Campaign for Labour Party Democracy CLPD’s Annual General Meeting will take place at 11.30am (till approx 4.30pm with break for lunch) on Saturday 23 February at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, in Central London.
This will be CLPD’s 40th AGM and will be opened by Kelvin Hopkins, who is CLPD’s Parliamentary Labour Party liaison officer. The AGM will consider strategy and tactics for increasing Labour Party internal democracy in the forthcoming year, pass resolutions and elect the new executive committee. There will be a Labour Party National Executive Committee (NEC) report from Christine Shawcroft and CLPD secretary Pete Willsman will report on our activities over the past 12 months.
Other speakers include Chris Mullin taking a stroll down CLPD’s memory lane, Ann Pettifor giving economic analysis of the crisis of capitalism and Jon Ashworth MP, recently elected as the member for Leicester South, looking ahead to how Labour can win in 2015. Current issues and resolutions, as well as Party rule change proposals, will be debated with plenty of time for contributions from the floor.
The AGM is open to non CLPD members who can attend as participating observers and you can join on the day.
CLPD was formed in 1973 by a group of rank-and-file activists, with support from about ten Labour MPs. The first President was Frank Allaun. The main motivation for the Campaign was the record of the Labour governments in the sixties and the way that Annual Conference decisions were continually ignored on key domestic and international issues. The immediate cause was Harold Wilson’s outright rejection in 1973 of the proposal to take into public ownership some 25 of the largest manufacturing companies, covering the major sectors of the economy.
CLPD’s first demand was therefore for mandatory reselection of MPs so that they would be under pressure to carry out Conference policies. This demand was achieved in 1979/80 through the overwhelming support of CLPs and several major unions, especially those unions where the demand for reselection was won at their own annual conferences (e.g. TGWU, AUEW, NUPE).
CLPD also sought to make the Leader accountable through election by an electoral college involving MPs, CLPs and TUs. Hitherto Labour leaders were elected by MPs alone. This demand was achieved in January 1981.
CLPD also promoted a range of reforms to give Labour women and black members greater representation within the Party. The main demand for a woman on every parliamentary shortlist was achieved over the period 1986 – 1988.
In addition CLPD also promotes non-democracy issues, such as the significant extension of public ownership, defending the welfare state and the first-past-the-post electoral system.
The major focus of CLPD’s work in recent years has been to win back power for the rank-and-file, which has been surreptitiously transferred to the centre under the pretext of “modernisation”.