The NEC is opposing motion 41 because of a bad formulation which can give rise to misunderstanding.
Before exploring this, I must stress that the NEC is committed to maintaining an annual General conference as the supreme policy making body of the union.
We agree with the branches in the composite – we have a democratic process which allows debates and agreement on key policies – and that this is a good thing.
But as you will understand, conference also took the decision to allow the industrial conferences is to move to a biennial cycle, with various forms of decision-making to operate, including policy forums.
Not everyone agreed with this move-but the move was also the result of a democratic decision by annual conference.
Now the problem with the motion is that the second sentence can be read as suggesting a return to annual industrial conferences.
At present, we have only one annual conference – this general conference of the union.
Yet the motion talks of “annual conferences” which implies that we will have some additional to the General Conference.
Perhaps the branches in the composite will say that this is not their intention, and that they are merely seeking to reinforce the need for our general conference to remain annual.
If that’s the case, then the most effective thing the branches could do would be to withdraw the motion.
As there is no proposal to move from annual general conferences, then if the motion is withdrawn, that status quo remains.
However, if the branches cannot withdraw composite, you will need to defeat this in order to avoid risking arguments about a badly worded motion.