PREPARING FOR A LABOUR GOVERNment: THE TASKS OF THE LABOUR LEFT
A one-day LRC Special General Meeting will be held on Saturday 10th February, 2018 at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL, from 10.30am to 4pm, with registration opening at 10am. The venue has full disabled access.
Speakers confirmed so far:
John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Matt Wrack, General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union,
Maria Exall, CWU
Ian Hodson, President, Bakers Union
Speaker from Jewish Voice for Labour
To encourage attendance, we have held conference fees as low as possible: just £5 unwaged and outside London, £10 low waged, or £15 waged. Click here to renew your LRC membership and/or book your place now. If you wish to book a place in a crèche, please let us know by midday on 3rd February including your child’s name, age and details of any special needs they may have.
To nominate for posts, contest elections, vote and fully participate, you must be a paid-up member. If your LRC membership has lapsed, please renew it by clicking here.
Conference will decide our campaigning priorities and elect our National Officers and NEC for the coming year. There are 8 seats to represent either individual members or affiliates and 3 equalities seats (1 LGBT, 1 BAME, 1 disabled), all elected by conference as a whole. 2 National Organisers representing local LRC groups will be elected by delegates from local LRC groups. Conference will also elect 6 people to sit on the Editorial Board of our journal, Labour Briefing (please click here to subscribe). Lastly, Conference will elect two auditors.
To stand for election for any of these positions, you must be a paid-up member and be nominated by at least two other members. Candidates may submit a personal statement of max. 100 words, which will be distributed to registered delegates. Please send your statement, ideally as a Word.doc attachment, by email to email@example.com, to arrive before 12 noon on Saturday 20th January 2018.
Officer Posts up for Election in 2018. Nominate now!
The AGM will elect the following officers of the LRC who will report and be accountable to the NEC. Nomination received so far are listed with proposers in brackets.
- President: John McDonnell (nominated by Unite the Union Liverpool 0538, Mick Brooks and Pete Firmin)
- Chair: Matt Wrack (nominated by Unite the Union Liverpool 0538, Pete Firmin and Graham Bash)
- Vice Chairs (2):
- 1. Suzanne Gannon (nominated by Graham Bash and Pete Firmin)
- [Suzanne's personal statement: I’ve been a member of LRC’s NEC for the last year; there is untapped potential in the LRC, and I am willing to work to reinvigorate it. As an educator, I am keen to see the LRC develop a vibrant educational programme and become an arena for critical policy discussions. I rejoined the Party when Corbyn got on the leadership ballot, and have since been active in my CLP. I am currently a candidate in the local elections. As a woman living in West Yorkshire, I can help bring a view to LRC’s leadership team that is somewhat less London-centric.]
- 2. Maria Exall (nominated by Pete Firmin and Mick Brooks)
- Treasurer: Alison McGarry (nominated by Mick Brooks and Pete Firmin)
- Political Secretary: Mick Brooks (nominated by Graham Bash and Pete Firmin)
- [Mick's personal statement: Member of Ealing Southall CLP and delegate to GC; member of LP for 50 years; member of Unite, activist and former branch chair; Momentum member, though critical at the lack of democracy at national level; Labour Briefing Editorial Board; author ‘Capitalist crisis in theory and practice; member of LRC since 2005. The LRC must be fully supportive of the Corbynist leadership of the Labour Party while maintaining an independent socialist stance. ]
- Membership Secretary: Keith Henderson (nominated by Mick Brooks and Pete Firmin)
- Web Manager: Norrette Moore (nominated by Graham Bash and Pete Firmin)
- Administrative Secretary: Pete Firmin (nominated by Graham Bash and Mick Brooks)
- [Pete's personal statement: Retired postal worker, chair, Brent Trades Council and local (Council) Tenants Association, supporter of Labour Against the Witchhunt and Jewish Voice for Labour. With crucial decisions facing the movement over the next few years, we need greater clarity from the LRC as to where it stands. I want the LRC to be an active part of the Labour Left and wider labour movement, independent of, but supportive of, the leadership. The LRC needs to link up with others who want an active, democratic movement, when, for all its achievements, there is a democratic deficit in Momentum.]
(At least 4 of the above should identify as female)
LRC NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
8 ordinary members (at least 4 should identify as female):
- Steve McKenzie (nominated by Mick Brooks and Keith Henderson);
- Graham Bash (Unite the Union Liverpool 0538, Pete Firmin and Mick Brooks):
[Graham's personal statement: I am a founder member of the LRC, Briefing editorial board and Labour Against the War. I have been a Labour Party member for 49 years. Our main priority is to consolidate the gains of the left within the Party. We must also connect the Labour left with a broader rank and file movement of support which will be crucial in the event of a Corbyn-led Labour government. Such a movement must both be supportive and independent of the party leadership, able to build a counterpressure to the all the forces which will seek to undermine a left Labour government.]
- John Wiseman (nominated by Unite the Union Liverpool 0538).
- [John's personal statement: As a member of the EC and now the National committee of the Labour Representation Committee for over a decade I feel it is important, more than ever we give as much support to Jeremy Corbyn as we can and get a labour government as soon as possible. With the crises of the NHS at the forefront of politics at present, it is important that we must look after the poorest in society. We also need to make sure that we implement the socialist values we are all aware of through all structures of the labour party, making sure we elect our leaders democratically. ]
- Patricia Jackson (nominated by Unite the Union Liverpool 0538).
- [Patricia's personal statement: As a member of the National committee this year, I have attended several meetings in Liverpool and London and enjoyed the experience with working with colleagues from the traditional wing of the party. My socialist politics has enabled me to encourage as many women as possible through the labour movement. As a councillor and member of Unite we must realise that the cuts are have a devastating impact on a local services and people, and so we need to make sure we try and find alternatives that support the people.]
- Cllr Janet Johnson (nominated by Unite the Union Liverpool 0538) and Manciya Uddin (Robyn Hattersley, John Wiseman) joint ticket.
- [Janet's personal statement: As a trade union representative and national committee this year, within the NHS, I can see the impact of the cuts. I am an active member of Merseyside Health branch of Unite the Union and feel that we need a change of government to save the NHS. We need to also as issues such as mental health and the impact of tragedies such as Grenfell on the local population as well as the work place. I feel compassionately about the community, in which I serve as a local councillor.]
- [Manciya's personal statement: As a lead BME member in St Helens, I was recently elected to become a prospective council candidate for Windle Ward in st Helens. I have just got on the Jo Cox programme for women and I am keen to develop my skills across the labour movement, I support the aspirations of Jackie Walker to make the party more inclusive for all members and develop a strategy for dealing with the issues of discrimination across the party. I feel the left must get behind Jeremy Corbyn and a new labour government. ]
- Andrew Berry (nominated by Pete Firmin and Mick Brooks): (Andrew's personal statement: Labour Party member since 1984. UNISON activist. Elected member of UNISON Labour Link National Committee. Key role in getting UNISON to nominate Jeremy Corbyn in both leadership elections. TULO Islington north CLP, ward membership officer. Jeremy has made it clear Labour is democratic party and policy passed at conference will be Labour policy, the LRC and the left need to take the initiative and not just follow and ensure LRC policies become Labour policies.)
- Mike Phipps (nominated by Graham Bash and Michael Calderbank) (Mike's personal statement: I’m standing again for the National Executive Committee and the Labour Briefing editorial board. I am a founding member of the LRC, a member of its NEC and also of the CLPD executive. My association with Labour Briefing goes back to the 1980s. I am chair of a branch in Brent Central CLP, Chair of Brent Stop the War, editor of Iraq Occupation Focus’s e-newsletter, a member of the World Development Movement and Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign and editor of a recent book For the Many: preparing Labour for Power, published by OR Books.)
- Graham Durham (Grassroots Left)
- Gerry Downing (Grassroots Left)
Union Section 2 members
Equalities Disabilities: Barbara Roberts (nominated by Dave Holland and Hackney LRC); Cllr Jimmy Jackson/Cllr Louise Reecejones joint ticket (nominated by Unite the Union Liverpool 0538)
- [Jimmy's personal statement: As a lead councillor within Merseyside for many years I have seen the cuts to disability services and the rise of the PIP, and the disgraceful way the disabled family is treated. I have been dealing with many PIP and ESA claims in the community. As somebody who suffers from a disability himself, it is really important that we support those in society who need our help. . I have recently joined disability labour working with Louise reecejones. Statement by Louise Reecejones: As a local councillor and current national committee member, it is really important that disability rights are at the forefront of all that we need do. As an executive member and officer of disability labour, I am at the forefront of campaigning for Jeremy Corbyn and people with disability issues. I have made sure that as a parent of disabled children is that we put their needs at the top of the agenda. With disabilities myself it is important that we fight for a Corbyn government and make sure these benefit cuts are reversed.]
BAME: Jackie Walker (nominated by Pete Firmin, Mick Brooks and Unite the Union Liverpool 0538)
LGBT: Patrick Hall (Graham Bash, Mick Brooks)
National Organiser North Sian Bloor/Cllr Tony Johnson (nominated by Unite the Union Liverpool 0538); Patrick Hall (nominated by Mick Brooks, Graham Bash).
- [Tony's personal statement: As the staff side secretary at Alder Hey Hospital for Unite the Union, it is important that we support the NHS through these difficult times. As a councillor and cabinet member, I have led from the front fighting the cuts at every turn. I have been a trade unionist for over twenty five years looking after the interests of members. We need to make sure that Jeremy Corbyn is elected as soon as possible for the people of this country.]
- National Organiser South
Labour Briefing Editorial Board – up to four to be elected
- John Wiseman/Phil Wiseman joint ticket (nominated by Unite the Union Liverpool 0538).
- [John's personal statement: As a member of the briefing editorial board for a number of years, it is important that we expand the readership of the magazine. We also need to increase the range of comments to enable debate. Through the work of Graham and others we need the magazine to expand. As a member of the EC and now the National committee of the Labour Representation Committee for over a decade I feel it is important, more than ever we give as much support to Jeremy Corbyn as we can and get a labour government as soon as possible.
- [Phil's personal statement: As member of the Unite EC and as branch secretary, I have over 50 years’ experience in the trade union and labour movement. My branch affiliates to briefing each year and I am keen to extend the readership amongst the trade unions. As a convenor for many years I seen the need for an organised and labour and written voice for the grassroots of the labour party, which Briefing is.]
- Alex Graham (nominated by Unite the Union Liverpool 0538)
- Graham Bash (nominated by Mick Brooks and Pete Firmin). [Personal statement as for nomination for NEC]
- Norrette Moore (nominated by Pete Firmin and Mick Brooks)
- Jackie Walker (nominated by Pete Firmin and Mick Brooks)
- Mick Brooks (nominated by Pete Firmin and Graham Bash). [Personal statement as for nomination for Political Secretary]
- Tony Burke (nominated by Unite the Union Liverpool 0538).
- [Tony's personal statement: I am currently an Assistant General Secretary at Unite responsible for manufacturing. A trade unionist for over 40 years, I was previously the Deputy General Secretary of the print union GPMU.I am a member of the General Council and Executive Committee of the TUC; a member of the Labour Party NPF and represent Unite within international trade union federations notably IndustriALL and Workers Uniting. I am currently chair of the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom and a member of the Board of the Peoples Press Printing Society and the Trade Union co-ordinator for the Morning Star newspaper.]
2 to be elected
Fight Victimisations in Fujitsu
This LRC pledges to campaign for industrial and financial support for Ian Allinson and other victimised and striking workers. Ian, chair of Unite Fujitsu, was dismissed under the pretext of redundancy on 12 January. 5 other members are also fighting redundancy, the majority are ethnic minority and/or disabled; two are union reps. Jobs were available for two which other members had refused. One, Saj Patel, was dismissed before the company investigated her grievance (in breach of agreements) – she complained of sexual harassment and claimed this was linked to her selection for redundancy. Ian discovered he was being dismissed while on compassionate leave for a family funeral.
Ian argues that the attack on the union is intended to make it easier for Fujitsu to push through cuts in job and conditions later, and to make it harder for staff to get their share of any of the settlement of the NHS contract dispute, which could be hundreds of millions of pounds.
In early December workers staged protests in Manchester against Mrs Patel’s dismissal and in London against Ian’s victimisation. 250 Unite Manchester members have voted to take 11 days strike action; a three-day strike on 24 January, a 24-hour strike on 30 January, a week-long strike starting 8 February coupled with a work to rule. This follows 27 days of strike action over the last year.
Fujitsu (profits 2016, ¥88.4 billion = £583.2 million) employs nearly 8,000 people in the UK.
For more information see http://www.ouruniontest.wordpress.com/
Gerry Downing Secretary GRL
Unite Retired members branch LE/002
Despite the great gains made in the election and the mas party membership the political situation is unpredictable; the Tory/DUP alliance remains unpopular. However, the assumption in the LRC Political Statement and by much of the Party membership that somehow the Tory government can be brought down and forced out through Parliamentary opposition alone is both optimistic and wrongly places the emphasis on the mass Party membership playing a supportive but essentially passive role to the Parliamentary campaign. The LRC must campaign to extend the struggle both in Parliament and in the wider movement to force the Tories from power and end austerity.
Two areas require urgent action
1) The LRC needs to campaign in the rank-and-file of the trade union movement behind the call of John McDonnell for unified action against the seven years of pay reductions imposed by the government and the cuts to public services. This will require determined and organised campaigning across the major trade unions as well as firm leadership.
2) The LRC must lead a campaign to end Labour councillors’ implementing Tory cuts - 70% local government funding will be cut by 2020. Labour councillors must unite to build and lead local campaigns, including direct action, to defend services by building alliances with Labour party branches, GCs, trade union branches, Trades Councils and communities opposing cuts to pay, service and jobs.
Open the second and third fronts against the Tories.
Watch this Space!
As nominations, resolutions and amendments come in from the areas, we will update this page to keep you posted.