Winning a Composite Meeting

Labour Conference approaches and I am keen to ensure that no-one shares my experiences in the Education Compositing Meeting in Liverpool 2016. I published my lessons in this blog post, “Compositing” and I and a friend have made a video capturing those lessons which we hope will be useful to attendees at #lab18.

I hope you find it useful. (The above video is the YouTube version.)

One point of clarification, I am advised that members of the Composite meeting can refuse to accept the composite and insist their words remain on the order paper.

ooOOOoo

SURL: https://wp.me/p9J8FV-1Ci …

Flexibility required

So wise people have considered my “paper” on the proposed rule changes on Parliamentary selection. The advice is to obtain a flexible mandate for several reasons. The first is that we do not know what the NEC is going to do; it may propose an amendment itself, and it will certainly make recommendations and if they recommend opposition then it’s felt the motion will fall and thus unless the rules change, cannot be debated for five years. Despite the Skwawkbox’s publication of Unite’s position supporting open selection, it is felt that the Unions are more likely to support the Hastings & Rye (et al) motion which reforms and not abolishes the Trigger ballot; it requires an incumbent MP to win ⅔ of the individual members and to win ⅔ of affiliated organisations. Whatever happens, the NEC position will be critical; it will be important to be flexible but there can be no denying that there’s a lot of membership pressure to take control of this decision. …

What CLPD wants debated at Conference

There are 14 CLPD model motions. The topic matter covers Macro Economics (inc. Brexit), Climate Change, Social Policy, Immigration & teh Surveillance State and Foreign Affairs and Defence. I have made a bit.ly link to the CLPD’s version of the full text, http://bit.ly/clpdmm2018 and I have made summaries of them and added a few personal comments below/overleaf. From these comments I have made a little video.

 …

Rebuilding the Benefits system at #Lab18

The comrades in Lewisham Deptford have amended their welfare state/benefits motion.

Supporting those in need: rebuilding the welfare state

We note

  1. the 8 August ONS figures showing that improvement in life expectancy has virtually stopped.
  2. the 6 August Child Poverty Action Group report on how Universal Credit’s flaws are leading to low-income families arbitrarily losing as much as £258 a month!
  3. the July Resolution Foundation figures showing the poorest third’s incomes fell last year, even before inflation.

The situation is shameful. We must reverse the drive, accelerating since 2010, to make welfare less and less about supporting those in need and more and more stingy, punitive and coercive.

Neither Universal Credit nor the existing framework (JSA, ESA, etc) are good. We must redesign benefits in close consultation with recipients, workers and their organisations.

This must be part of a wider anti-poverty program, with a goal that by the end of our first term foodbanks disappear.

We commit to

  1. Ending the benefit freeze; uprating with inflation or earnings, whichever is higher.
  2. Reversing all cuts/reductions; increasing benefits to afford a comfortable, not minimum, income.
  3. Entitlement conditions that are straightforward, inclusive and available to all, including migrants (scrap ‘No recourse to public funds’).
  4. Paying benefits for all children and dependents.
  5. Abolishing all sanctions.
  6. Scrapping Work Capability and similar assessments.
  7. Relevant health issues being addressed using medical professionals with appropriate knowledge of individuals’ conditions and disabilities.
  8. Delivery by paid public servants via networks accessible to everyone, including provision of face-to-face support for all who need it. Reversing DWP cuts and privatisation.
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Trigger ballot reform

I have had a look at the rule change motions amending rule C5.IV.5, Selection of Westminster Parliamentary Candidates, which will be on the agenda for Labour’s Conference 18. They were submitted last year, and thus scheduled for debate this year. I have written up my thoughts in an article/document.

The critical issues are,

  1. the trigger ballot, reform or abolish
  2. the threshold for not requiring a selection,
  3. the privilege given to incumbents,
  4. the role of party units or branches in a nomination process.

By considering the issue of whether to have a trigger ballot process at all as separate from the protection given to incumbents,i.e. the threshold, I think we gain clarity. Another reason for considering them separately, is that the abolition/retention of the trigger ballot is proposed with thresholds, either having an early termination of the reselection process or for avoiding the reselection processes all together respectively.

Here is a summary of how I see it

Rachel Godfrey Wood has also written a summary of how she sees the amendments although she does not consider the West Lancashire amendment which changes the rules such that, if an incumbent loses a trigger ballot, they are not to be included in the subsequent selection. There’s a good reason for this. If the Conference Arrangements Committee rules that only one of these rule changes can be carried, then passing the West Lancs motion means that there is no change to the trigger ballot process, and it can’t be debated for another five years.

The paper also points at two other rules changes, abolishing the rule on auto-exclusion for supporting a non labour organisation, and on CLP finance, where it is proposed that the CLPs get 50% of the membership fees.

permalink: https://wp.me/p9J8FV-1AO …

Contemporary Motions

In rule 3.II.2.C, Labour’s Rules describe a contemporary motion as one

… which is not substantially addressed by reports of the NEC or NPF to Conference

CLPs & Affiliates may only submit “contemporary” motions to conference. Contemporary, as in timeliness,  is taken as an issue, that has arisen since the publication of the NPF report and more controversially that could not have been raised before. In 2016, the CAC ruled motions on austerity and the economy out of order as these had both been in existence in the spring. The words themselves permit the raising of an issue on which the NPF is silent, such as my proposed anti-surveillance motion. Authors of motions need to take these rules into account.

There is a rule change on the order paper to abolish the “contemporary” constraint and the Democracy Review is recommending the abolition of the National Policy Forum. So this could be the last time we need to worry about this stupidity. …

Labour and Surveillance (#lab18)

In case anyone wants to try and take surveillance and privacy to #lab18. Here are some words.

Investigatory Powers to be subject to Human Rights Law.

Conference notes the report in the Register on 6th August that US Senators are challenging the NSA destruction of 4 years of phone usage records as they believe that this is in order to destroy evidence of illegal collection.

Conference notes the complete absence from the NPF report on the surveillance society and the illegal investigatory powers regime introduced by the Tories in 2016.

Conference notes that the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 legalised the use of bulk powers to allow the UK intelligence services to collect all the UK phone usage and internet usage records.

Conference notes that the intelligence services have made data on UK citizens available to the USA.

Conference notes that the exact terms of the data sharing between the UK & US are unknown

Conference notes that the Investigatory Powers Act has been ruled as contrary to EU law as it contravenes the Charter of Fundamental Rights which is the EU’s commitment to the European and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Conference resolves that a Labour Government will ensure that private and public surveillance technologies will conform to laws that meet the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Conference instructs the NEC/NPF to draw up a human rights based policy for the regulation of British law enforcement authorities and their investigatory powers.

218 words …

Making Labour’s Policy 2018

And now you can read Labour’s National Policy Forum Report … available from this site, I got it from Seema Chandwani who hosts it on here blog, and publicised it on twitter.

Wonder when it’ll be published by the Labour Party. …