All video from Left Unity conference

Left Unity’s conference on Saturday was recorded… here you can see all the debates as they happened. There is some editing to avoid long waits, eg. during the counting of votes.

Click ‘playlist’ in the top-left corner to move to the part of the day you are interested in, or click here to see all the parts listed on Youtube.


9 comments

9 responses to “All video from Left Unity conference”

  1. mark anthony france says:

    Brilliant that the videos of conference are now available on youtube… having watched all of them I notice that the first section on the Internationalism/National Question debate on Motion 36 from Glasgow Left Unity is the only section of conference not on you tube..

    This section of conference debate was the most controversial and although the videos on both Motions 37 and 38 are available the section on Motion 36 is missing. Can this omission be rectified?

    • Steve Wallis says:

      Mark is wrong. There are other problems with the editing.

      The video entitled “Left Unity National Conference 2014 (04b) – Peter Green-Economic Policy Report 2/2” jumps from the proposer of amendment 1C to debate from the floor, skipping entirely past Laurie McCauley proposing a Manchester amendment (1D), that I wrote.

      It amended:
      26. We also propose the public ownership of other essential services, including the giant supermarket companies, which dominate the retail trade and much of the agricultural and food industry in this country.

      As follows:
      after [ownership of], add [companies that attempt to destabilise a Left Unity government, by a ‘strike of capital’ or by trying to transfer assets overseas, and]

      When it came to the vote, it was announced as “overwhelmingly carried”.

      It has also been brought to my attention that Susan Pashkoff’s summing up bit in the Economic debate on the Citizens Income amendment debate is missing too.

  2. Alastair Heinz says:

    This party will win power or at minimum force Labour to actually be a centre left party. But can I ask, was this the conference that was talked about on Politics Today, woth sixty six motions in six hours or whatever the figure was. Why was there so little time? It seems absurd. I heard a commentator here saying they had six minutes to make one of their proposals, and unsurprisingly the proposal failed.

    • Ray G says:

      Alastair – every conference of every party have more motions than can be discussed. That is absolutely normal. Priorities always have to be decided. We did no actually discuss anything like 66 motions.

      Having said that, and speaking as a member of the Standing Orders Committee who decided the agenda, there was not enough time and many motions were very rushed and this was not really very satisfactory. This was for two reasons

      a) the original idea for a two day conference was dropped as the overnight costs were thought to be too expensive for many members. Remember that Labour Party conference is for a week (pointlessly, in fact, as it have no power or influence or democratic rights in ‘New’ or ‘one-nation’ Labour)

      b) SOC felt that in this early stage there were several areas where we simply HAD to have some policy, with elections coming up. Could we sensibly go on much longer with no policy on the economy, health, housing, our attitude to elections, our work in trade unions, fracking, racism, our policy on the EU or the referendum in Scotland?? Which one should we have dropped? As it is, we did not have any motions on education and we did not have time to discuss the complex issues of foreign policy, war or defence.

      At least we have a basic policy framework laid down which will almost certainly be refined and adapted in the future, when detailed motions can be discussed instead of all the basic policies areas being discussed in one chunk.

      Once we have 2000 members (which seems likely to be very soon) our constitution dictates that we move to delegate conferences where fewer people, properly funded by the rest, and mandated by their branches, can have longer conferences and actually represent those that could not actually make it to Manchester last weekend.

      This is an exciting time for LU. Onwards and upwards!!

      • John Penney says:

        Our Constitution does indeed state that once we achieve 2000 members we move to a delegate based Conference. The next Conference is therefore likely to be a delegate-based, rather than all-member one. As a reflection of our rapid growth this is great. BUT, as one of the people who worked on the LU Constitution Commission last year , I have to say that we failed to anticipate the very large number (as much as 25% of our membership at present ) who will still be without a local LU branch to attend anywhere near their place of residence when we achieved 2000 members.

        This is a real “democratic deficit” problem for the next Conference, as sovereign decision-making body. It has been proposed that a single “Online virtual LU branch” for all those not yet in a geographical branch , will fill the gap. This may well happen, but unfortunately our experiment with an online discussion forum earlier this year was pretty unsuccessful as a venue for genuinely representative debate – as a literal handful of people totally monopolised every debate , for often extremely minority ideas.

        I think the new NC will have to consider this issue afresh before the next Conference or, until our rapidly expanding branch network fills in the yawning geographic gaps across the UK, many of our members will be effectively disenfranchised at the time of the next Conference.

        In hindsight, always a wonderful thing, given that only circa 200 people from our then circa 1700 membership turned up to the Manchester Conference, we should have delayed moving to a delegate-based Conference until we had about 4,000 members – and the achievement of a full geographic spread of branches. The next Conference will be massively over representative of the London-based membership – all of whom have access to a reasonably nearby LU branch.

    • The Daily Politics and yes. But as I pointed out, we have a second policy conference coming up later this year, so there’s plenty more time for debates to come.

    • John Penney says:

      We didn’t get though all the motions and amendments submitted, on the day – but still covered an incredible amount in 6 hours or so nevertheless. To cover everything would have taken a two day conference – which involves accommodation and personal time costs for participants which for many would have been prohibitive.

      Those who complain that their particular amendments weren’t given enough time for adequate discussion are conveniently forgetting the huge amount of debate and discussion going on about controversial issues, eg, “Citizen’s Income” within Left Unity prior to Conference. So the brief restating of positions at Conference wasn’t the sole opportunity members had to discuss or think about their choice over these issues.

      I’m afraid it is simply the reality that a brand new party has a lot of policy decisions to make and there is a finite amount of time busy people can spend at conferences to resolve this. Hence the additional opportunities online and at meetings (such as the one day special Economy Policy workshop in London on March 2nd to which ALL LU members were invited – only 18 attended – only two who were at all in favour of Citizen’s Income as a LU policy) and at branch level, to discuss key issues in more depth.

  3. Could we have the video broken down into each policy heading so we can use clips on local Left Unity web/Facebook sites. I would like to use the Housing policy section (in which there is a lot of interest due to the anti bedroom tax campaign)on its own but its hard to find or to direct others to find currently.


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