Policy consultation extended

In response to pressure from members and local parties, the Labour National Executive Committee has decided to extend the consultationto Monday 20 July. Still time to make a submission on international policy, and voting to support Labour CND’s five responses. Check out the details in the post below.

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Respond to Labour’s International Policy Review

Labour CND has responded to the Labour Party policy consultation with 5 submissions in answer to each of the questions posed in International Policy Commission document, Championing internationalism in the post-coronavirus world. The IPC consultation covers foreign, development and defence policies, as well as broader issues such as Labour values and concepts of internationalism. LabCND urges you to access our submissions, sign in or register, and support them with a brief comment and a vote, and please consider making a submission of your own too.

You can read a summary of our submissions, posted by our secretary Ruth Brown, on the Labour Policy Forum website below. Then click on the question numbers to go straight to the website and add your own comments and vote to support them.

Q1: Labour’s internationalist values should include a war powers act
There’s great stress on Labour values without specifying what they are – a feel-good approach that fails to acknowledge differences. The most basic human right is the right to life. Labour’s 2019 manifesto promised a war powers act ‘so that no prime minister can bypass parliament’. Keir Starmer reaffirmed this promise. Putting flesh on the bones of Labour’s post-Covid internationalism, starts with reaffirming our commitment to the primacy of peace and justice, and the introduction of a war powers act.

Q2: UK defence policy: realism vs illusion
Real security is human security. The UK National Security Risk Assessment has highlighted their chief risks facing the UK, including health pandemics and ecological disasters as well as terrorism and cyber-attacks. Trident does not protect Britain from the actual threats we face. The participation of defence contractors in  the Ventilator Challenge Consortium shows the practicality of a just transition from nuclear weapon production to socially useful, sustainable alternatives. Let’s have a Shadow Defence Diversification Agency now in line with TUC policy.

Q3: International development values and strategy
Labour should re-assert the international development values expressed in our 2019 manifesto. Announcing his decision to merge the Department for International Development with the Foreign an Commonwealth Office, Boris Johnson said DiFD’s goals ‘will be wholly integrated with UK foreign policy and described the merger as ‘an opportunity to get value for the huge investments we make in overseas spending’. Labour should make the case for the retention of DFID with a standalone aid budget of at least 0.7% of gross national income, and commit an incoming Labour government to re-establishing an independent aid-giving department.

Q4: International priorities and global leadership
Global leadership takes many forms. Remembering Britain’s colonial legacy, we must be cautious about assuming that British leadership is what’s needed. The UK’s positive contributions to emergency and international aid, and to diplomacy are recognised by the UN and others. Labour should support the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and push for progress on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It’s time to break with bipartisanship and strive for an independent, non-aligned foreign policy based on the primacy of peace.

Q5: Weaknesses in national security
Real security is that which makes our citizens safe. As criticisms of the Tories handling of the Covid19 crisis demonstrate, state security back up by military force does not always coincide with human security.Real security is not about national status that Trident supporters believe comes from Britain possessing nuclear weapons. Labour should commit to scrapping Trident replacement at the earliest opportunity and be prepared to dismantle the existing system when in government, starting with an end to at-sea patrols.

ACCESS MATERIALS HERE
To download a copy of Labour IPC document, the LabourCND submissions, or our quick guide to the IPC site, click on the links below:

Championing internationalism in the post-coronavirus world here
Labour’s internationalist values should include a war powers act here
UK defence policy: realism vs illusion here
International development values and strategy here
International priorities and global leadership here
Weaknesses in national security here
NPF: the basics here

Covid19 exposes government security failure

Wash your hands of Trident to combat Covid19

Successive National Security Risk Assessments commissioned by the UK government have identified pandemics one of the top threats to Britain’s safety. Then why wasn’t the government prepared for Covid 19? And why are we spending £205 billion on replacing Trident when the NHS is struggling to survive? Read CND’s blogg and let your MP know just what you think government priorities should be.

Save Labour’s Minister for Peace

Labour’s 2019 manifesto promised that ‘international peace and security will be a primary objective of a Labour government’s foreign policy’. Under Jeremy Corbyn a new post of Shadow Minister for Peace and Disarmament was established, with a brief to pursue these issues across policy areas.

Labour CND urges everyone who supports nuclear disarmament to help ensure this post is retained by the new Labour leader. Please contact Keir Starmer and ask him to retain this post, and write to your local Labour MP if you have one to let them know that this is important to you.

It only takes a minute to participate in our online lobby. Here’s how

LabCND conference postponed

Our2020 annual conference and AGM is postponed for now. We’ll be setting a new date once the present crisis is over. Meanwhile, we’ll be exploring online ways of meeting and campaigning, investigating the possibility of a virtual AGM, and keeping contact with our supporters via regular LabCND E-News.

Conference report back

If you live in London, we’d love to see you at our report back meeting in Parliament, Monday 29 October, details below, and hear your assessment of how it went and where we go  next.  An informal meeting, with plenty of time for you to hear what others made of their time in Brighton, and air your own views.

All welcome. Reserve a place via Eventbrite or just turn up on the night. Please arrive early to allow time for any queues at Portcullis House.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/77107208737

Help get the date set for Labour Women’s Conference 2020

Concern is growing that no date or timetable for Women’s Conference in 2020 has been announced, despite requests from our elected representatives. The conference plays a vital role in helping Labour develop policies that are importance to women.

Ask your CLP secretary to write to the General Secretary – before the next NEC meeting on 23 July if you can – requesting a date to be set and a timetable published. That’s
Jennie Formby, Labour Party General Secretary
Southside, 105 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QT

Any correspondence could be copied to
Dawn Butler MP, Shadow Cabinet Women & Equalities Spokesperson at dawn.butler.mp@parliament
Ann Henderson, Chair of the National Executive Committee Equalities sub-committee at ahendersonlab@gmail.com
Yasmine Dar, convenor of the NEC Women’s Sub-committee at yasminedar@gmail.com, and
Teresa Clark, Acting Chair of the Women’s Conference Arrangements Committee at teresamaryclark@live.co.uk

Motions for Labour Conference 2019

The rules have changed a bit this year. The restrictive criterion that motions had to be ‘contemporary’ has been relaxed and more motions will be debated. Labour’s 2019 conference will debate 20 motions in all, 10 selected by CLP delegates in a ballot at conference, and 10 chosen by affiliates. It’s still the case that CLPs can submit either a policy motion or a rule change, though the deadline for the latter has now passed.

Guidelines and Deadlines
Contemporary motions on policy must: address one issue, not be longer than 250 words, and not propose a rule change.

Policy motions can be submitted now, up to the deadline of noon on Thursday 12 September. Emergency motions deadline is a week later, Thursday 19 September. If your motion is ruled out of order you can appeal to the Conference Arrangements Committee which will consider appeals on Wednesday 18 September.

Labour CND’s suggested motions are here:

Denuclearising the Korean Peninsula

With Korea back in the news again, London CND offers a unique opportunity to hear a first hand account from a Korean perspective. Francis Daehoon Lee is touring the UK as part of CND’s Nuclear Dangers initiative. Check out the Scottish and Yorkshire CND websites for details of other public meetings.