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LRC AGM 2019 

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CONFERENCE 2019

10.30am - 5pm Saturday 9th February

Student Central (formerly University of London Union), Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY.

Conference registration will open at 10am.  Student Central has full disabled access.

CONFERENCE 2019 Agenda

1030 Welcome from Chair, Matt Wrack

Conference Arrangements Committee Report

1045 John McDonnell (followed by Q & A)

1115 Lauren Townsend, TGI Fridays

1125 Introduction of NEC statement– Mick Brooks

1135 Moving of following motions: LAW amendment on IHRA; LAW motion on IHRA; Grass Roots Left; New Communist Party. Followed by discussion.

1215 Response to discussion by movers of motions and NEC statement. Followed by voting on these items

Prior to lunch break, candidates for election will be asked to identify themselves.

1230-1.15 Lunch, after which voting in elections closes

1.15 Jennifer Forbes, PPC for Truro and Falmouth

1.25 Red Green Labour speaker

1.35 Matt Wrack, General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union

1.50 Moving of resolutions from Norfolk/Suffolk LRC and proposal for an online journal, followed by discussion and voting on these items.

2.05 Trans Rights motion, discussion and voting

2.20 Socialist Clause 4 motion, discussion and voting

2.35 Local government austerity motion, discussion and voting

2.50 Labour Land Campaign motion, discussion and voting

3.05 Labour CND motion, discussion and voting

3.20 (if conference agrees to take it) Fire Brigades Union motion, discussion and voting

3.35 Announcement of results of elections, Financial report and appeal

3.45 Appeal to the Labour Left, introduced by Ben Sellers

3.55 Discussion

4.45 Ian Hodson, President of the Bakers, Food and Allied W

Preparing our Movement for the Struggles Ahead

***(Scroll down for amendments and resolutions)

Statement by LRC National Executive Committee

1) This document assesses the state of the movement, the problems we face, and how the LRC should address them.

2) Corbyn’s victory in 2015 represented a long-delayed revolt against the consequences of a period since the Great Recession of 2008 when working class living standards have at best stagnated for more than a decade, a situation unique since the nineteenth century. The disaster has been exacerbated since 2010 by Tory-led policies of austerity which have savagely butchered what is left of the welfare state, picking on the most vulnerable in particular, the disabled, the jobless and the poorest in the land. Tory Britain is a land of foodbanks, rough sleepers and long-term unemployment.

3) It is not possible to catalogue here all the human consequences of austerity. Labour has charged that by 2020 86% of its burden will have fallen on women. This is mainly because of the long freeze on tax credits and benefits (a cut in real terms), which, apart from women generally, has disproportionately hit BME households, lone parents and the disabled.

4) The roll out of universal credit is already plunging more and more working class people into despair. The long delays in payment drive many to foodbanks and into debt. Sanctions and arbitrary denials of benefit (half of which are overturned on appeal) add insult to injury. There is a huge wall of discontent building up against the iniquities of universal credit.

5) A further ticking time bomb is the crisis in social care. Social care faces a funding crisis, as local authorities have been harder hit by cuts than any other aspect of public expenditure. There will be a shortfall of £1.5 billion in social care by 2020. Three million hours of home care have been lost since 2015. To save money the criteria for eligibility have been raised, so 400,000 elderly people are losing out. Care homes and nursing homes are a broken business model. Homes are losing money while some are closing, yet residents or their families are stretched to pay the astronomical fees. This cannot go on.

6) Amid this crisis all the talk is of Brexit, as if that were the only political issue on the agenda. Brexit is indeed a vital issue in its own right for the working class. On top of that it has the possibility of creating a political and constitutional crisis. At the time of writing the situation is extremely uncertain. Britain could exit the European Union without a deal, with Theresa May’s preferred deal or a variant, or remain within theEU – we just don’t know. There could be a general election at any time. The Prime Minister could be toppled by a revolt within the Conservative Party.

7) Corbyn winning the Labour leadership against the odds has opened up immense opportunities, but at the same time exposed the many weaknesses of the movement. It is not just that our unions are at an extremely weak point (both in membership and strike days lost), but we also face the structures put in place by Blair and others in the Party to stifle democratic input, together with the resistance of the Party machine, Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and local government structures to both left policies and democracy.

8) Neo-liberal policies, with their consequential increasing inequalities, are backed up by structures which enable them to be enforced, especially the anti-union laws and weakening of workplace union structures.

9) Much of this stems from the serious defeats suffered by the movement in the 1980s and beyond, which have not just enabled the ruling class to run rampant, but also resulted in the right of our movement rarely being seriously challenged.

10) Corbyn’s victory – beyond the pressure on MPs which got him on the ballot paper in the first place – came as a result of the hatred of austerity and war policies among wide swathes of the working class, even though that hatred had rarely been expressed in organised resistance to those policies.

11) This means that at the same time as pushing to win a general election with the outcome of a Corbyn-led Labour government, we also have to build that resistance to the Tories in the Party and wider movement, and build a movement across the organised labour movement, and beyond to the working class in general. Such a movement will need to resist the Tories now and also provide the counter-pressure which will back up and take forward Labour’s policies if and when Labour wins.

12) Clearly, the preferred option of the ruling class is to prevent Corbyn ever becoming Prime Minister. At root their concern is his stand against austerity and imperialist war. They are prepared to throw anything at him, firstly to prevent him retaining the Labour leadership, if that fails to prevent him winning a general election, and as a last resort to tame him into watering down his policies so he offers no threat to their interests.

13) Hence the onslaught of propaganda from their mouthpieces and supporters, whether Tories, business, the media or the right of the PLP. This has been stepped up whenever an election (council or general), is imminent. While some of this is laughingly trivial (the wrong sort of coat at the Cenotaph), and easily brushed off (Czech spy), they have found mileage with the accusation that the Party harbours large numbers of antisemites, and even that Corbyn himself is antisemitic.

14) The LRC and Briefing have rightly distinguished between real antisemitism, which obviously exists in the Party, though much more marginally than suggested, and which must be challenged, and criticism of Israel, up to and including the argument by many that, as a colonial settler state, it is an intrinsically racist endeavour.

15) The storm against ‘Labour antisemitism’ over the summer has been extremely frustrating and damaging. It has held the Labour leadership back in building support and further developing policy. Not only has it put Labour in a defensive mode when it should be on the attack, but it has also caused dissension and confusion even among some in the ranks of the left of Labour, Corbyn’s natural support.

16) This issue has not gone away. On the contrary, anti-Zionists are still being expelled, and more and more councils are adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) definition and examples of antisemitism and using it to discipline workers. We can expect an upsurge in allegations, new or old, whenever an election looms.

7) The Labour Party machine, under General Secretary Iain McNicol, worked hard at undermining Corbyn in a number of ways, from notorious purging for spurious reasons, to trying to block Corbyn standing in the second leadership election. The belated replacement of McNicol by Jennie Formby is welcome, though change is still working its way through the Party. Members are still being wrongly accused of antisemitism, are still being told allegations have been investigated without any knowledge of those allegations, and are still waiting for far too long for allegations to be investigated. “Bringing the Party into disrepute” is still used as a catch-all when other charges cannot be made to stick.

18) Jennie Formby has told Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) that they are not entitled to challenge decisions of the National Constitutional Committee (NCC). (When did socialists not campaign against perceived miscarriages of justice?). There is still a long way to go before the proposals in the Chakrabarti report regarding natural justice are properly implemented. But, as with other issues, we cannot just sit back and wait for changes to work their way through. Protests against injustice and replacing witch-hunters in the Party machine and disciplinary bodies, are crucial to changing this. That’s why it was so crucial to get a Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) member, Stephen Marks, nominated and elected to the NCC.

19) But separating anti-Zionism from actual antisemitism is not primarily about process, but about politics – about an understanding of the nature of Israel, its laws, practices and its treatment of the Palestinians. Moreover, these false allegations are intended to weaponise the accusations of antisemitism against Labour. Such allegations must be challenged politically, and it is why the passing of the resolution by 2018 Labour Conference and the accompanying waving of Palestinian flags was so important.

20) While the Democracy Review (its full version) addressed many of the critical issues in Party structures, it was considerably watered down and even sidelined in many of the proposals which reached Conference. Thus, while beginning to redress the lack of structures allowing the self-organisation of women, BME, LGBT+ and disabled members, there were no proposals to Conference on the National Policy Forum (NPF) and local government. We must not allow the positive proposals of the Democracy Review to be cast aside. This was an important opportunity to help democratise the Party, and we need to back up the remaining proposals for implementation right up to the 2019 Conference.

21) The proposals on the trigger ballot for Parliamentary selections and the nomination of Leader fell far short of a serious democratisation – the hurdle for nomination of Leader was set higher than previously. While the reformed trigger ballot makes it easier to have a proper selection for disliked MPs, it does not create the open selection which would mean every sitting MP having to justify their right to continue to represent the Party.

22) The leadership supported the step back on leadership nomination and open selection. There are occasions when we have no interest in accepting compromises, and this is one case where we have to maintain an independent position.

23) The role of unions in supporting the watered-down democracy proposals, and even blocking discussion of open selection (contrary, in several cases, to their own policy), produced a backlash against the unions at conference. While, for instance, Len McCluskey was given a standing ovation for his attack on the right of the PLP, his role in ignoring Unite’s policy was also noted. But much of the left chooses to turn a blind eye to the fact that this was done to support the Party leadership’s wishes.

24) How are we to assess the impact of the 2018 Conference? On the one hand it unleashed enormous enthusiasm among a big layer of delegates, many of whom have been swept into political activity in the wake of the Corbynist movement. On the other hand, the back-stage manoeuvering and deals which held the movement back show, despite the huge gains since the days when Tony Blair treated Conference as a support rally, how far we still have to go to achieve a Conference that truly represents the mood of Party members.

25) The behaviour of some unions in the CLPs, such as the affiliation of multiple branches with no delegates under the control of regions, purely for the purpose of protecting sitting MPs, and the willingness to make right wing members delegates from unions with which they have no intrinsic connection, has gone some way to convince newer members of the Party that the unions are inherently holding back the movement.

26) The ill thought through rule change which allows CLPs to move easily from a delegate to an all-member structure (and vice versa) has already created a situation in several CLPs where sections of the left are attempting to use this rule change. While it is often the case that some on the left believe such a move is necessary in order to release the bureaucratic grip of the right on the Party, in fact it seriously dilutes the input of union delegates into CLPs, a dangerous step. It took 3 months for the affiliated trade unions (organised in TULO, now called Unions Together) to wake up to the issue and put out a statement arguing against the change, and another week for the National Executive Committee (NEC) to issue its guidelines about how the rule change should be handled. With some on the left even questioning the union-Party link at any level, it is incumbent on socialists to argue for retaining that link, while taking up the cudgels for democratisation of that union input. Hence the importance of the LRC’s approach, which, while working with national unions, attempts to also take the arguments into the unions at every level, rather than simply relying on support from union leaderships.

27) Momentum as a national organisation has shown itself on many occasions to fall far short of what is needed for the movement to grow and be up to the tasks facing it. From the failure to challenge and resist the general purge of left members by the Party machine during the leadership elections, to a refusal to challenge – if not go along with – the accusation of antisemitism against those critical of Israel, to its retreat over democratic changes to Labour’s constitution at Conference, the Momentum leadership has failed to adequately promote the transformation of the Party. The drive to get the IHRA definition and examples of antisemitism adopted by the NEC, the attempt to block a JVL member standing for the NCC and the attempt to block Pete Willsman winning a place on the NEC exposed these shortcomings to a wider audience.

28) These weaknesses have produced a movement of independence and dissent among many Momentum members and some branches. While many Momentum groups are healthy and “do their own thing”, there has also been the development of Labour Left groups outside of Momentum’s orbit, not least because Momentum nationally seems unreformable. While Momentum is still able to get the message – and the vote – out for internal Party elections, and no doubt will be able to direct people to winnable seats when a general election comes, in terms of encouraging involvement and policy-making, it falls well short.

29) Policy making: the lack of proposals at Conference 2018 on the reform of the policy-making process leave it unclear how policy is made in the Labour Party. The NPF produces very feeble reports, large chunks of which are referred back by Conference, while policy resolutions are passed overwhelmingly but then ignored by shadow ministers on such issues as welfare reform and housing.

30) That the 2017 manifesto was popular and addressed many of the issues facing us, is no answer to having a clear decision-making process for the Party as a whole. The move to scrap the limitation of resolutions to “contemporary” issues and expansion to 20 resolutions should go some way to ensuring Conference decisions are sovereign, but clarity is still necessary.

31) Though ‘For the Many, Not the Few’ represented a huge step forward in casting austerity as a political choice made by the Tories and not an economic necessity, there are huge areas of policy which have been neglected or ignored. The 2017 manifesto is far from being a socialist programme for Britain in the twenty-first century. We have a lot of work to do in putting forward proposals, especially as bigger organisations on the left like Momentum see it as no part of their business to help develop policy.

32) There are still crucial issues on which the LRC believes policies do not go far enough or are not clear enough - stemming in many cases from the actions of shadow ministers or the NPF. The Left has a clear responsibility to put forward policies which address these issues, while supporting the leadership in general.

33) At the core of this shortcoming in policy is the reliance on fiscal (taxation) policy to tackle inequality in Britain, with inadequate proposals to tax the super-rich. Reducing inequality is crucial. Labour needs a comprehensive and far-reaching set of policies to deal with it.

34) Taking the railways, for instance, back into public ownership is intended to follow the slow process of waiting for franchises to come up for renewal. Other utilities will be bought back into public ownership, compensating the private companies which run them. But the case has already been made for public ownership, especially of the railways. Very few would defend companies which have inflicted so much misery if they were nationalised without compensation.

35) A socialist strategy makes clear that there is no common interest between employer and worker and supports the collective efforts of workers to take control away from the ruling class. That is why such ideas as workers on boards in private companies and share ownership are of limited value. Instead, we want to build strong unions, backed up by laws which allow workplace and company-wide resistance to the employers. While supporting changes to the law which provide increased rights for workers, and collective bargaining, we also want an incoming Labour government committed to scrapping the anti-union laws, not just the most recent, but Thatcher’s too. The drive to unionise the “gig” economy and hospitality sector is crucial, not only to win rights for the workers involved, but also because it brings new and energetic young workers into a movement and re-asserts the fundamental nature of unions, collective action, not just individual rights. Though the overall level of strikes in Britain has been at a record low level over recent years, that is not an indication of social peace and harmony. It rather shows a mood of intense frustration, broken by inspiring battles by young workers, often in low paid and casualised occupations which have traditionally been very difficult to organise.

36) There are big gaps and inadequacies in Labour’s policy on housing, education, climate change and much else. The LRC needs to strive to put forward our own policies to deal with aspects of these gaps and inadequacies, but also to try to create the pressure within the Party to get these policies accepted and ultimately to generate the mass support to get them implemented under a Corbyn-led Labour government.

37) The far right, and re-grouping fascists, have used the Brexit discussion to assert a racist agenda. It is incumbent on socialists to challenge racism, and to organise to prevent the far right growing, where necessary by mobilising on the streets.

38) It is inadequate for socialists to sit back and wait for a general election, at which point we will of course pull out all the stops to mobilise to win. A large part of winning depends on what socialists do on the ground in advance of the election, and a large part of how successful a Labour government will be in transforming society depends on the work we have done in building and transforming our movement, both in terms of democracy and policy, in advance of the election, and which can be carried forward to face the challenges which will be thrown up after an election.

39) To summarise the tasks of the LRC, and the Left in general:

  • Building a movement in the unions and party which seeks to transform both in terms of democratic functioning and socialist policy. To this end we will work, as appropriate, with other forces.

  • Democratise and strengthen the Party-union link at every level, while also building the unions by supporting those struggles which break out.

  • Developing political education and policies and promoting their adoption.

  • Expanding the reach of the LRC by continuing to work towards employing a part-time worker, and at the same time encouraging the formation of local LRC groups, and the affiliation of sections of the movement.

    SAY NO TO NO DEAL BREXIT

    40) The LRC recognises that for Britain to crash out of the European Union without a deal on the terms of Brexit would be disastrous for jobs and the prosperity of working class people.

    41) Theresa May’s government is using the threat of No Deal to blackmail Parliament into voting for her tawdry deal as the only alternative. For the past two and a half years the government has in effect imposed a dictatorship over negotiations on what has been described as the most important political decision since the Second World War. They have tried to totally exclude Parliament, and parties other than the Tories, from discussion over the negotiations and a meaningful vote on their proposed deal.

    42) The government has recently used obstruction and delay in bringing their suggested deal before Parliament. They are now running down the clock in order to panic parliamentarians into voting for Theresa May’s deal.

    43) Labour’s leadership also rejects May’s deal, which has been crushingly defeated in Parliament. Labour has proposed a clear alternative set of objectives as the basis for negotiations, prioritising jobs and living standards.

    44) The government has proved itself incapable of governing. They have produced a political and constitutional crisis. Theresa May is heading what Jeremy correctly describes as a zombie government. She will not agree to withdraw No Deal as an option as it would mean losing the DUP plus the Brexit wing of her party. So this situation of deadlock seems likely to last.

    45)This clause from Labour’s 2017 election manifesto For the Many, Not the Few remains completely true and valid:   “Labour recognises that leaving the EU with ‘No Deal’ is the worst possible deal for Britain and that it would do damage to our economy and trade. We will reject ‘No Deal’ as a viable option and if needs be negotiate transitional arrangements to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’ for the UK economy.”  

    46) The demand for a new public vote, while remaining available as an option on the table, is not immediately relevant. By contrast, Jeremy's intransigence in resisting No Deal has the potential to unite us as never before. In holding firm to this position, Labour in Parliament can take the lead in cross-party moves to legislate in opposition to the current government. In practice, this may be the surest way to give teeth to Jeremy's demand and take No Deal right off the table once and for all.

    47) The LRC stands four-square behind our leadership's proven strategy in fighting against No Deal and for a General Election and guiding our movement toward power, which may mean mobilising industrial power to bring this process to a head. Rather than leave these tasks exclusively to our MPs, the LRC resolves to play its part in helping to mobilize these additional forces. 

    48) The LRC supports the free movement of people and opposes any discrimination on the movement of persons based on nationality. We are opposed to immigration controls. As internationalists we look forward to and work towards a socialist Europe.

    

Resolutions passed at 2019 Conference

Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW)

IHRA ‘Definition’ of Anti-Semitism

1. The LRC rejects the IHRA ‘definition’ in its entirety and notes that the OED defines Anti-Semitism far more succinctly: “Hostility to or prejudice against Jews”.

2. The IHRA’s ‘definition’ raises a number of questions:

a. What is a “certain perception”?

b. Is anti-Semitism merely a perception?

c. If anti-Semitism “may be expressed as hatred towards Jews” what else might it be expressed as?

d. Why do seven of its eleven examples refer to the state of Israel and not Jews?

3. The definition’s real purpose is to defend the Israeli state from its critics - not Jews from anti-Semitism. It conflates anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism.

The definition has been subject to searing criticism by academic and legal scholars:

a. Professor David Feldman called it “bewilderingly imprecise”.

b. Hugh Tomlinson QC warned of its “chilling effect on public bodies”.

c. Sir Stephen Sedley, a Jewish former Court of Appeal Judge said it “fails the first test of any definition: it is indefinite”.

d. Geoffrey Robertson QC described it as ‘unfit for purpose’.

5. The adoption of the IHRA definition by the NEC has not brought an end to the claim that the Labour Party is riddled with anti-Semites but it has massively expanded the grounds being used for false allegations of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn supporters.

6. We will campaign for the NEC to reverse its decision.

7. We fight for freedom of speech, including the right to call the Israeli state racist and discriminatory.

Norfolk and Suffolk LRC

LRC conference 2019 welcomes the opening up of policy debate within the Labour Party now that the dead hand of New Labour is lifting. Conference agrees we must try to produce documents, publications and events focused on specific policy areas and publicise them as interventions into national debates under an agreed LRC brand. Whilst recognising resource limitations we believe there is a wealth of experience and talent which can be tapped if we make our presence felt. At this stage the Political Secretary must take responsibility for guiding this activity but the NEC should consider establishing a Policy sub-committee and/or appointing Policy Editors to develop specific projects, They must be approved by the NEC before public launch.

Proposal for Political Education Online Journal: remitted to NEC

1. The left is in desperate need of a non-sectarian and non-dogmatic forum to develop political education and discussion.

2. The discussion of ideas is not an alternative to action – it is a necessary precondition for effective political activity

3. We propose the creation of an open access online journal linked to the LRC which provides a platform for the discussion and debate of socialist ideas and theory to support the activities and programme of the Labour-left.

4. The journal will be updated on a rolling basis with bimonthly themes for articles. Articles will be commissioned by the editorial board from a broad cross-section of the academic and activist left and contributors will be encouraged to reply to the work of others and respond to criticism of their own work. Readers will be encouraged to engage by submitting their own articles for publication. The intention is to provide a forum for considered, comradely debate.

5. We believe there are enough comrades interested in this project to form an initial editorial board.

6. In the long-term, the online journal should be used as a platform to host podcasts featuring socialist theorists and videos of meetings, discussions and events held by local Momentum, LRC or Labour Briefing supporters’ groups.

7. The journal will be hosted on a stand-alone website, linked to from the LRC website. Website design and maintenance to be managed by the editorial board.

Matthew Jones, Pete Kennedy, Chris Cassells, Nick Rogers, Sandy McBurney, Ian MacDonald, Nick Smith, Lauren Bryden, Ian Drummond, Graham Wilson

Trans Rights

This conference notes

That there has been an extensive debate across the Labour movement about trans rights

That TUC Congress has supported the reform of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) to reduce the humiliating and bureaucratic obstacles that trans people are forced to go through to live as themselves and to give rights to gender non-binary people

That the Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, the Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Dawn Butler and LGBT Labour have robustly and publicly supported this view

That the reform of the GRA proposed by trans organisations and their allies is in line with legislation in force in countries from Ireland to Argentina with very little controversy

That there are a small number of people who have opposed such an approach including trade unionists and Labour Party members. Some of them have done so under the banner of feminism – claiming that an extension of rights to trans people will reduce the rights of other women.

This LRC conference believes

The position taken by the TUC and Labour leadership on the GRA is correct

That the achievement of rights by one group does not mean the reduction of rights to another

That much of the propaganda around what reform of the GRA would mean for women-only services are wrong.

That the greater visibility and empowerment of trans and non-binary people is a blow to the gender stereotypes that feminism abhors

This conference resolves

To ask the Briefing editorial Board to carry material along these lines

Opposing local government austerity

Labour cannot be an anti-austerity party unless the words are matched by action. In local government Labour councils are by and large implementing austerity. There has been no national campaign to oppose the unprecedented scale of cuts nor even a national meeting to discuss how the Party could practically oppose austerity and campaign for an alternative.

With no framework for discussion, left wing Labour councillors, are isolated and in small numbers. There has been some intake of new left wing councillors but there has been no effort to bring them together.

This LRC conference, therefore, proposes that we organise a national meeting bringing together councillors, trades unionists and community activists, to discuss a strategy for opposing austerity in local government and what programme we want a Labour government to implement.

LABOUR LAND CAMPAIGN

The Labour Representation Committee (LRC) recognises that Britain has the smallest and least well-maintained housing stock in the developed world and many of our citizens have no home at all. The housing crisis cannot be solved in the short term by building more houses – current housing stock must be improved and made more affordable. The ever-widening gap between incomes and both property prices and rents is not to do with any increase in the value of buildings but rather the inexorably rising price of land. No one created land and it is the common inheritance of all of us but its ownership disproportionately benefits a minority of citizens.

This minority notably includes landlords. While private landlords receive £10 billion a year of taxpayers’ money in housing benefit as well as £1 billion a year for providing emergency accommodation, they generally pay no property tax on the houses they own as Council Tax is levied on occupants, not owners. In addition, landlords do not pay Business Rates even though they are operating a business with the sole purpose of generating income.

LRC therefore supports the policies of the original Labour Representation Committee and early Labour Party of shifting the burden of taxation onto wealthy landowners by introducing a Land Value Tax. Such a shift would lower land prices making current houses more affordable to buy and rent as well as releasing many currently under-used properties onto the market, notably for local authorities to expand the social housing sector.

LABOUR CND MOTION

The LRC:

1. considers recent US decisions to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and tear up the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty to be dangerous and destabilising

2. fears that ending the INF Treaty may take us back to the worst days of the Cold War, leading to a spiralling nuclear arms race and more US nuclear weapons coming to Europe. In spite of Trump’s election promises to end pointless wars and spending on useless, expensive military equipment, the reality of his presidency is a new era of militarism, and policy documents indicate preparation for high-tech massively violent wars against Russia and China.

3. Believes the risk of a global military conflict which includes the use of nuclear weapons is greater than at any time since WWII.

4. Notes increasing recognition that nuclear weapons do not enhance security. However some people believe that as a nuclear war has been avoided it will continue to do so. That optimism is misplaced.

5. Welcomes the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban agreed by the majority of the United Nations, already signed by 70 countries and ratified by 20, in spite of opposition by the US, UK and other NATO countries.

6. Notes that Labour is firmly committed to a foreign policy based on agreement and ending the use of force. The Shadow Minister for Disarmament is developing a Labour Peace Doctrine.

7. Calls for Labour to commit to signing the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban. This implies scrapping the Trident system and not replacing it.

The following resolution from the Fire Brigades Union was received late. It will be presented to the Conference for acceptance or otherwise onto the agenda. The Conference Arrangements Committee recommends that this motion is allowed on the agenda for debate and voting on.

Fire Brigades Union

Free our trade unions Repealing the anti-trade union laws and replacing them with strong legal workers’ rights is a decisive matter for our movement and a decisive test for a Corbyn government. Many struggles are hindered by the anti-union laws. They make workplace-level struggle difficult. Our movement’s de facto acceptance of such rules has helped corrode its wider culture of self-activity, militancy and solidarity. It would be extremely dangerous for a left-wing Labour government if workers’ hands are still tied behind our backs. Workers’ ability to organise and take action will be decisive to the success of Labour in office. While we welcome the party's recent commitments on workers’ rights, none are a substitute for further action. Labour Party conference policy passed in 2015, 2017 and 2018 – committing to repeal all anti-union laws introduced by Thatcher and Major as well as Cameron, and replace them with strong legal rights to organise, strike, picket and take solidarity action – must be campaigned for by the party now and implemented in full. We welcome the establishment of the Free Our Unions initiative by Lambeth Unison and The Clarion – now backed by a wide range of union organisations. We will support and promote it as widely as possible. We will add the LRC’s name to the Free Our Unions statement and call on our affiliates to do likewise. We will raise this issue with the Labour leadership, including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, both of whom have a long record of campaigning on this.