The Labour International All Members Meeting from last Saturday 7 July was adjourned, only 7 people having turned up. Clashing with England v Sweden certainly didn’t help. The meeting decided to adjourn itself until Sunday 15 July at 4 pm Central European Summer Time (that’s 2 pm GMT) The major items for discussion are Brexit and the Honorary Presidency of LI, as well as, time permitting, a number of other motions submitted by individuals and branches over the last month or two. Below are all of the outstanding motions. I propose that we take any not resolved at this meeting at the August meeting. Colin O’Driscoll.
To join the meeting click on the attached link:
1. A people’s vote on Brexit This CLP supports the earliest possible election of a Labour government. The current government is putting Tory Party dogma first, not jobs first – and they have no mandate for their agenda.
We note and support Labour’s six tests for Brexit, which aim to ensure that the post- Brexit settlement preserves the benefits we currently get from collaboration with Europe, defends our rights and protections, and delivers for all parts of the UK. It is increasingly clear that the Tories’ Brexit deal will fail these tests.
We believe that only Labour can lead the British people into a progressive and economically sound relationship with Europe. The Brexit deal being pursued by Theresa May is a threat to jobs, peace in Northern Ireland, and the future of the NHS and public services. Tory Brexit will wreck the British economy, will commit us to a series of long-term trade deals which will enforce American-style deregulation, and will undermine the rights, freedoms and protections currently enshrined in EU law. All of this will bind the hands of a future Labour government and will make it much harder for us to deliver on our promises.
The government’s free market agenda and racist scapegoating of migrants (which will inevitably also affect British citizens who are resident across the rest of the EU) along with the “hostile atmosphere” and the real threat of a return to open armed conflict in Ireland has rarely been challenged so far because of a wish to “respect the result”. At the same time, 80% of Labour members support a further referendum on any final deal, and most Labour members and supporters voted to remain.
We note that there is nothing in the 2017 manifesto that the EU could prevent – though the Commission could attempt to cause difficulties – but also that a neoliberal-shaped Brexit would be a bigger block on us achieving our aims. Brexit will be a disaster for working class people and the communities which the left is supposed to represent and who desperately need a Labour government carrying out socialist policies. Boris Johnson seems to be looking forward to a “Trump-style meltdown”.
We therefore urge Labour to oppose the Tories’ destructive Brexit and unite the country behind a radical vision for the future. In government, Labour could rally left-wing parties across the continent, and create a Europe for the many, not the few.
We must make the election of a radical Labour government our first priority.
We note that for a general election to be called, there must be a two thirds majority of MPs (due to the Fixed Term Parliament Act) and that the Conservatives are unlikely to call an election they expect to lose. The only likely route to a general election before 2022 would be the collapse of the government’s Brexit agenda. This could happen if the EU Exit Deal is voted down in Parliament and in a subsequent popular vote.
We note and support the 2016 Conference commitment to a public vote on the Exit Deal so the people have the final decision on whether to accept the government’s deal or to stay in the EU.
We call on the Labour Party to:
1. Reaffirm its policy of opposing any Brexit deal that does not satisfy Labour’s 6 tests.2. Reaffirm 2016 Labour Conference support for a public vote on the deal. The franchise in this referendum, as in general, should be extended to all British citizens regardless of place of residence and length of time spent outside of the UK
3. Following a public vote in favour of rejecting the proposed Tory Brexit deal, to call for an immediate general election. The franchise in this vote, as in general, should be extended to all British citizens regardless of place of residence and length of time spent outside of the UK. Following a public vote in favour of rejecting the deal and remaining in the EU, to call for an immediate general election.
Delegates from this CLP to Labour Party conference should vote in line with this policy.
2. Support Another Europe is Possible and Support the “Left against Brexit”
The LICC notes the launching of the “The Left Against Brexit” speaking tour organised by Another Europe Is Possible and supported by, amongst others, Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary and Julie Ward, Labour MEP for North-West England and a clear supporter of the leadership of our party under Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.
The time to stay silent is long over.
Labour International resolves to:
a. contact Another Europe Is Possible to provide input into their campaign from LI members who will be affected by Brexit
b. encourage local LI branches and groups (primarily) in the EU to organise public meetings or debates, e.g. in cooperation with “The Left Against Brexit” on what alternatives are currently possible to the reactionary, neoliberal, racist Brexit agenda of the Tory-DUP coalition in Westminster.
c. provide funding for necessary transport costs for a speaker at such local meetings, ideally a member of the Labour Party (MP, MEP, NEC member etc.) who supports this campaign and the LI Treasurer is instructed to enable this if required. This also applies to budgeted costs for publicity, meeting room costs, etc.
d. encourage local LI branches or groups to attempt to cooperate with local socialist and social-democratic parties who support our party manifesto and direction in the organising and publicising of any such events, in order to build lasting links with them on the ground and to build LI.
e. officially affiliate to Another Europe Is Possible, an alliance of progressives fighting for an alternative to extreme Tory Brexit and to publicise its campaigns to the membership of LI, amongst others, in our newsletter and on our website and on social media. If there is no process of affiliation to AIEP, LI resolves instead to send a donation of 50 pounds.
Proposed and seconded:
Matthew Heaney (Germany), Leanne Benneworth
(Netherlands), Colin O Driscoll (Belgium), Andrew Ryder (Hungary)
3. Affiliation to Another Europe is Possible
Labour International resolves:
a. to officially affiliate to Another Europe Is Possible, an alliance of progressives fighting for an alternative to extreme Tory Brexit and Free Movement and Rights for All
b. to publicise its campaigns to the membership of LI, amongst others, in our newsletter and on our website and on social media.
c. If there is no process of affiliation to AIEP, LI resolves instead to send a donation of 50 pounds.
LI Honorary Presidency
This CLP notes that there is no position of LI Honorary President in the rule book. Although the previous LICC appointed Mr Mike Gapes to act as “Honorary President of LI”, there has never been a vote among the membership on creating such a position, or on electing Mr Mike Gapes to this position. Despite this fact the Labour MP for Ilford South, Mr Mike Gapes continues to refer to himself as “Honorary President of LI” and claims to represent the interests of LI members in an official capacity, including in parliamentary debates on 23/02/18 and on 15/06/16.
This CLP believes that as he was not elected, Mr Gapes should no longer have a right to refer to himself in this capacity, and particularly as we believe he does not represent the do not reflect LI members views and serves to undermine the otherwise good links this CLP has with the party leadership and their staff.
This CLP instructs the LICC to formally write to Mr Gapes informing him of this and asking him to remove any references to the aforementioned position in his official public statements, on his website and in the House of Commons, forthwith and without further delay.
Proposed by; David Pardoe A005801
Seconded by: Jade MacEwan L1635818
1. This branch/CLPs notes that:
1.1 Ruth Smeeth MP claimed that at the launch of the Charkrabarti report in June 2016, veteran anti-racist campaigner Marc Wadsworth was being “anti-Semitic” for criticising her as “working hand in hand” with a reporter of the Daily Telegraph
– a fallacious claim that was repeated in almost every newspaper.
1.2 An all-white, three person panel of the National Constitutional Committee of the Labour Party, however, did not uphold this charge. They expelled Marc Wadsworth on April 27 2018 under the catch-all phrase of “bringing the party into disrepute” (point 2.1.8 in Labour’s rulebook).
1.3 Marc Wadsworth is a veteran anti-racist campaigner and former chair or Labour Party Black Sections (1986-1988). He founded the Anti-Racist Alliance in 1991 and helped the parents of Stephen Lawrence set up their campaign for justice and introduced them to Nelson Mandela.
2. This branch/CLP believes that:
2.1 Nothing that Marc Wadsworth did or said at the launch of the Chakrabarti report was even vaguely anti-Semitic.
2.2 The decision to expel him is outrageous and wholly contrary to natural justice. He was expelled under disciplinary procedures that had not been updated to take into account the recommendations of the Chakrabarti report, although the National Executive Committee decided in 2016 to implement them “immediately”.
2.3 It is not Marc who has brought the party “into disrepute” – it is the “shameless smears”
of the “Corbyn-hating” MPs (Len McCluskey in the New Statesman on April 25 2018), who have worked tirelessly to undermine Jeremy Corbyn at every opportunity since his election as Labour leader in 2015.
2.4 Chris Williamson MP is right to call thisdecision “perverse”. He is also right to criticise the “weaponisation of anti-Semitism for political ends”.
2.5 Marc Wadsworth is the latest victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters, which has seen hundreds of left-wing activists being thrown to the wolves of the Tory Party and their supporters in the mainstream media.
2.6 Despite the growing number of fallacious allegations of anti-Semitism, the number of cases of anti-Semitism among Labour Party members upheld remains tiny. Many of the allegations have been baseless and politically motivated – attempts to purge or muzzle members who are critical of Israeli government policies and actions, particularly pro-Corbyn members on the left of the party.
3. This branch/CLP calls on the Labour Party NEC:
3.1 To immediately reinstate all those summarily expelled or suspended from membership without due process, or as part of the anti-Corbyn witch-hunt, including Marc Wadsworth, Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone, Cyril Chilson, Tony Greenstein and Stan Keable.
3.2 To bring to a swift end the practice of automatic, instant, expulsion or suspension of Labour Party members (apart from exceptional circumstances):
a) A member accused of a breach of rule must be regarded as innocent until proven guilty and be given all the evidence submitted against them by their accuser
b) Membership rights must not be removed until disciplinary investigations and procedures have been completed;
3.3 To abolish the Labour Party’s “Compliance Unit”. Disciplinary decisions should be taken only by elected bodies, not by paid officials.
4. This branch/CLP further resolves:
4.1 To affiliate to Labour Against the Witchhunt (£25) and send a donation of £ XY.
Proposed Ann Bonner
Labour International Reform
Labour Germany notes that the CLP is the basic unit of the Labour Party, in which members can submit, debate and vote upon motions. Unfortunately, under the current LI rulebook, this power to pass motions is uniquely denied to members of Labour International CLP, where decision-making power rests with the LICC alone.
Labour Germany welcomes the current LICC’s efforts to increase democratic decision- making in the CLP by voluntarily submitting decisions it would formally be able to decide on its own (eg. On motions to Party Conference or NEC endorsements) to online votes by all
Labour Germany especially welcomes the huge steps taken by the current LICC in introducing online video conferencing for meetings throughout LI, enabling an enormous increase in participation at every level of the CLP. This online connectivity however also removes any barrier to democratic participation by the entire LI membership.
To further widen participation, and further devolve democratic power to the membership, Labour Germany calls upon LICC to submit a revised LI rule book to the NEC for approval as soon as possible include the following reforms:
– All LI members should be given the power to submit, debate and vote on motions at All- Member Meetings. This vote should take place on a one member one vote basis.
– Meetings should be scheduled at times practically accessible for the largest number of LI members possible, whatever their time zone (e.g. late afternoons CET on a weekend).
– Motions already passed and submitted by branches and/or the LICC should be given priority on the agenda above motions submitted by individuals.
– To this end, all members worldwide should be assigned to a group or branch. Groups should continue to be given all assistance possible in formally establishing as branches. All groups and branches should be given help in making all their meetings online accessible to members who are unable to attend physically. By a date determined by LICC, ALL LI branch and group meetings MUST be online accessible.
Submitted by LI Germany
Proposed by Steve Hudson
Seconded by Andrew Nodroum
Motion on the Windrush Generation and the Hostile Environment 16 May 2018
Labour Germany notes:
- the ongoing scandal regarding the immigration status of members of the “Windrush generation” and denial of their status as British citizens or persons with indefinite leave to remain. This has led to them being deported from the UK, being denied reentry to the UK, being denied a passport (and therefore the ability to travel outside the UK), losing their jobs, losing their rented accommodation, losing their driving licences, being denied access to benefits and/or being denied medical treatment;
- that whilst what has happened to the “Windrush generation” is shocking, it is important to recognise the root cause of this scandal – the “hostile environment” policy, created by Prime Minister Theresa May when she was the Home Secretary, and the 2014 Immigration Act that underpins and reinforces it;
- the excellent work of David Lammy MP in drawing attention to the plight of the “Windrush generation” and those threatened by deportation. The treatment of the “Windrush generation” by the Home Office has been unacceptable and must be remedied as a matter of urgency (including the suspension of any potential deportations);
- that as well as the Windrush victims, migrants, asylum seekers and refugees have also suffered under the cosh of the “hostile environment” since 2012;
- that public sector workers, landlords, employers and banks have been forced to act as immigration police, under threat of sanction if they do not, which has fed the rise of xenophobic attitudes in the UK;
- the concern that a Home Office which failed to keep track of 50,000 Caribbean immigrants will not be able to cope with properly registering some 3 million EU citizens living in the UK post-Brexit. It is evident that any failure on the part of the UK authorities to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK may well have severe repercussions for UK citizens living in the EU;
- Amber Rudd MP resigned as the Home Secretary, albeit for misleading Parliament rather than taking ministerial responsibility for the actions of the Home Office; and
- the Labour International Coordinating Committee proposes to pass a motion on this topic on behalf of Labour International. Labour Germany condemns Theresa May’s “hostile environment” policy, expresses solidarity with everyone adversely affected by the policy and rejects any attempt to distinguish between migrants on the grounds of their perceived economic utility or social standing.
Labour Germany calls on the Party to:
- campaign for justice and compensation for the “Windrush generation” and other groups affected by the “hostile environment” including migrants, refugees and asylum seekers;
- hold the Government to account for the “hostile environment” policy and the 2014 Immigration Act that underpins it;
- demand the resignation of the Prime Minister Theresa May MP as the architect of the “hostile environment” policy whilst she was the Home Secretary;
- demand an immediate independent public inquiry into the events and policy surrounding the “Windrush generation”;
- ensure that all rights currently enjoyed by EU and UK citizens and their children are amongst the provisions that will be protected by law in the final Brexit withdrawal agreement; and
- repeal Theresa May’s “hostile environment” legislation once in government.
Labour Friends of Israel and their Statement on the Gaza Killings
“On 14 May, Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) responded to the massacre of civilians by Israeli forces in Gaza, not by condemning those who fired weapons at them or those who gave the orders, but with the words “Hamas must accept responsibility for these events“. Doctors without Borders described the killings as ‘unacceptable and inhuman’.
Madrid BLP condemns the stance taken by LFI and calls on all Labour personnel to publicly end any association with the group.”
Submitted by LI Madrid