What The Clarion did at Labour Party conference

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We thought it was worth summarising what we did at Labour Party conference – which, though on a relatively small scale, had some impact. We have already published quite a lot about conference but will put out a wider overview of the event soon.

Policy

We did well at getting Constituencies to submit policy to the conference. All our model motions were submitted in some form.

As a result of our motion on schools the conference voted for the abolition of academies. Although these motions were not discussed, we also got important arguments onto the agenda about reversing council cuts, transforming the benefits system and a socialist program to tackle climate change (see link above). We also got policy submitted to Women’s Conference to reverse all council cuts.

We were central to push which ended up with the conference agreeing, in the Brexit composite, a call for “a radical government: taxing the rich to fund better public services, expanding common ownership, abolishing anti-union laws and engaging in massive public investment.”

Publications

We sold hundreds of copies of Clarion issue 18 (front page: ‘Fighting for the soul of Corbynism’ / back page: ‘Make Labour conference sovereign!’) and of our new pamphlet on the right to strike.

The anti-union laws campaign

We collected a large number of signatures on a petition about the legal suppression of the PCS pay strike and the need to repeal the anti-union laws – more on this soon.

We held a successful and well attended fringe meeting on the anti-union laws with speakers including FBU general secretary Matt Wrack and NW regional secretary Mark Rowe, McStriker and Bakers’ Union NEC member Lauren McCourt, Truro and Falmouth PPC Jenn Forbes, Lambeth Unison branch secretary Simon Hannah and Ana Oppenheim of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement (the last two are also on our editorial board). You can watch Matt Wrack’s speech here. We’ll put videos of other speeches up soon.

We also worked with the FBU to raise this issue in the conference – see here.

Left Against Brexit

Many Clarion activists were involved in Another Europe is Possible/Left Against Brexit’s campaigning and we played a central role in getting some generically pro-migrants text passed; as well as trying – unsuccessfully – to get text to defend free movement, close all detention centres and scrap ‘no recourse to public funds’ to the conference floor.

Democracy

We actively supported the Open Selection campaign, which was also covered in Clarion 18, and other fights for democratic reform. We raised the issue of unjustly expelled members and promoted the rule change to reform the absurd rule under which they have been justified. This was defeated – we’ll report more on that soon.

Clarion bulletin

We produced two editions of a Clarion bulletin to tell delegates what was going on and promote our arguments – see here and here. After that we failed to produce any more – note to do better next time!

Reaching out

We intervened in and promoted our publications and initiatives at a wide range of conference fringe and The World Transformed meetings. Some of our editors and supporters ran sessions at The World Transformed. We made arguments about political education and debate; the anti-union laws; free movement and migrants’ rights; public ownership of the banks and finance; workers’ control; the challenges of a Corbyn government and learning from the history of left governments; and the need for a left which fights for socialism.

Let us know what you think? Write a reply? theclarionmag@gmail.com

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