Frontline

Momentum Steering Committee vows to continue organising

"As members of the Steering Committee, we feel we have a duty to uphold the will of the democratic structures which elected us; failing to do so devalues democracy and alienates people. The National Committee will convene as planned on January 28th in London..."

The steering committee of the left Labour group Momentum - those who do not accept the Momentum office's abolition of all Momentum's democratic structures in a coup on 10 January - have launched a website and put out a statement. Read more here: https://momentumsteeringcommittee.wordpress.com/.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Shocking turn of events! Stay in Momentum and build a local groups network!

Author: 

Jill Mountford

Momentum Steering Committee member Jill Mountford has published the following post on her blog https://jillsmomentumblog.wordpress.com/. Members of the Steering Committee summarily dissolved by email on the evening of 10 January are meeting (as they had been scheduled to do) on 11 January, and further news is expected after that meeting.

Momentum Steering Committee member Jill Mountford has published the following post on her blog about the "coup" in Momentum which abolished all its existing committees on the evening of 10 January.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The left should start working towards Labour Party conference 2017

Author: 

CLPD

The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy has put out this briefing about preparations for the 2017 Labour Party conference.

CLPs should currently be deciding when they will elect their delegates to this year's national Conference.

Elections for CLPD delegates, and nominations for CAC and NCC, are likely to be decided shortly.

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Unite general secretary election: don't let Coyne close down the Labour revival!

We should vote for Len McCluskey in the Unite general secretary election for which nominations open on 16 January because it is a first-past-the-post poll, and without left-wing votes going to McCluskey there is a real risk Gerard Coyne will win.

Coyne is heavily backed by the Labour right wing around Tom Watson and Progress. If he wins, he will swing Unite decisively to the anti-Corbyn camp. That could close down all the openings for Labour revival opened by Jeremy Corbyn's leadership victories.

Vote Coyne, and get Watson and Progress: that's the deal.

A Coyne victory could close down the openings for Labour revival opened by Jeremy Corbyn's leadership victories.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

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Momentum: for unity!

Author: 

Simon Nelson

After the Momentum national committee on Saturday 3 December voted that Momentum should have a decision-making delegate conference — the big controversial decision! — figures on the fringes of Momentum, and some within it, have launched a social-media and mass-media outcry against Workers’ Liberty and Solidarity.

This outcry should be resisted with an insistence on unity, a focus on positive campaigning, and a refusal to let the mass media or the Labour machine’s notorious Compliance Unit split us.

An appeal for constructive unity following the 3 December National Committee

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Three arguments against free movement, and three responses

Author: 

Ira Berkovic

In the debate in the labour movement around "free movement", which is in fact a debate about immigration, a number of arguments have been made by left-wing advocates of ending free movement - that is, leaving the EU on a basis which abolishes the rights of free movement to the UK that EU citizens currently have, and which UK citizens currently have to other EU states.

This article attempts to respond to some of those arguments, and present a positive case for defending and extending existing freedom of movement.

Responses to three arguments on the left in favour of tighter immigration controls.

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Issues and Campaigns: 

Around the world: 

Trade Unions: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Picturehouse Cinema workers gear up for more strikes

Author: 

Darren Bedford

Workers at Picturehouse Cinema's flagship "Picturehouse Central" location, near London's Piccadilly Circus, are balloting for strikes, as part of a growing dispute which also involves workers at Picturehouse's Brixton and Hackney sites.

The ballot, which closes on 4 January, is for joint strikes to demand the London living wage, decent sick pay, and other improvements to workers' terms and conditions.

Cinema workers continue their strikes for living wages.

Trade Unions: 

"Why Jews should join Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party"

Author: 

Daniel Randall

Workers' Liberty member Daniel Randall spoke on a panel at Limmud, a Jewish cultural and educational conference, on a panel entitled “why Jews should join Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party”. The other speakers were Jon Lansman (Momentum), Anna Lawton (Labour Party member and Limmud 2017 chair), and Barnaby Raine (RS21). The session was chaired by Andrew Gilbert (London Jewish Forum and Labour Party member).

This is a slightly-edited version of Daniel's speech at the session.

A speech by Workers' Liberty member Daniel Randall on a panel at the Jewish cultural and educational conference Limmud. The other panellists were Jon Lansman, Anna Lawton, and Barnaby Raine.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Copeland by-election - a test for Labour

Author: 

Gerry Bates
Grassroots needs to mobilise to build Labour support and stop Tories and UKIP in Copeland.

Many Corbyn supporters may have raised a cheer in hearing that Jamie Reed - the Blairite MP, famous for resigning from the shadow cabinet 60 seconds into Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership acceptance speech in 2015 - is to stand down as an MP.

He and MPs like him show hostility to the Party membership and democracy, refuse to accept or support the new direction of the party and instead are using the Parliamentary Labour Party as a forum to undermine Corbyn. 

So one less Blairite wrecker in the PLP is to be welcomed right?

UN demands halt to Israeli settlement building

Author: 

Rosalind Robson

Barack Obama’s last act, and possibly one of his best, as US President will be to abstain, that is to refuse to veto, a UN Security Council resolution demanding a halt to Israeli settlement building in the occupied territories. It is not what Donald Trump would have done. It is also a change of direction for Obama – the US vetoed a similar resolution in 2011.

UN vote will impede alliance between Trump and Israeli right wing.

Dreaming of a Hot Christmas...

Author: 

Darren Bedford

A small wave of strikes is developing in a variety of industries and workplaces. Although not quite perhaps on the scale of the Autonno Caldo, the "Hot Autumn" of Italian factory worker militancy in 1969, these strikes could make for a "hotter" Christmas than Britain has experienced for some time.

A small wave of strikes is developing in a variety of industries and workplaces. Although not quite perhaps on the scale of the Autonno Caldo, the "Hot Autumn" of Italian factory worker militancy in 1969, these strikes could make for a "hotter" Christmas than Britain has experienced for some time.

Trade Unions: 

A letter to Jon Lansman

Author: 

Martin Thomas


Jon Lansman and Tony Benn in 1981

Dear Jon,

I'm glad to read your statement to the Guardian that you're "not walking away from Momentum". I hope it will help quiet the split talk from some high-profile people around Momentum - Paul Mason, Owen Jones, Laura Murray - since the 3 December national committee meeting.

Socialism, unity, democracy, online voting and Momentum's relationship to Labour.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

London protest over Aleppo

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Maybe a thousand protesters gathered at short notice outside 10 Downing Street on 13 December to protest against Putin's and Assad's bombardment of Aleppo.

Many of the protesters may have been Syrians living in London, but visibly the majority were not: they were people of all backgrounds who had rallied to protest against the atrocities and solidarise with the civilian population of Aleppo.

There were placards that suggested UK military action in Syria, such as "No-Bomb Zone Now", but the main focus was on non-military aid for the civilian population.

Protesters gathered outside 10 Downing Street on 13 December to protest against Putin's and Assad's atrocities in Aleppo.

Around the world: 

Aleppo doomsday

Author: 

Simon Nelson

With the aid of Russian military jets and intelligence units, Syrian armed forces tightened their grip over eastern Aleppo in early December. The fall of the whole city to Assad’s regime is now increasingly likely. Many more civilians are dying, and thousands are fleeing the city.

The fight in Syria is one between Shia militias and their Russian and Iranian allies on the one hand, and different strands of Islamist and Salafist Sunni groups on the other, backed by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Momentum: discuss our differences, unite to fight the Tories

Author: 

Simon Nelson
What Workers' Liberty thinks about the way forward for Momentum.

Momentum held its first national committee meeting in seven months on Saturday 3 December. Just over 60 delegates met to discuss proposals for Momentum’s national conference, now set for the 18th or 25th February or 4th March. Three of the delegates are also supporters of Workers' Liberty and this report is based on their reflections.

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