Sunday, 12 July 2009

Email from Labour NEC - European and Local Elections

Below, you can read an email from our local NEC contact regarding the 'fall out' following the European and Local elections - some interesting points are raised.

Hi all

First, thanks to councillors, MEPs, candidates, activists, members

and fellow-travellers for campaigning right through to 4 June in

the face of difficulties beyond your control and which you did not

deserve.

I’ve received several requests for an extra NEC meeting to

analyse the results, and to ensure that all members are involved

in future policy-making and that the manifesto reflects Labour

values.

This has not proved possible. In fact the original plan was to

postpone the May NEC meeting to June, but a date could not be

found which fitted with union conferences and other

commitments. So the NEC will meet next on Tuesday 21 July for

a full day, to allow extended discussion. This gives time to collect

feedback, and I would be interested in:

1) reasons for Labour losses, both local and European, and

reasons for any good results against the overall trend

2) what the party leadership can do to rebuild towards the

general election, organisationally and politically

3) how members’ views can be taken into account in policy-

making. The national policy forum “Warwick” agreement dates

back to last July, before the recession, and needs reviewing, but

time and resources do not allow another full-scale forum with

thousands of direct amendments. Are members and local parties

happy to work through their NPF representatives, and if not, what

is the alternative within the Partnership in Power framework?

4) what policies represent “Labour values”?

5) whether conference should return to resolutions or stay with

the experiment on “contemporary issues” introduced in 2007

6) anything else I should know.

Second, a number of questions have been asked about the

NEC’s special endorsements panel (the “star chamber”). One of

the problems is that the panel cannot decide who it wishes to

interview. It only investigates MPs referred to it by the chief whip

and the general secretary, and then has to decide whether they

have crossed lines drawn by the Green Book or by what members

and voters would expect. However the criteria for referral are not

clear, and this has led to perceptions of unequal treatment at the

initial stage, which I share.

The national audit office is examining all MPs' expenses for the

last four years, and we expect their report to provide objective

benchmarks, and perhaps lists of "flippers", extravagant

spenders, tax avoiders, and other types of misdemeanour. I

believe it would be preferable, except in extreme cases, for MPs

to come through this process, so that their situation is considered

alongside others where similar issues are involved.

The NEC will be reviewing the process, but conflicting views have

been expressed to me recently. Members want wrongdoers dealt

with through clear evidence-based decisions, which means

waiting for the audit report and further interviews. But they also

want a speedy conclusion so we can get back to policy, which

means either ignoring some transgressions or risking summary

injustice. Again, comments are welcome.

Depending on the number of replies I may not have time to

answer every point individually, but promise to read and take

them all into account for the next NEC.

Thanks again

NEC constituency representative


1 comment:

Bevanite said...

Hi tpw! Just to say a big thanks for the RTs! I'm dying without twitter.
Could I ask if you could tweet that tweople include @delbius in their tweets, she's working on my account suspension apparently.
Thanks!