This is the last day of Conference but before we get into that a couple of points missed in the hubbub of yesterday.
Firstly I reported on LI delegate Kate Laycock’s intervention in the Green New Deal debate. What I forgot to mention is that both composite motions were carried committing Labour to a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 rather than 2050 which is the current general target. These decisions do have an effect and a tweet from congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez welcoming the leadership being shown by the Labour Party Conference on the issue is an indication of this.
On a related note Labour International raised at the beginning of Conference the presence of BP with a stall in the Conference Exhibitors hall. The Conference Arrangements Committee promised to give this further consideration for future Conferences. However the intervention appears to have had an impact even this year as the BP reception, at which the company would have been touting for support for their maximum extraction policy, was cancelled because no MP would attend. So well done to Kate Laycock for raising the issue and to Labour MP’s for refusing to attend.
So on to today.Whilst yesterday felt like the end of Conference with Jeremy Corbyn’s speech and the newsround today will be focussing on the reconvening of Parliament there are still important issues to be dealt with at Conference. These start with the continuation from yesterday of the debates on housing and the Emergency debate on Kashmir. Following further debate both motions were carried.
In addition a reference back by LI delegate Pat Byrne calling on the NPF to increase the target for council house building was also carried.
There was an important debate on mental health issues which highlighted the need for proper mental health support and encouragement for those with mental health issues to talk about them. The motion was carried.
The motion was carried.
An Emergency Motion on the collapse of Thomas Cook highlighted the failure of the UK Government and Banks in the form of RBS to support the company despite the support of the German and Swedish governments to keep their arms of the company flying. The real reason Johnson will not save the company is the £250 billion hedge funds have made in speculating against the company. To him their profits are more important than the jobs of Thomas Cook workers, the millions who are stranded abroad and those whose holidays are destroyed. By comparison Unite committed itself to fight for the pay owed to the workforce and to ensure they get their full redundancy terms.The motion was carried.
Well that’s it for another year. It has been a good Conference with good interventions from an active and enthusiastic set of delegates and activists. Labour International has played its full part in this.Conference has adopted good policies on, amongst other things, the Green New Deal, Workers rights, ending bandit capitalism, housing and of course Brexit.
There are plenty of other issues clamouring for attention and next years Conference, hopefully the first with a Labour Government in power, will not be short of things to debate.
In the short term however the task is to win the General election which will soon be upon us. It worth remembering that Labour nearly doubled its vote from that the polls claimed we had at the start of the last election. With the policies agreed and the enthusiastic support of half a million members and even more supporters there is no reason why we cannot go a step further and win this time.