Standing orders committee report for Left Unity Founding Conference
Code of conduct for Lefty Unity Founding Conference
Refer to standing orders committee:
Furthermore, SOC recommends that conference attendees:
The current Standing Orders Committee (SOC) is composed of:-
Tom Ramplin (Bristol) Elected Chairperson of SOC
Rachel Archer (Hackney) Elected Deputy Chairperson of SOC
Caroline Stevenson (Bristol)
Ray Goodspeed (WalthamForest)
James Youd (Cambridge)
We considered all amendments and motions that were received by Saturday 16th November.
We agreed on an agenda for the day, which was to go as follows:
2) SOC report and recommendations to conference. Conference must also agree chairs as recommended by conference arrangements committee.
3) Election of tellers
4) Safe Spaces Policy. SOC recommends policy to be taken as a straight vote. Either ratified or sent back to be remitted to NC to work out interim policy. 3 mins (moved by representative from the Safe Spaces Policy commission)
5) Amendments from Coventry and Leamington Spa regarding election of new NCG. If amendments pass then a new NCG would need to be elected by the end of the day. We decided that a preemptive message would be communicated to membership, that anyone who would like to nominate themselves for the new NCG (if passes) then could do so by 28/11/13) 3 minutes from each mover of amendments and two 3 minute speeches against. SOC will recommend, however, in advance to Coventry and Leamington Spa to composite. If they agree we will adapt timings and speeches against accordingly. We will also produce document in advance recommending how to carry out said election. 15 minutes
4.1 Section 2 of constitution moved from Internal Democracy Commission. 4 mins to move aims as is.
Lambeth procedural motion to be moved from the floor. 2 mins
Camden ‘resolution’ needs to be taken as procedural to be moved from floor 2 mins
Huddersfield amendment has been ruled as procedural motions so they will have to appeal to the chair from the floor.
Amendments to aims:
Please note: if platforms were unable to verify that 10 of their signatories were founding members by Saturday 23rd of November then their platforms will not be heard.
4.2 Platform 9 ¾ 3 mins (point 4 ruled out of order as it would commit the organisation to an open ended financial commitment.) SOC recommend it is moved formally.
4.3 Left Party Platform (3 mins) + Camden amendment (2 mins) + Manchester (2 mins to move both)
Socialist Platform (3 mins)
Class Struggle (3 mins)
Communist Platform (3 mins)
Republic Platform (3 mins)
Hackney/Tower Hamlets (3 mins)
20 minutes discussion.
All platforms get 2 mins summary + Camden + Manchester 1 min summary at the end.
Vote on platforms.
4.4 Leicester amendment. 2 mins. Vote. Added to whichever platform wins.
As each platform is voted for it becomes the substantive motion. Called in order of signed support.
Break at 12 for 10 mins.
5 Selection of party name
‘Left Party’ 2 mins (Crouch End)
‘Lefty Unity Party’ 2 mins (Rugby)
‘Left Unity’ 2 mins (Manchester South and Central), (Northampton Left Unity)
‘Democratic Voice’ 2 mins (Huddersfield)
To be conducted using the Supplementary Vote system.
We were keen to reflect the concerns of many members and representations that have been made to us regarding the danger that this section is rushed or too difficult to follow, or both.
While it is undeniable that many of those attending will not find debates on the constitution compelling, it is nonetheless clearly recognised that these issues are vital to the future success of the “Left Unity” project. They are also more urgent than considerations of detailed policy and electoral strategy. We have therefore allocated 2 hours to this part of the agenda.
Please note that the success of this section of the agenda depends on the self-discipline of members, in terms of a) keeping to time limits b) not insisting on the full time allocation to move simple and clear amendments, c) willingness to move motions formally (ie without speaking) if the meaning of the amendment is self-evident and a minor matter, and most importantly d) willingness before the conference to get together with branches that have moved very similar motions to present a unified, composite motion. The Standing Orders Committee members are willing to assist this process as much as they are able, and will look more kindly on such motions.
Furthermore, discussion are being held to determine if as many as possible of the amendments can be ACCEPTED by the Internal Democracy and Constitution Commission, provided that they are satisfied that the amendments are matters of “tidying up” or otherwise uncontroversial. If delegates feel that such amendments should NOT be accepted, their comments can be feelings can be made known at the conference. In this event, the accepted amendment would be classed as an INTERIM measure, remitted to the National Committee and more proposals brought to a later conference.
Many of the constitutional issues have been extensively discussed in the last few months, and the fine detail of these discussions cannot sensibly be repeated at length at a conference of this nature. The decisions are the important matters at this stage.
It has been decided to start with a general introduction to the draft constitution from the Internal Democracy and Constitution Commission (IDCC), followed by a discussion divided into 4 main subjects. This may, if time allows, be followed by a “sweeping up operation” of those amendments considered to be less vital or less controversial. While every attempt will be made to vote on each amendment, this cannot be guaranteed. If time is short there may only be time for formal moving of amendments. Some amendments may fall due to lack of time have to be remitted.
In each section the amendments to be included are itemised.
Intro from IDCC – 5 minutes
1. Method of changing the constitution in the future (c 10 mins)
Section 21 West London and Harringey amendment. These two branches need to sort out who is to move.
2 mins to move and three other speakers if necessary. 1 minute response from the IDCC.
2. Gender representation (c.25 mins)
3 mins to move IDCC.
Section 4 amendment from Loughborough
S.4 amendment from Leamington Spa.
S.7 amendment from Crouch End (together with the parts of their s.12 amendment which specifically refer to this issue)
2 mins for each mover. 8 minutes open discussion. 1 min IDCC to respond. Vote.
3. The National or regional structures and the composition of representative national/regional bodies. (c35 minutes)
5 mins IDCC
s.8c amendments from Islington (excluding the part specific to gender)
s.12 amendment from West London
s.12 amendment from Crouch End (can Crouch End and West London possibly composite re this issue?) EXCL. adding a Media officer which is accepted by IDCC.
s.13 amendment from Crouch End re Executive committee(moved with s.12 amend.)
s.12 amendment from Lambeth
s.12 amendment from Lewisham/Greenwich (could this resolution possibly be remitted to National Council in order to work on the detailed system??)
2 mins for each mover. 10 mins open discussion. 2 minute response from IDCC. Vote.
4. The rights of individual members (including age limits), branches, sections, platforms, caucuses etc. (c.35 minutes).
5 mins IDCC
s.5 amendment from Rugby Amendments re individual members submitting resolutions to conferences.
s.7a, 7c and s.3f and s.12d Islington Amendment on ‘sections’ and also including the issue of age limit.
s.7b amendment from Sheffield
s7b ii – amendment from Cardiff
s.7 amendment from Lambeth (can Lambeth talk to IDCC re this being accepted)
s.9 and s.12 and s.21 amendments from Tower Hamlets (all re groups of 20 members having right to submit motions etc. S.7 amendment has been withdrawn). All TH amendments moved together.
All movers 2 mins (16mins (max) in total). 10 mins open discussion. 2 min response from IDCC. Vote.
Please note the following specific cases
s.8 amendment from West London/Waltham Forest (please sort out between you) re Northern Ireland.
s.4 Wigan amendment on the dangers of London-centric organising (asked to remit as the principle has already been accepted but the Wigan wording is both prescriptive in some parts and too vague in others)
s.16 re what to do with salaries of MPs etc over the median wage. Can Islington, West London, Lambeth and Tower Hamlets please negotiate a way out of this complexity! If not they may all fall.
These Amendments will be discussed if there is time. They may have to be moved formally or, if time is very short, be remitted.
PLEASE NOTE THAT SOC IS PROPOSING THAT RESOLUTIONS AT THIS CONFERENCE REMITTED FOR ANY REASON, OR NOT CALLED FOR LACK OF TIME, WILL NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE TWO THIRDS MAJORITY RULE AT THE NEXT CONFERENCE WHICH CONSIDERS THEM, EVEN IF THAT PROPOSED RULE IS NOT AMENDED AT THIS CONFERENCE.
Appendix 3 Coventry (and Leamington Spa) Amendment re New elections of the 10 NCG members at founding conference is to be discussed first thing in the morning for logistical reasons (organizing nominations, voting etc).
The following Amendments have been ACCEPTED by the movers of the draft Constitution. They will not be moved or discussed at the conference.
[Please note that if any founding member at the conference objects to any of these amendments being accepted, then SOC are proposing that the affected clause/amendment will remain provisional until next conference and the two thirds rule will not apply in votes on that matter at that conference.]
s.4 Cardiff re publishing minutes of executive meetings likely to be accepted by IDCC. Hence also s.13 Cardiff amendment (re rights of ALL members to attend Executive Committees) also accepted (alongside Islington s.13)
s.6e Rugby amendment re size of branches reduced from 10 to 5.
S.6 Cardiff, regarding joining where you work or live.
s.7c amendment from Manchester on age limits and rights of young members
s.7b amendment from Hackney re platforms campaigning against policy.
s.8 Islington amendment – ONLY the part relating to gender of delegates (replacing [one man and one woman] with [at least one of whom must be female] Also accepted – follow on amendment to 9d i. on same issue.
s.8 heading and 8d and 8e from Cardiff (and all related amendments regarding the national status of Scotland and Wales). (9a, 9e, 12j,)
s.12d Islington Amendment on role of special sections to organize aspects of work (provided amendment to delete 7a iii is passed)
s.12 National Office Holders and spokespeople ONLY section re Media Officer.
s.13 Islington re members attending Executive meetings (see 4a Cardiff)
s.14 Huddersfield re having a “re-open nomination” option for all internal elections.
s.15 Tower Hamlets (re recording votes, and minimum and maximum wages for “Left Unity” staff.
s.16a West London ONLY re possible suspension of LU members elected to public office for not following the rules policies etc of LU – change [will] to [may]
S.16c West London regarding deletion of 16c) vi regarding Elected members resigning if they are no longer LU members.
s.16c re adding new point vi regarding payment from lobbyists etc.
s.17 Tower Hamlets on Expenses
The timings add up to 2 hours.
Any motions that have not been discussed or voted on in time may be either moved and voted on without debate or remitted, depending on the time available. Composite motions will be given priority.
Debate due to finish at 3.30
We agreed that we would partition this into the following sections. We have attempted as much as is possible to open out space in the priority campaigns and electoral strategy sections to dedicate as much time as possible to open discussions with regard to current and future activity.
7.1 Austerity & NHS
Southwark motion 2 mins
West London motion 2 mins
Sheffield amendment 2 mins
Loughborough amendment 2 mins
Islington & West London composited motion 2 min
Discussion 10 mins
(Max 20 mins)
7.2 TU and work
Sheffield motion 2 mins
Lambeth amendment 2 mins
Birmingham amendment 2 mins
West London motion 2 mins
Manchester motion 2 mins
21 hour working week 2 mins (motion from Hackney arguing that this was out of order was deemed procedural so will have to be challenged from the floor)
Discussion 10 mins
(Max 24 mins)
Waltham Forest motion 2 mins
Loughborough amendment 2mins
Birmingham amendment 2 mins
Discussion 10 mins
(Max 16 mins)
7.4 Climate Change & Internationalism
Glasgow motion 2 mins
Cardiff amendment 2 mins
West London amendment 2 mins
Southwark motion 2 mins
Wigan amendment 2 mins
(Proposers of motion in Climate change, Internationalism & Housing sections to be encouraged to move formally where possible to support space for open discussion.)
The following motions have been ruled out of order:-
As above, any motions that have not been discussed or voted on in time may be either moved and voted on without debate or remitted, depending on the time available. Composite motions will be given priority.
8) Crouch End motion 2 mins
Huddersfield & West London composited amendment 2 mins
Discussion 10 min
In case of over run see priority campaigns section for guidance.
Debate due to finish at 17.00
In the event that any queries or appeals occur with regard to the above the standing orders committee may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall be in attendance on the day of conference to assist with the resolution of any issues which may arise.
Left Unity is active in movements and campaigns across the left, working to create an alternative to the main political parties.
Left Unity is a member of the European Left Party.
Events and protests from around the movement, and local Left Unity meetings.
Reclaim Social Care: zoom meeting on Thursday 24th September
Join RSC’s regular meeting from 3pm to 5pm.
For registration details email email@example.com
Sign up to the Left Unity email newsletter.
Get the latest Left Unity resources.