Friday, November 03, 2006

NEC Sub Committee Day 17/10/06

Down to London on Monday night for the meeting on Tuesday morning and stayed with brother in Greenwich. After an “as much as you can eat breakfast” at Maggies (8 cups of tea, bacon, liver, sausage, black pudding, egg, bubble and beans - £4.50 – about 5000 calories but no need to eat again for the day) up to the Labour Party Headquarters at Westminster for the Women’s, Race and Equality Committee – chaired by Norma Stevenson from Unison

Manchester Conference

We agreed that the Manchester Conference had been a big success. I made the point that more needed to be done on disabled access (no taxi rank near the centre made things difficult for delegates with restricted mobility - venues of functions outside weren’t always DDA compliant) but didn’t want to be negative.


Concerns were expressed that we needed to be firm in resisting any attempts to water down the forthcoming.

The person from Ruth Kelly’s office made it clear that rumours of a split with Alan Johnson’s office were based on fabrications in the Sunday papers. They do seem to get away with just making things up when it suits them.

The Veil

Concern was expressed about how this debate was going. My own view is that any legitimate concerns about employment issues are already addressed by legislation and its best to leave local people to sort the position out. There is a wider position on the veil and I know its one that’s going on in the Islamic community. At the end of the day a woman must be free to make the decision about how she dresses and how she lives her life.

Black Socialist Society

The party and active black members are trying to sort out the position of the Black Socialist Society and how to encourage more black members at every level of the party.


The Labour Students are busy working to build organisation in university seats – the so-called “University Challenge” seats.

At 11.00 a.m. we had the Disputes Committee at which we deal with disciplinary matters and then it was

The Organisation Committee

Again we discussed the recent conference and then discussed the events designed to replace Spring Conference. Final details are being worked out but there will be events all around the UK, including local government and women’s events. The Youth Conference will be held and that’s where the NEC Youth representative will be elected – probably in Scotland by Electoral College.

I made (along with others) a big issue of the fact that Councillors who pay their party subscriptions by means other that direct debit were denied a vote in the recent NEC elections and this mustn’t happen in future elections.

I think we got the point over. We received the news that so far 11 MPs had decided they weren’t standing again – with 15 still to reply and agreed to agreed to start the selection procedure with a Manchester Withington all women shortlist. We are so going to beat the Liberals in Withington.

Anyway sorry if that’s a bit long but that’s my Sub-Committee Day

Back to Manchester and ready for work tomorrow. The full NEC meeting will be held on Tuesday 7th November 2006 after the NEC Away Day – where we talk strategy - on the 6th.

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