Our party is changing, for the better

DeputyIMG_20150816_131157~2 Leader of Scottish Labour, Alex Rowley, welcomes today’s announcement of the opening up of more ways for members to be involved in decision making.


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.

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4 thoughts on “Our party is changing, for the better

  1. Alex, it’s a shame that the UK Labour Party’s Scottish Labour section proposed discussion on Trident will just be that a discussion, Andy Burnam says it is not a devolved matter and that there will only be one UK Labour Party policy on Trident. Perhaps the only way the Scottish Labour section can make real policy in Scotland is if it breaks away from the UK Labour Party and forms new Independent Scottish Labour Party in Scotland for Scotland.

  2. ‘The first step in showing we are the People’s Party again’

    Got to try a wee bit harder Alex;
    why not admit politicians are grossly over-paid(Patrick Harvie)
    Why not promise all UK schools will be under Local Authority control
    Why not declare Scotland belongs to Scots collectively( individuals can lease bits and pieces over time but cannot own any outright)
    Why not promise a taxation system so simple nobody can abuse it
    Why not restrict Labour politicians to one term
    Why not restrict the practice of medicine to government employees
    Why no think socialist for a change

  3. “What a contrast to our nationalist opponents who are criticised for shutting down debate in their party.”

    Only by you. Dishonestly. No party can operate or grow or be popular by shutting down debate within that’s a lesson “NEW” Labour had to learn the hard way.
    This is why this “NEW” openness is being “introduced” because it wasn’t there before. This “NEW” call to “EXPAND” debate to “ALL” members as it wasn’t that way before.
    The support for Jeremy Corbyn coupled with “New” Labour failure to appeal to anybody left or right of the political spectrum is whats got Labour looking inward.
    You fooled yourselves into believing Blair was successful because he gained power within Westminster. He didn’t gain it by being popular he gained it by working a corrupt system and by having a weaker opponent with less appeal coupled with a manifesto of bare face lies.
    There are many in Labour who still believe this combination is the way forward and the way to power again. And that’s what people see. That’s what the voters perceive.
    You cant hide an ugly soul beneath a layer of Maybelline foundation.

  4. “Members should be at the heart of how we create our plans to transform our country and communities for the better.”

    Except when it comes to choosing candidates, presumably. We have already been told that “at least 50% of our new candidates for next year’s Holyrood election will be women”. What if a CLP identifies someone who they regard as the best candidate for their area but – horror of horrors – that would break the “gender balance”?

    Be truly member-led. The only criterion for selection as a candidate should be talent, and the only people who should be deciding on that vis-a-vis the individual constituencies are the CLPs. The centre interfering in that process doesn’t have a good track record – remember when Dennis Canavan “wasn’t good enough” and some time-serving party apparatchik was parachuted into what was assumed to be a safe seat? Compare and contrast their subsequent electoral fortunes.

    Then there’s the success story that is Eric Joyce – and that’s only in *my* constituency!

    Put the power genuinely back into the hands of the people and we might start getting somewhere. I voted for Macintosh and Rowley in the hope that they would dismantle the control freak spadocracy that is destroying the Party but it still seems to be there, clinging on to the last.

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