Saturday Conference Briefing: Brighton 2019


2019 Conference: Writing the Next Manifesto

On the eve of a possible snap election, it is essential that ordinary party members are able to have a say in the next Manifesto. The Priorities Ballot is to decide which subject groupings will be debated. 10 issues can be prioritised by the CLP section and 10 from the affiliates section. Momentum is recommending 10 subject groups with the greatest potential to advance a transformative agenda.

Green New Deal: The scale of the climate crisis and global inequality mean the UK has a responsibility to take on more ambitious emissions reduction targets than the current target of net zero by 2050. By putting Green New Deal on the agenda, party activists and trade unionists will be able to argue for a zero carbon 2030 target, to allow developing countries space to develop and stimulate the required mobilisation to fully decarbonise the economy. 

Yemen: British arms sales and practical military support to Saudi Arabia have enabled four and a half years of indiscriminate bombardment of the country, which is the cause of two thirds of the deaths during the war. A blockade imposed by the Saudi led coalition is the leading cause of what is now the worlds worst humanitarian crisis, leading to 85,000 infant deaths from starvation and preventable disease and driving millions to the brink of famine. 

Schools: Only 7% of UK students attend private schools, yet privately educated people dominate British society. Meanwhile, relentless academisation reduces accountability and over-testing is causing burnout amongst teachers and students. Supporting schools on the Priorities Ballot will advance discussions of how Labour can build a genuinely egalitarian and high quality education system.

Ethical Foreign Policy: By recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, stopping funding to UNRWA for Palestinian refugees, continuing the siege of Gaza, expanding illegal settlements and announcing plans to annex illegally large areas of land occupied in 1967, the Israeli government is destroying any possibilities for a just peace in the Middle East. Last year Party Conference demonstrated its support for the Palestinian cause – this year it has an opportunity to strengthen that. 

Detention Centres: The UK’s ‘Detention Estate’ is one of the largest in Europe, and is categorised by inhumane conditions, with high rates of suicide and detainees often being compelled to work for £1 per hour, and cases of rampant racist, sexual and sexist abuse by staff. If this subject group is on the agenda it will allow Conference to debate abolishing Detention Centres and replace them with with a radical, community based alternative.

Public Services: After decades of failed privatisation, our party is preparing to build incredible publicly owned public services. Following the recent consultation on public ownership, this subject group is an opportunity to debate how public services should be run once taken back into public ownership.

Inclusive Ownership Funds: John McDonnell’s announcement at Party Conference 2018 that Labour would set up “Inclusive Ownership Funds” for companies with more than 250 employees represented a serious commitment to redistributing not just wealth but power in our economy, and one of Labour’s most radical policies to date. Expressing support for this proposal is important to popularising it throughout the party and ensuring it is implemented in government. 

Housing: Housing and land in the UK are treated as financial assets rather than a home, leading to astonishing inequality and a housing crisis which is making it ever harder for younger people to purchase homes, while rents in the private sector are rising uncontrollably. Prioritising housing will mean that radical proposals such as rent controls linked to local incomes, using Compulsory Purchase Orders and expanding house building will be debated. 

Brexit: Brexit is obviously one of the most important issues affecting the UK, and it has been debated keenly in the party since 2016, including at last year’s Conference. It is therefore important to prioritise so those discussions can continue. 

Good Friday Agreement: Prioritising the Good Friday Agreement would support Labour’s efforts to continue supporting the Agreement and use its mechanisms to address inequalities. 

Delegates vote for the Priorities Ballot in the Ballot Area between 1.30pm and 4pm. We recommend voting as early as possible. Compositing meetings for successful motions will be held immediately after Conference ends on Saturday and Sunday. 

Trade Union Priorities

CLP delegates should not vote for these, in order to avoid wasting their votes.

No More Business as Usual; Insourcing; Working Hours/4 Day Week; Industrial Strategy; Royal Mail; Defend the NHS; High Streets; Employment Rights; Homelessness

Support reference back on the CAC report so organisational motions can be allowed at Conference

The right of affiliates and CLPs to submit motions on organisational matters is an important principle. Support reference back to allow organisational motions, including those affecting processes for electing the leader, local government corruption, and the ability to hold higher bodies to account to be debated at Conference. Please also support reference back so that the subject groups of immigration and immigration detention can be debated together rather than as separate categories.

Rule Changes

A number of rule changes will be debated between 5.15pm and 5.45pm today. Momentum has positions on the following rule changes. In some cases, the NEC has asked that changes which we support in principle be remitted to the NEC for further consideration. We are recommending these rule changes be remitted to avoid them falling. Further rule changes which the NEC has developed following last year’s Democracy Review will be voted on tomorrow between 1pm and 4pm. 

Card Vote 2 Chapter 5, Clause I. General rules for selection for public office. Page 29. Candidates representative of our society; Support. This is a key step forward for BAME representation and should be supported. If it passes, the Luton South rule change will fall. 

Card Vote 6 Chapter 1, Clause VIII, Section 3.A. The National Executive Committee. Page 6. Disciplinary Powers; Support. These changes are central to improving the Party’s disciplinary system. 

Card Vote 10 – East Devon – 3 Year Rule Reform; Support if moved. This rule change would allow for key issues to be brought back to Conference, and should remain a priority even if it doesn’t have required support this time around.

Card Vote 12 – Daventry – STV for national elections; Oppose.

Card Vote 13 – Derby South – Regional quotas for national elections; Oppose.

Card Vote 14 – Wirral West – Code of ethics for public reps; Remit to allow for Code of Ethics to be considered.

Card Vote 18 – Dulwich & West Norwood – Local Government Committees; Support if moved.

Card Vote 19 – Rochford and Southend East – Doncaster Central, Wallasey – Clause IV; Remit to allow a consultative process to re-design Clause IV, taking into account key concerns including equalities and ecological sustainability. 

Card Vote 20 – Weaver Vale – Amendments to Motions; Support if moved. This is crucial to allow more nuanced policy debates among members so should be debated next Conference. 

Card Vote 21 – Kingston Upon Hull North – Subject of Motions; Support if moved. This is crucial to allow Conference to put organisational issues on the agenda, such as local government corruption, the leadership election rules, or any issue that requires holding a higher body of the party to account. 

Card Vote 23 – Liverpool, West Derby – 3 year rule reform; Support if moved.

Card Vote 24 – Mitcham and MordenChapter 4, Clause III. A Procedural rules for elections for national officers of the Party Page 24; Oppose.

Card Vote 26Brent Central – OMOV for Labour Group Leaders; Support if moved. Democratizing the election of Labour Group leaders is a key component of transforming local Labour councils. 

Card Vote 27 – Leeds Central – 50:50 Electoral College for Labour Group Leaders; Support if moved.

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