Monday, February 12, 2007

Involvment in the Labour Party

Motion one that we passed at SYN Conference calls on SYN to " encourage all socialists and trade unionsists to join the labour party"

To that end Vino has kindly drafted a guide to Labour Party structures to help you all on your way to becoming budding Labour party activists.
Enjoy :)

Guide to Labour Party structures

When you join the Labour Party, which can easily be done via the website, you will get a letter from Head Office giving you a membership card with your membership number on it.

The card should also say what CLP (constituency Labour Party) you are in. Each parliamentary constituency has its own CLP. In addition, the letter that you get with your membership card should say who the CLP secretary is. This is an ordinary member who has been elected or volunteered to do the job of taking notes at CLP meetings, advertising them etc.

Most constituencies are divided into branches. A branch consists of one or more local council wards. The Branch Labour Party (BLP) is the most local unit of Labour Party organisation.

If you ring the CLP secretary or other contact number given on the introductory letter, they will be able to tell you what branch you are in and when and where its meetings are.

Each BLP has a chair, a secretary, a treasurer and normally a youth officer, women’s officer, membership secretary and several other posts. They are called ‘branch officers’. These positions are normally not particularly contested and, if you want to get involved, it is likely there will be an officer vacancy that you can take up.

Most CLPs have a General Committee (GC) and an Executive Committee (EC). The GC is the most powerful body in the constituency party and it normally plays the main role in electing a chair and secretary for the CLP and choosing the Labour candidate for MP for the constituency. Branches select the candidates for local council positions.

Each GC is made up of delegates from the branches in the constituency. Normally, branches tend to send one man and one woman, although larger branches can send more. Branches also tend to send 1 delegate to the EC. The EC is made of 1 delegate from each branch and the CLP Chair, Secretary, Treasurer etc – who were elected by the GC.

So, if you wish to get involved at the constituency level, you can go as a delegate from your BLP to GC meetings. In Labour seats, these may be attended from time to time by the local MP, which will give you a chance to hear his/her parliamentary report and perhaps question them.
Additionally, the Labour Party does have other committees and structures, notably a Local Government Committee to deal with local council matters, but these are secondary to the role of the CLP and the Branch as the basic levels of Labour Party organisation from the point of view of the ordinary member


e10 rifles said...

Worth adding that a lot of branches are so quiet that you can very soon be an elected officer or delegate... In meetings with only a handful of people, every socialist voice is vital and can be instrumental in voting down right wing policies at branch or CLP level.

guess who said...

Yes, that's right! Vote down sensible policies in favour of MAAAAAD ones!!!

Troops out of Iraq ... no Trident ... support for Ahmedinejad ... soft on crime ... soft on terrorism ... McDonnell for leader ... blah ... blah ... blah ...

John McDonnell:
A nutter's world is possible!

Anonymous said...

Just to point out that members choose parliamentary candidates not the GC the only role they have is in shortlisting.

daggi said...

If you ring the CLP secretary or other contact number given on the introductory letter, they will be able to tell you what branch you are in and when and where its meetings are.

You assume the CLP secretary is a) alive b) appreciates getting new members c) the branch even exists/holds meetings.