by Cameron Beavan-King
The Labour Students conference began the Friday before last with a co-ordinated effort by several clubs, threatening disaffiliation over the issue of One Member One Vote (OMOV) for elections to the Labour Students National Committee.
In the run-up to conference, the clubs had sent a letter protesting the decision by Steering and the National Committee to block three motions asking for a further debate on OMOV at conference. However, as delegates had already voted on this issue at National Council and agreed not to discuss it until after 2015, the three motions were blocked.
This tension continued into the conference with a mass walkout by several clubs over this issue and a poorly worded motion in favour of stopping censorship and inference from National Council. The motion as a whole would have done nothing to progress their aims and was rightly voted down by the remaining delegates after the walkout.
It is important to note that the walkout was bound up in the politics of Labour students – it was led by supporters of Tom Phipps for National Secretary, though Tom did not walk out himself.
To be brutally honest, I cannot see what the walkout or the whole disaffiliation threat will achieve at all, other than dividing us in the crucial run-up to 2015.
I cannot understand what we will achieve as a divided organisation. On the back of our membership cards, it said “Through our common endeavours we achieve more than we achieve alone.”