Renewing the Party
I spent yesterday evening debating against Graham Bash of Labour Left Briefing at my CLP GC in Hackney North & Stoke Newington.
The subject was Gordon Brown's proposals on renewing Party democracy, plus a more general reaction to Brown's first month.
As you might expect, I was upbeat and welcomed the way things are heading.
Graham presented a gloomy picture of a Party in terminal decline, about to be subjected to a regime of control-freakery that he described variously as "Orwellian" and "Kafkaesque". It is fair to say that Graham thinks Brown is more of a threat to the left than Blair was because he will be more focused on the internal politics of the Party. You can read Briefing's position on the proposals here.
We voted on the proposals one by one:
Proposal 1: greater support to local Labour Parties in holding Policy Forums etc. PASSED 14-0 (3 abstentions)
Proposal 2: Strengthen the NPF with a regular work plan etc. PASSED 15-0 (2 abstentions)
Proposal 3: The JPC will take on an enhanced executive function etc. PASSED 9-8
Proposal 4: Annual Conference to be given a more substantial role in directing and monitoring the work of the NPF, 12 new NPF reps elected at Conference etc. PASSED 8-8 on chair's casting vote
Proposal 5: A new contemporary issues process replaced contemporary resolutions. FELL with no votes against and 1 abstention
Proposal 6: The final policy documents agreed by the National Policy Forum will be the subject of an OMOV ballot. PASSED 8-7
Proposal 7: Support for local parties and Labour Groups to consult and engage their communities. PASSED 12-3
Then we added our own Proposal 8: CLP Representatives on the NPF to be elected by OMOV: PASSED 11-2