Local Leadership

It will come as no surprise that I am talking about who should stand for office in Lewisham Deptford CLP. The Labour Party publishes a series of useful guides and job descriptions for CLP & Branch Officers on its members site, membersnet, which can/must now be accessed via the single sign on site, my Labour. Having a look at these might help some comrades understand if they have the both the time and recognise that they have the skills required from their everyday life. I am consistently shocked at how much personal admin the paperless world of today requires when dealing with the utility companies, banks and insurance companies. We all  have useful skills in this area.

Local Leadership

History

I picked up this morning’s Yellow Pages and spied an article by Hassan Ahmed, the original Vice Chair of Labour’s Black Sections, an unofficial organisation which was a precursor to Labour’s BAME organisations. Hassan was suspended and then expelled for organising a BAME section; he was at the time a city Councillor in Nottingham. Fortunately, although in his words reluctantly, he took the Labour Party to court and won. They had to pay £100,000 in court fee and that was in 1994. He finishes the article,

… Those were the bad old days. Under Jeremy’s enlightened leadership the mistakes of the past will not be repeated.

Let’s hope he’s right!

History

Unity

This was written by a conference attendee and shared to me by a friend, I can’t find it on the web, and so can’t link to it. It looks like it was ublished on Wednesday a.m. and I think it reflects Conference quite well.

Wednesday greetings to all in the 5.38 club…well the answer to yesterday’s question is that Tom Watson mentioned Jeremy eleven times in his speech.Anyone who guessed correctly contact Tom who has offered to share his Glastonbury tent next year.

The standing ovation for Watson shows again that more than half the Conference are attending for the first time,possibly are unaware of Watson’s lifelong history as a right wing fixer ,and are desperate to show the media we are united.The same delegates gave an even bigger ovation to Naomi Klein’s guest speech which ripped into Trump and ended with her declaring that the Labour Party is inspiring socialists around the world .

My prize for speech of the day went to Portia from Kensington CLP who movingly roll called friends she had lost at Grenfell and simply told Conference the Tories were responsible and had to go.

Comrades angry at the suspension and expulsion of socialists from the Party forced a card vote when the NEC refused to accept the motion for discussion ,CLPs voted (63%) to refer this back but were defeated by trade union votes .Still the excellent chair Claudia Webbe who is on the Party review promised that this issue and another of Labour Council groups  being held to account by local members would be reported on by the review .

The former MP rebels against Corbyn were reduced to watching from the sidelines ..with one or two MPs disgracefully behaving badly to stewards who rightly did not let them into the delegate zone.The right wing,despite the bitter daily briefing sheets from Labour First,were rarely seen on the rostrum.They have not gone away but there was much speculation that some may split from the Party.

Encouragingly the claim of the right wing Jewish Labour Movement to speak for Jewish Party members has been comprehensively challenged by the new Jewish Voices for Labour and several delegates spoke passionately that the ‘weaponising ‘ of anti- semitism by the JLM has to stop .Claims will no doubt continue but Conference made clear ,supporting the oppressed Palestinians and describing Israel as an apartheid state are legitimate points and are not anti-Semitic.

On the fringe events John McDonnell made the key point that trade union members must work for simultaneous strike action against the pay cap as a means to challenge the Tories and he called on every socialist to campaign for that and join the picket lines .

Conference has throbbed with the passion of new delegates and the overwhelming support for Jeremy and John.Greetings to the Edinburgh delegates I met last night who assured me the Blairite Sarwar will be defeated in the Scottish leadership election ,I hope that is right for a Corbyn supporter leading the Scottish Labour Party is a nightmare of the SNP.

A great week of cementing a socialist hold on the Party and a very strong belief the Tories are there for the taking

Unity

ROFLMAO

I went to Stand Up for Labour tonight, who need money; it was very funny and very right on. Jim Jefferies, not performing, in his stand-up routine on abstinence uses the phrase “a hint of a boo”. Ian Stern, who is very funny, he made me laugh, with the help of my neighbour who was laughing throughout, raised a “hint of a boo” by mentioning Progress. He raised a cheer when slagging off Brexit. There were a couple of hundred people present. The Labour Party’s membership, its new membership, opposes Brexit, and so do the majority of its voters. The old left are playing with fire.

ROFLMAO

Officer Class

Some comrades, mainly it would seem from Brighton, where suspensions and expulsions are still in place protested about McNicol’s continued employment calling on him to resign.

mcnicol must go

Joanna Baxter, an ex member of the NEC, raised a point of order complaining that it was abusing staff.


He isn’t staff, he is an Officer of the Party and holds office “at the satisfaction of the NEC and Conference”. This is an important distinction. There’s no recall, no means of subjecting him to the rules and there’s no term limit.

Officer Class

Margin Call

Just re-seen Margin Call. What a fabulous film. Wll I say that, it took a second watching to come to that conclusion. It opens with an HR raid on a Bank’s trading floor, and of course they take their phones. It’s one reason why I have two. I don’t depend on my employer to phone a cab home.

It is a fabulous, well informed script, possible except their concentration on current packages and not the severance packages, although the first guy out’s package seems not so generous, although he gets to keep his options. His boss, gets offered a lot more, as do the Traders that perform the fire sale.

There’s a lot of paper and notebooks. The boardroom scene has some fabulous acting. The economics is shite, if you want a film that explains it, see the Big Short or Rogue Trader.

Margin Call

Compositing

Labour Conference starts on Saturday! I thought I’d document my experience and lessons from the compositing meeting that I attended last year. I was badly stitched up last year and here are some lessons.

The motions to be included in the composite motion will be issued in a CAC report. Read them all, it will be a clue as to the dividing lines between the organisations. Some of them will be identical.

Work out who’s on your side and then make sure they’re represented by someone who cares. In my meeting last year, delegates were voting to exclude words in their own motion.

Take some words into the meeting, the front bench will. In our case, they used five words from our motion, one of which was “the”. Once in the meeting its too late to recover if they propose egregious surgery.

Speaking rights are valuable; you may be able to swap words for speaking rights, it was tried in our meeting but it’s not easy; you can only buy one vote in this way. (Two actually since there’s mover and seconder).

Understand the meeting procedure, Citrine is no help. The Chair, a member of the Conference Arrangements Committee, wasted time, took no amendment motions to re include excluded words and didn;t ask for votes against, since he knew that the majority of the meeting had voted in favour.

The Chair is not neutral, you need to understand their agenda and the new CAC doesn’t take over ’till the end of Conference.

However, and I wish I had known this last year, the meeting can agree to put more than one motion through. You might need to be a large Trade Union to get away with it but at least one of last year’s meetings put through two motions.

Compositing