The next meeting of the Momentum Northants Steering Committee (SC) takes place at 7pm, Thursday 13 October, at Dostiyo Asian Women’s Centre, 62-66 Dunster Street, Northampton, NN1 3JY. All Momentum members and supporters are welcome to attend and contribute to discussions. However, only members of the SC can vote.
Minutes and matters arising
National Momentum structures (motion)
exclusions/suspensions and membership refusals;
future CLP meetings.
Any other business.
Democracy in Momentum
This branch of Momentum notes:
That the decision to suspend our vice chair Jackie Walker was taken a) by members of a Momentum steering committee that has never been elected by the membership; b) without a full report of how SC members voted on this important issue and c) with no report of the political arguments advanced by individual SC members for and against this demotion.
That agendas, documents and minutes of decision-making committees at national and regional level are still not published by the organisation nor distributed to members. It is extremely regrettable that Momentum members sometimes have learned about decisions many weeks after they were taken, often through media outlets that may be hostile to Momentum. Ultimately, the steering committee is the servant of the membership and thus has a strict duty to report on its decisions and actions.
That a founding principle of Momentum is to “Transform Labour into a more open, member-led party, with socialist policies and collective will to implement them in government” and its stated commitment to “working for progressive political change through methods which are democratic, inclusive and participatory”.
Further, we believe that:
The fight to democratise the Labour Party is inseparably linked to the way that Momentum conducts its own activities. We should therefore practise what we preach to the Labour Party when we criticise its internal decision-making processes. We need to be seen to be fully democratic, accountable and transparent. Openness is an essential requirement of a healthy, member-based, democratic socialist organisation.
Therefore, we call for:
Momentum national office to publish agenda papers and detailed minutes (issues of security taken into consideration) for all its decision-making bodies, as well as the names of their elected officers and committee members. All regional decision-making bodies and local branches of Momentum should adopt the same good practice. National Momentum should provide support and training where necessary to facilitate this.
The convening of a fully democratic national conference of Momentum within the next three months (ie, by the end of January 2017);
The national office will:
Establish a timetable for the submission of motions, amendments to motions and nominations for the steering committee and to provide an open forum where these can be disseminated to and discussed by members;
Take motions from both the current leading committee/s of Momentum as well as recognised Momentum branches;
Supply lists of Momentum members and contacts to local branches to enable them to use this important democratic initiative to draw new forces into the organisation and the Labour Party itself;
The national conference will:
Take nominations for the steering committee, which has the right to appoint officers from its own ranks to facilitate its work;
Discuss and decide upon a democratic constitution for the organisation;
Discussion and decide upon the political and campaigning priorities for the organisation over the coming period.
Momentum Northamptonshire condemns the witch-hunt of Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker on false charges of anti-Semitism.
Jackie is a prominent anti-racist campaigner and labour movement activist; she is no anti-Semite.
The anti-Corbyn wing of the Labour Party is seeking to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism in order to undermine the Corbyn leadership: to oppose Zionism is to be anti-Semitic; to criticise the Israeli state is to be anti-Semitic; to demand justice for the Palestinians is to be an anti-Semitic.
It is the height of cowardice and stupidity to believe that by throwing Jackie to the wolves these attacks will stop. Failing to defend Jackie will only further embolden our attackers; it will give traction to their accusations of anti-Semitism.
We will undermine ourselves and Jeremy Corbyn if we abandon Jackie.
We are not thugs; we are not misogynists; we are not anti-Semites.