Left groups and people

Momentum conference found lacking

Author: 

Keith Road

About 500 people attended Momentum’s “Building to win” event in Birmingham on 25 March. As expected there was no chance to have a debate about the way forward for Momentum, just 15 sessions ranging from “Nice people finish first” to “Community organising at the grassroots” and “Momentum Trade Union Solidarity”.

A democratic conference that allows full discussion of the kind of work and role of Momentum is sorely needed.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Excluded from Labour for being a socialist!

Author: 

Keith Road

A Socialist Appeal member, expelled from the Labour Party, recently went court to contest the expulsion. Unsurprisingly the Party had their side upheld and he will not be reinstated, at least not through court procedures.

The need for a campaign to open up the Labour Party, end auto-exclusions and suspensions, and fight for natural justice against bureaucratic manoeuvres.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

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.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

What is the “social strike”?

Author: 

Daniel Randall

Recent strikes by “gig economy” workers (e.g. Deliveroo) are profoundly significant. They explode the myth, peddled by some on both left and right, that so-called precarious workers can’t organise, and that the proliferation of those types of work is in the process of rendering labour organising historically redundant.

A fetishisation of novelty can sometimes blind us to the fact that what’s required is not “new kinds of strike action”, or new forms of organisation, but rather a rediscovery and relearning of old lessons, ideas, and strategies, now forgotten or lost.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Momentum vote: only 42% pro-coup

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Last month’s elections to Momentum National Co-ordinating Group saw 75% of the 12 seats elected by Momentum members (out of 32 NCG places) go to candidates endorsing the constitution imposed in January.

In the North and Scotland region, the pro-constitution slate won all four seats. In the Midlands, Wales, East and West region they took three, and in the South East Region two. Yet only 42% voted for pro-coup people. Their over-representation was due to this being a first-past-the-post election, so the biggest minority could sweep the board.

Only 42% of Momentum mermbers voted for pro-coup people in national elections. Their over-representation is due to this being a first-past-the-post election, so the biggest minority could sweep the board.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

A debate about Momentum: Martin Thomas answers Jon Lansman

Author: 

Jon Lansman and Martin Thomas

This explanation by Jon Lansman of recent events in Momentum was circulated in the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy. Since it contains nothing confidential, and is the only political explanation available from the Momentum leadership other than the article by Christine Shawcroft in Labour Briefing (Feb 2017), which we replied to last week, we reprint it here.

Maintaining the centre-left coalition

What was behind the 10 January coup in Momentum?

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Momentum conference called

Author: 

Ed Whitby and Tracy McGuire

This report of Momentum’s National Committee which met on Saturday 28 January is by Ed Whitby and Tracy McGuire, northern regional delegates. More can be found on Ed’s blog.


Approximately 20 committee members attended the 28 January National Committee with a number of apologies. There were also over 30 observers, mostly from London, though also a number from further a field.

Momentum’s National Committee met on Saturday 28 January.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Digital, but not so democratic

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Momentum MxV is an “innovative new digital democracy platform.” So said an email on 24
November, signed just “Momentum”, to Momentum members.

A series of online OMOV ballots with limited debate is no alternative to a delegate-based conference.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Momentum members call for democratic structures

Author: 

Gerry Bates

After the 5 November meeting of Momentum’s National Committee was cancelled by Momentum’s Steering Committee (SC), a number of delegates and members decided to meet informally on the same day.

The discussion at this meeting in Birmingham was focussed on proposals to improve Momentum democracy and functioning. Eighteen NC members attended, along with a number of observers. Three members of Momentum Youth and Students also attended, after being mandated to do so by their Steering Committee.

This issue of how Momentum conducts its internal democracy is the most important one facing the organisation and will determine whether or not it can shape itself into a serious rank-and-file group oriented to transforming Labour.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Democracy is more than clicks online

Author: 

Gerry Bates

There’s an argument about decision-making procedures going on in the Labour left group Momentum. What is it about?

Whether decisions, on policy or on who gets on committees, should be taken by votes in meetings, following discussion — or online.

What does Solidarity prefer?

Votes in meetings, following discussion.

What’s the advantage of that?

A reliance on online voting is likely to depress activism, to minimise constructive discussion and debate, and to boost destructive sectarianism.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Pages