CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

We should not agree to All-Member Meetings

22 November, 2018

• AS a retired union member (NUJ) I worry about the suggested change regarding All-Member Meetings (AMMs). It was the unions and the socialist societies who came together in 1900 to found our party as the voice of working people.

We were far more than just another party. We were the labour movement. And that’s why we have survived. Through the hardest of times we have worked together.

We went through the terrible years of the depression, Thatcherism and the miners’ strike, by standing together. Our relationship has seen us through thick and thin.

Yet now we are considering abandoning this. At present union and socialist societies have delegates who sit on our constituency-wide GC meetings as of right. Under an AMM system this would be stripped away.

Instead ordinary members, whoever they were, could attend, but not as delegates. There would be no systematic way that the links between our union affiliates and our party would be maintained.

That relationship would have been broken. Is it any surprise that many unions are wary of going down this road? So is the Co-operative Party.

All of our members are already welcome to attend GC meetings, but the formal link with the unions and the socialist societies must be maintained.

We have had – and should continue to have – meetings at which all members can come and make their views known, but a change to an AMM structure is retrograde and divisive. We should not agree to this.

TERRY DODSWORTH

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