If this is right – and, considering it is by Steve Walker, it undoubtedly is – then the Labour Party Conference has been perverted by the chair of the party’s own National Executive Committee.
Members cannot let even an apparent abuse of democracy pass by. These decision must be questioned – otherwise more abuses will follow.
If anybody else at the conference witnessed this or other incidents, you need to take whatever action is appropriate to have these matters reviewed, investigated and, if necessary, reversed.
Paddy Lillis, the NEC chair who has been chairing Labour’s first conference session… has already been demonstrating contempt for democracy.
The vote … to accept/reject the ‘Conference Arrangement Committee’ report, in which the CAC attempts to justify its decision to ignore some of the most key issues raised by Labour constituency parties and members, was voted on by a show of hands that had a huge number of ‘reject’ hands raised – at the very least, it was tight and probably more than those voting to accept, so a proper ballot was required. People at various heights and angles around the hall have confirmed this.
Lillis declared the ‘accept’ vote ‘overwhelmingly carried’.
Subsequently, various people stood to ‘reference back’ (i.e. object to and put to a delegate vote’) the fact that the NEC’s (National Executive Committee) proposed rule changes are offered as a ‘take it or leave it’ package, rather than allowing members to vote individually on rule changes. This means members have to reject good changes if they want to reject very bad ones.
Lillis simply waved off these objections: “It would take time to discuss them all. If you object to any of the changes, you’ll just have to vote against them all’, or words very close to those.
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