Competent Business

Competent Business

I hope I get my act together and do the reading or writing for something on ‘shortages’, Citizens take over Europe‘, economics, immigration, union democracy or UK defence policy. But meanwhile here’s a piece on the Labour Party rules and competent business.

I was asked, but not personally, and I paraphrase, “Are motions on the current round of proscriptions and auto-exclusions ‘competent business’ for CLPs?”

I have not read the motions in question and it’s possible to write one that is not competent.

I think that arguing that the proscription process, the criteria defining ‘support’, the members of the list of proscribed organisations, their swapping the disciplinary route from C6/NCC to 2.I.4.B, their prosecution for events that took place before the proscriptions decision, their failure to notify members of the change of rules are wrong, is legitimate business. (You can probably add to this list.)

I think there is an argument that auto-exclusion under Rule 2.I.4.B is not a disciplinary process.

Formby’s ban on discussing disciplinary cases was based the powers in 1.VIII.3.A.iv & 6.I.1.D both of which state that the decisions of the NEC or NCC shall be final but only if the process defined by those rules is engaged. As should be obvious, the decision to auto-exclude means that the NEC & NCC do not take decisions and so these protections for the decisions no longer apply. 2.I.4.B does not provide the “finality” protection to the decision. I would also argue that switching a prosecution track from one route to another is contrary to natural justice as is backdating the date of the events leading to prosecution.

Overall the prohibitions cover individual disciplinary cases, because they belong to other bodies, challenging the EHRC report, challenging legal settlements associated with court supervised apologies, and there’s a form of words stating that CLP leaderships have a duty to “… [create] an open and welcoming environment for people of all communities and backgrounds”. ( I need to find a reference for this last bit, and there is a more explicit guidance as to meaning of this last prohibition but it’s not on the internet nor afaik on the LP’s web site.)

To answer the author’s question, CLP leaderships will get into trouble for ignoring region or GLU advice, or acting in bad faith. If in doubt ask them, but bear in mind your members right to write and move a motion, it’s protected by their rights to freedom of speech and doubly so if the motion is proposed as conference motion.  …

Right to a fair trial

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For reasons, which to my friends will will be obvious, I feel the need to post the text of Article 6 of European Convention on Human Rights.

ECHR Article Six

  1. a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgment shall be pronounced publicly but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interest of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.
  2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law.
  3. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:
    • a.  to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;
    • b.  to have adequate time and the facilities for the preparation of his defence;
    • c.  to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;
    • d.  to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
    • e.  to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.
 …

Afghan Refugees II

I need to watch the Parliamentary debate on Afghanistan yesterday, but I have been busy helping JCWI (Joint Committee for the Welfare of Immigrants) and Another Europe is Possible in developing their responses.  I wrote something on my blog, focused on refugee assistance, although I called for the Govt. to suspend and rethink the Borders Bill. Here, overleaf, are some links and tweets suggesting actions that can be taken, if only retweeting or sharing; also statements from Lewisham Council and Labour Councils ....

Afghanistan, and now?

Afghanistan, and now?

Afghanistan is now dominated and controlled by the Taliban. This has happened a week after the US withdrawal. Joe Biden announces that the mission was never about “state building’;  let’s hope the people of the NATO nations learn that NATO can never act as such a force, and that ‘liberal interventionism’ is recognised as the oxymoron it truly is.

The pictures of those seeking to leave Kabul are heart rending and I for one feel impotent and partly guilty at the same time.

We owe a duty to the people of Afghanistan that want a better life and the first thing to do is consider our national refugee policy and how we welcome them. First we need to let them in, and second to stop sending them back.

We need to welcome them, and ensure that they can live, love and learn. This will involve changing our approach to a number of immigration policy issues.

Priti Patel’s Borders Bill, which arguably breaks international law on the rights of refugees, must be suspended, and the Immigration Act 2014 needs, at the least, major revision. This isn’t a debate on quotas or points and the hostile environment makes it impossible for immigrants to live; we should be proud that refugees want to come here. I’d add that some of my immigrant members are shocked at the injustice they face at work and the lack of remedy. Britain was meant to be famous for fair play.

I’ll leave the foreign policy lessons for another time. …

On proscriptions

Before the NEC meeting at which it agreed to proscribe four organisations, a group of their members issued a statement.

 …

Tyranny

Tyranny

The Labour Party only has three rules.

C1.X.5 which say the NEC has final interpretation of the rules

C1.VIII.3.A which says the NEC can do what it wants to enforce the rules

C1.VII.1.C.ii which says the GS can assume delegated powers from the NEC and pass them on.

This is Tyranny. …

Labour’s new disciplinary processes

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An article by Martin Thomas, based on an interview by me on Labour’s response to the EHRC report and new disciplinary processes. I say, an interesting use of the word independent, and a destruction of the principle of an independent appeal. The investment of yet more powers in a clearly factional and incompetent General Secretary is also in my opinion a mistake. See also Labour and antisemitism, some thoughts which has stood the test of time well. …

Labour’s lost millions?

But this is unfortunate timing … As the FT reports on the Tories foreign funding, FT reports on the Tories billionaire foreign funding (£), and the Guardian reports on Labour’s righteous attack where Annaliese Dodds is put up to make this point on the day that the Times, runs the story (£) , another unfortunate leak, for which we will have no leak enquiry, that Labour is doing the same.

This is a multi-million pound problem, rich donors cannot solve this problem, even if was desirable. Labour needs £2.7m per month to cover its running costs. Sorry about the paywalled articles. …

Labour’s money, where’s it gone?

Labour’s money, where’s it gone?

The Labour Party has launched a redundancy programme which may or may not be linked with plans to consolidate English based staff into three English hubs. It’s doing this because it’s short of money reportedly down to one month’s reserves. In Dec 2019, it had reserves of £16 million. How did it move from the richest party in the country to this? The short answer is that it’s lost a lot of members and lost a lot of “Short” money. The rest of this blog article looks at why it's now short of money.