This November London Labour will have it’s biennial Conference in Newham. I have attended London Labour’s Conferences for decades and the current single day format struggles to fit everybody in. When reporting on Europe a short report with little time for questions, and none for debate is unsatisfactory. I want to be accountable and to explain what is happening and with over-runs and a single day format this is often not feasible.
I know that several other London Labour regions have weekend conferences and one of the benefits of this extra time is that Europe has a fuller airing. It is not just Europe though which would benefit from this suggestion. Youth, Black and Ethnic Minorities, Women, Housing, Local Government and all the other areas Labour activists care passionately about could and should be more broadly debated without tight time constraints. We could (and I believe should) meet every year, not every other year.
Much as I am a fan of Newham having worked there for many years, a Central London location would maximise attendance. As a member of London Labour’s Regional Board I will be arguing for this and I know many of my colleagues support me. For Labour to more fully engage with members we need to have time to explain, and debate.
A longer format would also provide more opportunities for fringe meetings, allowing Party members to spend time on issues of deep concern.
I look forward to seeing many friends in Newham in November. In 2013 I hope to be able to spend a weekend with them and to have the opportunity to talk more and debate Labour’s work in Europe with lesser timetable constraints.