And at the end

A final word about #lab18. We’ve finally got a form of accountability over our MPs through the reformed trigger ballot, we may have some unity over Brexit and have put down a marker that the Labour Party still thinks that remain might be the best anwer given the current state of negotiations and the failure to find an answer to the Irish border issue. Perhaps most importantly Corbyn’s speech as a great platform for the future, there are significant policy promises and there were non of the regrets I had on leaving the hall after one of Ed Miliband’s speeches; it just goes to show what can be done when we put our mind to it without the distractions of an unnecessary Leadership campaign.

Otherwise, you can see what I said, didn’t say and thought using the tag #lab18, or select a day view for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; the CLPD’s yellow pages can be viewed using the tag #yellowpages, which as also available as an xml feed,

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Here is the Labour Party’s You Tube play list;

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I.T. implications

In my many articles on Labour’s Democracy Review, and in a preview I talk about the Information Technology implications of Labour’s coming rule changes. I have extracted the following quote from my article, The denoument, as I’d like it to be easier to find,

In the NEC rule changes as presented to Conference the NEC talks about using IT to maximise participation. All constituency documents, are to be available to all members via a clockwork platform, sorry, I made it up, an electronic platform, “provided by the Party”; I hope that’s the national party as I have thought hard about this and creating a shared disk is not hard, managing the Access Control List (ACL) is, particularly if your membership and volatility is large.

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The fringe & TWT

I was a delegate this year, and so attendance at even the official fringe meetings was not easy, the conference is a very full day. The one thing I have observed is that the reality is that “The World Transformed” creates an additional paywall on attending the fringe and this year they were poor at advertising their events, although I did not buy a ticket and so may not have been as well informed as I might. I am not sure this is truly the way to go, Conference is expensive enough as it is and you’ll know from much of my writing that charging for material which can be distributed for free is both morally & economically wrong, but also restricts the power of your message.

The fact is that TWT competes with the Labour Fringe, although it might be much cheaper to organise inside TWT if you get permission.

Others have made pointed comments about their views on the relevance of some sessions to a socialist party. …

Reference back

Every reference back on the NPF report was carried although with the new majority on the NPF this may change but the key thing is that no notice is required! The platform and front bench can be taken by surprise. I see more restrictions on this being written into the new Conference Standing orders. …

Point of order

The selection of speakers at #lab18 is somewhat opaque. Basically the chair points at people. In previous years delegates have tried to attract attention by standing and waving distinctive items such as an inflatable dragon and in one case a baby. This year such behavior was prohibited but the view from the platform is not good. Many people wanted to speak yesterday and the lack of transparency began to frustrate delegates and a number of spurious points of order were raised.

Points of order must be taken immediately, unless a count is in progress it seems.

No one has a right to either speak or expect to speak. To use a point of order to jump the queue is disrespectful of everyone else in the room. Points of order should be about the rules, and should be scarce. They can be timed as well; some do not need to be moved in the middle of debates. However as people get frustrated they will look at means of jumping the queue. Points of Order are one way of doing this and moving reference back on the NPF report is another such trick although you only get a minute.

Some delegates seem to think that there’s a technology solution. How sweet!

If elected to return, I shall be bringing my keffiyeh as selected speakers are usually identified by an item of clothing; it seems blue hoodies are not distinctive enough. …

Palestine

For the first time, the Labour Party Conference debated Palestine, this was the moving speech.

I hope next time he’s called to order by a small women, he remembers, an army won’t be sent, a small female steward will ask him to keep to the rules.

The motion’s text is below and in CAC Report 3,

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Conference notes

The Guardian of (31 August) reporting the Trump administration’s confirmation of funding cuts to UNRWA, which provides emergency assistance and basic provisions to Palestinian victims of the Nakba of 1948, when the majority of Palestinian people were forcibly displaced from their homes.

As UNRWA’s largest donor, this US decision is widely understood (Guardian 31 August) as the means to “unilaterally sweep aside” one party to the conflict, get rid of the “main sticking point”: the international rights of the Palestinian people who are now refugees.

Britain’s direct role in the terrible fate of the Palestinian people, who still seek their internationally protected rights to self-determination, and to return.

That UNRWA, established by UN General Assembly resolution 304 of 1949, derives its mandate directly from UN member states to serve Palestinian refugees until their rights are addressed, in a peace process underpinned by the principles of international law.

For several months, thousands of Palestinians have engaged in mass and overwhelmingly non-violent protests in the Gaza Strip.

On Friday the 10th August a volunteer medic Abdallah al-Qatati was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper while on duty during Great March of Return On Friday 17th August another medic Karim Ahmad Ali Fatayer, 28, was fatally shot in the head when Israeli soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters near the boundary fence. More than 100 others were shot with live ammunition that day on Friday.

The Government of Israel has responded to the protesters with heavy repression.165 Palestinians have been killed. Of these, 122 were killed in protests, including 21 children, two journalists, four paramedics, and three people with disability. Another 8,875 people were injured, including 1,611 children, 399 women, 90 paramedics, and 82 journalists; those injured, 4,952 people were hit by live fire.

Conference condemns

This aggressive attempt to rewrite history, and erase the victims of the 1948 war, who were expelled or fled from their homes in Palestine

Conference supports

Developing solidarity with Palestinian refugees, especially young refugees, and to explore developing links with UNRWA schools, its training centres, and its local staff serving across the Middle East

Conference urges

The British government to increase its level of annual assessed contributions to UNRWA, providing much needed reassurance and stability to Palestinian refugees, and to encourage other member states to do the same.

This conference resolves to call for

an independent international investigation into Israel’s use of force against Palestinian demonstrators; a freeze of UK Government arms sales to Israel; and an immediate unconditional end to the illegal blockade and closure of Gaza. …