. Pete Willsman wanted Ann Black to stay on the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) slate, Momentum and the LRC didn’t. Despite that the slate still has not been published. Christine Shawcroft, an ally of John Lansman and the co-Director of the company that owns the momentum database decided to challenge Pete Willsman for the position of National Secretary of the CLPD. Her nomination was ruled out of order since it was too late, so she moved an emergency motion to rule it in time, the vote on whether the motion was an emergency was lost on the 3rd count. 😀

In the afternoon , the LRC, in what I’d like to call a counter attack, moved a motion calling on Jon Lansman to withdraw from the General Secretary appointment process and to support Jennie Formby. This was pretty conclusively carried. In both cases, I voted for non-agression, in favour of Willsman and against taking a line between Formby and Lansman. This was completely unedifying. Why Lansman is standing would seem to be incomprehensible. It may have something to do with attempting to influence the Brownian motion of the ideological planets within Corbyn’s office and Lansman’s attempts to maximise the voice of the individual members against the Union bureaucrats. He makes an unlikely champion.

That’s all that happened, the platform filibustered the motions which were not discussed; I am not sure why, possible they didn’t want clarity on fighting the purge or opening up the process by which CLGA slates are chosen.

On the upside I was elected to their National Committee.

On my way home, I met a well known activist from up north, who said they were never coming back. It’s how I felt in 2015, but CLPD is too important to ignore. Other friends were refused a vote for applying too late and stayed at home, they may have had a better day. …


Another submission to the democracy review

The rules are only available as a complex .pdf document. It is not easy (or possible) to reverse engineer it. It is not possible to index them or without reverse engineering develop collaboration tools/discussions about the rules.

The rules are incomplete in particular missing the template model rules for Local Government Groups which are an important part of holding Labour Councillors to account.  They also do not have a usable citation i.e. a URL to the Co-op Interparty agreement. Procedure Guidelines for selections are also often kept secret from the members. .

The classification of rules as rules and appendixes is strange. Why do appendices exist? It’s not explained. Also it creates the need to check rules against appendix for each issue for which an appendix exists.

This all leads to uncertainty and is probably designed to make it hard for ordinary members to exercise their rights and duties.

  1. The rules document should be complete. Any cross references should be to available.
  2. The rules should be available on the internet without the use of a password.
  3. The rules should be published in a form of .pdf, together with a checksum to guarentee integrity, that allows annotation and 3rd party indexation  of the rules document. (N.B. This can be done with the hard copy today.) The master rules .pdf must have a usable index i.e. active hyperlinks.
  4. The rules should be additionally available in an editable form to allow members to develop collaboration tools.
  5. The interpretative order, if any, between rules and appendices must be stated.


I have received this from London Labour Left, so I hope they might answer my messages.

We are circulating Momentum’s statement and model motion below, on the current consultation being conducted by the London Labour Party. We agree the consultation undermines the spirit of the rule changes passed by regional conference.  Please therefore submit the model motion below to your branch, CLP and within affiliated organisations.

Best wishes,The London Labour Left Team.

Message from Momentum:

Statement on Greater London Labour Party Consultation on Rule Changes Passed at the London Regional Conference

At the 2017 London Regional Conference on the 25th and 26th November, Conference unanimously voted through two rule changes as the London rule book entitles it to do (subject to the approval of the NEC): one to increase CLP and trade union representation on the Regional Board and ensure that CLP representatives are elected by One Member One Vote, and another to ensure that that the London Region’s Conference Arrangements Committee is elected at Conference, rather than by the regional board. The purpose of both these rule changes was to democratise the London Regional Board, and ensure as broad representation as possible.

In recent days, the Greater London Labour Party on behalf of the regional Board has sent out a consultation to CLPs asking for their views on these rule changes. This consultation email raises arguments against the rule changes, suggesting there might be a case for not introducing them. The email also asks whether there should be increases in the representation of non trade union affiliates, or other political groupings (local government, PLP), on the regional board. This demonstrates a clear intent to undermine the spirit of the rule changes passed by the regional conference, which aimed to increase the voice of members and trade unions, not to increase the size of the Regional Board per se.

Whilst these are questions which could be addressed at the next Regional Conference, the Regional Board does not have the power to overrule a decision of the Regional Conference, nor to delay implementation until after the Democracy Review  The objective of the consultation email is clearly attempting to override the decisions taken democratically, and with very little opposition, at the London Regional Conference in November 2017, and therefore would both create a disturbing precedent and would prevent the regional board elections being held on the newly agreed basis.

We therefore urge all CLPs to respond to the consultation making clear the following:

  1. That the constitutional role of the London Regional Conference to decide the structures of the London Regional Board be upheld;
  2. That both rule changes passed at the November 2017 Conference be implemented by immediately seeking the approval of the NEC so that elections to the regional board and the conference arrangements committee can be held as agreed;
  3. That any  decisions of additional rule changes be postponed until this year’s Regional Conference,

Furthermore, we urge CLPs to submit this model motion (click here) to the NEC.

In solidarity.


Labour’s Socialist Societies

I decided to have another go at a Socialist Societies submission to the Democracy Review

I wrote about the socialist societies and have been researching how they work and would like to add some supplementary evidence.

I believe that real and effective special interest groups will add to the Labour Party’s policy making and campaigning capability. They are also a recognition of Labour’s federal history. I believe they should be retained.

They are also subject to abuse as the stories about the Labour Party Irish society show.

I recommend that,

  1. There needs to be a minimum level of activity and democracy in a socialist society before it is allowed to affiliate to the Labour Party and its CLPs. This minimum activity to include an AGM, the election of a secretary & committee, the possession of a bank account from which affiliation payments can be made and in the case of affiliation to CLP, the branch affiliating must be greater than 10 members and should be ‘locally’ defined, i.e. the SocSoc’s regional structures are not to be permitted to affiliate to CLPs.
  2. two tier affiliations should be permitted, possibly based on size with the lower tier excluded from CLP affiliation, but permitted national & regional conference representation.
  3. That CLP affiliations should be only made by local branches and that the allocation of delegates be based upon one per 25 members resident in the CLP. (Possibly plus the secretary, if a member of the CLP.)
  4. That those socialist societies, mirroring Labour’s ‘forum’ structures be disaffiliated.
  5. Phantom affiliations, i.e. those without delegates should not be permitted.


Ultra-Vires is not enough

Well , it never stops, last week, the Labour Party NEC ruled a proposed election for a new Chair of the National Policy Forum out of order as insufficient notice had been given. Some argue that it was because the new left majority expected to lose and that Ann Black would be returned to the NEC Officers Committee. The NPF meeting did not take it well; it seems there was a brou-haha but opinion be divided as to who caused it and who was the victim.

There are people arguing that it’s not against the rules to have an election with 4 days notice. I think they’re wrong … I think Chapter 15 applies.

Arguing that it’s not against the rules is a pretty low threshold of acceptable behaviour. The question to be asked is, “Is it wrong?”. The ubiquity of the argument, it’s not against the rules is the main reason that I argue that the Nolan Principles must be applied to all LP role holders and public officials. …

Brexit’s Red Lines

Last month, was it really under 30 days ago, Michael Barnier produced a slide, showing the impact of the British Government’s self-imposed Red lines on the likely end-state of the UK’s relationship with the EU.

It shows that the only option is a bespoke trade deal on the lines of the Canadian/EU one, which famously took 7 years to negotiate.  It also shows that the only other option is a No Deal Brexit. …