THE LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE will be critical to the Labour Party for years to come.
New Labour is over but changing the party’s institutions and structures is a task that remains. Since Corbyn’s leadership victories we have had a new general secretary, a new NEC more aligned with members’ interests and membership growth to over half a million members while Tory membership is now below that of the SNP.
One of the next steps is Labour International’s motion on open selection. Together with other CLPs pushing for similar changes in the selection of MPs, we can start the transformation of the parliamentary party into something representative of Labour votes and ordinary people. Labour International’s open selection motion gets rid of the ridiculously complicated and divisive trigger ballot mechanism and replaces it with a straightforward one member one vote mechanism before each election if there is more than one candidate. What could be more simple, straightforward and democratic?
When we started, we didn’t think that we had much chance of this change being passed. Momentum and CLPD proposed a limited set of changes by adjusting trigger ballots to make it a little easier to have an open selection – a sort of return to Kinnock. They thought that this was all we could hope for.
Now more and more Labour Party members are joining the open selection campaign or sharing our social media material. Chris Williamson MP publicly supports our campaign and Momentum has shifted its stance, daring to mention the words ‘open’ and ‘selection’ in the same sentence! We even had a request from Channel 4 to comment on Chuka’s latest canine outburst!
We’re looking forward to this conference. Can this be the beginning of real change?
How you can help
What we have so far achieved is down to our supporters who have been making the arguments on behalf of the campaign in wards, CLPs and trade union branches. But we can always do with more:
1. Sign up with the campaign: https:// www.labour-open-selection.org.uk
2. Follow and share our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ labouropenselection/
3. Follow and retweet from our twitter account: https://twitter.com/Open_Selection
4. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and share what you like: https://www. youtube.com/channel/UCuuolAh2rkSCT001KlNh5JQ/featured
5. Get your ward, CLP or trade union branch to pass the support motion: https://www.labour-open-selection.org. uk/clp_supporting_motion_for_rule_change
6. If you are a Momentum member sign our Momentum petition: keep up the pressure! https://www.labour-openselection.org.uk/momentum_petition
7. If you are coming to conference:
Tell us you are coming as a delegate or a visitor when you sign up
Come to our fringe meeting on Saturday 22nd September in the afternoon. For more information click here.
Come to the LRC fringe on Monday evening, where we have a speaker.
Be one of our volunteers at conference - there will be lots to do. Go the sign-up page to indicate that you want to volunteer.
Most important of all, VOTE FOR THE RULE CHANGE!
8. Make a donation. Given the nature of the campaign we cannot use Labour International’s funds from Labour Party subs, and a lot of this costs money: https://www.labour-open-selection.org.uk/donate_to_open_selection_campaign
Thanks for all your help and see some of you in Liverpool.
Co-chair, Labour International; Labour International Editorial Team