Refounding Labour update

18th September, 2011 1:04 pm

Refounding Labour2By Johanna Baxter / @johannabaxter

What a week the past 7 days have been.

Your CLP reps on the NEC met with Ed Miliband on Wednesday evening to discuss the progress of Refounding Labour.

At that meeting we discussed many of the reform proposals that have been subject to much discussion over the summer including reform of the NPF, the involvement of Labour supporters, votes in the leadership election, a new fairer method of funding CLPs and membership rates etc.

I pressed Ed again about publishing the submissions that had been received in response to the consultation. I told Ed that members were concerned they hadn’t had a recent update on our discussions and were worried about the timescales for mandating their delegates to conference. I specifically asked that we update members on the progress of our discussions following the meeting of the NEC’s Organisation Subcommittee the following day. I also asked how the proposals would be voted on at conference and whether we could consider continuing the conversation beyond conference on those issues where we might need more time to develop our proposals.

I was very pleased that colleagues on the Organisation Sub-committee agreed we should communicate with members on those issues where agreement could be reached as soon as possible after our meeting. It was a full and lengthy meeting with the committee going through each and every proposed rule change arising from the Refounding Labour to Win document. The all-member e-mail has now gone out and I hope you now have a greater sense of our direction of travel and the things that will be put to the NEC at our next meeting on Tuesday 20th September. If you have any comments or concerns about any of those proposals please get in touch with me directly.

But that e-mail doesn’t give the full extent of the changes likely to be proposed from Refounding Labour because there are some issues that are still under discussion and there are ‘softer’ issues which don’t require rule changes e.g. commitments to improving technology etc. Where negotiations continue we should allow them to because if there is any opportunity for agreement to be reached on those before a final position is taken then we should allow that to be explored. Indeed I’d argue that if we can’t reach agreement in the timescales we have we should consider deferring those issues and consulting further.

Our NEC meeting on Tuesday will agree the final recommendations to be put to Conference. That will be a historic meeting and as always I’ll ensure that member concerns are represented in the discussions and the decisions we make. I take my responsibility to you seriously so before then I’ll be checking and re-checking the line by line amendments – a huge amount of work has already gone in to this and I want to make sure that we get it right. I’ll get you a report of the meeting as soon as possible after it has taken place and the party will also send you the full details of the actual textual rule book changes arising from the proposals as soon as possible after the meeting.

All of this is happening at a time when Peter Hain, the person in charge of the consultation, has been standing with his community in one if it’s darkest hours after the tragic death of the four Gleision Colliery miners. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering those families must be experiencing now but it is surely immense and my thoughts and prayers are with them and all affected in that community. With the South Wales Branch of the National Union of Mineworks, Peter has launched an Appeal Fund to help support the families of the Gleision miners which I’d urge you to support. Donations can be made here; http://www.minersappealfund.org/

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