Two motions were presented at our General Meeting on December 2nd, 2021. Both passed unanimously.
The first builds further on Brighton Kemptown CLPs support for electoral reform to Proportional Representation and extends this into Trade Unions.
Motion to affiliate to Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform & work with local trade unions
Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven Constituency Labour Party welcomes the overwhelming support for Proportional Representation amongst the Labour membership demonstrated at the 2021 Labour Party conference.
80% of CLP delegates and four affiliated trade unions voted in favour of a Labour Party manifesto commitment, at the next general election, to introduce a proportional voting system for general elections; and an open and inclusive process to decide the specific voting system Labour will commit to.
It is further noted that Unite – the largest affiliate – has subsequently also voted to support electoral reform at its October 2021 policy conference.
However, electoral reform has not yet won the support of all of the wider Labour movement, including some of the largest trade unions.
Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven Constituency Labour Party believes that:
• As a democratic socialist party, Labour must commit to PR as an expression of our values of equality, democracy, and fairness.
• First Past the Post does long-term damage to the health of our democracy by forcing Labour to prioritise swing voters in marginal seats, to the neglect of the majority who live in ‘safe seats’.
• First Past the Post gives the Tories an unfair advantage, allowing them to govern the UK for 2/3rds of the last seven decades without ever winning a majority of the popular vote. PR would level the playing field.
Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven Constituency Labour Party resolves:
• To call on the Leader, the National Executive Committee, and the National Policy Forum to commit to introducing a proportional voting system under the next Labour government.
• To affiliate to the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform.
• To call on trade unionists in this CLP, including the Trade Union Liaison Officer, to work with Labour for a New Democracy and Politics For the Many to engage with the local trades council and branches of affiliated trade unions about the benefits of PR to outcomes for workers, to offer speakers for educational meetings or events, and to encourage branches to submit pro-PR motions to their union’s next policy-making conference.
Passed by Brighton Kemptown & Peacehaven CLP on 2 December 2021.
The second is a motion to build a Climate Manifesto along similar lines as Sheffield Hallam CLP.
Motion to Build a Climate Manifesto
In 2019, the Labour led Brighton and Hove council declared a Climate Emergency, and at the 2019 and 2021 Labour Conferences, motions were passed supporting a Green New Deal. Additionally, a Climate Assembly was conveyed to discuss the question: “How can we step up actions to reduce transport-related emissions in the city?”
All of these actions have led to a clear roadmap of policies to both ameliorate the worst effects of climate change, secure a fossil-free future, and build an economy that works in the interest of people and planet.
Despite pledges and plans national and local, the world still faces a disastrous increase of temperatures to 2.7 C, way above the recommendations of the IPPC report to keep warming below 1.5. More must be done.
The CLP must write a Climate Manifesto, clearly articulating further policy that secures a future that’s green and facilitates a present preoccupied with realising it.
In January 2021, Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam, launched through her constituency a series of Climate Assemblies that culminated in just such a Climate Manifesto.
Their manifesto is divided into 8 areas: Green Public Transport -Decarbonising Finance -Agriculture and Food Production – Healthy Neighbourhoods – A Clean Energy Revolution – International Climate Justice – A Green Industrial Strategy – Nature and Biodiversity.
This CLP believes a further possible topic for exploration is Climate Education.
The Climate Manifesto will simultaneously articulate all policy that’s in process, and highlight areas which need further work.
The CLP believes holding three open town-hall style events around climate policy, in-person or on zoom, drawing on the concerns of the constituents of our MP and councillors around climate, green energy and nature, will create a blueprint about the topics which need to be openly discussed.
This will be achieved by taking the most prominent issues on climate that have been raised through letters or petitions which have not already been made into policy, arrange them into categories. Between 50 and 100 people, drawn from a mix of the public who have raised concerns and interested members, should be invited to each event, selected to reflect a diverse cohort and create a constructive but open debate where a mix of the public and Labour party members can share their views or just listen and vote on what to include in the final manifesto.
This will give an open platform both for Labour to tell the city what it’s already done, what it’s doing, and showing how open they are to listening to the Brighton and Hove residents and constituents about what could be done further, presenting a strong statement and campaigning platform to the public before the next election.
The Climate Manifesto will mobilize and educate the people around the real, available alternatives to climate breakdown, and additionally serve as a strong statement about local Labour policy, and provide an example to other CLPs to begin to do the same, sending a strong message to the national government that they’re not doing enough.
In the absence of a government willing to act, a CLP Climate Manifesto will articulate our own vision of what a green recovery looks like.
Brighton and Hove Labour councillors recently said: “We will continue to be open to good ideas on how we decarbonise the city, no matter where they come from.” We must help our councillors realise this vision, and facilitating the three events here outlined that create a CLP Climate Manifesto will do so.
A Climate Manifesto will prove the Labour Party has the strongest policy platform on the environment, help secure a victory at the next election and articulate everything the national government needs to do to ameliorate the worst effects of climate change, guided by local voices and activists.
Passed by Brighton Kemptown & Peacehaven CLP on 2 December 2021