Momentum needs to develop some genuine internal democracy for its members and local groups.
It recruits its membership on the basis that it is the continuation of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaigns. So fundamentally, to be democratic, it needs to return to consistently support Jeremy and not act against his policies and leadership.
Momentum’s membership and local groups have had:
- no say in Momentum’s orientation away from the party leadership;
- no say in the alternative policy positions Momentum put forward in the media in the European Parliamentary elections;
- no say in the policies Momentum tried to get adopted at Labour Party Conference; and
- no say over the divisive role Momentum has played in recent in elections to Labour’s national committees.
The NCG needs to introduce some basic democracy into Momentum so that it:
- consistently backs the party leadership that Momentum was set up to support; and
- empowers its local groups and membership so they can more effectively play their part in the campaign for a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour government.
Momentum is cutting its internal democracy not increasing it
The recent proposal, put forward in August in a ballot of Momentum members, to change from annual NCG elections to biennial elections, is a device that will further reduce the internal democracy within Momentum. It will reduce the accountability of NCG members, who are barely held to account at all at present for the change in orientation of Momentum.
The conduct of the ballot itself raises questions about democracy in Momentum, as only an argument in favour of this measure to reduce democracy was presented to members, and the proposal was falsely dressed up as a ‘democratising’ proposal. No alternative view was circulated to Momentum members by the NCG.
In September it was announced that the proposal to move to elections every two years had been agreed in the ballot. Only a small part of Momentum’s membership had participated in the ballot.
The change needed in Momentum
To ensure Momentum starts introducing genuine internal democracy Momentum’s members need to elect an NCG that: respects the original purpose Momentum was set up for; is open to uniting the broad coalition within Labour that supports the leadership; and will introduce changes to the Momentum constitution to give Momentum’s membership and local groups a say within the organisation.