The Party’s consultation document “Refounding Labour” can be downloaded here.
Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) model Motion & Draft Response below
This CLP believes that:
1. The review of the Party’s policy-making is very timely;
2. The number of motions to be considered by our Party’s Annual conference should no longer be restricted to 8 but should be increased to at least 12;
3. CLPs and affiliated organisations that submit a resolution should no longer be debarred from also submitting a rule change
4. Motions may be on any matters of concern to CLPs and affiliates and should not be ruled out of order on the grounds that they are deemed to be insufficiently ‘contemporary’ or that they could have been sent elsewhere;
5. Policy documents presented to Conference should be open to amendment and to being voted on in parts.
This CLP also believes that, in order to give members increased confidence that the policies agreed will be properly taken forward:
a) The decisions of conference should be respected by the party leadership and included, where appropriate, in our manifesto;
b) The short-listing and selection of all candidates from national to local government should be conducted by the relevant Party unit of local members without external intervention.
c) The number of seats on the party’s National Executive Committee elected by constituency members should be increased from 6 to 10, including 1 seat each chosen by constituency members in Scotland and Wales.
Conference is meant to be the sovereign body of the Party. Process and Policy are meant to come under its control but conference has been relegated into a media rally and a rubber stamp.
In 2010, one third of CLPs sent no delegates to conference. A Living, breathing Party, requires real debates with votes on key issues.
A good indicator is the lack of time given to delegates contributions.
Proposal – The Conference Arrangements Committee should ensure that at least half of conference time is given over to delegates contributions in debates on which votes are taken.
Proposal – Composite motions should be produced well in advance of conference based on members policy submissions.
Proposal – All Party conference documents should be published on Membersnet.
Between conferences the NEC is the voice of the Party.
Proposal – Over-seeing policy making should be restored to the NEC.
The composition of the NEC needs to reflect equality between individual and affiliated members.
Representation between Trades Union and CLP reps should be equalized. There are currently 12 TU reps and 6 CLP reps.
Proposal – The NEC should be expanded allowing for the election of 12 CLP reps. and the current bar on members of the General Council of the TUC should be lifted.
Proposal – All NEC papers should be published on Membersnet.
NATIONAL POLICY FORUM
There is widespread cynicism about the NPF, but in spite of this there could be a key role for a representative body which meets between conferences away from the media gaze.
A rolling policy programme should be maintained, updated and regularly published as soon as possible.
To ensure proper conference debates, any proposals should contain options and not be presented on a take it or leave it basis. Before decisions are reached on final documents more time must be scheduled to avoid the Warwick style chaos of the past. The NPF needs to be properly resourced to support members in the regions and to compensate those for loss of earnings and associated expenses such as child care.
Proposal – the NPF’s programme should be planned not by the Joint Policy Committee but by the NEC.
Proposal – Attendance at NPF has been sporadic. Minutes and records of attendance should be published of all NPF meetings.
Proposal – Short money should be directed to support members’ regional activities and encourage widest possible engagement of all NPF reps.
There is no strong argument for fundamental change but the idea that non-members should somehow be included should be rejected. Non-membership should not be rewarded at the expense of members. All sections of the Party should be included.
THE PARTY AND MEMBERS RIGHTS
Party management has attracted much criticised in recent years. Favoured candidates have been given preferential access to databases and parachuted into safe Labour seats. Postal votes have been abused and some selections left open to allegations of sabotage and fraud. Party officers have been accused of interfering in process.
The operation of the Party must be beyond reproach.
Proposal – Members’ rights to select candidates should be paramount. The role of officers should be to protect these rights and a clear line of officials’ accountability to the NEC established.
Proposal – Members should have the right to select all candidates prior to election. This must include the selection and re-selection of Parliamentary candidates.
Proposal – Produce a charter of member’s rights. Within this Party officials would observe a code similar to that of the civil service.
Finally more training needs to be provided to encourage working class candidates to come forward. Parliament is still seen as being the preserve of the elite. This must change.