Today the Scottish Executive Committee of Scottish Labour met to discuss and approve plans to open up our party, to make it more democratic and inclusive for our members.
The role of members needs to be more than voting for candidates and delivering leaflets. Members should be at the heart of how we create our plans to transform our country and communities for the better.
Scotland is changing, and Scottish Labour is changing with it. During the general election we saw people who thought that Labour no longer stood with them. That was difficult to hear on the doorsteps of our own towns and neighbourhoods.
Getting the Labour Party back on its feet again is a job that involves everybody in our movement. No one person, policy or structural change alone will do it. But we need to have our members at the heart of it.
Our members are our greatest asset, our passion, our experience, our knowledge. We should draw on that and use it. People join the Labour Party because they want to build a better world, so let’s hear how they’d do it.
That’s why we agreed the following plans today:
- Create a more open and democratic process for members to contribute to the policy making process, at Conference and all year round.
- Open up Scottish Conference by designating Sunday as Members’ Day, where issues that members want to debate get the time they deserve. The issues to be debated will be determined by a ballot of those attend inf Conference on the Friday.
- Reduce the price of admission on the Sunday of Conference to just £5.
- Invite policy motions from local constituency parties for debate at Conference and, if passed, these to be included in the 2016 manifesto process.
For too long members have felt excluded from the policy process. Now an idea in a CLP can make it from the floor of your local meeting to the stage of conference to the pages of our 2016 manifesto if agreed. What a contrast to our nationalist opponents who are criticised for shutting down debate in their party.
It’s the first step in showing we are the People’s Party again. Policy made for the people, by the people.