Posts Tagged ‘clp’

The fightback fundraiser kitemark can help free CLPs from central command and control

31/05/2012, 07:00:45 AM

by Peter Watt

The next election is going to be tight.  We all know that the polls are in our favour at the moment but in all likelihood they will be considerably closer come the start of the short campaign in 2015.  And along with death and taxes the only certainty in life is that elections cost a fortune.  In fact if it wasn’t for the occasional aberration (possibly in 1997 and definitely in 2005) then the other certainty is that the Tories significantly outspend Labour at elections.  If you take the 2010 election then the Tories spent £18m while Labour spent £8m!

Now let’s assume, quite reasonably, that Labour is still pretty broke at the next election.  Let’s also assume that the unpopularity of the Tories impacts on their funding a bit and that Labour is conversely able to raise a bit more.  But given this, it is an odds on assumption that the Tories will still outspend Labour once again.

And in a tight race, extra funds in the right places could really make a difference to the outcome.  Now we could sit around and hope that the parties sort out the issue of party funding in time for the next election.  But if a Labour victory depends on that, then then we are screwed.

Traditionally the Labour Party raises most of its money centrally.  That’s not to say this money isn’t raised locally because it clearly is.  But the bulk is raised centrally with the big trade union money and high-value donations going into the central campaign pot.

And then marginal seats are effectively subsidised in the long months leading up to the short campaign by the central pot.  With the marginal seats being expected to raise a fair old whack themselves of course.

Other local parties support the efforts in marginal seats by sending in activists and by not receiving as much central subsidy.  So a relatively large and professional central and regional campaign team ensures direct mail, leaflets, staff and so on is all targeted on the marginal seats.


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Exclusive: Phil Woolas’ email to his CLP

04/12/2010, 11:21:17 AM

Subject: Re: Message to CLP members

Dear Friend

The judgement today is devastating news for Labour in Oldham – despite winning the appeal for jurisdication, overturning the Saddleworth Election hearing ruling on the law and winning our costs, the judges in the High Court were not able to overturn the decision on the alleged staterment of facts. They did, today, make it very clear that our side strongly contested the election Court judges interpretation of our leaflets but said they could not  intervene.

I decided this afternoon that an appeal to the higher Court would not suceed as it, too, would only be able to look at the points of law and not examine the content of the leaflets.

We have to live with that and move on.

That means we have to win the By-election for Labour.

Whatever you think of the Court’s decision, the handling of it by the Party or my conduct, what is important is not my personal circumstance but the life chances of the people of Oldham. The Coalition are wreeking havoc and we have the opportunity to send a powerful message of opposition. PLEASE do all you can now to help Labour win again.

The campaign office is at 132 Grange Avenue, OL8 4EQ. It is open tomorrow and Sunday from 10am till 6pm. The Party staff are doing a great job but they can’t do it on their own. I am humbled by the fact that many supporters have refused to join the campaign until my case had been finished. But if you want to wipe the smile off the Liberals’ faces, please now join in.

In 1995 we changed British political history: let’s do it again.

Yours sincerely

Phil Woolas

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We must reach out: An NEC member reports from Gillingham

28/11/2010, 05:03:32 PM

by Johanna Baxter

One of the main reasons I stood for the NEC was to try to ensure that members have a bigger voice in our policy making structures.  So, having taken up my seat after Oona’s elevation to the Lords, I was pleased that I hadn’t missed the first meeting of the National Policy Forum since conference.

I would have preferred the opportunity to have consulted members about the key topics for discussion prior to attending but, being a newcomer to the NEC, I didn’t receive my paperwork until Friday afternoon which left no meaningful opportunity for me to be able to do so.

Feeling somewhat underprepared I braved the freezing weather and headed out to Gillingham early yesterday morning.    My nerves were calmed slightly after bumping into the NEC’s Vice-Chair, Michael Cashman MEP, at Gillingham station who, even in our brief discussion, couldn’t have been more welcoming.

I had been struck by how little time was devoted in the agenda to debating policy – just two hours out of a seven hour day.  There were five workshops in all – constitutional reform, the economy, the funding of higher education, the NHS and welfare reform – with representatives invited to attend up to two.  I selected to attend the discussions on the economy and welfare reform.

The business plenary, introduced by NEC chair, Norma Stephenson, kicked off the day.  This short five minutes was devoted to the election of the NPF Chair (Peter Hain) and Vice Chairs (Affiliates; Billy Hayes, CLP & Regions; Simon Burgess, Elected Reps; Kate Green).

In his opening speech Peter said the agenda was more reflective of what representatives wanted: fewer plenary sessions and more workshops than in the past.  Peter also acknowledged that there needed to be more resources for NPF representatives (he was considering an NPF intranet on which information could be shared and policy positions discussed), and more information, and responsibility, for party members.  He announced that fellow NEC member, Ellie Reeves, had been appointed Vice Chair of the review into our policy making process, confirmed that there was no pre-set agenda for the review and that all contributions would be considered.

Next up Harriet Harman introduced Ed Miliband and spoke of the 45,803 new members who have joined the party since the general election. (more…)

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