Monday, 13 December 2010

Outcome of Annual Conference

The conference considered four propositions seperately and each was voted on. Option One was to leave the constitution as it is at present. Option Two (from the Policy Unit) was for the Chairman to be advised and assisted by a nationally elected executive of eight, however the Chairman would continue to be the governing body.

Option Three, also from the Policy Unit, was for a governing body to be a national executive comprising a chairman plus eight seperately elected members of an executive committee. Option Four, Arthur Kemp's proposals (amended in unspecified ways by nick griffin), involved a governing body of an executive committee comprising the Chairman, two representatives from each region plus three members appointed by the chairman; the National Nominating Officer, National Treasurer, and National Organiser.

Option One did not need to be printed. Options Two and Three were printed and distributed but probably not read by many. Option Four was not printed but a sheet summarising its main points was distributed.

Option One received three votes. Options 2 and 3 together received seventeen votes. Option Four received (I believe) 42 votes, therefore Option Four would go to the EGM.

When I left on Saturday I was concerned that Arthur Kemp's proposals might have been changed in unspecified ways and that our proposals had not been properly examined. However on Sunday morning Arthur Kemp explained his proposals in greater details and they appeared not to have been changed in essense.

There was a suggstion from Clive Jefferson that the Chairman should have the right to remove members of the executive committee. I argued that this would remove the essence of Arthur Kemp's proposal and it would transform the executive back to the current Advisory Council. Our Chairman put Clive Jefferson's suggestion to the vote and it was decisively defeated.

Arthur Kemp's proposals will be 'honed and debugged' and even substantive amendments will be considered. Presumably these amendments will be put to the EGM so that members will have the opportunity to decide whether or not to accept them. However the one amendment that would be debarred would be the suggestion that members of the executive could be removed by the Chairman. That could not be proposed because the Annual Conference has voted on it and rejected it specifically and decisively.

Whilst I would have prefered to have seen one of the Policy Unit's motions passed I believe that Arthur Kemp's proposals are infinitely superior to the present constitution. I am cautiously optimistic that it will be passed by the EGM – I hope without substantive amenments that are destructive of its essentials.

I hope that these constitutional proposals will please sufficient alienated members to reinvigorate the Movement. It will not satify all of those seeking complete constitutional change, however even they must accept that Arthue Kemp's proposals are a significant improvement. It will enable members of the executive to express their opinions and raise questions freely and fearlessly. This will lead to an improved quality of decision making.

We must all recognise that we cannot have everything that we want, however we must see that this proposal – as long as it is not changed unfavourable before the EGM – is something that we can all accept.

Andrew Brons

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