Truth

A couple of days ago, I posted the critical facts about the Lewisham Deptford CLP AGM. The Left won the majority of branches and all the forums. The incumbent Secretary negotiated changes in the results with two branches and successfully asked region to rule out the largest branch delegation and replace it with the previous years, which would have had an effect of switching 25 votes from left to right. Such a ruling is clearly against the rules.  Additionally there appear to be irregularities in the management and acceptance of affiliates by the officers of the CLP.

Truth

Labour’s Democracy Review

When Jeremy Corbyn announced that he was planning an NEC away day to review Labour’s rules, I made some notes on my other blog, which I have updated via comments, I plan to work them into a submission and submit them it’s successor and hope others will support them. The other blog has comments disabled after 7 days, so if you have something to add, please comment here.

Submissions are best made by email, or via a web form hidden in the party site.

Labour’s Democracy Review

Scope

Labour’s Rules, yes my life is a bit obsessive, has a section called Scope of Rules, Ch 1.X. This states that the Rules apply to all party units and limits the NEC’s powers to vary the rules. They may not vary the aims and objectives, conditions of membership (inc. affiliates), selection procedures, or change the relationship between CLPs and the Party.

It permits local rules, and defines the NEC’s power of interpretation. It does not require the rules to be published to all members. 😣

Scope

Mandate

This is becoming a rules compendium, I really should build a rules wiki.

Here’s a rule from Conference 2016

Chapter 13 Clause II 2. A Aims and Values

NEW CLAUSE v. Members of the Labour group in administration must comply with the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and subsequent revisions and shall not vote against or abstain on a vote in full Council to set a legal budget proposed by the administration. Members of the Labour Group shall not support any proposal to set an illegal budget. Any councillor who votes against or abstains on a Labour group policy decision in this matter may face disciplinary action.

What’s the penalty? This is worse in a Mayor led cabinet, because of the Mayor’s relationship with the budget, which can only be overturned by a ⅔ majority. Much then depends on the Group’s rules and transparency.

Mandate

Toxic Combinations

I have written a piece about Segregation of Duties and Toxic Combinations on my linkedin blog. The bulk of the article talks about how to organise staff roles and responsibilities to meet the standard admin/developer segregation of duties rules in IT organisations but it also talks about the need to apply segregation of duties in the justice system. I say a bit more here and comment on lessons for the Labour Party.

In the world of police and justice, the need for a segregation of duties has been long understood. It is known that an uncontrolled police force is the mark of a totalitarian society. In most democracies, the police investigate a crime identifying witnesses and evidence, independent prosecutors take the decision to prosecute, and courts hear the case with the role of Judge who issues penalties, and jury who assess the facts and determine guilt being an additional separation of duties. Measures are taken to eliminate conflicts of interest by having judges step down if there is a conflict of interest, for instance if they are a participant in the case as either complainant/defendent or a witness, and to ensure that crimes committed within each of these roles cannot be covered up. Whether the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the Bar Association, the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman or their international equivalents are enough is a question for debate, but their existence is a crucial part of the defence of justice.

In the febrile atmosphere of the Labour Party today, the lack of control over the General Secretary and his staff together with the failure to adopt a modern segregation of duties, means the General Secretary acts as investigator, and prosecutor. He is also the employing manager of the Regional Directors who often also act as Judge & Jury. This growing and serious problem is, in many cases, compounded by a lack of grievance and whistle-blower processes. The aggressive use of the complaints process and the often, dual role of complainants and role holders in the process is also a problem. The Chakrabarti report saw the lack of professional lawyers, a legally qualified Head of Legal, partly as a skills issue but a professional lawyer’s strong binding to act both as an officer of the court and to preserve their professional registration would be a significant advance to what we have today, a bunch of people trained in the worst of student and trade union politics where winning counts for more than justice and there is no accounting of collateral damage.

Toxic Combinations