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Peter Willsman's NEC Report July 2010 Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 August 2010

News from the NEC

Review of the Party’s Policy making processes

It is now over 12 years since the Partnership in Power arrangements were adopted by Annual Conference.  The NEC has agreed that now is an appropriate time for a full review to be undertaken.  This review will be launched at the Annual Conference in Manchester.  A consultation document will then be issued and submissions invited.  The latter will all be considered by the NEC and then a report, containing a range of proposals, will be tabled at the 2011 Annual Conference.  Conference will then be able to debate and vote on these proposals with the aim of improving our policy making processes.

Supporting and increasing activity in CLPs

Not surprisingly, in the ten seats that had made the most voter contact there was an overall swing to Labour.

The NEC is considering ways it could support local activity and, as a first step, is proposing to develop the following:

-          A new training academy for staff, volunteers and activists.
-          A trainee community organisers’ scheme for marginal and core seat clusters
-          Further development of free direct mail via Print Creator.

Since the General Election the Party has welcomed more than a thousand new members every week.  90% of these joined via the web, 41% were women and 1 in 3 were under 30.

General Election 2010 – mean regional swings (in all seats where Labour was in top two in 2005

In Scotland there was a swing to Labour of 0.59%. The swing against Labour in the other regions was London 2.9%; North West 4.4%; Wales 4.72%; West Midlands 6.33%; Northern 6.45%; East Midlands 6.61%; Eastern 7.24%; South West 7.48%; South East 7.52%; Yorkshire &Humber 7.77%.

Labour Council gains

Labour gained majority control in Brent, Camden, Coventry, Doncaster, Ealing, Enfield, Harrow, Hartlepool, Hastings, Hounslow, Islington, Lewisham, Liverpool, Oxford, Southwark, St Helens, Waltham Forest.

Labour took minority control in Bradford, Leeds, Merton, Thurrock, Nuneaton and Bedworth.

2010 Annual Conference Agenda

At 4pm on Saturday 25 September our new Leader will be announced.  On Sunday 26 September the review of policy making will be launched (“Renewing Party Democracy”).  Tuesday afternoon will be the Leader’s speech.   Wednesday afternoon will be Questions and Answers to the new Leader.


Why Labour must change its policy making process Print E-mail
Friday, 16 July 2010
by David Hide

Many of us believe that the 13 years of a Labour Government corresponded with the diminution and subsequent demolition of democracy within the Labour Party. The introduction of Partnership in Power ended meaningful debate at our Annual Conference as party policy making was shunted off stage left into the National Policy Forum (NPF). While the thinking person knew this, the Party wished to maintain a veneer of democracy at our Conference and so provided the world with the meaningless spectacle of hand- picked members reading nauseatingly partisan speeches prepared by party workers. However PIP 1 did still allow us to discuss contemporary issues, with each CLP or affiliate having the opportunity of submitting a single motion, but only if they had not already submitted a rule change earlier in the year. How crazy is this?  Aren’t most people involved in politics interested in both changing rules and debating current affairs, not it would seem if you are a member of the Labour Party?
DIANA HOLLAND for Labour Party Treasurer Print E-mail
Friday, 02 July 2010
Biographical details 

Diana Holland has been a Labour Party member for over 25 years, and 16 years on the NEC - the longest continuous elected NEC member. She is known as a principled trade unionist with personal integrity, and a record of involving Party members in decisions. She is determined to set Party finances on a sound and transparent footing, meeting the challenges of Conservative attacks and supporting the pivotal role of local Parties. Her record of good financial governance is demonstrated in managing major funded projects on youth training, union education, and equality at work.

Diana has represented Party members at every level, from CLP officer to Labour Party Chair, chairing the 2003 Annual Conference. A regular speaker at LP Conference and TU events, she has built strong links across the Party on the NEC and NPF. She firmly believes that we achieve most, not through top-down elitism, but when all parts of the Party work together.

She is Assistant General Secretary of Unite, and served as President of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions. A leading proponent of equalities, she has negotiated with employers, including London Buses, Vauxhall, BAA, and Cadbury. A long-standing member of the TUC Women’s Committee, Vice-President of the Global Trade Union Confederation, government adviser on the National Minimum Wage, Equality Bill, and rights for disabled people, she has campaigned against poverty, under-representation of women, black, Asian & ethnic minorities, and discrimination against LGBT and disabled people.

She is a member of Islington North CLP.

Stop Press - Members Ballot Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 June 2010

Change to Members Ballot Timetable

The NEC Procedures Committee has now decided that the ballot papers will be issued later. Instead of 16 August as previously agreed, the ballot papers (for all positions – Leader, NEC (constituency places and Treasurer), NPF and London Mayor in London) are not likely to get to members until after 1st September.

Diane4Leader Print E-mail
Saturday, 03 July 2010
About Diane

    * Diane has been the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington for 23 years. She has been a Member of Parliament twice as long as any other candidate in this leadership election. And she is the only leadership candidate who actually increased the Labour Party’s share of the vote in their own constituency at the last General Election.

    * Diane has served the party at every level. In the eighties she was a local councillor in London Borough of Westminster. In the nineties she was an elected member of the National Executive Committee of the party. She was a cabinet member under the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone. As an MP she has served on, both the Treasury and Foreign Affairs select committees, of the House of Commons

    * Diane identifies with the rank and file of the party. She came up through local government, not the special advisor route. She was never “fast-tracked”.  She was not “parachuted” into a constituency. No other leadership candidate has her knowledge of the grassroots of the party

The Current Crisis

    * The Coalition government want the poor to pay the price of bailing out the bankers. 80% of the money will come from slashing public expenditure. Only 20% will come from tax rises. Public expenditure cuts are a “double whammy” for ordinary people. They lose their services, but many also lose their jobs.

    * The Coalition government plans £11billion in welfare cuts, with even bigger cuts in the pipeline. Families, the disabled and the elderly will be hit hard. And they want to make us all work until we are seventy. This is not just something forced on them by the economic crisis. It is an excuse to slash the state.

    * The cuts threaten hundreds and thousands of public sector jobs. That is bad enough. But they also put in peril over a million private sector jobs that depend on government contracts.

Party Democracy

    * Diane believes that the Labour Party foot-soldiers deserve more respect. At the last election, without the loyalty and hard work of ordinary party supporters the result would have been much worse than it was.

    * If the party had listened to ordinary members, it would have not have made mistakes like: the 87p rise for pensioners; abolishing the 10p tax rate and going to war with Iraq.

    * Shaping policy should not just be a matter for the Westminster elite. We need to reform party structures to revive the party and give more power to members. Party Conference, the Policy Forums and the workings of the National Executive must be reformed to give members a real say over policy.

Why Vote for Diane

    * Diane is the “turn the page” candidate. She is best placed to rebuild and revive the party. This is partly because she has much more experience of the party at the grassroots than any other candidate. But also, she can enthuse woman, young people and other groups who may not have been active in the party before. She can broaden the party’s base and lead it to victory against this Coalition government.  She is the people’s candidate, not the Westminster insider’s candidate.

    * Diane will fight the cuts. She is committed to standing up for the public sector and offering an economic alternative.

    * Diane will listen to the Party and its voters. She made all the right decisions on tuition fees, the removal of the 10p tax and the Iraq War. Diane now wants to bring troops home from Afghanistan, scrap Trident and close the gap between rich and poor.

She would be proud to lead the party and bring it back to power.
Also Seeking CLP and Union Nominations Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 June 2010

Leader: Diane Abbott MP

Treasurer: Diana Holland Unite

CAC: Mick Murphy Unite

NCC (CLP Section): Mark James Greenwich and Woolwich CLP


Diane for Leader Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 June 2010

By Peter Willsman - Labour Party NEC member

Diane Abbott’s leadership campaign has excited comrades about the possibilities that have been opened up. The party’s left wing will for the first time since the 1980s be able to participate in the contest and put its views before the party membership. Additionally, the left is putting forward a candidate who has wide appeal. In the two public polls published since Diane put her name forward for consideration she has either been the voters’ first or second choice for leader. She will bring a breath of fresh air compared to the list of white males who are also on the ballot paper.

The left needs to pull together and put its efforts into building support for Diane’s campaign, as this will help get across the popular agenda that Labour needs to adopt so it can rebuild support amongst the electorate. Diane will ensure there is a proper debate on the direction Labour should take, which party members have been saying is desperately needed.

The two Eds, in particular, will now have to clearly set out where they stand in relation to the abomination that was New Labour. As Jon Cruddas has said, he has known the Eds for nearly 20 years but still does not know where they stand on most major political issues. After Diane launched her campaign, pointing out how wrong it was to invade Iraq and the damage it did to Labour’s support, both Eds publicly distanced themselves from Blair’s decision to invade and indicated they understood the need for rebuilding the trust that Labour lost as a result.

Diane’s critique of neo-liberalism, her support for investment for growth and opposition to reductions in public spending, for progressive taxation, social justice, anti neo-con military adventurism and for peace can now all be aired in the course of the forthcoming election campaign.

Like Diane, I have been appalled at the way other leadership candidates and their supporters are targeting immigrants. Suggestions that migrants are the cause of low wages or to blame for fact that the Labour government did insufficient to address the housing shortage are just plain wrong. There is no evidence that migration has had any impact on wages and terms of conditions. But it is clear the last government fiercely resisted proposals to regulate the labour market thus allowing wages to be driven down, irrespective of the nationality of the workers. In fact there is strong evidence that the migration of the past decade contributed to strengthening economic growth and improving public services.

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