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September 2017 EC minutes (adopted)

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September 2017 EC minutes (adopted)


MINUTES OF THE 9th MEETING OF THE 114th EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN HELD AT HEAD OFFICE on Saturday 2nd September 2017 at 13.10

Present : M.Browne, D.Chesham, R.Cox, M.Foster, M.Tenner, G.Thomas.
Apologies: D.McLellan.
Not at meeting: R.Cox, N.Mersch, S.Wicks
Minutes: M. Foster (until item 2 g, at 16.15), D.Chesham (from item 3, at 16.15)

1. Election of Chair

It was AGREED that cde Tenner chair the meeting.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting and business arising therefrom

a) Amendment and adoption of the previous (August) meeting’s minutes


Cde Browne queried why the minutes did not include cde Chesham (chair) ruling cde Browne’s queries about SW’s expulsion as out of order. Cde Tenner (minute taker) replied that he thought cde Chesham was joking.

MOTION 1 (Browne & Thomas)

“That the minutes as amended be adopted” (i.e. to include the above)

AGREED (Foster abstained, as not at the August meeting)

b) i. Cde Buick’s nomination for the Executive Committee by Lancaster branch (agreed with 4 members present, 22 August) and nominee’s written acceptance (23 August).

MOTION 2 (Browne & Chesham) “That cde Buick join the EC”. AGREED

c) i. The Election Committee’s email (11 August) saying that they would prefer to wait for discussion at ADM about election activity before contesting the constituencies of Brighton, Canterbury and Folkestone in the next general election.
It was AGREED to note the items.

d) i. cde Mersch’s appointment to and resignation from the EC

MOTION 3 (Chesham & Thomas) “Cde Mersch’s resignation from the EC be accepted with regret”. AGREED.
South London branch has not yet processed cde Mersch’s form F

ii. Regarding establishing a committee to review the party’s organisation, activity and priorities.

Some EC members have interpreted rule 17 as allowing people to be co-opted straight away, but it was decided that Terms of Reference should be drawn up before nominations are called for.

MOTION 4 (Chesham & Browne) “The Central Organiser (cde Buick) be requested to draw up terms of reference for the proposed committee arising from motions 1 and 2 of the 2017 conference”. AGREED

iii. Amended Terms of Reference for the Socialist Standard Production Committee

Browne & Chesham proposed that it be noted with thanks that cde Cox has posted the revised SSPC Terms of Reference on spintcom. AGREED

iv. Stocktake of party literature

Cde Tenner said that any reprints of pamphlets and leaflets should ensure that the new Freepost licence address is included, where appropriate.

MOTION 5 (Foster & Chesham) “The EC authorises cde Tenner to arrange a new Freepost Name licence and liaise with the Publications Committee for this to be added to reprints of pamphlets and leaflets. Reprints of the following are required: What’s Wrong With Parliament?, From Capitalism To Socialism and Questions And Answers About Socialism (orange version). Reprints should update the logo and images used for the 3 free Socialist Standards offer”. AGREED 5-0-0

Cde Chesham to check on stocks of Marxism Revisited (which may benefit from being revised due to its age) and A Socialist Life. Cde Cox provided 4 copies of the latter, and no others are on display with other publications.

v. magazine inserts

a. email from Kent & Sussex branch (15 August) about printing more End To Rationing inserts as a general leaflet.
The EC is happy to arrange printing of more of the End To Rationing leaflets for general distribution, and some branches have already received copies.

b. e-mail from cde Tenner (18 August) about a slightly revised version of the End To Rationing insert going to subscribers receiving September’s copy of the William Morris Society magazine.
Cde Tenner advised that this batch of inserts has a ‘W’ on them so we can track the number of responders. He has enquired with the Observer newspaper about adding inserts, and they quoted £18 per thousand, and later £30 per thousand. Printing and distribution costs for 100,000 would be £5,950. We need more pamphlets printed (see previous item) before an insert goes in the Observer, so we have copies to send to enquirers.

So far, there have been 104 enquiries from the End To Rationing insert. Information packs have been sent to the 72 people who requested them, and 101 will be receiving 3 free Socialist Standards. It was suggested that information packs are sent to all enquirers.

MOTION 6 (Chesham & Tenner) “That cde Tenner arranges for 100,000 End To Rationing leaflets to be inserted in the Observer during mid October, at a cost of £5,950. 2,000 additional leaflets are to be printed for general use”. AGREED

Cde Buick wrote (27 August) suggesting that we improve the presentation of the slip sent to people taking up the 3 free Socialist Standards offer asking if they want to subscribe.

Details of subscribing via the website or by BACS should be included. Cde Foster agreed to revise the letter and send it round to the EC.

vi. Cde Bennett e-mailed (13 August) stating that Manchester branch are awaiting a response from cde McEwan (aka Paula Donnelly) about her Facebook posts.
It was AGREED to note the item.

vii. E-mail from cde Johnson of the Investment Committee (8 August)
Cde Browne has chased up the external party auditor, and is awaiting a response.

viii. Internet Committee’s reply to the report of the Audio Visual Committee

MOTION 7 (Chesham & Browne) “That the resignation of cdes Poynton and Lansbury from the Internet Committee be accepted with regret and that nominations for the two vacancies be called for”. AGREED

MOTION 8 (Foster & Chesham) “The EC thanks the Internet Committee for its work on the website upgrade so far, and asks for an urgent report on the current situation”. AGREED

MOTION 9 (Browne & Chesham) “If the party’s terms of reference are referenced, the management of the social media accounts, including YouTube is the remit of the Internet Committee and that committee only. The remit of the Audio Visual Committee is just to produce material, to be distributed by other committees. There is nothing preventing material produced by the AV Committee being circulated, as the publication of the recent video evidences, all they have to do is pass it on to a member of the Internet Committee”. AGREED

ix. Audio Visual Committee report (16 August) on advertising on Facebook and YouTube
It was AGREED to defer the item.

e) Notices of motion
None

f) Notices of business

i. Cox & Wicks: Moderation of the SPGB Facebook group

There was a short discussion about whether this issue could be resolved today in a way which would be supportive for Facebook Admin.
MOTION 10 (Tenner & Browne) “That in the absence of the mover and seconder of the notice of business, the matter no longer be pursued”. CARRIED 4-1-0

ii. Cox & McLellan: Changes to new members’ welcome letter
It was AGREED to defer the item.

g) Matters outstanding from previous minutes

i. Replacement computer printer
Cde Thomas has found details of four potential replacement printers. The current one is now working, but care should be taken with the lid and when changing ink cartridges.

ii. Party wall
No updates

iii. Head office staffing
No-one is currently able to staff head office regularly on Mondays. Cde Chesham is liaising with MH about his availability.

iv. O’Gorman bequest
No updates. Cde Thomas is dealing with this issue. Cde Browne said that any issues with inheritance tax can’t be clarified until we have heard back from the solicitor.

Registration of political party with the electoral commission

Cde Thomas to liaise with cde Buick about payment.

3) Forms ‘A’

Forms ‘A’ received, all via Membership Applications Committee

Adam Nichols

Nigel John Clarke

Malcolm Ian Mackay

Neil Kirk

MOTION 11 (Browne & Chesham) “That the Forms ‘A’ be accepted” AGREED

Cde. Foster left the meeting at 16.15 to get his train and cde Chesham agreed to continue taking the minutes. The meeting then became inquorate.

Forms ‘F’

Steven Colborn (North East Branch) (election to political office as a member of another party)

Andrew Davies (Central Branch) (resigned – disagreement)

Ben Malcolm (South West Regional Branch) (resigned – disagreement on reformism)

Mark Lansbury (South West Regional Branch) (resigned – irreconcilable differences)

The following Forms’ F’ from members living in Africa who have been lapsed due to loss of contact:

Christine Namara - Uganda

Misach Arineitwe - Uganda

Dominic Ziwa - Uganda

Joseph Balikuddembe - Uganda

Fatou Ceesay – Gambia

Bright Chikezie – Nigeria

Crifford Marothodi – South Africa

Peter Muia – Kenya

Mandla Ntshakala – Swaziland

Peter Wamahiu – Kenya

It was AGREED to accept the Forms ‘F’

4) Treasurer
No report

5) Reports of Party Officers, Sub-committees, etc.

Reports to ADM 2017 received from Audio-Visual Committee, Blog Committee, Internet Committee, SSPC (preliminary), Election Committee, Central Organiser, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Investment Committee, Ballot Committee, Enquiries Committee, Archives Committee, Campaigns Committee, Auditors, Standing Orders Committee and Assistant Treasurer.

It was AGREED to incorporate these reports into the Executive Committee’s report to ADM

A supplementary report had been received from the SSPC concerning the sudden resignation, apparently for personal reasons, of one of its layout members. There have also been difficulties with the present printers of the Socialist Standard who we inherited when our previous printers were taken over by them. However, these difficulties now appear to have been resolved.

It was AGREED to accept the supplementary report and that an urgent call be made for nominations for the replacement of the SSPC layout member who resigned.

It was also AGREED that an urgent call be made for nominations for the replacement of the two members who resigned from the Internet Committee.

Cde Chesham to make these calls on behalf of the EC.

6) Correspondence

  1. Matters of urgency

None

b) Correspondence from or concerning branches, the Party in general, and members

i. Email from cde Surman concerning the possible publication of a pamphlet on the subject of World military versus the global environment.

It was AGREED to defer the item.

ii. Email from cde Browne concerning the start time of the EC

It was AGREED to note the item.

iii. Email from cde Foster concerning the possibility of adding the publication from 2017’s ‘Environment’ Summer School to the online store.

It was AGREED to defer the item.

iv. Email from cde Tenner concerning a proposed letter from the Executive Committee to all members.

It was AGREED to defer the item to the next meeting but that initially the letter, without amendment, be sent to Branch Secretaries urgently for them to disseminate to their members.

Cde Chesham agreed to do this.

Attention was drawn to inaccuracies in the Socialist Standard Directory and that some text (e.g. branch names) needs to be in bold for the sake of clarity.

It was AGREED that cde Chesham contact the SSPC

v. Email from cde Foster concerning the possible publication of a pamphlet containing poems by cde Layton.

It was AGREED to defer the item.

c) Correspondence from Companion Parties

It was AGREED to note the items.

Meeting adjourned at 16.50
 

Cde Browne to chair the next meeting

Cde Thomas to take the minutes