I hope to propose the following to the London region network meeting tomorrow (29 October), assuming delegates are willing to hear it as an emergency.
We note that on the evening of Friday 28 October the national Steering Committee, called at 21 hour’s notice late on Thursday night, voted to cancel the 5 November National Committee by 6 votes to 3 with 1 abstention. The stated motivation was the clash with the NW Regional Labour Party conference, but the date of the NC has been out for over five weeks! Moreover, the idea the NW region could not provide three delegates on that date makes no sense. This will have unnecessarily caused inconvenience to many groups, regions and delegates, but as we note below that is the least of the problem. It is clear that some on the Steering Committee did not want the NC to meet at all, on any date.
We further note that the same meeting voted to call a new NC meeting on 3 December – 6 votes for, 4 abstentions.
Assuming it meets in December, NC will not have met for seven months – after repeated cancellations, votes against holding it and delays. And what months! This looks like not a matter of the technical advantages of different dates and of moving things around, but a systematic attempt to prevent Momentum’s leading democratic body from functioning. Moreover this power has been exercised, over a broad National Committee elected and re-elected by local groups, by a small Steering Committee that was last elected in February.
We call for the decision for the NC to meet in December to be promptly and properly carried out. We deplore the fact that the NC will not have met for seven months and call for it to meet at least every three months in future. We call for new elections to the Steering Committee to be held at the December NC meeting.
We call for manipulative practices like the way the Steering Committee was called and used yesterday to come to an end. This is not an isolated incident but part of a wider problem about democracy in Momentum.