Equal Opportunities & the Party Constitution


#1

I was just reading the draft Party Constitution and I saw it stated:
The Party believes that all citizens of the United Kingdom should have equal opportunity to
thrive to the greatest extent of their individual talent and ambition. To that end it shall be
the policy of the Party to first and foremost fight for equal opportunities for every child in
the United Kingdom. The Party further believes that achieving equal opportunity for every
child will entail structural changes in our political and economic systems that are further
outlined below
The concept of opportunity should apply to everyone (at all ages) and not just children. In the modern day, people not only change careers multiple times in their lives but also study at all ages. I know of several cases where people have studied in their 60s or 70s. Is there any means to propose a change to the Constitution? I think the wording “every child” should be amended to “everyone.”


#2

I just saw also:
• give children the best possible start in life, without allowing for discrimination based
on who their parents or family are or how much money their family has;

I think this should be amended to state “give everyone the best possible life, …”


#3

I see your point. I think they’re just trying to point out that equal opportunity for children will translate into equal opportunity for everyone. But maybe they should be a little more clear.


#4

That was done intentionally, the same way Meritocracy’s slogan worldwide is “Equal Opportunity for Every Child”. It gives us a clear focus - children - and their future, their education.

The objective you’re reading states first and foremost - it simply means it’s the top priority. It doesn’t discard helping everyone, regardless of their age.

You’ll also find that here: http://www.ukmp.org/vision the vision is formulated as

A world where everyone enjoys equal opportunity to thrive.

And the mission on the homepage is formulated as

The UK Meritocracy Party is dedicated to transforming Britain into a country that delivers Equal Opportunity for Every Child to thrive and prosper to the greatest extent of their individual talent and ambition.

By working toward that mission we come closer to achieving that vision which is our desired long-term outcome.


#5

I understand your point and what you are saying. I think because now people live so much longer and because careers change so much I see education as life-long. The number of people at university now who are 30-40-50 years old is significant especially with the Web and all kinds of modular learning. I think for the concept of meritocracy to carry, it should embrace the notion that education and all aspects of life are determined by the individual and they are not related to age or any other factor. In fact, I see the children’s education itself should be reformed dramatically to suit individuals and the present government has radical changes planned in education.

If there any provision to seek to have the constitution changed. Is this done at an AGM, does it need so many votes to get tabled? I assume there is a system so that something can be debated and decided upon.


#6

I think the key issue is that meritocracy opposes all forms of discrimination and basically allows the individual to flourish according to their own talents. Any reference to age needs to be made in a context in which it would not relate to discrimination against the individual.

A meritocracy will throw out old ideas of what is good and bad, and allow people to define their own lives more. There is a book called Meritocracy Myth which talks about discrimination and how discrimination in the modern day usually consists of several forms, eg ageism, lookism, combined with other forms. It is found on google books. The book defines how religious intolerance, heterosexism and other forms of discrimination are all the antithesis of merit and its founding principles.


#7

I think people will understand what it means, and that it is the opposite of discrimination. What we’re going for is equal opportunity but unequal results. This isn’t Marxism. If later in life people choose not to make something of themselves they won’t be given the same benefits as everyone else. And why should they? They were given all the same chances. It’s not discrimination, it’s justice.


#8

I would like to table a motion to change the wording and I would like to see this debated. I am unsure what the mechanism will be for that. I accept people will have different views and the purpose of a debate is to accept a prevailing view. The forum has limits on what can be debated, and I assume the Party has a voting system for constitutional changes.

In today’s world values are more varied that historical values. There for example a number of children who have become web millionaires. Hence the concept of opportunity is not defined only in terms of education. There are lot of other issues and the forum is not the place to try and debate them all.

I will check the constitution later to see what the processes are to change it.


#9

You can find the constitution here: http://www.ukmp.org/constitution - section XIII (scroll all the way to the bottom) is the one you’re looking for @Trevor_Oakley.

I don’t understand why you want to change the wording though. The constitution lays out clear areas of focus for us to be working towards on a general level. It’s not discriminating people based on age. It’s telling us that children are the priority in regards to achieving Equal Opportunity. Hence EOFEC - Equal Opportunity for Every Child, the core mission.


#10

Thanks. This is the relevant article - 13.2.2 Any constituency association or branch requiring a vote to be taken on a proposed amendment shall file with the Party Chairman a certificate that the majority of members at a properly constituted Extraordinary General Meeting or Annual General Meeting of the constituency association or branch voted in favour of such an amendment.

Where is the nearest brand to Southend?

To answer your point about my reasons for a proposed change - I think that is really something for a full debate. The Constitution does allow for articles to be changed and it sets out the procedure for that. If I can find my nearest branch I will discuss the matter with them.


#11

Everybody starts out as a child. Therefore Equal Opportunity for Every Child comprises everybody.

Equal Opportunity for Everyone is redundant.

The term Equal Opportunity on its own is already ubiquitous.

Equal Opportunity for Every Child is brilliant because not only does it by definition mean everybody, it also sets us apart from any other organization identifying as Equal Opportunity.


#12

The point is that the Party has a constitution and a means for challenging the wording. That is done via the branch. I have asked for my local branch and had no answer. Nothing in the constitution refers to forums to argue the case. The procedure is to discuss at the branch level and then for other votes to be taken.

You are basically trying to argue the whole case in a forum. Proper arguments need to refer to academic citations, assumptions, principles, and then conclusions. You simply stated a view based apparently your own ideas. These subjects have been researched and there are significant academic views on them.

The purpose of a constitution is so that issues such as these can be addressed. Otherwise there would be no need for a constitution anyway, you could just have a forum, and exchange emails.


#13

There are no local branches at the moment, we’ve only started recently!


#14

How can the constitution be valid? It sets out a procedure which cannot be followed. At the time of creation, either branches should have been created or the constitution should have allowed for the case of no branches existing. How much of the constitution is invalid?


#15

The NEC can establish party rules to contemplate situations not covered by the constitution.

No party rules have been written yet, because as we’ve mentioned, the party only started recently. So it’s normal for other things such as “receiving a membership card” to not be happening at this moment in time - people understand the processes have to be set up. Same for sending out a regular newsletter.

Everyone had a chance to participate in shaping the current constitution as can be seen on the forums. What we have is the definitive version to get the ball rolling, to create the actual party structure and grow it.

Arguing over wording in a recently approved constitution is taking a step backwards. If you feel really strongly about it though you’re welcome to start your own party. You can also start a meritocratic group where you live with the intention of turning it into a branch later on.

Either way, the actions you take will be far more effective in achieving the result that you want as opposed to changing the constitution …


#16

The issue is not about starting my own party but if the Meritocratic Party is genuine. Parties are legal entities and there is case law on this subject. If you form a constitution which obviously cannot be held as valid then there are legal issues which follow. The purpose of a constitution is to ensure power is not abused.

You saying “arguing over wording in a recently approved constitution is taking a step backwards. If you feel really strongly about it though you’re welcome to start your own party.” is an obvious abuse of power. The constitution allows for wording to be challenged and your are saying if that is what I want to do, it is a step backwards and I could start my own party. You are in effect as an official saying that the constitution should not be changed and I should start a party. The issues therefore are your own conduct, and the strength of the constitution. The constitution has countless provisions and it is questionable now what is even valid. It seems from what you have said large parts of the constitution are not valid. That is not legal and basically misrepresents the party.

A political seeks power as its basic purpose and hence issues of legality are important and in fact there are countless legal issues every year when elections are held.

You talk about my options, you need to assess your own and if you even want to run a party especially when you are simply misrepresenting the party and causing time and resources to be wasted. You are not entitled to misrepresent a party and produce an invalid constitution. It is neither legal nor intelligent.

You then telling me what I can do if I think the constitution should apply is obvious misconduct from you.


#17

You’re right that the current constitution can be confusing for newcomers as it has clauses that we intend to build towards, e.g. we want to have dozens of branches but as we’re starting out we don’t even have one yet.

I’ll talk to the NEC about going through the constitution and updating it to properly represent the reality of where we currently are. The updates will be passed to the membership for approval, as per Part XIII.


#18

I think the issue which is dividing views is the roie of a party compared to action groups, interest groups, campaigns, and other ways of effecting change. A Party is the powerhouse behind change and it is regulated in law. There is extensive law governing what parties do.

If the MP wants to be a party in the sense of meeting all the demands made on parties it needs to focus a lot more on power and campaigning to get power. It also needs to put itself above any group of people and depend on law. It is via law that fairness is obtained.

If these provisions are not made you simply have a group of people interested in some ideas. Such groups tend to be autocratic, single minded, and slow to change.


#19

While it is true that the traditional views should no longer apply - the emphasis on children is a powerful psychological and political point for any public campaign of ours. This reason is reason enough, and reason superior, over this particular adjustment to the core and populist message which grabs public attention.

It’s true also that we need to emphasize the old values are not fit for governing the future; that the system of government needs grand, sweeping changes and not half measures. However, the impact of the powerful message about children cannot be sacrificed in this case (material to go on a leaflet or website to represent such grand sweeping changes in values).