LI’s membership has tripled in the last two years to some 3,500 members, making it one of Labour’s 10 biggest CLPs. At the same time, we face huge political challenges: whether mobilising for Votes for Life for UK Citizens Overseas (which the government has promised to introduce before the next general election) or the appalling car crash of hard Brexit. On a wider level, snowballing inequality, the unabated attack on public provision and the increase of intolerance and fascism threatens not just the UK, but the whole world.
The only way we can meet these challenges is by rebooting Labour International as a dynamic, active organisation that empowers its members and gives them a voice. Based in every continent, and with fantastically diverse experience, our members are our key asset – and should be regarded as an incredible resource for Labour. They are the key to reaching out both to 5.6 million UK voters overseas and to like-minded movements around the world. Forming international networks of solidarity is crucial to giving a voice and power back to the 99% – at home, and abroad.
As such, the Labour International Coordinating Committee’s primary task should be precisely what the name says: not to control or direct LI, but to coordinate – providing members with the structure and tools for them to articulate their democratic wishes, start campaigns, and link up. To this end, LICC has to be democratically accountable, transparent, and should do everything possible to enable members to communicate and organise amongst themselves.
Here are some of the measures we would actively promote if elected to the LICC:
- Developing transnational campaign groups that bring together members with specific fields of concern and experience
- Connecting with political parties, trade unions and pressure groups in our local areas
- Sharing news, lessons learnt, campaign resources and best practice on all our political activity
- Urgently preparing for the enormous challenge of Votes for Life and maximising the Labour vote
- A modern, user-friendly and reactive website
- An official closed Labour International Facebook group with clear anti-abuse guidelines in which all members or LI can meet and exchange views freely.
- A public Twitter feed with regular updates
- The active testing and deployment of digital tools for online conferencing, organisation and voting that enable members to participate even when they can’t be in the same place.
- All LICC minutes and LI accounts to be published online for all members.
- Co-opting volunteers to ensure diversity, youth and minority representation on the LICC, as well as trade union liaison and representation of all geographic regions.
- A proper Annual General Meeting, including an online live stream, in which the LICC is held accountable to members
- A network of national and regional Labour branches around the world, meeting up both face to face and digitally, as a first point of contact for members, supporters and like-minded organisations in our host countries.
- Active campaigns to recruit new members and supporters
- Working groups actively coordinating volunteer activities
- A network of active regional coordinators reaching out to existing members and encouraging involvement
- Easily accessible national / transnational AGMs in key regions
- We will provide support to members in locations where joining a group is not possible, so that they can be fully involved in our CLP
Most of all, though, we welcome your ideas. What do you want from Labour International? Get in touch and let us know!