We have received nine motions on this subject:
A) Labour Party NEC elections (Lee Rock et al)- download PDF here
B) Political campaigning strategy, goals and priorities (Rotherham Left Momentum) – download PDF here
C) An action-based strategy for the LLA (Tim Argument et al)- download PDF here
D) Green New Deal (Lincolnshire LLA) – download PDF here
E) Campaign against Scottish independence (Glasgow LLA) – download PDF here
F) Launching outwards (Medway/North Kent LLA) – download PDF here
G) Campaign against IHRA definition of antisemitism – download PDF here
H) Accept the UK is leaving the European Union (Cheltenham LL) – download PDF here
I) Housing (Merseyside LLA) – download PDF here
A) Labour Party National Executive Committee (NEC) Elections
The LLA agrees to:
1. Hold an election of all LLA signatories for the nine NEC positions reserved for CLPs, and for the one BAME position.
The election to be held electronically using a transferable voting system.
The nine people selected in the CLP section are listed in the order of position they are elected in.
2. Approach the following groups seeking a joint slate:
Labour Representation Committee (LRC)
Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL)
Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD)
Agree a mechanism to determine a joint slate, e.g. a joint ballot.
Where a joint slate with any or all of the above is agreed, the LLA candidates will be determined according to where they were placed in the internal LLA elections.
3. If none of the other above groups agree to a joint list of candidates with the LLA we ballot LLA signatories between the following four options:
i. Support the CLGA list of candidates;
ii. Support the CLGA list of candidates except for Jon Lansman;
iii. Apply to join the CLGA and take part in their process; and
iv. Stand our own candidate or candidates under the LLA banner.
4. Any LLA member selected to stand for an NEC position is expected to cooperate fully with the EC and/or Organising Group of the LLA in order to promote the LLA and to build the LLA database of potential supporters. LLA will design a GDPR and Data Protection Act-compliant process where Labour members contacted about the NEC elections can opt-in to the LLA database. The data will be retained during and after the NEC elections for the purposes of promoting and building the LLA.
Background: Present decision making process for NEC ‘left’ list
At the moment the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance determines the ‘left/centre’ candidates for the NEC elections (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centre-Left_Grassroots_Alliance).
The CLGA has the agreeing of the NEC slates as its only purpose.
Affiliated groups to the CLGA are:
- Momentum (aka Lansman)
- Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD)
- Labour Representation Committee (LRC)
- Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL)
- Labour Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
- Labour Briefing Co-op
- Left Futures (Lansmans blog)
- Labour Assembly Against Austerity
- Red Labour
- Grassroot Black Left (GBL)
The above groups meet and haggle over the acceptable names for the CLGA slate.
As can be seen above, some of the affiliated groups are real and carry some weight in the Labour Party
- Momentum has the numbers, the finances, the database, the full time staff etc.
- The CLPD has a name that is well recognised.
- The LRC has a small but loyal following.
- JVL has a well-respected name.
- The other groups are either hardly known or mere shells.
In very recent times Momentum has attempted to choose the candidates alone, but have had to back down when others have threatened to stand as well.
Submitted by Lee Rock, Philip Adams, Alan Bellchambers, Pam Bromley, Jeff Conibear, Liam Daniel, Dom Crinson, Alan Donovan, David Edwards, Helen Glazier, Angie Graham, Jim Hignett, Diane Jenkinson, Leon Jevons, Lara Johnson, Mike Kennard, Diane Langford, Kay Lawrence, Vicky Leverett, Gill Mccall, Terry Mccormick, Steve McKenzie, Antoinette Mangion, Tony Mercer, Hannah Moynehan, Jill Narin, William Owen, Mel Poole, Phil Pope, Alex Potter, Amanda Reed, Liv Singh, Ken Syme, Karen Wilson, Nev Wright,
B) Political campaigning strategy, goals and priorities
In line with the purpose and principles of our constitution:
Political Priorities and Goals:
- Radically improve the democratisation of the Labour Party and trade unions to empower the membership, especially at grassroots level, to grow the membership, increase its activism and improve its effectiveness;
- Implement open selection (mandatory reselection) in the Labour Party so the membership can democratically assess candidates and select those that will best represent in the Parliamentary Labour Party the socialist interests of local communities and wider society;
- Re-instate clause 4 part 4 of the Labour Party rule book with its original wording or similar, with a clear commitment to socialism based on the principle of “from each according to their ability to each according to their need”
- Publicly dismantle the baseless claims of a widespread or institutional problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party, or indeed of a higher prevalence than other parties, using all available evidence and research which disproves it; and also dismantle the illogical accusation that this in any way equates to a refusal to acknowledge or handle seriously any antisemitic incidents.
- Reverse the Labour Party’s adoption of the examples in the IHRA definition of antisemitism which conflate anti-Zionism or criticism of Israel with antisemitism, and which restrict freedom of speech regarding legitimate concerns and political debate;
- Reverse the unjust suspensions and expulsions of Labour Party members that were the victims of the witch hunt of left wing and socialist members by unfairly and without adequate evidence being accused of antisemitism or bringing the party into disrepute relating to the matter.
- Prevent the Board of Deputies of British Jews’ 10 pledges from being incorporated into the Labour Party rule book or procedures, for reasons laid out clearly in the LAW and SLL letter that the LLA signed up to.
- Maintain a consistent, internationalist policy within the Labour Party (and beyond), condemning unjust wars, imperialist interventions, colonial subjugation, displacement or persecution of any peoples, defending the democratic and national rights of all, protecting refugees and supporting the free movement of people;
- Play a leading role in the public debate in convincing the electorate of the merits of the Labour Party’s socialist credentials and recent radical manifestos, to elect a socialist Labour government that will reverse austerity and other regressive attacks on the working class and implement a progressive transformation of society, based on the green industrial revolution, creating massive decent employment, building infrastructure, funding public services, creating public banks, with rapid increase in public ownership and democratic control.
- Be organised and active within the Labour Party, trade unions and other political organisations at grassroots level to influence policy and organisation by democratic means
- Develop networks, alliances, collaboration and contacts throughout the labour movement, particularly with activists and groups with influence in key roles or functions in the Labour Party, trade unions and other organisations.
- Develop a national network of potential candidates for all influential roles such as leaders, general secretaries and deputies, MPs, representatives on the NEC, NCC, and CAC, CLP and BLP executives, Labour councillors, TULOs, shop stewards, etc.
- Provide independent, democratically determined, public political support and criticism to persons in key leadership positions in the Labour Party, trade unions and beyond;
- Robustly and publicly resist political attacks against the socialist membership of the Labour Party, including against elected representatives and especially the leader, inflicted by the right of the Labour Party, the mainstream media, or indeed any other political opponents.
C) An action-based strategy for LLA
Submitted by Tim Argument et al
Conference believes that:
- the LLA objectives set out a clear framework for creating a fairer and more democratic Labour Party more capable of pursuing a socialist programme, if it’s members wish this.
- the Labour Party needs democratic reform before it can be capable of securing and MAINTAINING social justice in the wider society.
- to achieve this ALL members of the Party should be treated equally and fairly and be fully accountable to the membership as a whole. Beyond obvious long running issues like MPs reselection this must include all members (MPs included) being subject to a fair and impartial Complaints Process.
Conference notes that many of the issues facing the LLA are historic and have not been resolved despite the efforts of preceding groups.
Conference believes that
- in order to tackle these the LLA must be more than just another forum for righteous indignation.
- a failure or inability to produce an action-based strategy will indicate that we can be no more successful than our predecessors.
Conference proposes that the LLA
- must remain focused on INTERNAL Party reform
- should secure a fair and impartial Complaints Process and the role of Labour Complaints, the NEC and Regional Offices in failing to deliver this to date should be fully investigated.
- should produce a measurable, action based strategy that clearly sets out what we need to do by when, in order to secure all the levers of power within the Party for its members. ‘
Tim Argument, Eric Barnes, Sheila Argument, Andy Coles, Angela Duerden, Denise Addison, Pat Campbell, Siobhan Pearce, Susan Fairweather, Alison Herrington, Jill Navin, Jenny Almedia.
D) Green New Deal
Adoption of the principles of the Green New Deal as a central part of our organising and campaigning
Conference notes we are already witnessing the devastating impacts of climate breakdown, alongside the rise of a hard-right nationalism drenched in rampant inequality.
Conference believes that the Labour Left Alliance should campaign to usher in a Green New Deal that revitalises our social and economic bonds – breathing life and energy to ambitious visions of our collective liberation and global solidarity. The Green New Deal can be the winning vision which takes Labour back to power.
Therefore, we commit to the following ten objectives:
1) Building a grassroots movement with climate justice at its heart
2) Bringing the Green New Deal to every town and village in partnership with grassroots community activists and organisers, workers, councillors, and Mayors
3) Campaigning for green jobs and working with trade unions to foster a just transition
4) Promoting public ownership across water, rail, mail, energy (including supply), public transport and broadband
5) Campaigning for Rapid decarbonisation that ensures those most responsible make the greatest changes and pay the greatest price
6) Campaigning for Internationalism that recognises Britain’s unique responsibility and capacity to support mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage action and support globally
7) Support for migrants who are displaced for a confluence of factors, increasingly including climate change
8) Campaign for universal services (across education, housing, health, social care, childcare, youth services, emergency services and more)
9) Campaign for Ecological restoration which repairs losses in ocean and biodiversity, promotes reforestation, and supports a just transition in land use through supporting farmers and local communities to move towards sustainable organic agroecology
10) Communicating the Green New Deal to a variety of audiences
E) Campaign against Scottish independence
The decline of capitalism as a system produces the tendency for the system to disintegrate. The danger of the current situation is the campaign for independence for Scotland – this would be a disaster for the working class in Scotland. The resulting split in the British working class would weaken the workers movement and the left on both sides of the border. Nationalism and division would be promoted by the doubtless very fractious negotiations surrounding the independence process.
The SNP’s own Growth Commission and one of its former MPs George Kerevan both pointed out that any independent Scotland would have to implement a savage austerity regime for at least some years after independence – in essence the working class will pay with a substantial and probably permanent reduction in living standards.
There is, however, a straightforward matter of democracy – the Scottish Parliament should be able to call a referendum on independence without a Westminster veto.
Therefore the LLA will campaign against Scottish independence and work towards a socialist campaign for the unity of the British working class.
F) Launching outwards
After conference the LLA and all associated groups have to launch outwards. To help achieve that we need to have materials, training, briefings so that affiliated groups can organise campaigns, public meetings, recruit.
In order to recruit and influence within the Labour movement and Union movement, we need a clear LLA strategy.
To be able implement the strategy the practical points for the development of our political level outward facing approach are:
*LLA to provide educational materials for distribution; materials could be printed matter, social media bulletins, emails, YouTube videos
*LLA to provide educational workshops; these could be held in person, via webinars or via videos
*LLA to provide campaign materials so that affiliated groups can run co-ordinated campaigns across the organisation
*LLA to provide a co-ordinated steer & strategy for influencing the Labour movement and Union movement (this is a big subject dealt with in other motions) but does clarify the LLA’s method and role.
This is a ‘starter’ and not an exclusive list.
There will be many talents, ideas and materials across various local and national groups. The role of the LLA is to harness and co-ordinate these initiatives in line with a common, principled socialist strategy so they have the widest possible effect.
G) Campaign against IHRA definition on antisemitism
The Labour Left Alliance opposes all forms of racism including antisemitism (ie. hatred of and/or discrimination against Jewish people, for the sole reason of their being Jewish).
LLA notes the adoption in 2018 by the Labour Party of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, together with its accompanying examples.
LLA further notes that the definition has been widely criticised including by Jewish individuals and organisations. According to the originator of the definition, US attorney Kenneth S. Stern, it had never been intended that it be used as a legal or regulatory device to curb academic or political free speech.
LLA believes that the definition, and more precisely the examples attached to the definition, conflate anti-semitism with criticism of Israel and thus have the potential for limiting legitimate debate and freedom of expression on the nature and actions of the Israeli state.
LLA asserts that the adoption of the IHRA definition by the Labour Party is not useful in either combatting anti-semitism or in enabling free and open discussion on issues concerning the situation in the Middle East, including Israel.
For these reasons, we believe it is important for CLPs to call on the Labour Party Conference to withdraw its support for the IHRA definition and its accompanying examples with immediate effect and to submit motions to conference similar to this.
H) Motion for Labour Left Alliance to accept the UK is leaving the European Union
This conference notes:
- a high majority of Labour marginal seats voted leave in the 2016 EU referendum compared to a few Labour marginal seats that voted remain.
- the 2017 general election Labour manifesto committed to respect the outcome of the 2016 EU referendum which resulted in a net gain of 30 seats in the subsequent general election.
- in the 2019 general election of the 60 seats Labour lost, six were lost to the SNP. Of the 54 seats lost in the rest of the UK, 52 of them voted to leave in 2016 (including many Labour have held for generations, including Blyth Valley, Leigh, Rother Valley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Ashfield, Don Valley, Sedgefield, West Bromwich [East and West], Bishop Auckland, Stoke-on-Trent [Central and North], Wakefield and Wrexham): Two voted to remain – Stroud and Kensington which were both unexpected victories in 2017 along with Canterbury (which also voted remain) which we retained.
- that we have a first-past-the-post voting system therefore elections are won and lost based on swing votes in Labour-Conservative marginals, not winning or losing votes in safe seats.
We believe that a future Labour government could outside the European Union:
- fully renationalise mail, rail and utilities under the monopoly of state without the restrictions of competition law.
- use public spending to provide for our national investment bank and regeneration of ex-industrial and provincial towns without the restrictions on state aid.
- develop science, technology and green industries.
This conference resolves:
- that Labour Left Alliance accepts the UK is leaving the European Union.
- to build a socialist vision of the UK outside of the European Union.
We recognize that Labour Councils across the country have been disproportionately disadvantaged under Tory policies of austerity. For example, Liverpool City Council has lost 64% of its local authority budget. Tory cuts to local government have forced Labour Councils to choose where cuts are to be made and will inevitably mean robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Conference reaffirms our total support for the Labour Party manifesto 2019.We congratulate the Labour leadership and believe that the policies we campaigned for were the right policies and would have transformed the lives of millions.
We are particularly concerned at the increasing numbers of homeless people and the number of repossessions of homes, forcing families with young children into bed and breakfast accommodation. The numbers of children pushed into poverty under the Tories has increased year on year and the inability to deal with the housing crisis means this situation will worsen in the next five years.
We recognize the basic right of everyone to have a secure permanent home and believe that a massive house building programme, which was part of the Labour Party Manifesto, is the starting point. We call upon Labour Councils across the country to work together to organize a planned fight back against Tory austerity policies and to draw up a plan of action to establish a National Housing Plan based on building Real Council Houses to rent.
We recognize the need for a National Campaign on this issue and call upon LLA groups across the UK to demand that local councils campaign to end homelessness and commit to taking the message to local people through public meetings, campaigns and publicity in the localities such as local radio and newspapers.