The platform introduced a new process; points of order need to be justified at the speakers desk, before being allowed to put to conference and the chair. I can understand that; some people are quite irresponsible in the points of order they make, however the rules say,

Point of order – Any delegate may raise a legitimate point of order during a debate. Any such point of order shall be heard at the conclusion of the current speech.

The Chair shall retain the power to rule what is and is not a legitimate point of order, and to instruct a delegate to end an illegitimate point of order.

A point of order will be ruled illegitimate if it does not immediately and directly identify which of these standing orders is in question.

Labour’s Rule Book A9.I.4.C

i.e. the Chair determines if a Point of Order is legitimate not an employee of the party, not even the GS. The power to raise a point of order is an important part of the power relationship between the floor and the platform.

The fact is they aren’t very good; they allowed one point of order on ‘the last speaker was talking rubbish’ and two on ‘the chair is not calling people like me’. They denied me a point of order on the conduct of card vote 13, and they also denied a point of order to a delegate who wanted to remind the chair that delegates have been instructed that they can only indicate they wish to speak if seated and to raising their empty hand. The ‘must be seated rule’ is an accessibility issue and people used to wave the most ridiculous of things, including an inflatable red dragon and in one case their baby. The third point in the rule is in my mind sufficient protection against abuse.

On speaker selection, there is no perfect way, there are more people that want to speak than there are slots and the debate is improved if recognised experts such as TU speakers, or in 2018, Richard Corbett, the leader of the EPLP, and even PPCs. However, in 2018 and I believe 2021, the conference provided accessibility stewards, with uniform tee shirts and great big signs to stand beside disabled speakers who wished to speak. This wasn’t done this year. I have no doubt that more can be done to ensure that, “… speakers are a fair representation of Annual Conference, and that there shall be no discrimination on the grounds of protected personal characteristics.” A9.I.4.E.ii

On points of order
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