Welcome to Grassroots Labour
National Executive Committee 4 & 5 November 2013 by Ann Black Print E-mail
Friday, 22 November 2013

The Chair Angela Eagle welcomed members to the first meeting after conference, an opportunity to review our aims, objectives and strategies for the year ahead.

Deputy leader Harriet Harman stressed that the 2014 local and European elections were important in their own right.  Looking forward to 2015 she emphasised the key role of MPs and contrasted the difference in resources between the north-west, with 14 Westminster target seats and 45 Labour MPs, and the eastern region, with 13 targets but only two Labour MPs.  With the Scottish referendum in the autumn she argued that the NEC needed strong voices from Scotland and Wales. 

I reminded members that the Scottish and Welsh leaders can already attend, and that the NEC had previously rejected rule changes which would add Scottish and Welsh constituency representatives.  All we have to do is change our attitude.

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The Hidden Agenda behind the Collins Review Print E-mail
Monday, 04 November 2013

By Barry Gray and Peter Willsman (CLPD)

In his Interim Report on Labour’s union link (‘Building a One Nation Labour Party’), Ray Collins makes it clear that once a new affiliation system is in place, ‘we would address consequences for other structures in the party, such as the Conference’.

At the moment the union and other affiliated organisations have 50 per cent of the vote at Conference and CLPs have the other 50 per cent. When this balance of voting was put in place a strong argument was accepted that it properly represented the two wings of the federation that makes up our Party. It means both the unions and CLPs have a decisive influence over any changes to the Rule Book and over all motions carried by Conference.

The unions’ role in Conference was resented by ‘New Labour’ during the last Labour government, because it is the key to their power in our Party. Both then, and continuing now, it is a ‘project’ on Labour’s right-wing to end the unions’ influence in our Party. The main internal obstacle to this ‘project’ is that with their 50 per cent share the unions’ votes are necessary to change the Rule Book.

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Request for information Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 October 2013

Labour conference delegates: appeal for information

CAC candidatesThose who have read the Yellow Pages delegates’ briefing (produced each day at Labour conference and available here) will have read that the oversight of Labour’s conference arrangements committee (CAC) elections has this year fallen short of the “open, transparent and trusted” political practice which Ed Miliband and Iain McNicol rightly expect. Unlike in Falkirk, there is incontrovertible evidence of misconduct and machine politics, for which the responsibility lies not with trade unions but elsewhere in the party.

Evidence has already been provided to the Party’s General Secretary that one young delegate was called to a meeting with a party official in his region and, within earshot of two witnesses (one of whch was me), told him “we are supporting Heidi Alexander and Tom Blenkinsop“, the two candidates who were declared winners of that election on Tuesday morning. Further delegates have since been identified in that region that were similarly entreated by that official as well as, so far, in four other regions concerning five other officials. This is in contravention of the staff code of conduct that expressly forbids party staff from canvassing.

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Labour Conference 2013 - Daily Campaign Brieifngs Print E-mail
Friday, 27 September 2013

Below are links to the daily Campaign Briefings at Annual Conference 2013

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

 

 

 

 

 
On illegitimate interference by party staff into our internal elections Print E-mail
Monday, 14 October 2013

By Peter Willsman

ballot box
As Jon Lansman previously reported here, there is clear evidence that full time Labour party officials in most of the country (including Yorkshire, the East Midlands and the eastern region, Scotland and the South West) interfered in the elections to the conference arrangements committee (CAC) and national constitutional committee (NCC) at Labour’s conference in Brighton. It stretches credibility to think that these examples are uncoordinated.

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HOW LABOUR’S TRIGGER WORKS Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 September 2013

A CLPD BRIEFING ON THE RE-SELECTION OF SITTING LABOUR MPS

Labour’s ‘trigger’ system, part of the overall process that decides whether a sitting Member of Parliament stands again at the next general election, has now started in local constituency parties – with some already having concluded their re-selections. Re-selection of MPs, whose introduction CLPD successfully campaigned for in the 1970s to replace the automatic re-adoption of sitting MPs as candidates, provides local parties with a mechanism to hold their Labour MP to account. Whilst the current trigger mechanism is a watered down version of the mandatory re-selection CLPD initially won, it remains the principal means of making MPs democratically accountable to the Party.

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Report of the national executive committee (NEC) meeting held on 17 September 2013 Christine Shawcroft Print E-mail
Friday, 20 September 2013

The NEC before Conference is usually dominated by conference arrangements, arguing about constitutional amendments, and so on, but this meeting was overshadowed by the Collins review of party “reform”. Not that anyone’s seen it yet.

What I find hard to take is the sheer disingenuousness of those who support the proposed changes. During the debate, speaker after speaker waxed lyrical about the need to have a mass membership party, and how important it is to get working class people into the Party and selected as representatives. I don’t know anyone who would disagree with these aims, but how is getting rid of the vast majority of our affiliated members going to achieve it?

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