Longevity

I have installed the wordpress broken links plugin on several of my blogs. I am sort of fascinated in how many they generate on the first run. Obviously the wayback machine is of some help, but I remember taking the decision, on advice, that using hyperlinks was better, morally and technically than leeching the content. I don’t think either of us expected my little bliki to outlast some of the resources I was linking to.

Longevity

Runaway

Someone pointed me at this article by Alex Nunns in Red Pepper, “The Labour conference that the media failed to report”, I think he catches what happened well. I have bookmarked it on Diigo, and highlighted two quotes.

This was a conference full of conflicting dynamics, but with an overarching story of left delegates gradually asserting themselves as they learned the ropes…..

Having organised for months in advance of contentious votes over rule changes, many grassroots activists felt deflated when their efforts were displaced by an old-fashioned deal brokered by the leadership at the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in the week before Brighton.

Runaway

Sink

Another thought on Labour’s Rules, some are arguing that there are too many Londoners on the NEC. I don’t know if I agree, with the proposition or the proposed remedy. It would seem that the critical accountability should be political.

My experience of regionally based national committees is that they act as a barrier to the political majority, particularly if the regions elect their own representatives. Anyway, the CLP representatives are no longer so London centric. (There is only one.)

Sink

Stuffed parrots…

I picked this up on my way out of Labour Conference, it’s an interesting review, from a 1st time delegate, a supporter of the Labour Party Marxists. The author talks about the use of late notice and secrecy to manipulate delegates, the lottery of speaker selection, just as well he didn’t see the speaker called in 2014, for waving a baby, and the opacity (and again luck) of reference back on the Policy Forums reports. He talks of the pressure on CLPs to remit their rule changes despite their importance. Worth reading; the platform’s power is no less than it was, we have some way to go.

Stuffed parrots…

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