In our latest edition, we bring you our thoughts on Jeremy Corbyn being blocked from standing as a Labour MP, the launch of our organising roadshow with Socialist Campaign Group MPs, a report on pro-worker reforms in the US, and more!
A dark day for democracy
Last month, Labour’s National Executive Committee voted on a motion put forward by Keir Starmer to block Jeremy Corbyn from standing as a Labour MP at the next General Election, despite Jeremy being elected ten times to represent his Islington North seat.
We at Momentum urged all NEC members to reject the motion as a flagrant attack on the democratic right of Islington North members, yet the Starmerite majority ensured it passed by 22 votes to 12. Our Vice-Chair Mish Rahman was among the Momentum-backed reps who condemned the motion.
As Jeremy himself has said, this was an attack not just on our former Leader, but on the grassroots politics, from the many for the many, which he represented. Starmer wants to drive us out of Labour and the public sphere, but we won’t dance to his tune.
Instead, we’re getting organised for socialism at the grassroots. Here’s how:
- Organising. Our new organising roadshow with Socialist Campaign Group MPs kicked off in Worthing at the beginning of the month with John McDonnell. We also have dates coming up in North West London, West Yorkshire and Sheffield too. Read more about it below.
- Local elections: Up to 50 socialists are running for the first time in winnable seats in the local elections, a sign of continued potential for the Left in local government. With new gains, the Labour Left should be in a strong position to build on our community wealth building agenda in councils across the country.
- OrgNet: The Momentum Organising Network went live on Discord in March. It’s a space for our activists, role-holders and CLP contacts to come together, share tips on grassroots organising and get involved in our campaigning nationally. It’s a key plank of our plan to get our activists organised for socialism.
- Leo Panitch/Future Councillors: We will be launching our Leo Panitch Leadership Development Programme and Future Councillors Programme after the local elections. These are free political education programmes run by us, helping to upskill socialist activists and our future leaders. Keep an eye out for when applications open.
- Selections: After concerted pressure from Momentum and an intervention from affiliated trade unions, Labour has introduced a Right to Appeal for candidates blocked from the party’s shortlists throughout ongoing parliamentary selections.
- Getting Organised in Labour: Labour Party delegates will be able to vote for representatives at Conference 2023. So, Momentum and the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance have agreed on three completed slates of candidates for the National Constitutional Committee, Conference Arrangements Committee and the National Women’s Committee ahead of both Labour Conference and Labour Women’s Conference. CLPs must submit nominations by midday on Friday 23rd June, so make sure you get organised locally! See more on internal party nominations and the candidates we’re backing here.
- Policy: We asked our members and campaigners to submit policy motions to us, ahead of Conference: policies from the many, for the many. The deadline to submit was 16th April. After agreement from our NCG, a wide range will then be distributed to our members and supporters, so get ready to bring a Conference motion to your CLP from May! We’ve also been campaigning around the National Policy Forum (NPF) process, the last before Labour’s next manifesto.
- Trade unions: We are supporting the Time For Real Change slate in UNISON’s latest round of NEC elections. If you’re a UNISON member, make sure to vote! Find out more on the candidates running here.
- Strengthening our bases: As part of our plan to strengthen our Left strongholds, we’ve been supporting socialists in Young Labour, Labour Students and the Socialist Health Association (SHA). And the Left has been securing victories, with socialists sweeping the board in elections to the SHA, Labour’s only health affiliate, while Labour Students passed a motion for free education, a crucial demand with Starmer’s tuition fee abolition pledge still hanging in the balance.
- Local Transformed: Momentum members have been helping lay the groundwork for socialism across the country with local Transformed groups. Whether that’s organising one-off events or planning upcoming festivals in Norwich, North Essex and Bristol – we have been supporting our friends at The World Transformed to help promote radical ideas.
Like what we’re doing? Help us go further. If you can, up your subs or donate today.
Winning in Worthing!
We have launched our new Organising Roadshow with Socialist Campaign Group MPs to build on our socialist success stories and energise our bases locally.
We kicked off in Worthing, where John McDonnell and Momentum Co-Chair and Labour council candidate Hilary Scan joined local Labour councillor Emma Taylor.
Socialists, including Hilary as the CLP Campaign Coordinator, helped overturn the once-Tory stronghold that was Worthing Council into a sizeable Labour majority last year, with an energised grassroots and a radical policy agenda that included community wealth building and for Worthing to be net-zero by 2030.
Ahead of next month’s local election campaign, activists in Worthing took part in a panel and a social event that included discussions on how we can organise locally for socialism.
“It was fantastic to see so many socialists turn out in Worthing for our first Organising Roadshow, some long active, some wanting to get back involved” said Hilary.
On John McDonnell’s visit, she described hearing his speech “about how real change is made from the grassroots” was a “great boost” ahead of the upcoming local elections.
The good news is, we’re not stopping in Worthing! We have upcoming events in London, Sheffield and West Yorkshire too. It’s the perfect opportunity for our members and supporters to link up with Socialist Campaign group and discuss how to get organised at the grassroots, as we build our bases.
Our next event will be taking place in North West London next Tuesday 25th April from 7:30PM. If you wish to join in on the action, visit our website for more information.
Solidarity with workers in…Michigan!
The U.S state of Michigan has become the first in decades to repeal its “right-to-work” law in a bid to strengthen union activity.
“Right-to-work” laws enable workers to opt out of union fees, whether the organisation is bargaining for their rights or not. It’s still active in 26 states, thus decimating the influence of labor unions. As a result, union membership remains at an all-time low across the U.S.
Michigan Democrats’ decision to reverse this anti-worker bill had been a top priority since they took over the state legislature for the first time in 40 years. Governor Gretchen Whitmer also signed legislation that requires contractors to be paid union-level wages when working on state projects.
This is a historic feat for the Michigan working-class, and one which could pressure Democrats in other states to follow suit. With Labour committed to a New Deal for Working People, we must keep up the pressure to repeal anti-union laws here in the UK – it’s vital if we are to see a continued revival of working-class struggle.
We hope you enjoyed our latest issue. Any feedback you have and ideas for how to make the newsletter better are much appreciated. Don’t hesitate to send us an email at [email protected] with your thoughts.
Sign up for the newsletter that brings you updates from the front line of the struggle
Copyright © Peoples Momentum 2015 –
All Rights Reserved