Some members of the Momentum national Steering Committee are proposing postponing the 5 November National Committee meeting. There is an attempt to call an “emergency” Steering Committee meeting tonight, 28 October, in order to postpone the NC.
This is beyond absurd. Momentum has not had a National Committee meeting since May (six months – and what months!) The July NC was cancelled and attempts to call a meeting in August or September voted down by the Steering Committee. Then a date was set in October and moved repeatedly. The date 5 November has now been out for five weeks (see here), and Momentum groups and regions around the country have been preparing for it. Many will also have booked train tickets, taken time off work, and so on.
The stated reason from the Steering member proposing this, Sam Wheeler, is that 5 November is the North West regional Labour Party conference. But, again, 5 November has been set for five weeks. Why has this just been “discovered” now?
The May NC voted to hold a democratic national conference in February, but preparations for this conference have barely advanced. There is still no date. If the NC is postponed, I predict attempts to postpone or cancel the conference. In any case, delaying the NC will make moving forward with organising the conference even more difficult.
It is not unreasonable for the Steering Committee to sometimes take the initiative in changing the date of the NC. It is unreasonable for it to effectively prevent it from meeting over and over again.
Lastly, and this is not insignificant, the Steering Committee meeting tonight has been called at 21 hours notice, with the call going out at 9.45pm on Thursday night. This is in itself ridiculous and undemocratic. Several members of the Committee, including FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack, cannot be there. Several of us, including Matt and myself, have argued that the meeting should not take place.
It is ironic that a movement which says it wants a democratic Labour Party and labour movement should face these kinds of problems – problems which are indicative of a much wider lack of democracy in Momentum.
Please feel free to send me your view at email@example.com and I will pass on. I will be fighting for the 5 November NC to go ahead.