The AWL, Labour and the left

There’s an election, let’s witch-hunt the left!

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

The biggest national decision-making gathering of Momentum that has taken place so far was the Momentum Youth and Students (MYS) conference held last summer. The 200 Momentum members who took part elected a national committee pretty evenly split between supporters of what is now the “leadership faction” around Jon Lansman and the more radical, democracy-minded left.

The decision, in the middle of the General Election campaign, to purge the left from what’s left of Momentum Youth and Students shows how politically corrupt the milieu around the Momentum leadership has become in its struggle to prevent the organisation functioning democratically.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Momentum grassroots conference: an opportunity almost missed

Author: 

Simon Nelson and Sacha Ismail

Two hundred Momentum members, including about 80-90 delegates from local groups, attended the 11 March national grassroots networking conference held by the organising committee appointed by the old, pre-coup Momentum National Committee. For a fairly comprehensive factual report of what happened, see here.

The outcome of the conference was overall a positive one, but there were a number of problems that marred what could have been a much better event.

Report and analysis of the 11 March conference.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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What’s happening on 11 March?

Author: 

Simon Nelson and Keith Road

The Momentum Grassroots conference on Saturday 11 March (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Conway Hall, London, WC1R 4RL) presents an important opportunity to shape and coordinate the work of local groups after the 10 January coup in the organisation. We hope for a large turnout, with delegates representing groups from around the country.

Momentum still has a huge pool of resources and a membership of over 20,000. To walk away and squander the biggest opportunity the left has had in a generation to transform the Labour Party is wrong and should be resisted.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Demonising the “hard left”

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Christine Shawcroft’s article 'Just a Mo(mentum)!' in the latest issue of Labour Briefing (the “original” Briefing, not the magazine of the same name put out by the LRC) is the first and only attempt to give political justification for the coup on 10 January in which a few people round the Momentum office declared all the organisation’s democratic structures abolished.

Momentum will now operate day-to-day as a limited company in the hands of its directors rather than a democratic, rank-and-file-based organisation.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Organise for a member-led Momentum

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Momentum was launched in early October 2015, by a segment of the organisers of the effort which got Jeremy Corbyn elected Labour leader on 12 September 2015.

Boosted by the flood of new Labour members around Corbyn's election in 2015, and a second flood around his re-election in 2016, Momentum now has 20,000 members, which probably makes it the biggest membership-defined left caucus in the Labour Party's history.

Local Momentum groups should remain active, and network with each other, after the 10 January coup

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

A new chance for constructive unity in Momentum

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Workers' Liberty welcomes the statement “Momentum – a way forward”, circulated online by around 50 members of Momentum, including Steering Committee member Michael Chessum. It "call[s] on all in Momentum – both the central office and our fellow members and supporters – to focus our energies on active, outward-facing campaigns and initiatives"
"Momentum - a way forward"

Momentum must resolve current difficulties constructively

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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“While cowards flinch and traitors sneer….”

Author: 

Cathy Nugent

Paul Mason was on the Daily Politics (BBC2 12 noon) today.

He said, “I have never been to a Momentum meeting”. Then went on to have a lot to say about it. Specifically, “If Jill Mountford [National Committee member of Momentum] is not allowed into the Labour Party and I cannot see her being… and remains basically an expelled member of the Party and remains in Momentum I will not remain in Momentum.”

Paul Mason says expelled Labour members should not be in Momentum...

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Experiences of the left

Author: 

Patrick Murphy, Lynne Moffat, Cathy Nugent and Janine Booth

Kosova and a union conference (1999)

Patrick Murphy

Friday, April 2

Arrive at the National Union of Teachers Conference in Brighton expecting a lively and constructive weekend. Teachers are deeply angry about the Green Paper proposals for performance related pay. Yet it is hard to think about anything but the unfolding crisis in Kosova. The previous week I had been to an involved discussion on the issue. This conflict is not reducible to the well-worn slogans — ‘the main enemy is at home’, ‘stop the war’, etc.

A selection of telling episodes over recent decades.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Momentum: what sort of democracy?

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

The row in Momentum is being “spun” as one between those who want a workable broad movement, and those who want a sectarian bearpit. This is false.

Momentum groups are not being torn apart by different socialists tearing strips off each other about political programme. The acrimony and division comes from the people at the top whose fear of political discussion and debate is leading them to suppress democracy in the organisation, and generating predictable outrage.

Momentum groups are not being torn apart by different socialists tearing strips off each other about political programme. The acrimony and division comes from the people at the top whose fear of political discussion and debate is leading them to suppress democracy in the organisation, and generating predictable outrage.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Get ready for Momentum conference!

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

Momentum’s (first) national conference isn’t until February, and in fact the date has not been set. Nonetheless Momentum activists need to get prepared now. This is an opportunity to democratise Momentum and push it towards more active campaigning and towards class-struggle socialist politics.

The statements agreed at the first Momentum NC in February did, after some argument, use the word socialist, but they are not recognisably socialist in the sense of aiming for a new society without exploitation based on collective ownership of industry, services and finance. Immediately crucial is the issue of migrants’ rights

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