In the battle to decide what sort of Labour Party is needed to represent the progressive majority it would be easy to overlook grassroots initiatives that pre-date Anno Ed (AE). As followers of Refounding Labour know, it is proving a struggle to keep track of those that post date AE. Among the recommendations in the LabOUR Commission interim report (2007) were proposals for a Charter of Member’s Rights, an Ombudsperson and a Code of Ethics.
In the bundle of Rule changes proposed by members that is on the Agenda for Conference 2011 is this one from Hyndburn CLP in Lancashire for a Charter of Member’s Rights. The Labour Democratic Network committee, which met in Birmingham last Saturday, urges the NEC Organisation Committee (aka Org Sub) to make sure this is incorporated into the Refounding Labour package to be put to members either at Conference 2011 (or a special Conference)as a means of securing a broad consensus about how to reshape the party to better represent the electorate. Here is the Hyndburn CLP rule change:
To Establish a Charter of Labour Party individual and trades union affiliated member’s rights
Add new Rule 2B 5 as follows:
There shall be a Charter of Labour Party Individual and Trades Union Member’s Rights to guarantee the rights of both individual and trades union affiliated members of the Party. This Charter shall be drafted by the National Executive Committee and shall be approved by Conference following full consultation. This Charter shall make provision for the following matters:
- The right of individual and trades union affiliated Party members to inspect the financial records of the Party on giving reasonable notice
- The right of individual and trades union affiliated Party members to be provided with full information about the party’s finances on an annual basis.
- The right of individual and trades union affiliated Party members to determine the Party’s donations policy under the sovereign authority of Conference.
- The right of individual and trades union affiliated Party members to participate fully in the selection of candidates to represent the Party in elections to public office on an equal opportunities basis and in accordance with the Party rules.
- The right of individual and trades union party members to be considered for nomination as a Party candidate for election to public office, on satisfying prescribed qual ifying conditions
- The right of individual and trades union affiliated Party members to participate in the selection and election of all persons nominated to represent the Party in the House of Lords or replacement upper chamber.
- The right of all individual and trades union affiliated Party members to participate in local and national party governance by taking part through being elected as delegates to appropriate institutional bodies including Constituency General Committees (where these exist) Labour Regional Boards, the National Policy Forum, the National Executive Committee and the Party Annual Conference
- The right of individual and trades union affiliated Party members to participate in the development of party policy, under the sovereign authority of Conference, and the right not to be excluded there-from except in accordance with the rules of the Party.
- The right of individual and trades union affiliated Party members to transparency in the policy making process, including clear audit trails and feed-back.
- The trades unions affiliated to the Labour Party shall collectively continue to enjoy their collective rights under the current Labour Party rules including 50% of the votes at the Labour Party Conference one third of the votes in the party electoral colleges for the Leadership etc.
- The right of trades union affiliated and individual members of the Party and of affiliated trades unions collectively to complain to the Labour Party Ombudsperson (when appointed) about conduct of party officers, party employees, party representatives, party contractors and party members alleged to be in breach of (i) the Labour Party Constitution or (ii) The Labour Party Code of Ethics(when in place) and to be informed of the outcome of such a complaint.
- The right of individual and trades union affiliated party members not to be unreasonably disciplined or expelled from the Party, including a right not to be disciplined or expelled for exercising rights contained in this Charter.
proposed by Hyndburn CLP agreed at GC on 16/07/2010