It feels like it has been a long day.
I got to the conference area in time to get basic training on Contact Creator which I now have access to for Surrey Heath.
South East Labour Meeting including distribution of voting cards of numbered votes that can be applied to particular votes if either a show of hands is inconclusive or they are rules change votes.
Brexit policy forum with Keir Starmer and Richard Corbett. I didn’t get the chance to speak but it was well natured. No real opposition to a referendum and a range of views about whether the Labour leadership should take a remain position but all expressed without anger.
Main hall with votes on rule changes.
Minor controversy as a card vote was called to reject the CAC report. The principle concerns were:
- the way that the Asylum, Immigration and Detention motions had been split into different options for the priorities vote.
- the disciplinary rule change not meeting the wishes of Jewish members and particularly the fact that it was being debated and voted on when strict Jews could not participate.
- Presentation of rule changes where those changes not supported by the NEC were presented differently without side by side of the old and new text.
The final vote on this was 60%-40 in favour of accepting but the accept side was dominated by the union block vote.
Highlight was Dawn Butler speaking on equalities. The person next to me and I both spontaneously had thoughts about whether she may be a candidate for leadership in the future.
On the rule change votes most of those lacking the support of the NEC were withdrawn. I voted against a few changes in particular where there were requirements around the EC make up that I didn’t think we could sustain with our current levels of interest. I was hugely torn on the disciplinary process changes proposed with good speeches against from a barrister, an NCC member and a Jewish member but I decided to back the change which puts greater power in the NEC’s hands to decide clear cut cases. I view it as a test/challenge to show that they are dealing with issues and hold them accountable for the outcomes.
Green New Deal Compositing Meeting - to be continued Sunday evening
No blood (or conclusion) but definitely sweat and tears. [I’m going to have to have words with Julian for proposing this motion when I see him next as I think the Brexit one might be easy in comparison]. A couple of core issues are risking split motions. It took a couple of hours to get to the point where a starting point combined text was decided on by vote (multiple earlier calls for votes were denied) but after finally voting the one the party staff had assembled was adopted as a base (I voted of the “Socialist Green New Deal” starting point but wished they had just done the vote earlier. I did contribute a little to break a deadlock on whether “HS2” was was to be supported by proposing that “high speed rail” was used instead so I wasn’t entirely useless. There is real feeling and dilemma in the room about how much watering down to accept and whether it should be split and the allowed to fall rather than compromising too much especially on target date.