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