As Labour’s website confirms, delegate application packs for Labour’s 2017 Conference will be sent this month to unions, affiliates and CLPs (constituency Labour parties) this month. The Conference this year takes place in Brighton.
Delegate selection meetings can take place as soon as these arrive. Please share this article widely to make sure everyone is aware.
As the SKWAWKBOX showed at the turn of the year, Labour First – and surely Progress and similar factions – have already started organising to try to ensure that they cram as many anti-Corbyn members into the delegate count as possible.
They outflanked the majority left-wing members for the 2016 Conference in Liverpool with hugely damaging consequences for Labour’s ability to present the electorate with a genuine alternative, voting through an unlawful, anti-democratic rule-change to place two unelected, anti-Corbyn members onto the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
It’s essential that they do not succeed again in 2017.
To prevent it, every CLP needs to select solid, left-wing delegates for the Conference. The equation is simple – left-wing members far outnumber right-wing in the party, so if the Left stays informed and turns up, good delegates will go to the Conference.
The hopes of the right-wingers depend on stealth – trying to organise early and catch their opponents off-guard to get their delegates selected before anyone can react.
Those who want to stand for selection as delegates must have been members for 12 months ‘by the closing date for applications’. This has not yet been published, but if you’ve been a member for less than 10 months as of now, you’re unlikely to qualify.
HOWEVER: you do NOT have to have been a member for 12 months to vote for your preferred candidates.
What you need to do: (union or affiliate members see end)
- If your CLP has a branch structure and a delegate main-CLP meeting, contact your branch secretary. If you have all-member CLPs, contact your CLP secretary
- ask them when the branch and/or CLP delegate-selection meeting will take place – do not accept anything other than a straight and prompt answer, as some CLP execs may try to keep ‘unhelpful’ members unaware of dates and deadlines
- find out what the deadline is for nominations
- find out how many delegates your CLP – this varies ccording to the size of your CLP
- organise: make sure the left-wing members in your branch and/or CLP nominate enough candidates to fill the whole slate – this needs to include a youth member. Try to select even numbers of male and female nominees etc in case your exec tries to use this as an excuse to interfere
- make sure that all your local pro-Corbyn members attend the branch/CLP delegate-selection meeting.
If you and your like-minded colleagues do all these things, you should carry the vote – because there are more of you than of the right. If you don’t, you can be sure that the right-wing will be whipping its supporters into full attendance to hijack the proceedings.
7. Agree, pass and send in your motions and proposed rule-changes, to influence the Conference agenda – find out when these need to be in, read the rules to understand what will and will not be accepted as a valid motion and make sure not to miss out. Being at the Conference is the first step – having the right things to discuss and vote on is just as vital.
Affiliated union members or affiliated society members – the same principles apply, but talk to your union/society representative to find out exactly how union/society delegates will be selected – and dive in.
It’s 100% sure that the right will be planning all kinds of trouble, damage and mischief for the 2017 Conference. It’s up to all members of good will to get involved and stop them.
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