Please renew the affiliation of Labour Party Marxists to the LRC. I paid £50 affiliation fee online today (October 13), using the ‘donations’ button on the LRC website. Our contact details are unchanged.
You might recall that at the SGM earlier in the year the rules for national affiliates changed – as a result organisations are required to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the NC that there is evidence of a membership base proper to a national organisation. When the current list of affiliates were reviewed, several were not deemed to have met this test, including Labour Party Marxists.
Whilst individual members of those organisations are welcome to renew their membership and attend the AGM, they will as a result not be able to attend as delegates from those groups.
If any payment has already been processed I’m sure we can arrange for a refund.
Michael for the EC
No, I was unaware of such a rule change. This is the first time I have heard that Labour Party Marxists has been excluded from affiliation to the Labour Representation Committee. Surely I should have been informed, as LPM secretary?
May I ask which are the “several” other affiliates which were disaffiliated in this way?
To: Michael Calderbank, secretary, Labour Representation Committee
APPEAL TO LRC NC
Dear comrade Michael,
Renewal of Labour Party Marxists affiliation to LRC
I am writing to appeal against the disaffiliation of Labour Party Marxists from the LRC.
Labour Party Marxists has been an affiliate of the LRC for several years now – at least since 2011, when we submitted our contribution to Peter Hain’s ‘Refounding Labour’ consultation – ‘Refound Labour as a real party of Labour’ – published in the first issue of the LPM broadsheet, and distributed at the November 2011 LRC annual conference.
Our members and supporters have participated in every LRC conference since then, including the special general meeting in February 2016, and have routinely paid our annual £50 affiliation fee in the period before each annual conference.
It therefore came as a surprise, when I paid the £50 affiliation fee on October 13 2016 to renew our affiliation for the coming year, to be told that LPM’s affiliation was rejected.
You wrote: “You might recall that at the SGM earlier in the year the rules for national affiliates changed – as a result organisations are required to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the NC that there is evidence of a membership base proper to a national organisation. When the current list of affiliates were [sic] reviewed several were not deemed to have met this test, including Labour Party Marxists.”
Of course, we accept that the LRC national committee has the right, within the LRC constitution and in line with its aims and objectives, to accept or reject applications to affiliate. But I confess that, although I personally attended the February 2016 SGM along with other LPMers, we were unaware of the rule change, and unaware that LPM had been disaffiliated, or that our affiliation had been “reviewed” by the NC.
We were not informed of this decision, whenever it was taken. Indeed, we were not asked to provide “evidence of a membership base proper to a national organisation” – whatever that means. In these circumstances, perhaps you can understand my suspicion that this might be simply a bureaucratic method of excluding unwanted political views, instead of sorting out differences through open debate. The immediate effect of our disaffiliation is that we are unable to submit amendment(s) or nominations to the forthcoming October 29 annual conference.
May I ask some relevant questions:
l Which are the “several” affiliates which were disaffiliated, being “not deemed to have met the test”?
l Have they been informed?
l When was that decision taken – at which NC meeting?
l Why was LPM not informed that it had been disaffiliated?
In a subsequent email message, on October 16, you explained: “if you are able to provide the NC with supporting evidence that you meet the criteria (eg, evidence of your national membership, minutes of national meetings, etc), they would be able to reconsider on appeal.”
In fact the LPM steering committee (presently five comrades) meets regularly, usually weekly, on Skype. Please see below, as a sample, the agenda and notes/minutes of our October 3 meeting, and agenda for October 10. Some comrades use cadre names. As you can see, we have members and cells in different locations around the country, not just in London.
We produce a widely circulated, irregular LPM broadsheet with increasing frequency, and produce frequent articles on our website and Facebook page, and in the Weekly Worker.
LPM national membership aggregates are held, jointly with the CPGB, roughly every two months (eg, January 24, March 6, May 8, June 26, September 4, October 16) and reports of these meetings can be read online in the Weekly Worker. Likewise, LPM organises, jointly with CPGB, the annual Communist University in August, which attracts a wide range of supporters from around Britain and beyond.
Membership is open to those who accept the LPM ‘Aims and principles’ (available on our website and in every issue of the LPM broadsheet), who contribute financially, and who actively participate in the work of the organisation through one of its cells. Isolated members meet regularly on Skype.
I trust this information satisfies the NC that LPM is a small, but effective, national organisation, with a positive contribution to make to the work of the LRC. If the NC requires further information, please ask.
Thanks – I acknowledge receipt. It will be forwarded to the incoming national executive committee, once they are elected from the AGM.