Smoothly. The NEC used to be a nightmare. Actually so did the South East committee. As I have come up through the party each committee I have joined has become more peaceful, more productive and more geared to campaigning.

On the NEC I seem to be a specialist in opposing or challenging proposals. This improves debate and decision making.

The boss of General Motors, Alfred P. Sloan, was chairing a meeting. Everybody was in agreement. Sloan said

"I propose we postpone further discussion of this matter until our next meeting to give us time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain some understanding of what the decision is all about."

By challenging pretty much everything, including Union for the Future, change of name or logo, NEC adjustment of candidate lists, countryside policy, Subscriber, and the Constitution, I have helped NEC debates and decisions.

Where something has NOT been properly challenged (e.g. military policy) mistakes are more likely to have been made.

I don’t have the energy and ability to review every policy in the time currently allowed. I shall seek permission to copy draft policies to my advisers before NEC meetings, so as to improve my contribution. As the policy groups get up speed and produce more policy, this matter is becoming more important.

At some stage we may need to follow what is I believe considered best practice and split the roles of chairman and chief executive, in which case the NEC would need to elect its own chairman.




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