Letter from Jon Lansman, joint secretary of Labour Party Democracy Task Force

Dear Comrades,

I have set out a model motion for use in Labour affiliated trade unions together with a model letter that you could use for circulating it to your contacts. Please act urgently. You can also download a briefing on the flaws in the Refounding Labour proposals and the motion/covering letter. Please email me at jon@lansman.co.uk if you have any problems.

We are making the points that:

1) Everything in it is based on what is in the TULO submission to which all unions agreed so nothing in it is a new commitment

2) Reaffirmation of the policy is nevertheless vital because of the pressure being applied by the party leadership to union leaders.

3) Although the sooner the better, it is still worthwhile putting forward this motion right up to party conference.

Best wishes, Jon Lansman

Draft letter/email to fellow union members

Dear …………… Refounding Labour to win You may or may not have had a chance to look at the summary report which has just been circulated from the party’s head office following the national consultation.

It regrettably makes little mention of many constructive submissions from TULO and others which would significantly improve the party’s policy-making and other procedures.

The report does, however, suggest giving new powers to individual “registered supporters” who are not prepared to become members, including votes in leadership elections. This would automatically dilute the input of genuine party members and affiliates such as our union.

The report also hints that it may bring forward last minute proposals on the eve of conference – Labour’s national executive meets on 20th Sept and conference begins on 25th Sept – on such key issues as:

• The balance of votes at conference
• The make-up of the party’s national executive
• The make up of the party’s conference arrangements committee

These are vital areas for the influence of our unions and our ability to work effectively within the Labour Party for the benefit of our members.

There are even suggestions that conference delegates will be asked to cast a single vote for or against the entire last-minute report, including a number of rule changes as yet unspecified. I think you will agree this would be a travesty of democracy.

As a Labour national executive member has pointed out, “all these areas are central to the party’s future, and it would be wrong and dangerous to bounce them through conference without proper consultation.”

I would therefore suggest to you, as a matter of top priority, that you send a strong message to the powers-that-be in your own union to ensure that the Labour Party rights of the Union and its members are properly protected and enhanced.

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