The Conference Arrangements Committee has published its list of motions for Labour conference 8-11 October 2023, though so far only “confidentially”.
The CAC sorts the 300-odd motions under subject headings. In ballots at the start of conference the unions prioritise six headings for debate, and the CLPs six. Motions under the chosen heading are then composited for debate, the snare being that Labour Party officials often press to “lose” spikier wording in the compositing and to get everyone to go in with one bland composite.
FBU and the CWU have submitted motions to tighten Labour’s “New Deal for Working People” commitments, and can hope to get the topic prioritised. “Workers’ rights” is classified as a separate topic, with motions from eight CLPs including two which call for repeal of the Thatcher anti-strike laws.
Most union motions are bland. Spikier motions from Aslef and TSSA calling for the restoration of rail ticket offices and a Unite motion for public ownership of the energy industry are classified under “Critical infrastructure” (even though Unite’s might better fit under “Climate change”, “Energy”, or “Public ownership”).
46 CLPs have submitted motions on housing. It failed to get prioritised in 2022, but it must this year. Key ideas in many of the motions are 100,000 new council homes a year, abolition of the “right to buy” scam, and rent controls for private tenants.
20 CLPs have motions classified as “reform of universal credit”, almost all calling for the abolition of the two-child benefit cap.
16 CLPs have motions classified as “the UK and Europe”. Most are bland, but one, from Edinburgh Central, includes clear calls for return to European free movement, to the Single Market, and to the Customs Union, and an aim to rejoin the EU.
Ten CLPs have motions on Asylum and Immigration. The strongest are from Southampton Test, Oldham East, and Huntingdon, calling for repeal of Tory Illegal Migration Act and the Borders Act, safe and legal routes for seeking asylum, allowing asylum seekers to work, scrapping “No Recourse to Public Funds” and NHS charges for migrants, and voting rights for all UK residents.
13 CLPs have motions classified under “climate change and ecology”, many calling for public ownership of the whole energy industry. That call also appears in a motion from Unite classified under “critical infrastructure” and in some of the 13 CLP motion under “public ownership”, mostly calling for public ownership of all utilities. Of 12 CLP motions classified under “water”, nine call for public ownership. There is also an “Energy” heading (eight motions, mostly blander).
A call to scrap tuition fees is in the Young Labour motion, one of six classified under “Education”, but not in the few motions under “Higher education”.
Nine CLPs have motions classified under “Health funding and structure”, with Calder Valley’s the strongest. Three weaker motions are classified separately under “An NHS fit for the future”.
Seven CLPs have motions under “Economic change”; two call for a wealth tax.
13 CLPs have come back again with motions on electoral reform.
Six CLPs have motions on “Equalities”, with the Leeds East motion calling for gender self-ID as already legislated in many countries.
Nine CLPs have motions on free school meals, most calling for them to be universal.
Six CLPs have motions on social care, and nine, motions on violence against women and girls, sadly none very strong. There are two weak motions on abortion rights, so getting something strong depends on women’s conference deciding to prioritise a good motion to go forward.