'Disagreeing well' conference motion referred to NEC

Christians on the Left has had its Labour Conference motion submitted to the party's National Executive Committee. The motion calls for Labour Party members to 'disagree well' when debating with each other, avoiding personal abuse and prejudice. It also affirms that the party will not tolerate abusive behaviour. The motion, written in consultation with members of other socialist societies affiliated to the Labour Party, calls on NEC to issue guidance to constituency parties on how to conduct meetings and to issue a pledge of good behaviour, which constituency parties and affiliates would be encouraged to sign.

The Labour Party's Constitutional Arrangements Committee ruled the motion was not contemporary, but referred it to the NEC because it dealt with party matters. The motion reads as follows:

Conference welcomes the new Labour Party members who have joined since the start of the leadership campaign. It notes the passion and enthusiasm of Labour Party members as they have engaged with the leadership campaigns and opposed Conservative Party policies across the country. However, Conference also notes that with the passion has in many cases come rancor and division, and especially on social media, abuse and prejudice. This behavior is unacceptable and is damaging the reputation of our Party.

Conference is proud of our values, which include being open, inclusive and tolerant. Every member has a responsibility to uphold these values. If we are to stand for those in need, protect the vulnerable, and seek real change in our society, then when we disagree with each other we must do so respectfully. This must be at the heart of how we do politics in our Party. We will not be attractive to others if we fail to treat each other with respect.

Conference believes it is essential that members disagree well, avoiding personal abuse and prejudice. Abusive behavior, including via social media, should not be tolerated. Conference calls on the NEC to issue guidelines for CLPs to help them deal with abusive behavior and to draw up a pledge to comradely behavior that can be affirmed by both CLPs and affiliates.

For a Christians on the Left perspective on 'disagreeing well' see here.

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