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Party Conference Update – Monday 24th

A very different day to yesterday.  The spirit of the day was unity with almost complete calm after the results of Sunday’s card votes were announced – Card votes 6 and 8 were carried (Leadership elections and Westminster candidate selection – both of which we opposed).  The response on the fringe to this appeared to be focused on Westminster selection with a lot of talk about accepting the position – that of 30% ‘trigger’ ballots – and encouraging the majority of CLPs to use the method thereby normalising the process to both neutralise the narrative that it is a method of ‘purging’ some MPs and, secondly, to keep up the pressure for ‘open selection’ to remain on the agenda. As an aside, the motion on open selection was brought by a group International Labour who have 3,500 members on five continents and conduct all their business by video conference.  So, no excuse for rural constituencies perhaps?

I was particularly interested in Carwyn James’ review of where Welsh Labour (Llafur Cymru) have been implementing Labour policy and succeeding. The morning session included a stirring call for unity from Unite and an emergency motion from Matt Wrack from the FBU on the latest treatment of the Grenfell survivors (Matt is becoming one of my stars of the conference)

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Most of you will have heard John McDonnell’s speech but Mick and I saw him at a fringe meeting in the evening and he calmly gave a compelling account of how the tiny Socialist Campaign Group of MPs responded to being told by the Prince of Darkness that they were going to be put in a ‘sealed tomb’ forever. Their response led directly to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign manifesto; subsequently to last year’s General Election manifesto; and is now developing into a programme for government. I loved his line, delivered deadpan, that he told his SCG colleagues in 2005 that: “we must develop our policies as if we were going into government tomorrow; they thought that I was on drugs”.

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Party Conference Update – Sunday 23rd

The day began in fiery mood when the Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) report for the day directed that the issue about Westminster candidate selection be included in the debate on parliamentary democracy and that the proposal to be debated was not open selection but rather, a lowering of the ‘trigger’ threshold to 30%. Conference erupted on the issue. A show of hands to accept or reject the order of business showed an extraordinary divide; from where I was standing it looked like CLPs voted about 90% to reject but the affiliates section was almost unanimous to accept. As the voting arrangements are 50% each there was a card vote that resulted in the order of business was narrowly accepted but it was a raucous first hour.

The debate that followed focused on two of the eight proposals: the debate on open selection and the proposal to change the entry criteria for the Leadership and Deputy Leadership ballots to be 10% of MPs and MEPs plus 5% of CLPs or 5% of Affiliates. These went to card votes and Mick and I voted against both in line with the SGM debate. Mick spoke in the debate to ask the NEC to reconsider mandating that CLPs convene a minimum of eight General Meetings a year; pointing out that rural constituencies like ours would find this difficult as many members have far to travel. In the summarising at the end this point was addressed and we were assured that this is an ‘aspiration’ and that the NEC is looking at ways to help facilitate more engagement in rural CLPs and at offering help with technology options – on-line meetings as an example. Mick’s contribution generated a discussion with a journalist from the Yorkshire Post and – as we walked through Albert Dock at about 10:30 in the evening – a fellow delegate that couldn’t remember the speech but had definitely noticed his ‘fabulous’ legs.

Most of the morning for Mick and I, plus two colleagues from York Central and Outer, was spent distributing leaflets in support of our Fracking contemporary motion. Now you can’t actually do this within the conference and Mick was told not to. Of course, he took no notice whatsoever and carried on until his second warning. We didn’t get on the agenda but we did our absolute best and my thanks to Charlie and James for their help. We polled 72,890 votes and came sixth on the list but fifth as Brexit got through in the Affiliates ballot- so close with four going through.

DnyVO2mXUAYemMf.jpg-large 2018-09-25.jpegWe attended two evening events: the Yorkshire and Humberside regional reception where John McDonnell spoke. He reminded us that our region is key to winning the next General Election – something that the day’s rumour mill was saying that the Tories are planning – as we hold a number of key target seats that must be won. For us Scarborough and York Outer are on our doorstep. He encouraged everyone to campaign hard in these seats holding out the prospect that, for the first time in a long time, when we win the GE then a Socialist will walk through the doors of Downing Street.

DnzT_PsX0AMbD3S.jpg-large 2018-09-25.jpegThe second event was a debate on Brexit. We were both disappointed in that event as the platform was strongly advocating a second vote but at the end, when a question from the floor asked what the questions would be, there was no clear answer given. Some on the platform wanted three questions; some wanted two. As it happens, the Brexit compositing debate was taking place at the same time and that has produced a motion close to the one that our CLP chose and debated and close to the Kier Starmer position.

Other points made in the day was that the party is debt free and that we already have funding in place to fight a General Election.

A long day then and I thought that my reflection in the bathroom mirror this morning showed that I had aged more than one day since I last looked. More tomorrow and look out for more tweets.

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Standing ovation as John McDonnell says that we will be proud to call our Government policy, Socialism.

Campaigning for Trish Beadle

Update: Thursday 20th September from Mark White

We were out in Hambleton east again on Wednesday evening. We called at nearly 200 houses (including some that we missed on Monday) and we have a large number Labour promises and people are taking posters.

The next event is the street stall in Thirsk Market Place on Saturday (September 22nd) morning starting at 10am until 3pm, and the next canvassing session is in in Hambleton East on Thursday September 27th – meet outside ATS Tyres on Long Street at 5:45pm for a prompt 6pm start.

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Many thanks to Philip Smith, Deanna Pearce, Andy Hart, Sally Hughes, Marcus Missen and Janet Guy.

Update: Tuesday 18th September from Mark White

We almost completed the road group In Hambleton East last night; it was 187 houses but we fell 39 short when it became too dark to see the board! It was fruitful though, we gained 43 Labour promises and seven people took posters to put up.

My thanks to Trish Beadle, Philip Smith, Deanna Pearce, Richard Walter, Andy Hart and to Barbara Hawkins who came over from Richmond CLP.

We are out again on Wednesday and a couple of the regulars can’t make it so I really, really need some help. If you can make it then please do as we have 201 houses to knock.

We are meeting at the junction of Dowber Way, St Mary’s Walk and Herriott Way, Thirsk at 5:45pm for a prompt 6pm start. Please come and help.

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Update: Tuesday 11th September from Phil Smith

Finished off leafletting Carlton Minniott this evening, thanks to the efforts of Marcus Missen, Richard Walter and Trish Beadle. Next up is Sandhutton, Catton and Kirkby Wiske on Thursday. Meet up at the Kings Arms Sandhutton at 18:30. All welcome to help out.

Update: Saturday 8th September from Nick Howarth Pulleyn

Julie and Nick went leafleting on Saturday afternoon in the rain. They covered all the streets in the Thirsk Central triangle, and then cracked through most of Carlton Miniott too.

Trish has full details of streets covered, and also has the remaining leaflets, posters and the maps she lent the team, so please reach out to Trish at trish.beadle@thirskandmaltonlabour.uk if you wish to take part in the midweek push…

Here is a photo of the team with Trish when they had finished on Saturday.. Well done…

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Update: Wednesday 5th September from Mark White

First canvassing session of the Thirsk by-election tonight. Thanks to Trish Beadle , Philip Smith , Richard Walter, Mick Johnston, and Deanna Pearse. We knocked 168 doors and found a fair number of Labour promises and our core messages were positively received. All this and a photo too! The nights are shortening so we could really do with help to get round.

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Please see the CLP Calendar for campaign activities

Andy McDonald, Meets with the CLP in Helmsley

On Saturday the 3rd August, the CLP was delighted to welcome Andy McDonald, Shadow Secretary for Transport.  Despite near perfect North Yorkshire weather, 40 members and visitors crowded into the Helmsley Arts Centre. For Andy this was a return visit to his honeymoon town, but he showed no sign of sentiment as he presented an incisive account of Westminster life and the challenges of dealing with our Tory adversaries. Preparing ourselves for the next general election was a key topic – and the CLP is being encouraged to work with neighbouring constituencies to maximize the impact of a Labour vote.

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In the second half of the meeting, small groups discussed priority topics : Rural Deprivation, Peoples Vote, Health and Social Care for Older People, Rail Transport, Bus Transport, Engaging Young People and Housing.  Each group presented their policy wish list in a sentence, and (Westminster please take note) there was a strong consensus in the room. We want young people engaged in politics; a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal; an equitable, not for profit health and social care system; integrated (UK) state run transport and fair rents for all.

Andy’s visit was a catalyst for a great discussion and it was heartening that many people were first attenders – maybe our ambition merely to dent the Tory majority in Thirsk and Malton at the next election should be revised upwards..

Many thanks to Chris and Nick for their hard work in organizing the event (and thanks to Jill for the photo)

Malton and Norton Branch Hold Tea Party

On Saturday 28th July, Malton and Norton Branch held a Tea Party in Norton, as a social get together and also to raise funds!

25 members attended the event and we raised £129.50.

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It was fabulous to see so many new faces come and join us for a glass of Prosecco in the afternoon sun.

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A huge thank you to everyone who attended and for your kind donations and also a special thank you to Judith Jones who organised the event!

Watch out for our next social event, which will be a wine tasting evening.

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New: Members Chat Group

We have set up a private Members only Yammer group that allows CLP members to chat, organize and engage in friendly discussion.

This is walled off from the outside world and so is private, shared only with invited Thirsk and Malton Labour Party members. Our Membership Secretary Bryan has been sending out invitation from the Yammer group for you to join.

If you wish to ignore the invitation, please feel free to do so, but if you would like to take part, it’s is free to do so and you will be welcomed into this on-line community by like-minded souls.

Please note that by accepting the invitation, as a minimum your email address will be visible to other Yammer members, so no-one is anonymous. You may share as much or as little personal information that you desire…

The benefit, on top of purely being yet another communication tools, is in building a team, a sense of community, a virtual clubhouse, but also helping us get more organized for the next election.. The messages are not lost in the mass of everyday emails, you can drop in and take part in the conversations as you wish.

The participants are real verified people, so there are no anonymous trolls or fake news, and the CLP will not tolerate abuse, racism or sexism.

Yammer is accessed via this link: Thirsk and Malton Yammer

If you would like to take part and have not yet recieved an invitation, please email Bryan at membership@thirskandmaltonlabour.uk

Your invitation once sent will look like:

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If you follow the link you will be a taken to a log in Page:

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Fill in what details you wish to share (minumum of Name and a date you can remember) and then choose your groups:

Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 12.42.17.pngLoad a picture or avatar:

Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 12.45.11.pngAnd you are in, it’s as easy as that….

Remember it’s a private group for members only, nothng is shared on the internet or with any organization in engaged in psychological warfare against the UK.

NEC; Reports and Elections

The National Executive Committee is a crucially important body for the Party which is why the annual elections to it are of such interest. It has 41 members only nine of whom are directly elected by ordinary Party members; i.e. us. Your Constituency Exec Committee received many requests for nominations but decided to nominate the CLPD slate (attached) as it unequivocally supports Jeremy Corbin and the current manifesto and is most closely aligned with the policies this constituency has supported in recent years. To have maximum impact it is important to support candidates who have compatible policies and being on a slate ensures this. Voting will begin soon. Use your vote. Reports on the last NEC meeting are attached.

Stop Press; Parliamentary Selection. At the weekend the North Yorkshire County Labour Party agreed to support our call to the NEC for consultation on the selection in the event of a snap election.

National Policy Forum 2018 Consultation

The Party has launched a review of its manifesto policies with an invitation to all members to submit their views online. Useful summaries of existing policies are followed by questions to encourage responses. They covers every possible subject. You can respond individually but it would be useful if Branches could organise discussions of selected topics and perhaps make Branch submissions as well. The documents are all online. Deadline for response is 24th June. All documents and the response form are Online.

Norton Councillors call to cut vehicle speeds.

CALLS are being made for speeding restrictions – and a duck crossing sign – on a main road through Norton.  Cllr Bryan Barrett said: “It is not just Welham Road which has the problem with speeding vehicles, it is also an issue in Beverley Road and Langton Road, so perhaps we need to look at moving the signs there as well to further out of town.”  Read the full article here….