Motion passed at Momentum Northern region

This motion was passed by delegates at the Momentum Northern (North East and Cumbria) region meeting on 30 October, 14-0.

Momentum Northern Regional Network censures the National Steering Committee for cancelling the meeting of the National Committee that was scheduled for 5 November and for agreeing a method of organising the national conference without waiting for the National Committee to discuss it.

We do not recognise the legitimacy of the Steering Committee to make those decisions. The Steering Committee was elected by the National Committee on an interim basis for a now expired term and it has no right to usurp the authority of Momentum’s sovereign decision-making body.

The Steering Committee’s decision to impose online referenda on the organisation regardless of the feedback from local branches goes against all traditions of democratic good practice in the labour movement; it is disrespectful to the many members who have worked hard to develop local branches and regional networks; it undermines our efforts to promote meaningful participation in the Labour Party; and it will turn Momentum into a top-down, officer-led organisation.

We call for the Steering Committee’s decision regarding the format of the conference to be rescinded. We support the National Committee proceeding as originally scheduled on 5 November with full authority to decide how a conference should be organised.

We also call for the National Committee to recall the current Steering Committee and elect a new line-up to take Momentum’s work forward until the national conference.

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Letter to Momentum NC members calling national delegate meeting on 5 November, from Matt Wrack and others

This has been sent to all members of the Momentum National Committee we can contact. Please feel to free to get in touch for more information: jillmountford@rocketmail.com

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PDF of letter as sent, with appendix – click here

Dear Comrade,

31 October 2016

Re: A meeting of Momentum National Committee delegates to discuss the present situation & consider solutions

Over the past few days we have all been involved in discussions with Momentum members about the concerns which have arisen from the decisions of the Steering Committee to cancel the meeting of the NC due to take place on 5 November and to go ahead with a national conference with online voting of all members.

You will also know the consternation these decisions have caused and the response from London, Eastern, Northern and South East regions.

Below is an email sent yesterday (30 October) to the Steering Committee members from Matt Wrack who is a member of the National Committee and Steering Committee. We echo those observations and comments.

We are extremely concerned that we overcome this current difficult division that has arisen as quickly as possible. Therefore, we are proposing to convene a meeting of as many NC members as possible in Birmingham next Saturday 5 November to discuss the recent events and, most importantly, consider ways to overcome the resulting differences and to move forward together.

There is no desire or intention to create any separate or parallel organisation within or in opposition to Momentum. We are all committed to building Momentum, as we are all doing at a local level. We simply want to address what we perceive to be a democratic deficit in its decision-making at the present time.

Please let us know if you can attend. If you can’t, is there someone you can send in your place?

We will send out further information about the venue and starting time along with a provisional agenda as soon as we can.

In solidarity,
Matt Wrack [Steering Committee member and FBU general secretary]
Delia Mattis, Jill Mountford [also a Steering Committee member), Nick Wrack – London NC delegates
John Pickard – Eastern NC delegate
Steve Battlemuch – East Midlands NC delegate
Michael Chessum – Member of National Steering Committee

Motion to Momentum national steering committee on scandal in Brighton Labour Party

I am submitting the following motion to the Momentum national Steering Committee meeting on Wednesday 2 November. For more information on what is happening in Brighton, see here.

Feel free to get in touch: jillmountford@rocketmail.com

“The attack on democracy and members’ rights in Brighton Labour Party is a serious test case. The movement must resist vigorously, giving full and active solidarity to the Brighton comrades.

“We therefore agree to issue a public statement and press release, condemning what has happened in Brighton, calling for a storm of protest throughout the party and labour movement, and urging the party leadership to make a fuss about this. Momentum nationally will promote this issue on social media, and work to get Brighton Momentum/Labour left speakers at Momentum and Labour meetings throughout the country.

“We will support and promote the Brighton Momentum protest meeting on 9 November. Representatives of the Steering Committee (including any member who wants to) will urgently meet representatives of Brighton Momentum to discuss campaigning on this and how else we can help them.”

markandlloydExpelled Brighton Labour Party chair Mark Sandell and newly elected councillor Lloyd Russell-Moyle

Resolution passed at Momentum South East regional network, 30 October

I was wrong to say yesterday that the SE region vote was unanimous. It was 10-2-2. Thanks to SE comrades for sending this in.

“This meeting of the South East Momentum Regional Committee censures the national Steering Committee for cancelling the meeting of the National Committee that was scheduled for 5 November and for agreeing a method of organising the national conference without waiting for the National Committee to discuss it.

“We do not recognise the legitimacy of the Steering Committee to make those decisions.

“We call for these decisions of the national Steering Committee on the conference and the National Committee to be rescinded and for the NC to proceed as originally scheduled on 5 November, and in lieu of the NC on 5 November we support Matt Wrack’s call for an unofficial NC meeting to take place on that date.”

Carried: 10 votes for, 2 against, 2 abstentions.

FOUR Momentum regions condemn subversion of democracy

Within two days of the national Steering Committee meeting which carried out what committee member Michael Chessum has called a “coup” against Momentum democracy, four Momentum regional network meetings have condemned what happened.

I don’t know the voting figures in the Eastern region yet, but the votes in London, the North (NE and Cumbria) and South East were – from the reports I’ve had – unanimous with one or two abstentions in each case. So much for the idea that resistance to bureaucratic control in Momentum is the work of small groups seeking to establish control themselves.

I suspect that in the next few days the revolt for democracy in Momentum will continue to grow.

Report of the Eastern Region Momentum Conference (29 October)

By Momentum NC member John Pickard

There were about 80 present, including delegates from 13 Momentum groups. The agenda and procedure was agreed by a short ‘pre-meeting’ so that delegates had ownership of the whole process. The meeting elected myself and Dr Sue Eason (Bedford) as NC members for the Momentum Eastern region until next year’s conference. This means that Marshajane Thompson is no longer on the NC and should not be on the Steering Committee either. Continue reading “Report of the Eastern Region Momentum Conference (29 October)”

London region Momentum condemns attack on Momentum democracy 31-0

More soon, but a brief report of the 28 October London region network meeting (the last meeting was on 15 October: see here).

• Delegates voted 31-0, with 2 abstentions, to condemn the national Steering Committee’s cancellation of the 5 November National Committee and say the meeting should go ahead. An amendment to remove the clause censuring the SC was defeated 23-6. See below for the motion. Steering Committee chair Jon Lansman attended and took part in the discussion, as did FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack (on the other side.) I would urge other regions to pass similar motions in their regional network meetings and get in touch with London to coordinate.

• We discussed five papers on national structures and had a very useful discussion, to be continued at the next meeting on 19 November. We also began a discussion on the purpose and processes of London Momentum.

• We elected a new London regional committee, with Delia Mattis once again London chair. We re-elected our National Committee delegation: now myself, Sara Callaway (Camden), Nick Wrack (Southwark), Delia Mattis (Enfield). (Michael Chessum missed out on being re-elected. I want to commend the role Michael has played in standing up for democracy and class-struggle socialist politics in Momentum, and I’m sure he will continue to play a crucial role at every level.)

More soon. Meanwhile: jillmountford@rocketmail.com

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“This meeting of the London Momentum censures the national Steering Committee for cancelling the meeting of the National Committee that was scheduled for 5 November and for agreeing a method of organising the national conference without waiting for the National Committee to discuss it.

“We do not recognise the legitimacy of the Steering Committee to make those decisions.

“We call for these decisions of the national Steering Committee on the conference and the National Committee to be rescinded and for the NC to proceed as originally scheduled on 5 November.”