Momentum

Regroup the left to revive Labour

Labour did very badly in the 17 June Chesham and Amersham by-election — down from 12.9% to 1.6%, 622 votes, about the same as the number of Labour members in the constituency. There is precedent. The 2016 by-election in Richmond Park, South West London was also won by the Lib Dems on a huge swing from the Tories, and Labour’s share fell from 12.3% to 3.6%. The difference is that in 2016-7 there was a sizeable and mobilised Labour left, which is now much more demobilised. Labour did badly in the polls (up to 20% behind) right up until the Tories called the election in mid-2017, and the Lib-Dems...

“Refounding Momentum”: confusing, trendy, disempowering

But better than nothing! The Momentum leadership has set up a process for re-writing the Momentum constitution. It will revolve around “Momentum Assemblies” filtering and re-writing submissions from members and local groups. That there will be any kind of collective input into the new constitution is a step forward. And the intentions of the leadership are surely good. But the rules for how this system will work are complicated and disempowering, and they replicate the culture of top-down paranoia about local groups that has stymied Momentum organising for years. You can read the rules here...

Momentum votes to campaign for public ownership of the banks

Momentum members have voted to prioritise eight motions for the 2021 Labour Party conference (September 25-9, Brighton). The motions prioritised are: “£15 minimum wage”; “Time for proportional representation”; “Green jobs revolution”; “Global climate justice”; “Build council housing and end homelessness”; “Reject integrated care systems, renationalise England’s NHS and social care”; “A four day week for a society in which we work to live, not live to work”; and “Build back fairer: attack poverty and inequality”. Momentum's office says that the Momentum National Coordinating Group will add...

Momentum primary results due

In March, Momentum ran a “policy primary” for the first time — a one-member-one-vote email ballot of its members to decide what motions Momentum should take to Labour Party conference. This was a step forward for democracy in Momentum, but still limited: making decisions by email referendum is a partial form of democracy, and one which favours central control. Momentum had some democratic structures prior to 2017 which were based on meetings of representatives of local groups. But the unelected office staff are central to shaping and holding email ballots: indeed, they get to set the questions...

Activist agenda: Momentum's "policy primary"

From 24 to 31 March, Momentum is holding a “policy primary” — an all-members’ vote-out, by single transferable vote [vote here], to decide what motions Momentum sends to Labour Party conference. Workers’ Liberty are supporting Momentum Internationalists’ recommendations: • The Build Back Fairer motion on social measures to restore working-class health and safety, rights at work, and living standards, in the pandemic and as it fades, passed by North East Momentum, Stevenage Momentum and Southampton Momentum • The motion from the Uyghur Solidarity Campaign on ethnic cleansing in Xinjiang/East...

Activist agenda: Labour Party conference motions and Momentum

Campaigns usually featured in this column such as the Labour Campaign for Free Movement, the Uyghur Solidarity Campaign, the Hong Kong campaign LMSHKUK, and Free Our Unions, have put motions into the “policy primary” being run by the left-Labour group Momentum. Momentum is due to publish its “shortlisted motions” on 18 March, and then ballot members on them Wednesday 24 March to Monday 29 March. The Momentum National Coordinating Group decides which ones to prioritise in early September. Labour’s deadline for motions for its conference (25-29 September) is 13 September, but the deadline for...

Drive for Labour conference

Internationalists in Labour are beginning a drive to get internationalist, socialist policy put to Labour’s national conference this autumn (25-29 September). Momentum Internationalists (MI) will be supporting motions on solidarity with the Hong Kong democracy movement and the Uyghur Muslims targeted by Beijing’s ethnic cleansing drive. We will be backing a motion from the Free Our Unions campaign that raises the alarm about the government’s plans to impose anti-strike “minimum service requirements” in the UK transport sector, makes the case for trade union freedom in the UK, and stresses the...

Labour: fight back for democracy and policies!

Josh Lovell outlines priorities which Momentum Internationalists will fight for as the leadership swings Labour to the right. It is now one year since the Labour Party’s 2019 national conference — arguably the most radical Labour Party event in decades. Delegates passed resolutions committing the party to 2030 decarbonisation as part of a worker-led just transition, to support the abolition of academies and private schools, and to defend and extend free movement, ensure voting rights for all UK residents, abolish No Recourse to Public Funds, and to close all detention centres (to name but a...

Young Labour: democracy, struggle, Internationalism

Set up to back internationalist, class-struggle candidates in the current Young Labour elections (nominations close 27 September, ballot 19 October to 12 November), Young Labour Internationalists also aim to connect Young Labour activists with social movements and struggles. In particular, they plan to get young activists involved in the NHS workers’ fight, and in making solidarity with freedom struggles in other countries: Belarus, China, Montenegro, Poland... You can read their full platform

Rebuilding Momentum groups

Roxana Fraser, an activist in the Southampton Momentum group, talked with Cathy Nugent from Solidarity. Our group has been and remains well functioning — we’ve been meeting online regularly during lockdown. We have been in touch with other local groups. It is important right now for groups to invite others to meetings and so on. In my experience there was very little support for local groups after the early days of Momentum. All the focus was on helping Labour to win elections and fighting the internal battles in Labour. But local groups should be doing a lot more. We’ve organised a lot of...

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