This is the text of a Labour Party letter to members regarding the party’s internal elections in 1994.
The documents contains policy statements from candidates for a range of positions.
Many names that became familiar in later years can be found here.
Policy statements for Labour Party Elections 1994.
The Labour Party Elections 1994
The Labour Party
150 Walworth Road
London SE17 1JT
It is an honour to have been chosen to lead the party at such an exciting time.
The Tories have lost the nation’s trust, and it is now up to us to earn that trust, and to show how our party can succeed in government.
Together we can put Labour’s values and beliefs into action. Our task is more than just the implementation of a programme for government. It is a mission of national renewal, of hope, change and prosperity for everyone in Britain.
I want us to work together for a Labour Government driven by change, radical in intent, underpinned by conviction, confident in its beliefs and strong enough to defeat this decaying Tory philosophy, not just for a Parliament but for a generation.
A great task lies ahead of us. We can be confident, but must never be complacent.
Labour’s strength is in its membership. As a result of the recent changes, individual members have a stronger voice in the running of our party. I hope that you will use this opportunity to have your say in these important elections, and that you will continue to play your vital role in the months and years ahead.
/s/ Tony Blair
Leader of the Labour Party
TOM BURLISON (Amalgameted Engineering and Electrical Union (AEUsection)) was unopposed.
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DIVISION I
Each Trade Union member has twelve votes. At least three women must be elected. The candidates and nominations follow.
GORDON COLLING (Graphical, Paper and Media Union)
BILL CONNOR (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
DAN DUFFY (Transport and General Workers Union)
NIGEL HARRIS (Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (AEU
DEREK HODGSON (Union of Communication Workers)
DIANA HOLLAND (Transport and General Workers Union)
CHARLES KELLY (Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians)
VERNON HINCE (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers)
MAGGIE JONES (UNISON)
HELEN McGRATH (National Union of Knitwear, Footwear and Apparel Trades)
DENNIS NASH (Bakers, Food and Allied Workers)
RICHARD ROSSER (Transport, Salaried Staffs Association)
TOM SAWYER (UNISON)
ARTHUR SCARGILL (National Union of Mineworkers)
MARGARET WALL (Manufacturing, Science and Finance Union)
DAVID WARD (National Communications Union (Engineering Group))
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DIVISION II
Each Socialist Society member has one vote. The candidates, nominations and manifestoes (as given on the Fabian Society ballot) follow.
JOHN EVANS (National Union of Labour and Socialist Clubs)
MP for St Helens North, first elected 1974. Member of the Labour Party NEC since 1982. PPS to Michael Foot 1980-3. Government and then Opposition Whip 1978-80. Member of European Assembly 1975-8. AEU member since 1955; 14 years local government experience. Ex-Chair of the Labour Party and the NEC Finance and General Purposes Committee. Joint convenor, Economic Policy Review Group. Political Secretary, National Union of Labour & Socialist Clubs. Member of the Fabian Society Executive Committee, Parliamentary CND, NCCL and Liberation. Formerly: Chair, NEC Jobs and Industry Committee, Shadow Spokesperson, Employment.
MARIANNE HOOD (Labour Housing Group)
Labour Party member for over 18 years. Held office as Branch chair and Secretary; Chair and Secretary of constituency; Secretary of District Party. Member of Labour Housing Group since its formation and current chair. Director of Tenant Co-ordinator for Homes and Jobs campaign. Worked with tenants’ organisations for over 18 years including the post of Chair and Secretary of local groups and Federations in Brent and Manchester.
JOANNA TAIT (Socialist Educational Association)
Chair, Socialist Educational Association 1983-present. One of two SEA delegates to Labour Party Education Forum of the NEC. Active in the Labour Party at local levels since 1975 in Brighton, Co.Durham, Wolverhampton and Staffordshire. Committed to comprehensive, open access public sector education at all levels, which is locally
administered and democratically controlled. Member of Fabian Society in Wolverhampton and Co.Durham.
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DIVISION III
(Constituency Labour Parties)
Each Labour Party member has seven votes. At least two women must be elected. The candidates, nominations and manifestos follow.
DIANE ABBOTT (Hackney North and Stoke Newington CLP)
From 1982 to 1986 I was a councillor on Westminster City Council. In 1987 I was elected to Parliament for the first time. I was re-elected in 1992. I have campaigned consistently for race equality and women’s rights.
I think it is vital that the next Labour government:
1. Puts full employment at the centre of government economic strategy. Hackney has the third highest level of unemployment in the country. Only a return to full employment can take the very poorest people off the dole queues and give our inner cities some hope;
2. Increases direct taxation on high incomes dividends and wealth. The Thatcher years saw a redistribution of wealth from the poorest to the top 10%. We need to reverse that process;
3. Takes coal, rail and public utilities like water back into public ownership;
4. Maintains and improves universal child benefits. We must defend pensioners and mothers getting child benefit;
5. Repeals VAT on domestic fuel. This has hit our elderly very hard;
6. Extends trade union rights including the right to take solidarity action;
7. Imposes a national minimum wage equivalent to at least one half of average male earnings. A statutory minimum wage is particularly important for women because so many of them are low paid.
8. Cuts Britains’s military spending to no more than the European Union average proportion of GDP. We could use this money on education and other social programmes.
DAVID BLUNKETT (Sheffield Brightside CLP)
David Blunkett is Chairman of the Labour Party, Shadow Health Secretary and has been a member of the National Executive Committee since 1983.
My thanks to everyone for their continuing support in what has been a difficult time. I would particularly like to thank long suffering constituency and branch secretaries for what they have had to cope with over recent weeks.
John Smith’s death came as a terrible shock to us all. As this year’s Party Chairman, I did my best to act decisively to ensure that procedures for the Leadership/Deputy Leadership election were put into place swiftly to avoid damage to our European election campaign and give credit to the Party. Everyone can take pride in how the Party responded to that challenge.
John’s legacy was to provide a sense of unity and purpose. We must now build on that foundation so that the superb local, European and by-election results can be consolidated and extended into a radical programme.
Health 2000, produced by the Frontbench Health Team, offers a way forward to rebuild the NHS, combining the principles of 1948 with solutions for the new century.
As Chairman I have tried to play my part in transforming Labour’s internal fortunes. I have sought to pull the Party together at a time of crisis and to defend the interests of rank and file Party members who wish to have a say in policy development.
With your help, I would like to contribute my experience of 30 years in the Party, and seven years as Sheffield City Council leader before entering Parliament, and to continue my work as a member of the NEC and Shadow Cabinet, drawing people together and combining the best of Left and Right in the Party. I ask for your support in this endeavour.
GORDON BROWN (Dunfermeline East CLP)
Gordon Brown MP Dunfermeline East, currently Shadow Chancellor, previously responsible for Trade and Industry and the Regions.
As a former constituency secretary, branch chairman, as well as Chairman of the Labour Party in Scotland, I believe winning power at the next election requires us to plan now, building our membership from the ground up and campaigning around our distinctive socialist agenda.
There are four priorities. First we must reassert our democratic socialist values. Second we must expose the tories as the Party of unfairness and privilege. Third we must ensure that our policies for the mid nineties reflect our lasting values. And fourth we must build a strong Party organisation.
My aim has been low cost membership; devolution of power to the regions and constituencies as the power house of Party organisation in an overhaul of Walworth Road; Greater membership involvement in future policy making with thousands of affiliated levy-paying members given new encouragement to become full individual members and to make Labour the biggest political party and the best political education and information source for its members.
In the coming year our campaigning concerns must include stepping up our fight against 17.5% VAT on fuel and the growing poverty among the low paid and the unemployed as well as highlighting a new agenda for fairness and greater equality; our new economics campaigning work must integrate our concerns for the environment. We must continue to argue for a British industrial policy and a modern democratic constitution. Internationally we must continue our campaigning work to halt nuclear
proliferation and expose the scale of third world poverty.
ROBIN COOK (Livingston CLP)
I have held posts at grassroots level from Treasurer of my branch to Secretary of a District Party. I represented Labour on local government and was chair of Housing.
As Health Spokesman before the last Election I led Labour’s campaign to expose the Tory Reforms as a deliberate plan to turn a public service into a commercial business. As Industry Spokesman over the past two years I have led our response to the vindictive closure of coal mines and the neglect of our shrinking industrial base.
I will be campaigning over this summer in every region to expose to local people the damage to their Post Office from the Tory threat of privatisation. As a result of the risks to rural branches and remote deliveries privatisation of the Post Office provides us with an excellent campaign issue to take into every Tory constituency.
I believe Labour has been more effective in matching our opposition in Parliament with our campaigning in the country because the senior members of the Shadow Cabinet have also served the Party on the NEC. If re-elected I will make it my priority to ensure that we maintain that partnership between challenging the Tories in Parliament and campaigning for their defeat in the country.
However, Labour’s victory can only be built on Labour’s own positive message. The electorate already knows where the Tories have gone wrong. They want to hear from us how Labour will put it right. The urgent project of the next year is to develop both a vision of the society Labour wants, and the details of the policies through which we will create it. As a member of the NEC I will press for more positive emphasis on the changes Labour will make to achieve a just society.
JEREMY CORBYN (Islington North CLP)
I joined the Labour Party in 1966 and have held many branch and constituency offices including 10 years as agent. Before election to Parliament in 1983 I was a NUPE organiser and councillor in Haringey. I am a member of the select committee for social security and eight times introduced the Elimination of Poverty in Retirement Bill.
I believe we have to be a fully internationalist party and I have worked hard to maintain close international links with groups resisting the growing power of multinational capital to impoverish and divide. I opposed the Maastrict [sic] Bill for its attempt to create an undemocratic Europe dedicated to market economics, and excluding the interests of countries outside the union.
As a member of CND since the age of fifteen, I also strongly believe we should be rid of nuclear weapons and pursue a policy of arms conversion to release resources for health, housing, education and job creation.
The tories have pursued an economic strategy of privatisation, inequality, super-salaries for Directors and wage controls in the public sector. The unrelenting attack on Trade Unions is part of this strategy.
For Labour to win a general election, we need to be clear about the absolute priority of extending the welfare state, repealing anti-trade union legislation an returning privatised utilities to democratic public ownership and control.
To achieve these changes we need the Labour Party to be more active and effective in campaigning and promoting alternative ideas. We need an NEC that can represent the views and aspirations of members of the party.
I urge you to cast your votes for Abbott, Corbyn, Livingstone, Mahon, Simpson, Skinner and Primarolo.
TAM DALYELL (Linlithgow CLP)
Quite simply, I believe that it is not healthy for the Labour Party to have a Constituency section, exclusively made up of members of the Shadow Cabinet.
The Shadow Cabinet has one job to do for the Party; the NEC has a different job altogether. It is quite wrong that attitudes of NEC members should be dictated by their loyalties, under another hat, as members of the Shadow Cabinet.
Apart from any matter of principle, members of the Shadow Cabinet surely have enough to do as spokesmen for their portfolios in the run-up to a General Election.
Therefore, as a former member of the NEC, who took a detailed interest in the Finance and General Purposes Committee, the Local Government Committee and the Staffing Committee, I offer myself for election.
My relevant biographical details are that I have been MP for West Lothian since 1962 and was Shadow Spokesman for Science until sacked by Michael Foot over my opposition to the Falklands war.
PETER HAIN (Neath CLP)
VOICE FOR LABOUR’S GRASS ROOTS
Why are there so many members of the shadow cabinet on Labour’s National Executive Committee? It never used to be like this. Labour’s ruling body should represent a wide cross-section of the Party, including our grass roots.
Party members shouldn’t just be called upon to make donations or do the donkey work. If we are to regenerate our Party and its declining, aging membership, local members must be listened to, respected and positively involved in policy making and socialist discussion.
A RADICAL CAMPAIGNER
Peter Hain has a track record of Constituency Party activity.
He is MP for Neath, Welsh Labour’s Parliamentary Campaign Officer, secretary of the Labour Parliamentary Trade & Industry Committee and Chair of Tribune newspaper.
His recent _Tribune_ pamphlet _What’s_Left?_ presented a positive socialist alternative for full employment, high quality, universal welfare, and a radical reform of government.
A leading anti-apartheid campaigner in the late 1960’s, he returned to his native South Africa in April 1994 to observe its first-ever democratic elections. He was also a founder member of the Anti-Nazi League.
He is sponsored by the Union of Communications Workers and is an active member of the GMB union which recently published his pamphlet proposing a socialist agenda for the privatised utilities. He has also written books on socialism, trade unionism, civil rights and democracy.
HARRIET HARMAN (Peckham CLP)
LABOUR: A DYNAMIC FORWARD-LOOKING PARTY
Our organisation and our campaigning should reflect our recognition that society has changed. Things are very different from how they were in the 1970s. We must be forward looking. Proud of our traditions and confident of our future.
BUILDING LABOUR AS A CAMPAIGNING PARTY
As a member of the National Executive Committee I have worked with the party organisation on campaigns throughout the country on:
* challenging the cuts in vital public services
* campaigning for more nurseries
* exposing and condemning the unfair Tory tax increases
* protesting against VAT on gas and electricity
WINNING THE VOTES OF WOMEN
Our message on the economy is changing to recognise that women are now half the workforce
* employment rights must include part-timers as well as full-timers
* full-employment means job opportunities for women as well as men
* childcare is vital to enable women to work
STRENGTHENING OUR ROOTS
Every election shows us that where the Labour Party is strong locally we win more votes. Our strength is the dedication of party members who put in their time and energy at local level. Everything we do should build on that strength. All our campaigns must have a regional and local dimension.
TERRY KING (East Hampshire CLP)
A Party member since 1958, active at all levels I have also served as a District and County Councillor in a rural county.
In this, the first OMOV Election I seek your support as a truly _CONSTITUENCY_ candidate giving the highest priority to the interests of individual party members.
In spite of the much heralded, and welcome and overdue reforms there has recently been serious erosion of the rights of individual members. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the selection of By-election candidates where highly regarded local candidates with impressive numbers of nominations have been excluded from short-lists in favour of supposedly media-friendly favourites. The results have been near disastrous and cannot be seen as a ringing endorsement of the process.
I support the right of the NEC to reject undesirable candidates but subject to that, will defend the democratic rights of members to the candidates of their choice.
Labour must advance in the South and in rural areas if we are to form a Government. As a representative from a southern rural county I ask for your support that I may bring years of experience and activity to the NEC.
Finally, the conduct of Annual Conference leaves much to be desired. It must be reformed to adequately debate the most serious issues facing our country and the world. For example last years debate on Northern Ireland lasting not more than 10 minutes was an insult to the many constituencies submitting resolutions on what must be among the most pressing problem facing the next Labour Government. Reform is long
This is your opportunity to elect a representative from, and in touch with, the grass-roots. The decision to seek election was not taken lightly. I hope you will support my decision with your vote.
KEN LIVINGSTONE (Brent East CLP)
Now that the entire movement is committed to full employment and the defence of the welfare state, we have to work out how Labour can pay for both these objectives when it takes office in circumstances which will be worse that anything faced by previous Labour governments. I believe we need to give a firm commitment that Labour will not increase taxes on working and middle-class families who are already more heavily taxed than at any time since World War II. This of course makes it all the more important to spell out how we will find the money we need.
I believe there should be an immediate increase in the top rate of tax to 55 per cent on incomes over £50,000 a year and 48 per cent on incomes over £40,000 a year. This would raise £3 billion. We should also to reduce [sic] military spending by £6 billion over five years. The first call on this money must be on retraining workers in the military sector of the economy in a major arms conversion programme to produce hi-tech manufactured goods which would also have the effect of reducing our trade deficit.
But the key to funding our programme lies in a realistic level of taxation on the City of London. A tax on dividends which merely reduced them to the level they were in 1985 would produce £12 billion to fund Labour’s programmes. It would also demonstrate our commitment to subordinate the financial sector to the overall needs of industry. We should also propose a Europe-wide tax on speculative financial transactions as a way of curbing unrestrained market forces as well as a source of revenue.
We must also work with progressive governments in the Third World for a full reform of the IMF and world banks.
ALICE MAHON (Halifax CLP)
When Labour takes office after the next General Election we will face an enormous challenge, as the real state of our economy is revealed after 15 years of tory rule.
I believe the NEC will need to take bold and imaginative decisions to begin to fulfil the needs and aspirations of all our people, including those who are now unemployed or living in poverty.
We will have a tremendous task ahead getting rid of the disastrous internal market in the NHS. If Labour is to change the lives of working people then we must repeal the most draconian labour laws in the civilised world. Water, coal and the railways have to come back into public ownership.
There is great feeling in the country that people are ready for a change of government. They are sick of the greedy ‘me’ society created by the Tories. People are talking about caring and communities again. We will never have a better chance to put forward a socialist agenda.
At present our NEC almost mirrors the Shadow Cabinet. However talented some of our colleagues who hold both positions are, I do not believe that this is acceptable. It is not healthy in a democratic party to concentrate power in so few hands.
If I am elected to the NEC I would bring the experience of a woman who has worked most of her life in low paid work, has worked on the NHS and has always been a committed Trade Unionist.
If you decide to vote for me I hope you will also consider voting for other comrades on the Campaign Group slate.
MARJORIE MOWLAM (Redcar CLP)
Marjorie Mowlam is MP for Redcar and Shadow Heritage Secretary. She is a former branch secretary, constituency chair, agent and conference delegate, and has been an active Party member for over 20 years.
Labour is at a decisive stage in its preparations for the next general election. We must advance the development of our clear political principles into policies appropriate for the next century.
As well as exposing tory lies, Labour must project a positive image. Our aim must be to develop a clear vision of Britain where our economic and social policies are distinct, and our constitutional changes outline how power and choice will be brought closer to the people and not centralised in Westminster or Whitehall.
We need to win more women’s votes, and can do so only by introducing policies which will make a difference to _all_ women. These include childcare, employment rights – for full and part-time workers – and a minimum wage.
Top of the Party’s list organisationally will be increasing membership. We must continue not only to improve the present scheme, but also to bring to all parts of the country the advantages of the local pilot schemes which reduce membership fees. Equally important is reforming democracy within the Party. The introduction of the National Policy Forum and the domination of the NEC by shadow cabinet members need to be offset by greater grassroots participation.
I am clear as to what Labour’s priorities must be – full employment, universal access to training and education, health care available to all, guaranteed rights for workers and citizens.
What we need to do as a Party in the next year is to move beyond criticism and rhetoric, outline clearly our top policy priorities, and demonstrate how they can be achieved.
DAWN PRIMAROLO (Bristol South CLP)
My candidature for the NEC is based on over 20 years working for the Party at every level, currently as MP for Bristol South and Shadow Minister for Health.
I believe that we need to liberate ourselves from the Tory agenda. At the heart of our work should be the development of a competent and convincing economic policy which sets out the path to our objective of full employment.
The Labour Party must remain fully committed to a Welfare state based on universal benefit, and which provides healthcare and education as a right for all as well as a safety net to guarantee a minimum standard of living. But the Welfare State must be reshaped to reflect the reality of our lives today rather than the social and family relationships of fifty years ago.
The Labour Party must also take the lead in ensuring that all people, regardless of sex, age, ethnic origin or disability have the right to fairly paid employment. I see this as a priority because delivering wider access to employment is central to our goal of empowering those currently marginalised and to the task of regenerating the economy.
The Tories have introduced the market into the NHS creating a two tier health service, where ability to pay, rather than need, determines the treatment. We must abolish this market system, sweep away Trusts and rebuild a democratic and accountable health service.
We have proved by going out and campaigning on the Health Service – with those who work in the services and are fighting to keep it – that when our policies are contrasted with the Tories, and stated in a clear unequivocal manner, they receive overwhelming support from the electorate.
The party needs an active and confident party membership and I believe that this must provide for the involvement of women and appeal to young people, drawing on their idealism.
ALAN SIMPSON (Nottingham South CLP)
It was from a background of CND, anti-racist and housing campaigns throughout the 1980s, that I came into Parliament in 1992 as the MP for Nottingham South. Accident rather than design swept me into the heady position of secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs one year later.
In the real world, before Parliament, I had served as a local councillor, been active in my union’s (NUPE) campaigns around health, education and local government, and had worked (mainly on employment, housing and equality issues) with tenant and community organisations in the inner city. I have also written extensively on these issues.
I am standing for the NEC in the belief that:
(i) the Party, centrally, has failed to understand the desire in the country, in the unions and in our own membership – for a more radical approach to Labour’s policies, and
(ii) that FULL EMPLOYMENT is the central issue that we must address; with a commitment to clear policies rather than vague slogans.
I am seeking election along with Diane Abbott, Jeremy Corbyn, Ken Livingstone, Alice Mahon, Dawn Primarolo and Dennis Skinner – all of whom are Campaign Group members.
DENNIS SKINNER (Bolsover CLP)
I wish to stand for the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party
for the following reasons:
1. The NEC is now little more than a rubber stamp for the front bench in Parliament. Nearly every MP on the NEC is governed by Shadow Cabinet decisions. The checks and balances that existed in the 1960’s and 1970’s when we won elections have now virtually disappeared. We need socialists from the back benches to provide that alternative voice.
2. Too much power has been shifted from the constituency parties to the national headquarters. We need to channel power and responsibility back to local level including the right to organise and recruit without interference.
3. We need to campaign for full employment policies; take coal, rail and water back into public ownership as a first step; maintain and improve universal welfare benefits and pensions; repeal VAT on domestic fuel; repeal Tory trade union laws; impose a minimum wage; phase out private beds in the NHS and kick out the Tory spivs who run the trusts; re-introduce benefits for the 16/17 year olds. In order to pay for these and other policies we should cut defence spending and tax the rich who have had at least £50 billion in tax cuts in the last 15 years. Also use some of the money to feed the Third World.
I have fought for these policies in and out of Parliament every day for the last 24 years and believe that now the Tories are on the run there is no better time to set the Socialist Agenda. Seize the moment.
CHRIS SMITH (Islington South and Finsbury CLP)
MP for Islington South and Finsbury since 1983. Shadow Treasury Minister
1987-92. Shadow Secretary of State for Environmental Protection since
I believe I can offer the NEC and the Party:
* A proven record of turning a marginal into a safe seat, especially by taking on the Liberal Democrats and winning. In one of their top target seats, Labour’s majority has gone from 363 in 1983 to 10,652.
* A background in local government, as a Councillor, Chief Whip, and Chair of Housing. The voice of local government must be strongly heard at the top of the Party.
* Close links with the Trades Union movement, as a branch officer in ASTMS/MSF and now as a sponsored MP by the UCW.
* A commitment to put the environment at the heart of our policy-making. I led the work of drawing up our Conference statement ‘In Trust for Tomorrow’ – which sets out a radical green agenda for the Party. We mustn’t make the same mistake as we have before, of forgetting that the environment is one of _our_ issues.
* A determination to re-affirm our Party’s commitment to equality and freedom from discrimination – for all.
* A commitment to carry forward John Smith’s passionate belief in social justice: full rights in the workplace, a minimum wage for all, a progressive and fair taxation system, a concerted attack on poverty and a realisation that full employment and sustainable growth must be key macro-economic objectives.
* A recognition that as we build towards the election we must develop a radical, forthright approach. To win, we must do two things: reassure the electors that they are safe voting Labour; and excite them with real hope of change. Labour now has its best chance for a generation. We mustn’t let it slip away.
CLIVE SOLEY (Hammersmith CLP)
I would like to put the case on the NEC for a more forceful presentation of Labour’s housing policy. I was Shadow Minister of Housing and Planning between 1987 and 1992 and during this time developed a housing policy in close co-operation with the Labour Housing Group, local authorities, housing associations and tenants’ groups. The result was a policy that has stood the test of time and addresses the needs of both owner occupiers and tenants.
My proposals for the reform of housing finance were central to the argument and involved the phased release of capital receipts and the establishment of a National Housing Bank to increase investment in housing. I also set up the Labour Planning and Environment Group which I still chair, and which has been at the forefront of developing planning policy and new ways of consulting on planning issues and policy
I believe the Labour Party must express its socialist principles not just by asserting policies, but by involving more people and groups in policy making, and by demonstrating a commitment to open and democratic leadership at all levels of Party activity. I took the initiative in organising public hearings in Parliament on the press and on the family. These hearings open up the Parliamentary process in a way that is long overdue. I organised two key conferences for LPEG on our 1992 planning document, and on retailing, which showed how the Party’s policy making could be opened to wider participation.
Lastly, I believe it is important that the NEC is not dominated by members of the Shadow Cabinet.
JOHN SPELLAR (Warley West CLP)
In my election address last year for the NEC I said ‘The Liberals are not our allies but our competitors’. Subsequent events in Tower Hamlets and our success in the South in the European Elections has [sic] reinforced this. Yet Walworth Road still have not developed a strategy for this, nor are they providing much needed campaigning material for local parties. I would make this my priority on the NEC.
My other priority would be Party organisation. Walworth Road is still seen as a hinderance rather than a help. While there have been some improvements in the membership system this is still causing too many difficulties at local level. The efficient operation of membership should be at the core of the Party’s operation. I would concentrate on that and ensure that your complaints are heard and dealt with at the highest level. I also believe that the Party should concentrate resources at Local rather than National level. We should learn the enormously successful Australian Labour Party with a small Central Office [sic]. We should build on success and reinstate the Northern region.
Walworth Road is also totally out of touch with the problems being created by quotas. CLPs round the country know how this is undermining the work of the Party. The ultimate absurdity is the number of vacancies on Regional Executives in the East Midlands and Wales when there are male candidates willing to serve.
Finally we must simplify the Party structure. The vast number of committees mean that Party members spend too much time talking to each other and not enough time talking to voters. As an example there needs to be a review of District and Euro Parties much of whose work seems redundant and time consuming. A mass membership party needs a modern structure.
PHYLLIS STARKEY (Oxford West and Abingdon CLP)
Labour Councils have made a vital contribution to the development of Labour policies, building the support that will help Labour to win the General Election. Despite this, local government has no representative on the NEC. The network of Labour Councils in the South, which has been active in winning support for Labour in the south of England, believes this should be changed, which is why it is supporting me as candidate for the NEC.
I have broad experience of local government, as Chair of the Local Government Information Unit which unites councils and local government trade unions, as a Council member of the Association of District Councils (1990-93). As Leader of Oxford City Council (1990-93), I developed its strategy for responsive, equitable and sustained services.
I have been an active Labour Party member for 20 years and a member of the Co-operative Party for 10. I am a member of MSF and NUCPS. As a Co-op councillor I secured council support for credit unions and housing co-operatives. I am active in my local community; as governor of Oxford Brookes University and of my local First School, as a board member of the Oxford Women’s Health Information Service, and as a campaigner on Third World issues in the World Development Movement.
Outside politics, I was for 8 years University lecturer in Obstetrics and headed a group based in an NHS hospital, researching pregnancy problems. I live in Oxford with my husband Hugh and out two teenage daughters Laura and Claire, and currently work in science policy for one of the Research Councils in Swindon.
I am asking for your support so that I can bring the breadth of my experience to the NEC and be a voice for local Labour councillors and members.
GEORGE STEVENSON (Stoke-on-Trent South CLP)
George Stevenson has been active in the Trades Union and Labour movements for more than 30 years. He is a constituency based MP and campaigns effectively on local and national issues. He is a committed supporter of a properly funded and accessible public transport system.
George began work in the mines, and spent many years as a City and County Councillor, becoming Deputy Leader at both councils before election to the European Parliament in 1984. During his time in Europe he was Chair of the EPLP, Spokesperson on Agriculture and Chair of the Delegation to South Asia. He was elected in 1992 to Westminster and is enjoying the new challenges the job brings.
He believes there should be broad representation on the NEC, and that representation from Constituencies is particularly important so that the views of the people at grassroots, who are, after all, our lifeblood, can be properly expressed.
JACK STRAW (Blackburn CLP)
Jack Straw, Blackburn’s MP and leading member of the Shadow Cabinet, is one of Labour’s most effective campaigners. This year Jack ran Labour’s highly successful local and European election campaigns, and played a central role in the Eastleigh by-election.
“The last thing Labour can now afford is complacency. I’m standing for the NEC because I want Labour to become even better at campaiging to win”.
“We’ve got to:
* HIT THE TORIES HARD. Too often we’ve let Tory attacks on Labour go unchallenged, or retreated under fire. In the recent local and Euro elections we adopted a new strategy. We never let a Tory lie go unanswered. It worked.
* FIGHT ON LABOUR’S STRENGTHS. Labour now controls more councils than ever before, providing most people with their only recent experience of Labour in power. We must promote our record, and retaliate against Tory smears – as we did successfully in Birmingham, Haringey and Liverpool.
* KNOCK OUT THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS. The Liberal Democrats are our political opponents. We must continue to expose their poor record in local government – as we did in Tower Hamlets – and help local Labour parties to beat them wherever they stand in our way.
* WIN IN BOTH THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH. Labour can only win for the North, the Midlands, Scotland and Wales, if it also wins in the South. That means building on our Eastleigh performance and improving our campaigning in the South.
* BUILD OUR MEMBERSHIP BASE, INVOLVE THE MEMBERS, AND GREATLY IMPROVE THE MEMBERSHIP SYSTEM. As a GMB member, I am committed to involving more trade unionists in the party through the levy plus scheme. Only with a mass, campaigning party can we turn opinion poll leads into a General Election victory.”
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DIVISION IV
Each Labour Party member has five votes. The candidates and nominations follow.
HILARY ARMSTRONG (Manufacturing, Science, Finance Union)
MARGARET BECKETT (Derby South CLP)
SUSAN BENNETT (Liverpool Mossley Hill CLP)
MAGGIE COSIN (Hampstead and Highgate CLP)
BRENDA ETCHELLS (Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (AEU Section))
DIANA JEUDA (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)
JOAN LESTOR (Eccles CLP)
CHRISTINE SHAWCROFT (CRS London Political Committee)
CLARE SHORT (Birmingham Ladywood CLP)
Two auditors were nominated unopposed: D HOPPER (National Union of Mineworkers) and JIMMY KNAPP (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers).
CONFERENCE ARRANGEMENTS COMMITTEE
Each Labour Party member has five votes. At least two women must be
elected. The candidates and nominations follow.
RICHARD BALFE (CWS South East Political Committee)
EDDIE M BODEN (Newcastle-under-Lyme CLP)
DONNA BRIANT (Old Bexley and Sidcup CLP)
DOREEN CAMERON (Bexleyheath CLP)
ALISON CHAPMAN (Lewes CLP)
PETER EDWARDS (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers)
DAVID HADFIELD (National Union of Mineworkers)
PATRICK O’HANLON (Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (EETPU section))
MARGARET PROSSER (Transport and General Workers Union)
PAUL TWEED (Bootle CLP)
MARGARET WHEELER (UNISON)
FRANK WILKINSON (General, Municipal, Boilermakers Union (GMW Section))
PETE WILLSMAN (Woolwich CLP)
CONFERENCE ARRANGEMENTS COMMITTEE
Each Labour Party member has two votes. At least one woman must be elected. The candidates and nominations follow.
EDDIE M BODEN (Newcastle-under-Lyme CLP)
DONNA BRIANT (Old Bexley and Sidcup CLP)
DOREEN CAMERON (Bexleyheath CLP)
ALISON CHAPMAN (Lewes CLP)
PAUL TWEED (Bootle CLP)
PETE WILLSMAN (Woolwich CLP)
NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL COMMITTEE DIVISION I
Two candidates were elected unopposed: DEREK INSTALL (Graphical, Paper and Media Union) and MAUREEN ROONEY (Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (AEU Section)).
NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL COMMITTEE DIVISION III
(Constituency Labour Parties)
Each Labour Party member has one votes. Nominations were restricted to women in order to preserve the quota on the whole committee. The candidates, nominations and manifestoes follow.
SHELLY BURKE (Holborn and St. Pancras CLP)
Age 30. Member of the Labour Party since 1982. Member of TGWU. Councillor – London Borough of Camden. Work for national charity.
I was elected to the National Constitutional Committee in 1991, and have since then served on panels dealing with a wide variety of cases in all parts of the country. I would like to build on this experience by continuing my membership of the committee.
CLAUDIA SLEE (Woolwich CLP)
I believe criticism and argument should always be tolerated within our Party. They are necessary for policy development and to keep us close to the interest of Labour voters.
However, we should keep our differences within the Party and present a united front in public.
If elected I would serve without prejudice. As a grassroots activist I would ensure that the NCC’s procedures give everyone a fair and full hearing.
Delegate to GC and LGC, former ward secretary and ward chair. Women’s officer Greenwich Black socialist society. Borough councillor, vice-chair education committee. School governor. Co-op member. NATFHE member.
NATIONAL CONSTITUTIONAL COMMITTEE DIVISION IV
DIANNE HAYTER (National Union of Labour and Socialist Clubs) was elected unopposed.