The following statement was passed unanimously by Momentum’s national Steering Committee at the meeting on the evening of 2 November.
I voted for it, at the end of a long argument (in which the majority rejected including a line saying that there are different positions in the committee on what to recommend to the NC about Momentum’s structures), because I’m concerned for unity in Momentum and hoped this would allow a way forward.
Re-reading the statement in the cold light of day, I’ve changed my mind. The main reason is that while it is vague about decision-making in Momentum, it is fairly clear – if you read what the words say – that it excludes democratic delegate decision-making at the conference. I think this is important as we should have democratic delegate decision-making at the conference and I will continue to argue for this in Momentum, including at tomorrow’s national meeting to discuss the way forward.
The next NC will be on Saturday 3 December, in either Newcastle or Birmingham (tbc shortly).
“Unanimous Statement from Momentum’s Steering Committee
“The Steering Committee recognises and regrets the discontent and frustration felt by Momentum members in recent days. Momentum’s democratic structures were always intended to develop. Unfortunately, this summer’s leadership election delayed that development, with all our energy being diverted into ensuring Jeremy Corbyn’s reelection.
“The Committee recognises the need for a greater level of accountability and transparency from the leadership and administration of the organisation and will work to deliver that over the coming weeks.
“Our path to democratisation, through our first National Conference in the new year, has not been sufficiently effectively communicated, leading, at times, to a breakdown in trust between different sections of our movement. There was not enough consultation and discussion with the diverse political and organisational traditions that exist in our movement. Pluralism is our strength, and all views must be properly engaged with.
“After further discussion, the Steering Committee has agreed unanimously the following path for Momentum’s democratisation, which places unity, pluralism and member-control at its heart.
“The National Committee, postponed from this Saturday, will take place on 3 December. We will ensure that this meeting is properly representative, including new elections for our liberation strands where necessary. A plan for ensuring this will be submitted and approved by the Steering Committee at the latest by 11 November.
“A further National Committee meeting will be held in January before our Conference in February. Our Conference, involving all members of Momentum, groups and affiliated organisations, will decide our organisation’s long-term structure.
“Taking into account the strong views on both sides of the OMOV (one member, one vote vs. delegate for Conference votes), the Steering Committee has agreed on a recommendation to the National Committee of a suitable format. There will be both a physical delegates conference to thoroughly debate proposals submitted from the membership, and then OMOV voting on the proposals in the period after the conference. The details of this procedure will be determined over the coming weeks.
“We know all levels of Momentum are committed to a truly inclusive and democratic structure and will make it succeed over the next few months.”