In praise of delegate structures

A post from Conrad Landin on Left Futures highlights the importance of not dropping delegates from Labour Party structures.

He writes about the Young Labour conference that has dropped delegates representing Constituency Labour parties (CLPs) – only regional Young Labour groups are represented. He makes the very valid point that without delegates representing their constituencies in an official capacity, it is unlikely that they will be able to get the financial support many will need in order to make the trip.

He calculates the cost to him and his comrades to attend and it is significant for anyone on a typical young persons wage, assuming that they are even in work. He concludes:

“So what happened? They simply had no means of getting to Youth Conference. And you could see it in the room. Too many suits – and an underrepresentation of women, of young workers, of working-class people and of ethnic minorities. Fortunately, it is not too late to ensure this does not happen again. The Young Labour national committee must reconsider their plan to drop CLPs from the delegate structure. Only this will ensure that there is a proper mechanism in place to stop our youth wing being only for those who can afford to take part.”

In Scotland we have a number of decisions to take with new national structures like the Women’s conference.  Apart from democratic accountability, here is another good reason for having delegate structures.