Below are some model “contemporary resolutions” for Labour Party conference 2016 (which is 25-28 September, in Liverpool), on the following topics:
• Schools – anti-academies/grammar schools
• Anti-racism and uniting our communities post-EU referendum
• Public ownership of the banks
• For a democratic, pluralist Labour Party – against expulsions
• Saving the NHS (this is a motion written by a wide range of Labour-supporting NHS activists and circulated by Momentum NHS)
For a useful explanation of how resolutions work and how to agree / submit them, see here. Each CLP can submit one resolution, as long as it hasn’t already submitted a rule change. The word limit is 250 words (plus 10 words for the title), the submission deadline is 15 September.
Please feel free to adapt these resolutions, but please note the word limit and other requirements.
If you want some help, email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07796 690 874.
Hands off our schools – for comprehensive education
That on 6 August the Telegraph revealed Tory plans to deepen educational elitism by allowing more grammar schools.
That on 16 August the Guardian revealed that Collective Spirit Multi-Academy Trust, which in January only had 284 pupils, paid £700,000 over two years to a firm owned by its CEO. In June Ofsted judged one of the Trust’s two schools inadequate. This comes after a string of similar scandals connected to free schools and academies.
That the Guardian says Attwood Academies, run by financier Tom Attwood, failed to publish accounts for the year, in violation of DfE requirements. As chair of DfE’s Academies and Free Schools Board, Attwood is responsible for supervising academies across England!
That following public outcry and campaigning, the Tories have dropped blanket legally-enforced academisation of every school – but remain committed to forcing all schools to become academies.
That academisation means privatisation, public resources being handed to private sponsors; attacks on workers’ terms and conditions; and no improvement in children’s education.
That grammar schools encourage inequality and stunting of children’s potential.
1. To work with education unions and campaigners, supporting teachers’ industrial action in the autumn.
2. That the next Labour government should stop and reverse the spread of academies, free schools and grammar schools, and ensure a democratic school system, with every state school a comprehensive community school under Local Education Authority control – well-funded including by increasing tax on the rich and corporations.
3. To call on Labour councils not to promote academisation.
After the referendum: uniting our communities
Conference notes, that according to Stop Hate UK’s 16 August report, the number of hate crimes reported to them in the month after the Euro-referendum was up 72% on the same period last year. Specifically racist incidents increased 150%; the number of Eastern Europeans calling, 900%.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council says racist incidents are up 57%.
51% of abuse, according to another report from hate crimes organisations in July, was directly referendum-related. 12% was anti-Muslim. 14% targeted children.
The EY ITEM Club forecasting group predicts business lending will shrink 1% this year, 1.8% in 2017, 1% in 2018. It has slashed predictions for UK growth: 2.6% to 1.9% (2016), 2.3% to 0.4% (2017). In July consumer confidence took its sharpest drop since the 1990 crash.
We blame a government trashing already-struggling communities while promoting foul anti-migrant policies and rhetoric.
Labour must campaign to, minimally, limit the damage of Brexit by defending free movement and workers’ rights; fighting racism and uniting communities to win increased resources.
We must tackle the social distress feeding nationalism by leading a fight for decent jobs, homes and services for everyone, campaigning to tax the rich and business and:
– Restore the migrant impact fund
– Reverse cuts and privatisations in local government and other services since 2010, create secure, decently-paid public-sector jobs and training
– Build hundreds of thousands of council homes a year, regulate rents, strengthen tenants’ rights
– Raise the Minimum Wage to 2/3 median male earnings without exemptions, strengthen workers’ rights.
For a publicly-owned banking, pensions and mortgage system
Consumer groups’ and economists’ scathing criticisms of the Competition and Markets Authority’s 9 August report on banking reform, consumer services, overdraft fees, etc – a “weak and disappointing report from a toothless watchdog” (the Guardian).
That the Financial Conduct Authority judges the situation with banks mis-selling PPI so serious it wants the claims deadline extended another year, to June 2019.
The new Adam Smith Institute report warning banks risk collapse, “sailing blindly” into a new financial crisis – and of the possibility of another tax-payer bailout.
The Bank of England’s August cut in its bank lending rate. Banks still rely on state-aid, even after the 2008 bailout – £18,000 in cash, loans and guarantees for every person in Britain. In 2009-12 the BoE, through Quantitative Easing, gave banks £375bn for financial paper they might otherwise have been unable to sell.
Numerous scandals about how banks, some nationalised but controlled by their old bosses, function. HSBC, RBS, Barclays and Lloyds have set aside £36bn just to pay fines and settle legal claims for misbehaviour!
We further note that since 2012 TUC policy has called for “public ownership of the [banking and financial] sector and the creation of a publicly-owned banking service, democratically accountable and managed”.
Conference resolves the next Labour government should bring banking and high finance into public ownership and reorganise them under democratic control – ending their functioning as engines of crisis and inequality, unlocking resources for social investment, and creating a public banking, pensions and mortgage system serving the community.
For a democratic, pluralist Labour Party
Conference notes that in late August expulsions and suspensions from the party, already numerous, rose significantly. At time of writing the number is unknown, but on 20 August the Daily Telegraph reported “thousands of Labour members… could be suspended or expelled”.
Conference notes that this includes many longstanding members, among them Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union general secretary Ronnie Draper.
We further note that at almost exactly the same time it was revealed that David Sainsbury gave £2m to the Lib Dems last year!
We believe that, however our rules change, we need to ensure they are carried out in a spirit consistent with a democratic culture. As the Chakrabarti report argues, “the Labour Party should seek to uphold the strongest principles of natural justice”, “due process” and “proportionality”.
Expulsion and suspensions should not be used as a factional weapon. Everyone should be properly informed of the charges against them in writing – not via the press! – and given a hearing before any penalty, and there should be a proper appeals system.
Anyone willing to genuinely support Labour should be welcome, subject to our rules. Previous left-wing political activity should be of no relevance; neither should membership or support of particular organisations or currents.
to call on all party officials and bodies to act in the spirit of this motion.
to call on the NEC to carry out the Chakrabarti report’s recommendations.
that all those expelled or suspended who have been denied an appeal should be given one.
NHS: stop privatisation, save the health service
The rising tide of cuts and privatisation engulfing the NHS.
That, following junior doctors’ vote rejecting Jeremy Hunt’s unsafe, unfair contract, the BMA’s Junior Doctors’ executive voted (11 August) for escalating strikes from early September; subsequently, the ‘risk register’ on Hunt’s so-called “seven-day NHS” plan was leaked.
The sudden closure of Grantham’s A&E (10 August) due to staff shortages; similar situations nationwide.
St Helen’s CCG’s proposal (9 August) to suspend all non-urgent care for four months! Although the decision was reversed, the Royal College of Surgeons predicts such problems becoming “commonplace” without increased funding and ending resource-draining, market-driven bureaucratisation.
Conference commits Labour to
Wholeheartedly supporting junior doctors’ and health workers’ fight to defend themselves and the NHS.
Exposing and fighting rolling privatisation and cuts, including the “Sustainability and Transformation Plans”.
Rolling renationalisation of clinical, ancillary and back-office services; creating a universal, comprehensive, publicly-owned, -run and -accountable, and free (including prescriptions, dentistry, optical care) NHS.
Nationalising social care along the same lines: a free, public system.
Fully publicly funding both, including by reversing expensive and wasteful privatisation and marketisation; increasing taxes on the rich and corporations; borrowing to invest where necessary.
Ending PFI; liberating the NHS from debt.
Reversing attacks on migrants’ rights to healthcare.
Opposing any “trade deal” aiding privatisation of public services or assets.
Improving workers’ pay, rights, training and say; restoring bursaries; safe staffing levels.
Tackling causes of ill health by reversing “austerity”.
Legislation furthering these goals.
Campaigning with unions, health campaigns, the “NHS Bill” initiative.