Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Momentum. Membership: Labour and Supporters, *not* Members of Other Political Parties.

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This from the latest mailing to Momentum supporters:

Yesterday, Momentum’s National Committee met for the first time. The 52 person, gender balanced Committee is made up of delegates from Wales, Scotland, all nine English regions, equalities or liberation groups, trade unions and existing Labour movement organisations.

The Committee debated and decided on six national campaign objectives for the next three months.

  1. Campaigning for Labour in May’s elections (English local and mayoral, Welsh Assembly, and Scottish Parliament).
  2. Building for the People’s Assembly march for Health, Homes, Jobs, and Education on 16 April and developing with local groups specific campaigns and activities under these banners.
  3. Assisting Labour members to have their voice heard on Labour’s National Executive Committee.
  4. Helping mainstream, grassroots Labour members be represented at the next Party Conference in September.
  5. Supporting the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament demonstration against Trident renewal on 27 February.
  6. Mobilising for Westminster by-elections to repeat the success of the Oldham West and Royton by-election of last year.

 

The Committee decided that Momentum should become a membership organisation.

Members of other political parties will not be eligible for membership of Momentum.

Membership will be open to Labour members, affiliated supporters, and supporters of the aims and values of the Labour Party, who are not members of other political parties (except the Co-Operative Party, which has an electoral agreement with Labour). We’ll email you with more details very soon.

About Momentum.

As the successor to the campaign to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, Momentum is a Labour Party focused organization and its structure must reflect that. Momentum seeks to strengthen the Labour Party by increasing participation and engagement at local, regional and national levels. Furthermore, Momentum is committed to supporting the Labour Party winning elections and entering government. It seeks to use its base in the Labour Party and Labour movement to reach out to the 99% of people who are not currently in any political party, spread Labour values and increase Labour Party membership.

WHAT DOES MOMENTUM WANT TO DO?

● Organise in every town, city and village to secure the election of a progressive left Labour Party at every level, and to create a mass movement for real transformative change

More details via link above.

Where does the key decision, “.Members of other political parties will not be eligible for membership of Momentum” leave this Socialist Party initiated organisation?

Trade Union Momentum

John McInally Public and Commercial Services Union Vice-President (personal capacity).

The idea for Trade Union Momentum sprang from the need to build a trade union based anti-austerity movement from outside as well as inside the Labour Party and autonomous from it, based on a clear no cuts, no privatisation anti-austerity programme, campaigning on concrete issues like cuts, the pay freeze, privatisation and the anti-union laws.

This would be by building in workplaces and communities around the country with affiliations from trade unions, trades councils and individual union members.

Providing a platform for socialists and anti-austerity activists, inclusive of the Socialist Party, the National Shop Stewards Network and others not members of the Labour Party, in a widely based alliance, could be an important, even critical factor in defending the Corbyn/McDonnell leadership and building the anti-austerity movement.

The Socialist 9th of January 2016.

The Socialist Party, along with the Socialist Workers Party, and others, were involved the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition whichs tood candidates in competition with Labour in the last election.

2015 general election

TUSC stood 135 prospective parliamentary candidates across England, Wales and Scotland,[5] as well as 619 council candidates in local elections.

The organisation announced in October 2014 that it had received a guarantee of funding from Socialist Alliance.  The funds would provide for one hundred deposits in parliamentary contests, as well as a Party Political Broadcast.

The party performed badly at the election, winning 36,327 votes, or 0.1% of the popular vote. No parliamentary seats were gained and no deposits were saved.

Wikipedia.

This their strategy for the 2016 local elections:

TUSC steering committee agrees 2016 council candidates selection timetable

The TUSC national steering committee met this week and agreed a timetable and procedures to approve candidates for the English local council elections taking place on Thursday May 5th. It also agreed a Guide for TUSC Candidates and Agents, available as a downloadable PDF at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/359.pdf

The steering committee recognises that the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader on an anti-austerity platform has changed the political situation compared to the first five years of TUSC’s existence and that this effects how our coalition will approach the May polls.

Although the big majority of Labour councillors did not support Jeremy for leader, TUSC’s local election platform, Build on Jeremy Corbyn’s Anti-Austerity Call – A Councillors’ Revolt Could Stop the Tory cuts! (see http://tusc.org.uk/policy.php) is clear that “TUSC will work with any Labour councillor who backs the call to refuse to implement the cuts”. There will not be TUSC candidates standing against councillors who vote against cuts in the council chamber.

Clearly ‘Trade Union Momentum’ is not the same as Momentum. 

This should be made clear.

TUSC intends sending out ultimatums to Labour candidates. No doubt on the strength of their 2015 0.1% General Election vote.

That is their right.

But this is not the kind of activity that a group which wishes to change, through democratic persuasion, through Labour structures, the party’s policies and culture, should tolerate.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 8, 2016 at 11:49 am

2 Responses

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  1. I had initially been thinking of the Corbyn surge as a ‘Phoney War. A fight will break out, either when he looks to consolidate his power thus forcing the real power holders – the vast majority of Labour MPs and councillors (collectively – ‘the scum’) – to fight back, or maybe the scum would go on the offensive. This still might happen.

    But I see it now more as ‘The Dog That Didn’t Bark’.

    Where are these hundreds of thousands of Corbyn followers? Did they simply vote Corbyn in a rare five minutes of political commitment, in-between reading Twitterstorms and booking their Glastonbury tickets?

    There was little sign of them when I went to my one and only Momentum meeting (and to which I wasn’t invited, despite signing up online). It was the old cllrs, seeing if the balance of forces meant they needed to reinvent themselves – for a while; a few naive careerist Lefts (Owen Jones types, whilst still studying for their A levels) and the eminence grise – Lansman.

    Why is the MP for Walthamstow not yet defenestrated? Where are the hordes of hecklers dogging the every step of Benn and Watson? Where are the young Labour groups running amok attacking Britain First, local Tory offices, etc. (I remember hitting both Peter Walker and Peter Shore with projectiles, when in LPYS, as well as marching from Manchester to Blackpool to lobby Labour Party conference.) Where are any deselection battles yet enjoined (except possibly in Rochdale?)

    Looking the photo of the recent Teesside Momentum meeting, it’s the same story – it took place in the Council Chamber and you can see the blood from all the cuts some of the attendees have made still dripping from the municipal chandeliers.

    When the accounts are finally settled, the blindfolds being tied and the bullets loaded, all who were in Labour just before the Corbyn surge will not even enjoy the benefit of a rigged trial. Those who joined after the Corbyn victory will be given some leeway, I think, but I also think that that leeway seems to be diminishing every day

    I’m not surprised by the Momentum decision. There was no invitation to me (and, of course so many others) to take part in any events to elect delegates to that Momentum conference.

    I’m neither surprised by such methods or, as yet, that bothered – the role of Momentum, unless you are Oxford PPE (It’s the Cambridge graduates I feel most sorry for), will doubtless be doing the heavy lifting to get the new bright things into parliament – where another 30 years hence they will be the outraged frontbenchers complaining about a new Momentum in the way that once firm Bennites, like Hodge and Blunkett, have reengineered their political past.

    Goodbye Momentum

  2. Steps forward for Momentum
    Report of first Momentum National Committee, 6 February 2016

    By Ed Whitby, North East and Cumbria delegate (pc)

    See here: https://edsunionblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/steps-forward-for-momentum-report-of-first-momentum-national-committee-6-february-2016/

    Andrew Coates

    February 9, 2016 at 12:33 pm


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