TOWARDS A SOCIALIST FUTURE
The system is broken. Here’s how we build our movement and shape the future of the Labour Party
From climate collapse to the fallout from Covid-19, there is no going back to business as usual. Our political and economic system is broken and it’s up to all of us to replace it with something better. We believe in a Green New Deal, an economy run by and for working class people, and a society that prioritises the wellbeing of everyone, not the profits of a small few. We’re ready to fight for that vision – against the billionaires, the media moguls and the establishment.
But right now we’re having to push back against the leadership of our Party. Keir Starmer was elected on the basis of two promises: party unity and socialist policies. The reality is very different. The Labour leadership have launched an anti-democratic crackdown against members and the left, and Starmer is retreating from the popular policy platform built by members over the last five years, as well as his own 10 Pledges.
Yet across the country and in every Constituency Labour Party (CLP) there are dedicated socialists and progressives demanding democracy. And as the NEC results and poll after poll show, there is still a huge majority in the Party for transformative policy, while in Parliament the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs is bigger than ever. Most importantly, tens of thousands of us are organised and united in Momentum, the leading organisation for socialists within Labour.
So we have the ideas and the numbers, but now we need a plan. A plan to demand democracy, elect socialists and ensure that the next Labour Government is a transformative one.
Next year, we’ll be launching Momentum’s strategy for 2021 – 2024, where we’ll lay out our plans for organising inside the Party and in our communities, but when it comes to Labour we need to act right now. So here’s what we can do together to turn the tide within our Party and to take real steps towards building a movement for socialism.
Organise the fightback
The first step is to use local Party democracy to push back against the anti-democratic crackdown of member free speech. Members are more than just instruments to get out the vote – they bring the energy, commitment and ideas that will help Labour reconnect with the communities we need to build support in to get elected. Their rights must be respected.
We’ll also soon be announcing support for our members that have recently been wrongly suspended, as well as further actions to defend the rights of members and democratise the Labour Party. Stay tuned.
As well as using our local democratic channels, we also need to put direct pressure on the leadership. Use this tool to join nearly 10,000 other members in sending an email directly to Keir Starmer, Angela Rayner, and the member representatives on the NEC.
The left’s success in the NEC elections has shown us there is a socialist majority inside the Labour Party. Now we need to take that momentum and ensure the left retains and builds on its influence at the local level in CLPs – where we can select socialist candidates for local and national government and elect delegates for Labour Party Conference. Our goal is a transformative Labour Government and we build that from the bottom up.
That’s why ward and constituency Labour Party Annual General Meetings – which will mostly happen from the end of November through to February – are so important. The more power the left holds in Labour, the less power held by those who want to drive us out.
There are three steps to take to get started:
1. Contact other socialist Labour members and find out if there is a left slate running for the key positions within your branch and constituency.
2. If you have an active local Momentum group, you should contact your committee and confirm they are sending out an email out with details of the slate and meeting to local members.
3. If you don’t have a local group, please fill in this form with the details of your meeting (including the date, time and Zoom link), the candidates on your slate and the message you want circulated to local members. We will then send out your message to other Momentum members in your constituency.
And after that
At the heart of our long-term vision for the Labour Party is building member power at every level, developing and electing the next generation of socialist leaders, and truly changing how the Party works and who it works for. There’s no shortcut to making the Labour Party a socialist Party, or to getting a transformative Labour government, but there are many things we can do to work towards this and much we can build upon from the last five years.
Here’s a taste of what Momentum will be doing over the coming years, and we’ll have more exciting news over the coming weeks as well as a newly launched organisational strategy in early 2021.
Electing the best of our movement to Parliament
We’ve seen in the US the powerful impact that electing socialists can have, even in political parties run by centrists and captured by big money donors. In the UK, we need to expand the Socialist Campaign Group by supporting socialist candidates rooted in their communities to win Parliamentary selections and to get elected. We’ve helped local activists and community campaigners win seats in the past and we can do it again. Our goal is to increase the number of socialist MPs by 2024, to influence the legislative agenda of any Labour Government, or to win the next Labour leadership contest. Together, we’re in it for the long game.
Win support for transformative policy at Party Conference
If the Labour Leadership won’t advocate socialist policy, we must, because the country needs it. Our goal is to make sure that Labour’s manifesto for the 2024 General Election has meaningful solutions to the problems faced by working class communities everywhere.
Momentum activists, working with our affiliates, played a key role in building support for a Green New Deal and we are now developing a new participatory process so that all Momentum groups and members get to decide which policies we campaign for at the Labour Party Conference next year. Momentum members will also work with others to get elected as delegates for Party Conference to support socialist policies.
Demand democracy in the Labour Party at Party Conference
Defending the democracy we do have in the Labour Party is an urgent priority. The leadership will attempt to use the next Party Conference to pass rule changes that crack down on democracy and debate in the Labour Party. It is essential for socialists to get elected as delegates from their CLPs to go to Conference to oppose anti-democratic proposals and to support changes to make our Party more open and democratic.
Build power in local government
In next year’s local elections, our groups will be supporting hundreds of fantastic socialists to win in their communities, and our re-launched Councillors’ Network will provide support for them once elected, running political education events and providing a space to organise and learn from each other. We have been running our Future Councillors’ Programme since May and have been training over 50 Momentum members and many future councillors in selection procedures, organising and campaign skills.
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