Welcome to Grassroots Labour
National Policy Forum, Wrexham, 24 June 2011 Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 July 2011

The Chair Peter Hain welcomed members to Labour Wales, where student fees remain low and the NHS is safe from privatisation, and expressed solidarity with the public service unions fighting for justice.  He reported that Refounding Labour had received 125 submissions from constituencies, 35 from affiliates and groups, and 2,660 individual contributions through the website.  The party’s reaction to the splits and losses of the 1980s may have prevented blood on the conference floor, but at the cost of over-centralisation and shutting out the grassroots.  The task now was to re-establish the original inclusive, interactive vision.  An audit trail should let members see what happens to their views, currently disappearing without trace, and genuine differences should again be debated at conference.

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National Executive Committee, 17 May 2011 Print E-mail
Monday, 13 June 2011
After the Scottish election defeat, general secretary Ray Collins said that Jim Murphy MP and Sarah Boyack MSP would chair a review of Labour in Scotland, bringing together all stakeholders to develop a new organisational and political framework.  Terms of reference had been agreed with the Scottish executive committee and were endorsed by the NEC.  I and others expressed concern that members only heard about the review through the media, and after Ed Miliband announced it in London.  The process had to be led and owned by the Scottish grassroots, and I am grateful to all who sent me feedback on the election and its aftermath, either directly or through their vice-chair Victoria Jamieson.
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Submit rule change proposals from your CLP by 24 June Print E-mail
Friday, 27 May 2011

CLPD has circulated some suggested rule changes your CLP might wish to consider.

Please see them below.

 

Suggested rule change
Four plus four should equal eight


The Labour Party Rule Book 2011 (page 21), Section B, Chapter 3 Party Conference, 3C (Procedural rules for Party Conference), Conference Rule 2 – agenda, Clause 2C reads as follows:

‘All affiliated organisations and CLPs may submit one contemporary motion which is not substantially addressed by reports of the NEC or NPF to Conference. The CAC shall determine whether the motions meet these criteria and submit all motions received to a priorities ballot at the start of conference. The ballot will be divided into two sections. One section for CLPs and one section for trade unions and other affiliated organisations. At least the four priorities selected by CLPs will be time-tabled for debate, as will at least the first four priorities selected by Trade Unions and other affiliated organisations. Motions must be in writing, on one subject only and in ten words or less and may be supported by an explanation of why the motion should be prioritised. Alternatively, a constitutional amendment on one subject only may be submitted in writing. Contemporary motions and constitutional amendments must be received by the General Secretary at the offices of the party by the closing date determined by the NEC.’


Amendment
Replace the fifth sentence which reads ‘At least the four priorities selected by CLPs will be time-tabled for debate, as will at least the first four priorities selected by Trade Unions and other affiliated organisations’ with the following:
‘At least the first four priorities selected by Trade Unions and other affiliated organisations will be time-tabled for debate, as will at least the first four priorities (excluding those selected by the Trade Unions and other affiliated organisations) selected by CLPs

 
Supporting Arguments
Partnership in Power structures introduced in 1997 limited members’ direct input into conference to only four subjects. In practice these were chosen by the unions. Thanks mainly to union dissatisfaction with the way conference was being ‘managed’, the 2003 conference passed a rule change which provided for four subjects also to be chosen by the CLPs. But when it came to voting for priorities, CLP delegates were often pressurised first by ministers in ‘briefing’ sessions, then by party officials, that they should vote for the priorities chosen by the unions because ‘there would not be time to debate more than four subjects’. The result has been that, in most years since, only one additional subject has been debated. The New Labour plan to avoid debate and the possibility of the platform’s defeat on controversial subjects was therefore largely achieved. This rule change would ensure that eight subjects are debated every year, four chosen by the trade unions and four additional subjects chosen by the CLPs. This would increase the role of CLPs and the influence of annual conference, the party’s sovereign body. The trade unions are generally very supportive of this proposal.

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Nominate the Centre-Left Candidates for Labour Party internal elections 2011 Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 March 2011

Centre-Left supported candidates have put their names forward for important elections taking place this year within the party.

Standing for the Conference Arrangements Committee, the body which decides the agenda of party conference, are:

Gary Heather (Islington North CLP)
and Catherine Donovan (Gateshead CLP)

Standing for the National Constitutional Committee is:

Mark James (Greenwich and Woolwich Labour Party)

Nominations for all candidates are needed to be made by 24 June. All CLPs may nominate and CLP Secretaries have been notified how to nominate.

Leaflets supporting these candidates can be downloaded:

The CAC leaflet is available at http://www.leftfutures.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/CAC-leaflet.pdf

and NCC leaflet is at http://www.leftfutures.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/NCC-leaflet.pdf

 
CLPD’s Motion & Draft Response on Refounding Labour Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 June 2011

The Party’s consultation document “Refounding Labour” can be downloaded here

Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) model Motion & Draft Response below

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National Executive Committee, 29 March 2011 Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 April 2011
 After congratulating everyone involved with Saturday’s march, the NEC moved on to Labour’s various reviews.  A stormy meeting of the joint policy committee (JPC) had criticised Liam Byrne for giving a LibDem councillor a prominent role in rethinking Labour policies.  The NEC agreed emphatically, though Peter Hain argued for reaching out to LibDems who opposed the Tory coalition.  Around 65,000 people had participated in Fresh Ideas public consultations, with 2,000 at the final inspiring event in Nottingham. 
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National Executive Committee, 15 February 2011 Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 March 2011

NEC members were joined by colleagues from the joint policy committee, the conference arrangements committee and the national constitutional committee for an informal discussion with Peter Hain on his party reform project.  He explained that Liam Byrne was in charge of policy development, with shadow cabinet working groups feeding into the policy commissions and leading up to a national policy forum meeting, provisionally on 25 June 2011.  Members were disturbed by reports that LibDems were playing a key role in influencing policy, and he promised to pass this message on to Liam Byrne.

In addition to the review of Partnership in Power, Ed Miliband had asked Peter Hain to look at party organisation at every level, with nothing ruled in or out.  This was an opportunity to consider afresh whether a culture and structures rooted in the early 20th century were still fit for purpose.  He hoped that local parties would discuss the issues in May, after the elections, and respond by the second week of June.  Any rule changes would be considered by the NEC in July for this year’s conference.  He agreed to send the timetable to constituencies so that they can plan ahead.

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