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CLPD AGM 2012 discusses trade unions Print E-mail
Friday, 24 February 2012

The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD), formed in 1973 by a group of rank-and-file activists, held its Annual General Meeting last Saturday at Conway Hall in central London.

A report of the CLPD AGM can be read here

Jim Kennedy's speech on the trade union link can be found here

 

 
Parliamentary Selections – Drop the Pilot Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 February 2012

By Peter Willsman, Secretary CLPD

Regular visitors to Left Futures will be aware that the Party is piloting a revised and truncated procedure for the selection of Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs). This is currently being operated in 26 seats identified by the NEC as ‘early bird’ marginals. The NEC’s Organisation Committee has given an undertaking to properly review the Pilot. A thorough review is vital because the Pilot has major deficiencies, which I will come to in a moment.

There has already been disquiet amongst Party members in several of the ‘early bird’ CLPs. The Pilot was not flagged up in the Refounding Labour documents, but it seems that it is being swept up under that general heading. Indeed, senior party officials took advantage of the cover provided by the rule change on Refounding Labour to illegitimately delete the whole of the procedure for selection PPCs from the Rule Book. Clearly certain officials have already made up their minds about what will happen.

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National Executive Committee Update, December 2011 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Several subcommittees and working groups have met since the NEC awayday in November, and some notes are below.

Refounding Labour to Win

Peter Hain chaired the first meeting of the implementation group, and emphasised the importance of moving fast on registered supporters. Unless we reached 50,000 by conference 2012, the project would be seen as a fuss about nothing. Over 500 had already signed up through the national website, and tick-boxes will be included on leaflets for the NHS and other campaigns, with more names collected through petitions and street stalls. Peter would reassure MPs who keep lists of local helpers but do not want them swamped with national mailings and requests for money. Supporters must be on the electoral register, and their entitlement to vote for the party leader will be formally checked just before an election. We also need to recruit and retain paying members, and the winter challenge sent to all constituencies, with prizes including a visit from Ed Miliband and an iPad 2, reinforces this message.

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National Executive Committee, September 2011 Print E-mail
Monday, 10 October 2011
NEC Meeting, Tuesday 20 September 2011

The NEC opened by expressing sympathy for the families of the miners who died in Neath, and Peter Hain reported that contributions to the appeal fund had reached £60,000 within hours.

This was the last regular meeting before conference, and Ed Miliband stressed that the focus must be outward, standing up for hardworking people under attack by the government. Big changes were needed in how the economy runs and in easing the pain of the deficit. The Tories showed during the 2007/08 crisis and since that they would never take on the banks or other vested interests

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National Executive Committee, 24 January 2012 Print E-mail
Sunday, 05 February 2012

Peter Hain, Chair of the national policy forum, gave a report. He circulated a list of shadow cabinet review groups, though these had not been updated since the reshuffle and it was still not clear how to engage with them. A shining exception is international development, where Ivan Lewis has written:

“Following my appointment as shadow secretary of state I have been contacted by many grassroots Labour members across the country who passionately believe as we do that Labour should continue to vigorously fight for the rights of those living in poverty across the world.”

He invites people to sign up for their newsletter at http://fresh-ideas.org.uk/international-development or by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Hopefully others will follow his initiative.

The policy-making cycle would start in earnest after conference 2012, following the review of Partnership into Power. Several of us again pointed out that in two years the NPF has held only two rushed one-day meetings. Conference calls and e-mails are useful, but not a substitute for direct dialogue. No dates have yet been set for 2012, and I wondered if the party could afford the NPF in any meaningful form. The latest joint policy committee was again poorly attended. NEC members, particularly the new trade union contingent, suggested that consultation documents should be open to formal amendment, and asked where final authority lay: with the NPF, the JPC, the NEC, conference, or elsewhere?

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National Executive Committee, 1 November 2011 Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 November 2011

The meeting after conference is always a marathon, reviewing the state of the party and planning the year ahead. First up was Tom Watson, deputy party Chair and campaign co-ordinator, praised for his tactics in the famous Hodge Hill by-election. Tom saw his role as mobilising members, consulting on policy and raising funds. At my suggestion he included a working return address in his latest e-mail, and had already replied to 500 messages. I said again that members want doorstep ammunition, visible leadership and rapid rebuttal of Tory lies. Others added hope in tough times: pensioners are losing part of their winter fuel allowance, the council tax freeze will cost more jobs, youth unemployment is at record levels and Labour cannot be neutral as public service workers defend their modest pensions.

The critical battle-grounds next year will be London, with the mayoral and assembly elections, and Scotland, where good council results would help to derail the independence bandwagon. Two weeks earlier the NEC’s organisation committee agreed to devolve many powers to the Scottish party, and authorised local organisation around Scottish rather than Westminster constituencies. This is the clear will of Scottish members, and I have asked only that the NEC is kept informed of developments.

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Conference 2011 Shenanigans Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 September 2011

Shenanigans
Sunday at a Regional Briefing, delegates were treated to another dose of ‘liaison’ or the dodgy and illegitimate practice of telling delegates how to vote. The Regional Director started off by advising support for Refounding Labour and the rushed omnibus rule changes that went with it. Then a Peer, no less, told delegates which subjects to support in the priorities ballot and, yes, you’ve guessed it, they were the four selected by the Unions, which of course were automatically on the agenda. For CLPs to vote for these would be a waste of a vote. Surprise, surprise, the platform failed to explain this very pertinent point. Opposition to the blatant steer was made very unwelcome by the officials, who seem to have been closely watching the dissidents ever since.

27 September 2011
 
 

Conference session Chairs – political bias?
Tight elections for the six CLP seats on the NEC are due in 2012. Surprise, surprise: the sole CLP representative whose profile is being boosted by chairing a Conference session is the very one who only just scraped onto the NEC from the right-wing slate last time. Conference has the right to expect the selection of chairs to be non-partisan. Centre-left NEC members from the alternative slate should also be chairing Conference. They all have larger mandates from the membership than Luke Akehurst, who is well known for his strident support for the invasion of Iraq and is allegedly the joint secretary of the hard-right (and shadowy) organisation, Labour First. The latter organisation puts together the right-wing slate. Luke Akehurst controversially opposes party officials acting in a politically neutral way. He believes they ‘should give the left a kicking’. Unfortunately some officials seem to agree with this.

28 September 2011
 
 

More Shenanigans
Yesterday morning (Weds 28th) we were told by the platform that our Party officials are very trustworthy and would never depart from their conditions of employment . These lay down that paid officials must always act as impartial party servants. Almost at that very moment there was a vote to accept the CAC report. Of course only accredited delegates have the right to vote. But in at least one region the employed regional official sitting at the end of the row put his hand up to support the platform and vote in favour of the CAC Report.

29 September 2011


Reproduced from Campaign Briefing - Published daily at Labour Party Conference and on line at www.clpd.org.uk
 

 

 

 
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