As it was an inspiring and transformative experience for me, I would like to write a full piece on the Labour Party Conference 2018 very soon.
Meanwhile, here is a write-up of the report that I gave at the Labour International meeting at conference on the situation within our youth section, Young Labour International (YLI). I will also give an outline of the plans I’m going to be presenting to the YLI and the Labour International Co-ordinating Committee (LICC) soon.
I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far. We’ve got a group of lovely and committed people and have had some great discussions: the Windrush Generation and the hostile environment, the CLP’s Open Selection motion, and our ‘Introduction to Trade Unionism’ conversation with LI political education officer Matt Heaney and Young Labour National Committee trade union rep Jawad Khan in particular stand out.
This was the first conference since the founding of YLI, which had its AGM in March 2018 and was officially recognised April 2018. Even getting this far has been something of a struggle since the party is wary of a legally messy group like ours, with members in dozens of countries, some of whom are minors.
This is somewhat understandable; it is, after all, their job to shield the party from legal liability, but it hasn’t made it less frustrating. Ultimately, I have thus far only been able to convince the party structures to let us have in-person meetings if they only include members over 18.
I will be continuing to push for members under 18 to be more fully included in the structures of the group. This will be made a lot easier for us thanks to the work of Jenny Semahimbo and Sarah Mahon, who sorted the drafting of a safeguarding policy for us to safely include under-18s.
The plans for the future are:
Building connections with socialist migrants around the world: It can be intimidating to get involved in the politics of a culture that isn’t your own. For this reason, I’d like us to build links with young people wanting to do just that in the UK, as we do it around the world. I am not sure exactly what form it’ll take yet but it could include buddy systems, political education and even language lessons.
A fully-funded youth delegation at next year’s conference: Conference was one of the transformative experiences of my life, and it seems unfair that other members can’t share in that. Conference has also left me completely skint, which is an unfair imposition on any member. For these reasons, I’ll be attempting to raise funds for a fully-funded youth delegation of 7 people at next year’s conference (one full voting delegate and 6 others).