Plughole

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.

Labour’s Democracy Review

People in the Labour Party are beginning to wake up to the Democracy Review. A correspondent found the following documents on the Labour Party site and I have mirrored them here.

The review is being conducted in stages, and the next stage for which the call for evidence ends on the 23rd March is about local organisation and membership engagement. The third phase will be about National structures and the call for evidence closes on June 29th. I was invited to speak to one of our branches and used this slide set, which talks about its governance, its timetable and topics, and details the links to be used to submit evidence.

The Labour Party documents found for me are,

  1. Party Democracy Review, Terms of Reference v2
  2. Party Democracy Review Leaflet v3
  3. Running a consultation event in your local party

Submissions are best made by email, or via a web form hidden in the party site.

I have written previously about this here and also on my other blog, but this article is meant to be anchor for things that help others make their mind up as to what changes they want.

7/10

This, from the Guardian, by Natalie Nougayréde looks at the historic development of the Social Chapter, poses it as a beacon of hope, the focus of an argument beyond project fear.to remain. She asks why Labour’s leadership, which in my book includes the EPLP aren’t allying with the European Left in the EP to pose a new renewal agenda with hope and vision. A better Europe, if you like, better than 7/10.