Yearly Archives: 2003

NEC Meeting, 16 December 2003

This meeting was originally called to appoint David Triesman’s successor as general secretary, and following interviews, Matt Carter was chosen and congratulated. However with media speculation at fever pitch it was a good opportunity to revisit the Livingstone question. NEC members were fed-up with being badgered by journalists who knew more than they did. Back […]

National Policy Forum, 28/29 November 2003

The first day saw Tony Blair launch the long-awaited Big Conversation, an honest and serious debate between a modern empowering government and active, responsible citizens. The 80 pages and dozens of questions gave plenty of food for thought. Crime had fallen, but people did not feel safe. How could we replace anti-social behaviour with respect? […]

NEC Meeting, 3/4 November 2003

Some highly-coloured accounts of this two-day meeting have appeared, most of them untrue. Astonished members did not discuss Gordon Brown’s exclusion from the NEC, as claimed in the Guardian, although many did not realise Douglas Alexander had replaced John Reid. In fact astonishment centred on the imminent departure of general secretary David Triesman: why was […]

NEC at Conference, 28 September / 2 October 2003

Two conclusions emerged from Bournemouth. First, the Labour party is not riven by vicious infighting and on the verge of disintegration, as some journalists would have people believe. Second, the diversity of views was as great as ever, and standing ovations for public consumption were balanced by complex and thoughtful discussions away from the media […]

NEC Meeting, 23 September 2003

Tony Blair acknowledged the current mid-term difficulties. The Hutton inquiry was a tunnel which we had to go through, but more fundamental were the domestic issues: the economy, public services, crime, anti-social behaviour and asylum. Here modernisation was leading to success. Health targets had been met two years early, with premature deaths from heart disease […]

NEC Meeting, 22 July 2003

Tony Blair and John Prescott were unable to attend, so Ian McCartney opened the meeting and took questions. He assured us that the prime minister did not “sex up” the Iraq briefings, and the foreign affairs committee agreed that the September dossier was well-founded on intelligence. The BBC allegations were false, and those attacked had […]

National Policy Forum, 19 July 2003

For once the Forum had no documents to discuss, as all ten are out with members. Submissions must be in by 2 October for the second-wave first-year documents, which will be revised in November and reissued for further consultation, returning to the Forum in July 2004. The deadline for comments on the first-wave second-year documents […]

NEC Meeting, 10 June 2003

The Prime Minister stressed the importance of arguing for Britain in Europe and overcoming economic obstacles to joining the euro. This attracted general support, except from UNISON which opposes the single currency, and it will be good to have government and activists on the same side. Members of the Britain in the World policy commission […]

NEC Meeting, 25 March 2003

Iraq again headed the agenda, with questions to Tony Blair and Jack Straw and a full discussion around a statement from Diana Holland, Chair of the NEC, and an emergency resolution from Mark Seddon and Christine Shawcroft seeking advice from Kofi Annan on bringing Britain back into compliance with the United Nations charter. Both are […]

National Policy Forum, 28 February / 1 March 2003

Cabinet speakers included Jack Straw, who argued that Saddam Hussein was a real threat to the region and the world, and lambasted the French as complacent, vacillating and weak. Members regretted damage to our European alliances, and warned against handing the Kurds over to the Turks in exchange for military favours. Jack Straw felt that […]