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"This is a party that was founded for working people, this is a party that I strive every day to make the party of working people" - Ed Miliband, 21 November 2014

"Left parties have lost office in Europe because of their inability to articulate an alternative to austerity and cuts. The right offers individualism, a huge and growing wealth gap and a mean and divided society. Socialism is the sharing of wealth, the contribution of ability for the common good, and unity in defending our achievements against attack. It's also our only hope" - Jeremy Corbyn, 6 January 2012

CLPD campaigns for:

  • a real policy-making Annual Conference

  • an effective and accountable NEC

  • the defence of the Trade Union link

  • more progressive Labour candidates for elected office who are women or BAME; and, generally, for an increase in candidates with a working-class background, to counteract the current unacceptable under-representation

  • a local electoral college for choosing leaders of council Labour Groups

  • an internal Party ombudsperson

  • a clear jobs and growth policy in sharp opposition to the Tories and austerity

  • CLPD supports the Charter for a Democratic Conference

    1. At least 50% of conference time should be reserved for contributions in policy debates by delegates

    2. The criteria for motions should be flexible and fair

    3. Conference should choose the right policies, not rubber stamp them

    4. Conference decisions and all papers should be available online to party members

    5. The structure of conference needs a review by the Conference Arrangements Committee



    Quotes of the month

    "There is another world in our Movement, alas. A world of smears and plots. That is where you will find Tom Watson. When unity is required, Tom manufactures division... Tom is a product of the manipulative and authoritarian culture of the old trade union right-wing, for whom power was an end in itself, and all means were acceptable to attain it" - Len McCluskey, Huffington Post. CLPD congratulates Len on his victory over Tom Watson and John Spellar and their hard-right "Labour First" cronies. 21 April 2017.

    "A woman who always keeps her promises has called an election she promised not to, in order to obtain a mandate she says she already has, for a policy she said was a bad idea" - David Robjant, Guardian, 19 April 2017.

    "Asked on BBC News whether her country needed nuclear weapons, a North Korean woman said: 'If we do not have nuclear weapons, other countries' weapons will fall on our land'. his sounded paranoid... Britain has the same policy!" - David Butler, Guardian 17 April 2017.

    "The statement, 'Hitler supported Zionism', is not a fact. It is an interpretation... The real problem, in a way, is the tone of Livingstone when giving this interpretation. There's no sympathy. No compassion - no sense of the tragedy behind this... I am not a Zionist. I'm an atheist and I don't hold with religion being the basis for statehood... I do not support the appalling actions of the present Israeli Government" - David Baddiel, Guardian, 7 April 2017.

    "The Transfer Agreement... did happen. It is chilling to insist that a member of a democratic party (which believes in free speech) should resile from what is historical fact. As a Jewish member of the Labour Party, I feel I must support Livingstone and oppose the punishment imposed on him. If that means I will be expelled from the Party, so be it" - Dr Ian Saville, Guardian, 6 April 2017.

    "There is something seriously awry when Lord Mandelson, with total impunity, can publicly boast that every single day he deliberately does something to damage our Party's chosen Leader. And yet one comment by Ken Livingstone ìs formally considered by the NCC over several days, with two QCs, 800 pages of documents, witnesses etc. etc. Then, after some 96 hours of deliberation, the NCC hands down its considered judgement, which is final. Despite all this, there is still fuss being made about Ken Livingstone. But about Lord Mandelson's harmful (to our Party) comments - sweet FA" - Pete Willsman, CLPD Secretary, 5 April 2017.

    "Between 1946 and 1973 UK real GDP, per person, rose by 2.7% per year. But it rose only 0.9% per year in the 150 years to 1939. It could be that what we're seeing now is a reversion to the long-term norm" - Investors Chronicle, March 2017.

    "George Osborne... now picking up £650,000 a year for four days work a month at the fund manager BlackRock, pushed through benefit cuts that will mean some families will be £7,000 a year worse off" - Larry Elliott, The (dire) Guardian, 9 March 2017.

    "In 1997 Labour had 58.2% in Copeland and 66.2% in Stoke Central. In 2015 it was 42.3% and 39.3% respectively... If Labour fails in Copeland or Stoke, we will read that it was 'Corbyn's fault'. If, as I suspect, Labour succeeds, we will read that it was down to 'local factors'" - David Rosenberg, The (dire) Guardian, 22 Feb 2017.

    "Why should the pond life that dragged itself from the (council) estates to the ballot box be allowed to ruin everything for the rest of us?" - A direct quote from 'a member of the intellectual establishment', calling for Parliament to reject the Referendum result, Sunday Times 12 February 2017.

    Older "quotes of the month"


    For further news visit http://www.grassrootslabour.net and www.leftfutures.org

    Click here to read the Labour manifesto for the 8 June 2017 general election.

    18 April 2017: message from CLPD Secretary and Labour NEC member Peter Willsman about Theresa May's call for a snap General Election on 8 June 2017

    The Tories are playing political games and breaking their word and the purpose of the five year old rule they brought in! They are running for cover because they know the Brexit negotiations will be a disaster. The Tories are also running scared because the police are after them for dodgy expenses claims at the last General Election. A large number of cases are likely to end up in court. May is desperate to avoid the scandal. There is a strong case for saying that our Party should not go along with their pathetic games. Nevertheless, whenever the election takes place, the voters will not be fooled and our party, the largest in Western Europe, will confound the doom mongers and naysayers and all our implacable enemies in the press and media. Jeremy personifies integrity and principle. We can look forward to a Labour Government that will permanently change the UK for the better. If we are united and work flat out, our Government will even better our Party's achievements in 1945-51!

    Thanks to Ben Goldacre for this graph of NHS spending.

    General Election points worth noting

    • "More than one million disabled people are now living without the social care they need... Disability benefit cuts along are collectively removing £28 billion from disabled people over five years... Theresa May leads a party into this election that is overseeing devastating attacks on disability services" - Frances Ryan, Guardian, 16 May 2017.
    • "The reason Glasgow Shettleston elected a Tory councillor is proportional representation (STV). The Tory only got 18% of first preferences. It took until Stage 11 to get the Tory elected" - D McCrone, University of Edinburgh, Guardian, 16 May 2017.
    • "What is the real fantasy? Labour's idea that income, wealth, and power should be a bit more evenly distributed, or the idea that the current state of affairs can be sustained for very much longer?" - Larry Elliott, Guardian, 15 May 2017.
    • Two new polls put Labour at 32% - at the 2015 General Election we only achieved 31.2% - The Independent website, 14 May 2017.
    • "Close allies of Tony Blair have drawn up plans to create a new political party... Some would like to see David Miliband become leader of the moderates... Miliband reportedly sounded out veteran MPs about them making way for him, but did not find any takers" - Sunday Times Political Editor, 14 May 2017.
    • "Theresa May wants the election to be about a single issue - 'standing up to foreigners'... May seeks a free hand to do as her party wants" - Gordon Brown, Guardian, 13 May 2017.
    • "Despite a 35% rise in prices this decade, child benefit will have risen by only 2%. Housing benefit no longer covers the rent, heating allowances fail to cover the cost of fuel... Two-thirds of the children now in poverty are from families where someone is working... A Labour vote is essential to waging a war against poverty" - Gordon Brown, Guardian, 13 May 2017.
    • "The Guardian continues to buy into a dominant press narrative that is so ingratiating of an incumbent leader, as to be the envy of dictators around the world" - Dr J Schlosberg, Director of Journalism Studies, Birkbeck College, Guardian, 12 May 2017.
    • "Thatcher raised (regressive) VAT from 8% to 15%, only weeks after denying during the 1979 General Election campaign that there were any plans to do so. Osborne raised it from 17.5% to 20% following similar denials in 2010... May has now promised not to increase VAT" - Guardian, 9 May 2017.
    • CLPD congratulates Dan Scouser Carden for having the privilege of carrying the Red Flag in Walton CLP. Dan follows another awesome Scouser and, until now, was working for yet another awesome Scouser. Dan is exactly what we want a lot more of - unflinching working- class locals, with a long history of standing up to rapacious bosses. Dan's dad was a Liverpool docker, sacked for not crossing a picket line.
    • Caroline Lucas has admitted the Greens were offered £250,000 by a donor not to stand in the Richmond Park by-election. Lucas told the BBC she had "forgotten the donor's name" - Guardian, 11 May 2017.
    • "The Tory Government... gives about £27 billion a year to landlords, rather than imposing rent controls or building more homes" - Guardian, 11 May 2017.
    • An opinion poll for The Independent among all voters has Tony Blair as unpopular with 72% of voters. Only 21% were more positive. Among those who voted Labour in 2015, Tony Blair's unpopularity rating was 56%.
    • "I let the press know what you all know - I don't do downhearted" - Jeremy Corbyn's comment to CLPD, during a discussion about strategy. After the launch of the manifesto on 15 May, our feet should all go down even further on the accelerator pedals.
    • "From 2008 to 2015, using data from the OECD... UK real wages fell by 1% a year on average... Britain ranked 103rd out of 112 countries for which data was available" (according to a TUC analysis) - Larry Elliott¸ Guardian, 8 May 2017.
    • "The Conservative Party has taken our agenda... May is using exactly the same words and phrases that I've been using for 20 years" - Nigel Farage, Guardian, 8 May 2017.
    • In April "leading election experts" Rallings and Thrasher confidently expected a big win for the Lib-Dems in the May local elections. They predicted about a 100 seat overall gain for the Lib-Dems (Sunday Times, 2 April 2017). Result: Lib-Dems had overall loss of 42 seats. So much for "leading electìon experts".
    • In the local elections Labour won a seat off UKIP in Margate in deep blue Kent. And in deep blue Oxfordshire, Labour in Oxford went up a further two County Council seats (at the expense of the Greens - all those who left us over Iraq are returning to the fold). Within the wide boundaries of Oxford the Tories have no local authority seats whatsoever - and this has been the case for many a year. David Cameron, when prime minister, did venture into Oxford's 18th century Covered Market, only to be jovially accosted by CLPD's secretary.
    • "I know Theresa talks about strong and stable leadership, but I only heard the first part about getting a strong stable" - David Cameron, speaking at an Oval dinner about his new £25,000 garden shed.
    • "I carried out my own unscientific opinion poll in Thanet South and Hartlepool... There is a chance May may end up not that much better off than she is now" - Rod Liddle, Sunday Times, 7 May 2017.
    • "The failed coup by Labour MPs was an act of serious self-harm" - Professor James Curran, University of London, Guardian website, 7 May 2017.
    • The Guardian website also points out that the Dutch Labour Party has plummeted to a mere 5.7%, and in France the governing [until 14 May 2017] Socialist Party is down to a minuscule 6.4%. And, of course, they plumbed those depths even without the antics of a relentless bunch of internal wreckers.
    • "The Tories' performance in the council elections did not match the expectations raised by recent opinion polls... May's majority would leave her government vulnerable to rebellions by hardline Eurosceptic backbenchers... She may have to call another General Electìon in 2019" - Adam Boulton, Sunday Times, 7 May 2017.
    • The Lib-Dems could win less than their current nine seats at the Gen.Election, given the switch of UKIP to the Tories (the Lib-Dem MPs will be able to all get into a taxi, rather than a people-carrier). The UKIP ex-Labour people will return to Labour quite quickly and won't stay with the Tories - see convincing analysis by Rob Ford of Manchester University, Observer, 7 May 2017.
    • Under Universal Credit, lone parent families will be £2,380 a year worse off; a disabled person living alone can expect to be £3.500 a year worse off - Child Poverty Action Group.
    • "Several Guardian and Observer 'commentators' have been continually spewing out such hostile bilge that I now realise what they are really up to. These writers are secret Jeremy Corbyn fans.Their plan is to anger their readers to such an extent that the readers rush out to help Labour. Very clever. And there was me thinking they are an insult to journalism" - Pete Willsman, CLPD secretary, 7 May 2017.
    • "Some 30% of children - that's 4 million - are growing up in poverty. Prior to 2010, thanks to targeted policies, child poverty in Britain was being reduced... If the Tories win, we will be consigning an entire new generation of children to the stigma of poverty" - Mary O'Hara, social affairs writer, Guardian 3 May 2017.
    • Under Universal Credit, lone-parent families will be £2,380 a year worse off; a disabled person living alone can expect to be £3,500 a year worse off - Child Poverty Action Group.
    • "Progressive Alliance"? - not as long as the Lib-Dems prefer the Tories! In York the LibDems are in coalition with the Tories, keeping out Labour as the biggest party.
    • As usual, our Party's hard right are more concerned with inner-party positioning than with fighting the Tories, not to mention giving no support to Jeremy Corbyn whatsoever, in fact, quite the contrary. Having backed Ed Miliband's changes to the procedures for electing our Leader, they now want to scrap them and return to the arrangements that Ed Miliband and the so-called "party grandees" dismissed as 'undemocratic" - see story leaked by the hard right to the Sunday Times, 30 April 2017.
    • What May says: "I believe in campaigns where politicians actually get out and about and meet the voters". What May does - holds an election rally in a Leeds workplace, but only after all the workers had gone home, to be replaced by bussed-in Tory cheerleaders.
    • "Councils have had to spend more than £3.5 billion on temporary accommodation for homeless families in the past five years. The cost has increased by 43% annually" - Frances Ryan, Guardian, 28 April 2017.
    • YouGov polling, 2-20 April: Among 18-24 year olds, Labour is 19 points ahead. Among women under 40, 42% say Labour and 27% Tory. Among men under 40, 32% say Labour and 31% Tory.
    • Tory promises are worthless. Their 2015 manifesto pledged: "We will cap charges for residential social care from April 2016".
    • "The homeless are what you step over when you come out of the opera" - Sir George Young, former Tory Minister of State for Housing, speaking when he actually held that position.
    • "Food banks handed out a record number of meals last year, after the [government's] chaotic introduction of Universal Credit" - Guardian, 25 April 2017.
    • "By 2019-20 per-pupil funding is set to decline by 8% in real terms, with some of the biggest reductions hitting schools in the poorest areas" - Sunday Times, 23 April 2017.

    Nominations for CAC and NCC

    The Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) has a crucial role in influencing the running of conference, and therefore requires candidates who will represent the wishes of members. CLPD urges CLPs to nominate Seema Chandwani and Billy Hayes for the two CLP reps on the Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC). Seema Chandwani is a CLP Secretary (Tottenham CLP, Labour Party Membership Number: L1187007); and Billy Hayes is the former General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union (Mitcham and Morden CLP, Labour Party Membership Number A065571). The election for these reps will be by a One Member One Vote ballot this summer.

    CLPD also urges CLPs to nominate Anna Dyer and Emine Ibrahim for the two CLP reps on the National Constitutional Committee (NCC). Anna Dyer is a sitting member of the NCC (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn CLP, Labour Party Membership Number L0081865) and Emine Ibrahim is a CLP rep on the London Region's Labour Party Board (Hornsey and Wood Green CLP, Labour Party Membership Number L0150489). The election of these reps will be by CLP delegates at the Annual Conference in September.

    Click here for pdf leaflets: Billy Hayes; Seema Chandwani; Emine Ibrahim; Anna Dyer.

    CLPD Fringe Meetings at Labour Party conference 2017

    Saturday 23 and Tuesday 26 September, both at 6.30pm at Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton. Chairs Lizzy Ali and Rachel Ward. Speakers include: Iona Baker(NPF), Richard Burgon MP, Kelvin Hopkins MP, Cat Smith MP, Steve Turner (Unite), Mick Whelan (ASLEF), also several CLP Reps from NEC, including CLPD Secretary Pete Willsman, who will give a special briefing for delegates.

    Report from CLPD AGM 25 February 2017

    Read the report here.

    "Yellow Pages" briefing from London regional Labour Party conference, 12 November 2016

    Click here to download pdf

    "Yellow pages" briefings from Labour Party Conference 2016

    Wednesday

    Tuesday

    Monday

    Sunday

    Pete Willsman's guide to Labour Party conference 2016

    Click here to download


    SUSPENSIONS, EXPULSIONS, LABOUR PARTY DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

    New wave of suspensions and expulsions

    "Eventually over 11,000 complaints were logged as well-resourced right wing hit squads scented a golden opportunity and began trawling through known Corbynistas' Facebook and Twitter accounts". Christine Shawcroft reports on the new wave of suspensions and expulsions, November 2016.

    CLPD opposes new expulsions of left-wingers from the Labour Party

    CPLD fears that a new wave of expulsions of Corbyn supporters from the Labour Party may indicate that right-wingers and irreconcilables are using bureaucratic means to try to undermine the overwhelming majority decision of the Party to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader. We call for a change of Labour Party rules to provide a fair process and for Labour to welcome as members all those who support the Labour Party. Click here to read the statement.

    CLPD opposes expulsions of left-wingers from the Labour Party

    CLPD has agreed a statement opposing the expulsions of Labour Party members on the basis of association with the Alliance for Workers Liberty, and calling for a change of Labour Party rules to provide a fair process and for Labour to welcome as members all those who support the Labour Party. Click here to read the statement.

    Summary of the Chakrabarti report, 1 July 2016

    Click here to read a summary by Mike Phipps.


    JEREMY CORBYN

    Why Corbyn's moral clarity could propel him to no.10

    Click here to read the article by Danny Dorling, professor of geography at Oxford and author of many books including "Injustice: Why Social Inequality Still Persists", on Labour List.

    The Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon

    Speech by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey at the Oxford Union on Tuesday 9 February 2016


    SCOTLAND

    A mountain to climb in Scotland

    Article by Jim McKechnie from Labour Briefing


    TRIDENT

    Setting the record straight on Trident

    Letter to the Guardian by Ann Black, 16 January 2016. See also this statement from members of Labour's National Policy Forum.


    CAPITALISM, SOCIALISM, AND POVERTY

    Gordon Brown on the Tory lies about poverty

    In a speech to the Child Poverty Action Group on 11 November 2015, former Labour leader Gordon Brown slammed eight Tory "fictions" about poverty and tax credits. Click here to read the speech.

    "Falling wages, savage cuts and sham employment expose the recovery as bogus"

    In the Guardian of 20 October 2014, economist Ha Joon Chang, writing under the headline Why did Britain's political class buy into the Tories' economic fairytale?, sums up the case against austerity and gives Labour a wake-up call.

    "Needed: a vigorous opposition to neoliberalism"

    In the Guardian of 3 November 2014, the paper's economics editor, Larry Elliott, bemoans the lack of "fundamental change since the global financial crisis" and concludes that a "collapse not just of communism but also of social democracy" has left an "ideological vacuum... being filled by nationalism, environmentalism and religion".


    LABOUR PARTY STRUCTURES

    The future of the trade union link

    By Pete Willsman: click here to read

    On illegitimate interference by party staff into our internal elections

    Statement by Pete Willsman on the conduct of elections at Labour conference 2013

    CLPD supports the Charter for a Democratic Conference

    Click here to read the Charter online.

    Click here to download the Charter as pdf.


    SELECTIONS, RESELECTIONS, AND THE TRIGGER MECHANISM

    New research shows "gender quotas thus do not pose a threat to 'merit' at any stage of the political process

    "Instead, fostering diversity has contributed to a host of positive democratic outcomes", say researchers Mary Nugent and Mona Lena Krook: http://www.democraticaudit.com/?p=19728

    How to select or reselect your MP

    New edition by Dave Osland. £4.00 from left-wing bookshops or from Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham (0115 8373097): post free to mail order customers, pay via PayPal to bookshop@fiveleaves.co.uk. Right-click here for more information.

    How Labour's trigger works

    A CLPD briefing on the re-selection of sitting MPs


    PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION

    Sam Pallis on PR

    "The lure of PR conceals many myths – instead the left must learn to escape its comfort zone", writes Sam Pallis on Labour List (23 August 2016). (Editor's note: PR wonks always claim that their motivation is "more democracy for voters". Nothing is more democratic than every voter being able to vote "yes" or "no" on an issue after a national debate. And yet, many of the wonks are demanding that MPs (elected by, what they claim, is an electoral system that is not very democratic) must overturn the democratic decision of the whole population on the EU. Beneath the veneer covering many a "PR-democrat" lurks a total hypocrite).


    OTHER ISSUES

    Labour and the EU referendum

    See Keir Starmer on Labour List, 31 January 2017.

    Gary Younge: Brexit - a disaster decades in the making

    Click here to read the article.

    VIDEO CLIPS

    Ray Davison on rule changes at Labour Party conference 2014

    The Campaign, a BBC docudrama from 1983 about CLPD

    CLPD secretary Pete Willsman on the Daily Politics



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    Reports of NEC and NPF meetings can be found on our partner site http://www.grassrootslabour.net/



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