LLA conference – summary of Day 2

The second day of conference began with a lively debate about two lead statements produced by the LLA Organising Group, outlining two rather distinct proposals on the future for the LLA. In the run-up to conference, we organised an interesting online debate, in which the two main proposers – Dave Hill from Brighton LLA and Kevin Bean from Merseyside LLA – discussed their visions with other members. You can watch the excellent debate here on Youtube.

While  Version 1 focuses on “the things that are necessary and achievable in the here and now, which relate directly with the working class” (Dave Hill), Version 2 proposes “an outline of the kind of society and socialism we are fighting for” (Kevin Bean). This debate about the correct strategy for socialists is of course not exclusive to the LLA and reflects discussions that have been going on within the left for decades, if not hundreds of years. We don’t believe differences of opinion are problematic, quite the opposite. Debating such differences out in the open, while remaining on comradely terms, are signs of a healthy political organisation. 

Such a fundamental debate will naturally ignite passions, and this was no exception. Our organisation is vibrant and enthused, and this debate presented worthwhile and educational. Interestingly, the vote about which version should be taken forward for possible amendments, reflected almost exactly the vote on the Organising Group: While two thirds supported Version 1, one third was in favour of Version 2.

For the afternoon session, we invited motions on political questions – and were somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of motions that flooded in. In the end we received 17 motions, with amendments to about half a dozen of these. To the credit of the chair Carol Taylor-Spedding, we managed to get through almost all of them and whenever a subject proved controversial, she allowed for extra debating time. Three motions were remitted to the Organising Group, while a motion on Covid-19 will be worked over by the original proposers from Cheltenham LLA and Barnsley Labour Left, who submitted important amendments. 

  • You can read all motions as agreed here
  • For information about how motions and amendments were discussed and voted on, click here

Most delegates seemed to agree that conference was a very enjoyable and democratic event, though its enforced nature as an online-only event did present the conference arrangements committee (CAC) – and delegates – with an entirely new set of challenges. We showed all motions and amendments live on screen, ensuring most delegates could be fully aware of proceedings. However, the CAC certainly felt that our online event could not quite substitute the feeling and atmosphere of a real life conference, where delegates meet, chat and exchange ideas in the break and perhaps bars afterwards. While we believe the inclusion of online elements in future events and conferences can be beneficial for those who are unable to travel or have childcare issues etc, we are looking forward to meeting comrades face-to-face again soon! Thanks to all delegates who participated so actively and made this a very worthwhile, democratic and comradely conference.

Please find the detailed voting overview and all motions in their original and amended form here.