September 2021 CAC Report

On the run up to conference there has been two meetings; one on the 16th and the other today on the 20th.

16th September 2021
Unfortunately due to a close family bereavement, I did not attend the CAC, the funeral was the next day and I simply could not leave my family at such a crucial time.

At this meeting, the motions which could be tabled were agreed.

20th September 2021
Today's meeting, we heard the appeals for the motions which were ruled out of order. We have a mixture of written submissions and others were 'in-person' (online).

I found it a bit difficult, not being at the first meeting to understand why my colleagues rejected the first time, likewise it allowed me to be more focused and objective.

- Word Limit: The motions which were rejected due to word limit did feel harsh, especially as a couple were just over. But it was ruled that the criteria is the criteria and so the original decision to reject was upheld.

We do need to make sure that the portal caps the motion at 250 words or at least warns it has been breached.

- Green New Deal Jobs 21 CLPs submitted this motion, and most of them appealed with 4 CLPs coming in person (online).

The main reason for the original rejection was it was deemed it covered more than one subject (i.e. it also spoke about the National Care Service and Universal Access to Free Broadband.

We discussed this for a good hour, on top of all the appeals we heard for it.

Firstly, I would like to thank those who appealed, the written appeals were well articulated and you could feel a real effort had been made, in short notice. Likewise the 'in-person' appeals gave a wide range of different perspectives, but also a common theme about what constituted 'one subject'.

As I missed the previous debate, I could not really understand why it was rejected. It was about Green New Deal Jobs and it talked about investing in jobs within the care sector and access to broadband to reduce commuting, enable people to stay in rural areas and still access the jobs market remotely.

The rejection was on whether it was more than one subject, and therefore our decision had to be based on whether it was or was not. It was not rejected for any other reason.

It's important to note that I was not bothered if 21 CLPs submitted it or 210 did, it could've been one CLP, it had to be judged on the criteria. It was also irrelevant to me whether there were other motions on the Green New Deal on the agenda already, again the motion needed to be on it meeting the criteria.

- It was 250 words.
- It was on policy
- It was (for me) on one subject area, sustainable jobs.

I made these points at the meeting.

The decision was taken to vote and it was agreed to overturn the original decision.

Appeals Process
There is probably going to be a lot of discussion about this ruling, but ultimately what is the point of the appeals process if it doesn't allow the opportunity to reconsider a decision?

We were able to hear directly from the CLPs and hear their case. Unlike word count which is fact, the interpretation of what constitutes one subject, in policy can be about opinion and style. Of course if it was a motion about public sector broadcasting and also covered manufacturing in the far east, it is much more obvious it two subjects. But this was about jobs and it included job sectors and technological ways of working.

I think it's a testament to a strong committee that we can have the ability to reconsider at appeal.

The CAC is an 8 member democratically elected committee, from across the UK, and from different disciplines of the party. However, we have our own views, our vote is never on factional lines, it is normally a consensus, but always based on whether our decision met the criteria or not.

I think it's a sign of a strong democratic committee that the appeals system is fair and not afraid to reconsider it's decisions.