Briefing, Confidentiality, Mistakes



I received a limited briefing when I joined the NEC. I have agreed to offer a better briefing to future members

Confidentiality was stressed. I was then asked to proof read the constitution. I listed 100 matters to be looked into. Appropriate changes were made, including putting back in the “preservation of the integrity of the UK”, which seems to have got lost during the drafting process.

This is part of the “detail work” mentioned in the 150 words.



To be on the safe side I treat pretty much everything as confidential unless it has appeared in the published minutes.

This creates a problem during the 2-week period between a meeting and the date of publication of the published minutes.

I have, I think, been overcautious. Very slowly one learns what is going to be published. On top of that, I probably ought to phone Jonathan more often.

I do like to report back to my region, county and branch and I would like to know more quickly what is to be published.

Lack of certainty about what is confidential explains why I have NOT been posting on the forum a summary of NEC meetings, as Steve Allison used to do.

I have sometimes been over-confidential. For example in January 2012 we solved the problem of regional representation, but I did not publish on the subject until September 2012. A mistake.



Talking of mistakes, I had hoped that after I joined the NEC I would prevent the NEC making any more mistakes. I failed.

The NEC approved the registration of “A fresh choice for London” as a party name with the Electoral Commission. The NEC’s wrong decision was compounded by our London Campaign Team’s wrong decision to use this new name on the ballot paper.

It would be fascinating to see a film of how this decision got through the NEC. How can wrong decisions be made by a group of intelligent experienced businessmen?

The NEC’s mistakes seem to have the following characteristics in pretty much every case.

• Made under AOB.

• Made at 5.40 pm, the meeting having started at 1 pm.

• No prior notice of motion.

• No prior paperwork, and often no paper at the meeting either.

• Hardly any debate.

• Unanimous vote.

We must all resolve to be alert to these symptoms and try to spot errors just before they happen.






Last Update: 22 September 2012
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