Tuesday, July 29, 2008

National Policy Forum

As you can imagine the news from Glasgow was not the best start for the National Policy Forum in Warwick this weekend – though it did serve to concentrate minds.

The policy process is a weird one. It consists of a series of draft documents being circulated around the movement and being amended until we arrive at the final stage which was held this weekend in sunny Warwick University.

Over 4000 amendments were submitted to the final draft documents and these are reduced by a process of agreement.
At Warwick itself the representatives negotiate with Ministers either to get agreement on their amendment or, more likely a form of words that all can agree on.
Only if agreement cannot be reached do representatives push for a vote at the final Sunday morning session.

Agreement on all the Trade Union positions was reached at 5.00am Sunday morning and it was great to see that both Government and Unions were prepared to reach that agreement.

The amendments that were carried at the Sunday morning session against the Ministers advice were vote at 16 and greater legislation for Estate Agents. I felt a twinge of sympathy for the Government Minister trying to argue against being hard with Estate Agents – not the most popular cause!!

Anyway we have managed to agree the policy platform which will be the basis for our manifesto and we have got the unity which is the essential basis for our fight back

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