Left groups and people

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?

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

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.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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: 

Introduction: A watershed for the left

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Afghanistan’s “Great Saur Revolution”, in April 1978, and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan that flowed from it 20 months later, at Christmas 1979, were two of the most important events of the second half of the 20th century.

Afghanistan’s “Great Saur Revolution”, in April 1978, and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan that flowed from it 20 months later, at Christmas 1979, were two of the most important events of the second half of the 20th century.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

Introduction (1985)

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

Just after Christmas 1979, 100,000 soldiers of the Russian army occupied Afghanistan. Five and a half years later the Afghans are still putting up an unquellable resistance.

Just after Christmas 1979, 100,000 soldiers of the Russian army occupied Afghanistan.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Around the world: 

Further debate on the "social strike" and workplace organisation

Author: 

Daniel Randall

Cautiously Pessimistic's[1] thoughtful reply to my critique of Plan C's "social strike perspective" is very welcome. Many of its themes were telegraphed in an exchanged of comments between me and Cautiously on the AWL website, under my original article (click the link above and scroll to the bottom). I'll try to focus here on issues I haven't already responded to.

A reply to anarchist blogger "Cautiously Pessimistic".

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Revolutionary versus “democratic socialism”? A reply to Luke Akehurst on "entryism"

Author: 

Sacha Ismail

An October 2015 article by Luke Akehurst, a prominent and combative Labour right winger who recently failed to be elected to the party's NEC, was recently drawn to my attention. The article, published on the LabourList website, was about “entryism”, by which Akehurst means the presence of a revolutionary socialist group like Workers’ Liberty within the Labour Party. It has renewed relevance during the current events.

A reply to prominent Labour right winger Luke Akehurst's October 2015 article on LabourList.

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

On the "social strike": a response to Plan C

Author: 

Daniel Randall

For a response to this article by the anarchist blogger "Cautiously Pessimistic", click here.

For a further response from Daniel Randall, click here.

Plan C comrades have told us they also plan a collective response, which we will link to once it is published.

Does the concept of the "social strike", promoted by the left-wing group Plan C, have the capacity to overcome the current weakness of organised labour?

Marxist Theory and History: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Pages