A Motion for the Creation of a Veterans & Families Network within the Labour Party

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A Motion for the Creation of a Veterans & Families Network within the Labour Party

Labour’s five pledges to support the armed forces. Lets pledge one more and support this motion

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“We have an important duty to ensure that our armed forces, our veterans, and their families, have the very best support. But after nearly a decade of cuts and privatisation our Forces and their families are paying the price.

“The Conservative government has cut the pay of our servicemen and women, outsourced services to private companies, and left many living in service accommodation with leaking roofs, broken boilers and appliances that don’t work.

“We make our pledges to our service personnel to give them the pay, conditions of service and respect they deserve. Labour will guarantee a better deal for all those who serve in our Armed Forces.”

Armed Forces Veterans & Families movement have submitted a motion for the Labour Party conference 2019. We would ask that all CLP’s read this motion recognizing that the Armed Forces are part of the Labour party working class movement yet are uniquely under represented.

Labour’s Five Pledges to support the forces and their families are:

  1. Fair Pay – scrap the public sector pay cap, which has seen a 5.8% real terms pay cut for the starting salary of an Army Private
  2. Decent housing for forces and their families – end the growing reliance on the private rented sector
  3. A voice for service men and women – consult on creating a representative body, similar to the Police Federation
  4. End privatisation – root and branch review of outsourcing and a clear presumption in favour of public delivery of public contracts
  5. Support for forces children – better access to schools with dedicated local authorities admissions strategy for the particular challenge of frequent school moves LINK

Now let’s give it some representation 

David Andrew Gannon from Labour Armed Forces, Veterans & Families presents this motion for your consideration, please support this at the Labour party conference 2019

A Motion for the Creation of a Veterans & Families Network within the Labour Party alongside Veterans & Families Officers within CLPs – Support Statement.

1. As of January 2019 there were 146,500 active personnel within the British Armed Forces with another 44,250 in reserve. The most up-to-date figures from 2017 estimated that there were 2.4 million veterans spread across the U.K. making up roughly 5% of the adult population, a significant portion too large to be ignored.

2. Veterans have disproportionately high rates of homelessness, addiction, mental illness, suicide and violent prison convictions for their social demographic. Though not a new phenomenon, the aftermath from the futile and continuing ‘War on Terror’ is highlighting that Veterans should be recognised as a group of individuals with complex needs, that could require lifelong support as a result of military service.

3. Presently no significant measures are being taken by the MoD to reverse or rehabilitate the psychological and cultural conditioning implemented through military training within in the discharge process. Neither are there any psychological screening or mental health checks being made prior to release from service.

4. The Armed Forces Covenant nationally is being perceived as little more than lip service with Liverpool being one of the few exceptions forming its own successful co-ordinated support service between veterans and the Local Authority via a Labour controlled Council and Mayor. It has made significant efforts to support and integrate the Armed Forces Community successfully securing Gold Standard in the MOD Veterans Employment Recognition Scheme, one of the first Authorities in the UK to do so, and it is now pushing to share and develop its Veterans Welfare Model through the Core Cities and Key Cities Groups.

5. The reality is that our Armed Forces Community nationally and locally has been neglected by the MoD and Central Government as a standard practice for longer than we care to imagine. Right now mental health and welfare support services for serving and discharged military personnel alike has been passed almost entirely on to the third sector. We as a Labour Party must accept responsibility to change this broken system following the conflicts that have led to the current state of welfare for the Armed Forces Community and its veterans.

6. There is currently no effective representation of the Armed Forces, its veterans nor their families within the mainstream party infrastructure nationally or locally. Nor is there any effective representation of the Armed Forces Community within the Trade Union movement. This has created a devastating political void that is rapidly being filled by members of the Far Right.

A growing number of veterans and family members feel that their views, needs and requirements are not being met, leaving them open and vulnerable to public figures and political groups affiliated to the Far Right. This has become evident during the recent mass protests of ex-servicemen and women against the prosecution of Northern Ireland veterans the organisation of which involved Far Right groups the DFLA, Veterans Against Terrorism and UKIP, with Gerard Batten leading one protest in London. We as a party need to act and act quickly to right this imbalance.

A Motion for the Creation of a Veterans & Families Network within the Labour Party alongside Veterans & Families Officers within CLPs

1. We as a party recognise that members of the Armed Forces, its veterans and dependants, due to the uniqueness of their socio-economic standing, psychological conditioning and experience, combined with a lack of political or trade union representation, are a vulnerable and underrepresented section of society often with complex needs.

2. We, as the Labour Party will:

a. Create a Labour Veterans & Families Network within the membership and elect a dedicated Veterans & Families Officer (ex-forces or next-of-kin) within each CLP for them to represent the needs of their members and to report to the group on issues and actions both local and national.

b. Improve the welfare of the Armed Forces Community especially its veterans and their dependants through political activity within the Labour Party itself and the wider Trade Union Movement, to ensure that the Armed Forces Community is recognised within all authority directives (this was written in to the Armed Forces Covenant but many authorities are not delivering their commitment) like housing, adult social care, health, family etc and for the lead officers within each Authority Executive to meet with nominated Party representatives to look at actions and solutions.

c. To put pressure on Government and the Labour Party to ensure that our Armed Forces Communities, their recognised support networks, organisations both national and local are funded and supported to the correct level ensuring that they have sustainability and quality assurance written in their plans

David Andrew Gannon Armed Forces Veterans & Families Lead Wavertree CLP

Labour Armed Forces, Veterans & Families

The case for unionising the army LINK

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