Motion passed by Northampton Momentum on the EU referendum

In the run up to the discussion at the Momentum NC on 21 November, Northampton Momentum has passed the following motion.

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EU REFERENDUM: FOR A LEFT “IN”

Britain leaving the EU would be a victory for the nationalist right and their campaign against migrants.

The EU promotes neoliberal policies in the interests of capitalism – but so does the UK! The British ruling class and government will press ahead with attacks in or out – and outside the EU, the barriers to their assault will be lower, while barriers between us and our brothers and sisters in other countries will be higher. Continue reading “Motion passed by Northampton Momentum on the EU referendum”

Report of the 5 April Momentum Steering Committee meeting

The third meeting of Momentum’s Steering Committee took place on 5 April. Things are taking shape around the membership structure and drive. This will not only firm up the supporter base for Momentum but will also generate a much needed income for staff wages and campaigning. As I write thousands of people have already signed up to become full members.

I submitted three motions to the Steering Committee to be discussed on the fight against academisation of schools, on the steel crisis and on the Lambeth libraries occupation. You can read them here.

The schools motion, which called for Momentum groups to work with school unions and Labour Parties to build local campaigns to defend education (something we have already agreed in Lewisham), was passed without controversy. I now see it as my job to push to make sure it is implemented.

At the second steering committee, three weeks earlier, Michael Chessum and I proposed a motion for a nationally coordinated campaign on the NHS. In the next couple of weeks we’ll be meeting Momentum staff to discuss how both these proposals will be implemented.

The motion on steel caused more controversy. Some people said we should not object to posing things in terms of defending British industry against foreign industry as that would alienate steel workers — though it seems to me very much necessary for socialists in the current riot of nationalism to be prepared to have these arguments and discussions. There was also a suggestion that calling for nationalisation under workers’ control is old fashioned. I can’t agree. It is the wave of the future. I would also note that it is what Jeremy Corbyn called for in regards to Britain’s railways during his leadership campaign — was that old-fashioned?

It was agreed to get the text redrafted, but, regrettably, six days later this has not yet happened. I am chasing it though. Given the severity and speed of the steel crisis I think we need a much quicker process. I hope we can make sure Momentum comes out with a strong statement, at least, before it is too late to have an impact. As for the other concrete proposals contained in my motion, it seems they won’t happen.

However, it was my last motion, on support for the Lambeth libraries occupation, that caused the most controversy. In the end the steering committee did not back this proposal. I am consulting with Momentum comrades in Lambeth, and hope to write something more detailed about this soon. For now I will just say that I think the committee’s failure to back the Lambeth struggle, which has mobilised so many workers, such wide layers of the community and such powerful solidarity, is a very poor show.

Michael Chessum reported on good progress with Momentum Youth and Students, which will be holding a national conference in Manchester on Sunday 5 June, open to all Momentum members who are students or under 30. This is a good example from the youth: surely the whole organisation needs a democratic conference to discuss the way forward?

The next Steering Committee meeting will be on the evening of Tuesday 26 April. The National Committee, which is made up of delegates from the regions as well as affiliated organisations like trade unions (and which elected the Steering Committee) meets in Manchester on Saturday 21 May. There should be regional meetings with delegates from local groups before then.

• If you have any questions or proposals for the next Steering Committee meeting, email me: jillmountford@rocketmail.com

Resolution on the steel crisis and public ownership, from Brick Lane Debates “Corbynomics” discussion, 11 April

steelworkers

I attended the Brick Lane Debates-organised “Corbynomics” workshop on “The New Economics” in Peckham on 11 April, and proposed the following resolution as part of the discussion. My concern was mainly to feed into the movement’s debates on these questions, but at the end of the meeting we held a vote and agreed to support the resolution by an overwhelming majority. Here it is:

“We believe that Labour, the unions, Momentum and other social movements must respond to the steel crisis by fighting for full nationalisation of the steel industry – not as a temporary or undesirable measure, not in order to defend British industry against foreign industry, and not in the interests of capitalists, but to save jobs, defend communities and produce for social need, eg the steel needed for building housing, public services, public transport infrastructure, etc. We want public ownership organised on the basis of democratic and workers’ control.

“We will circulate and promote this resolution and position throughout the movement.”

I would urge people to, at the very least, propose and debate similar resolutions at their labour movement organisations – Momentum groups, union branches, Labour Parties, and to try to build links with the steel workers. Please feel to get in touch with me about it! jillmountford@rocketmail.com

Motions to 5 April Momentum Steering Committee – Nationalise steel; Lambeth library occupation; Hands off our schools

I have submitted the following motions to the Momentum steering committee today (5 April). Please get in touch to let me know what you think: jillmountford@rocketmail.com. I’ll report on the meeting, about these motions and what else happened, soon. Continue reading “Motions to 5 April Momentum Steering Committee – Nationalise steel; Lambeth library occupation; Hands off our schools”

Motion on NHS campaigning passed at the 17 March Momentum Steering Committee

The national Steering Committee of Momentum, which was elected by the national committee representing Momentum groups across the country, and which meets roughly every three weeks, agreed this proposal on 17 March. Continue reading “Motion on NHS campaigning passed at the 17 March Momentum Steering Committee”