This posting represents Bob’s personal opinion
Article refused for publication in the LICC newsletter
At our last meeting in June 2018, the group decided NOT to support the motion for conference .My personal view of why many people are unhappy to support a motion that appears innocuous enough is that the system for proposing delegates to conference this year has been utilised to gain support for this motion with scant interest of members. The greatest threat and major concern for people living in Europe is the way the government are performing regarding our right to stay and live/work. It isn’t the way our MPs are either retained or elected by the party. We don’t even have our own MP representing emigrants.
The person going to conference from France is a member of my branch. In spite of attempts to contact him, he has ignored our requests. Given this fact, he would not have been elected to go to conference by my branch. He was proposed by people living in other countries. The question this raises is, how do his supporters understand his intentions? It is becoming apparent that a faction within Labour International are using our current regulations to ensure their motion succeeds. This may be legal but it certainly is not ethical. We need to propose a motion to the LICC to change and prevent this sort of manoeuvring.
Mail to Members
I am honoured — and thrilled — to be today taking over as the Labour Party General Secretary. I take particular pride in being only the second woman to hold this post.
My overriding priority is to unite our whole party — members, trade unions, MPs and other elected representatives — in working for the election of a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn at the earliest opportunity. The crisis in our NHS, collapsing local government finances and falling living standards all underline the urgency for change.
Only Labour, campaigning together as a united team, taking our message to every community in the country, can deliver that change. I look forward to working with you and all our activists across Britain in building a dynamic, 21st century campaigning force, mobilising a movement behind the message that took us so close to victory last June.
Creating that unity requires recognising and tackling problems in our own Party, above all in relation to antisemitism. This week I will be moving to ensure the full implementation of the Chakrabarti report and introducing new procedures to deal with complaints and disciplinary cases. The stain of antisemitic attitudes must be completely eradicated within the Labour Party — we are the party for people of all races and faiths, the party of full equality for all, or we are nothing. Likewise, I will tackle any manifestation of misogyny, bullying or abuse of anyone, as Jeremy Corbyn has pledged.
I inherit a tremendous staff team at Labour HQ and in the regions and nations. Working with the largest membership of any democratic socialist political party in Europe we can build on our great electoral advances of last year. I look forward to playing my part in winning the Labour government, Labour local authorities and Labour representatives our people need.
The Labour Party
1931 – 2017
Sheila was a member of the Labour Party when she moved to France in 1995 with her husband Eric, also a Party member.
Charente Labour Party Group (as we called it) was started by 4 friends who were Labour Party members as a discussion group around Sheila and Eric’s kitchen table. It resulted in us deciding to contact other Labour Party members living in France asking them to join us.
In 2006 Labour International formed a French branch, Labour International in France, of which Sheila was a founder member of a group of 6, after a meeting in Paris in 2006 (we had increased our membership).
In 2009 after a meeting with Lorraine Hardy, France was divided into 4 regional branches and Sheila was again a founder member of the North West France branch.
She was an enthusiastic member missing very few meetings; she was at our last meeting just 2 weeks before her death.
She will be very much missed by all members of our branch.