but with a whimper

but with a whimper

Momentum now allegedly has a political election for its NCG; I not so sure of the relevance or the politics. Forward Momentum aka Fix Momentum main promise is to ‘democratise’ Momentum in the name of the members but more realistically in the name of disenfranchised Momentum local groups and have now developed a policy manifesto in some obscure manner and allowed themselves to be founded with a purge authored by the same people that founded LAW in the same way and in doing so split the campaign against the witch hunt, a trick they followed up with by behaving in a similar sectarian, party-building fashion so that the LRC walked away from the Labour Left Alliance.

Momentum Renewal are an articulation by the rump of the office, post Parker and Lansman, with their London Stalinist & trade union, mainly Unite, bureaucrats’ support, often the same people, together with their careerist MP hangers on. They also claim their priority is to have a single left slate for the next set of elections so let’s hope they have learnt from the mistakes & arrogance made by Momentum over the last 12 months in sending negotiators without a mandate , a starting position demanding everything,  and a hit list of other left wingers.  They claim to want an outward looking focus for Momentum, rooting it in community campaigns, the cynical would say it’s a diversion, asking people not to get active in Labour Party caucusing, and leave it to their betters.

The truth neither side get is that Labour’s Left is not Momentum and that Corbyn’s coalition is broken.

Too many have been taught that the victory of ideas is measured by the size of your majority on committees – it ain’t so! Ideas need resonance in the movement and the population.

We can now clearly see that Momentum’s brand is weaker than Corbyn’s which is why so many people joined it and others lied in claiming they supported him. The behaviour of parts of Momentum in the tolerance of bullying and slander is disgusting and matched or encouraged by some so-called supporters of Jeremy outside Momentum and some of their opponents in the PLP. So much for a “Kinder, Gentler Politics!”.

I will also mention that the value of the database is much less than once it was. They have not kept it up to date, people move politically and geographically, and it was built to support and inform people about Jeremy’s leadership campaigns. Many people signed up to it for that purpose, and never conceded concepts of leadership to its NCG, Officers Committee or even its Chairman (sic). (I’d best check, I’ve not heard from them for a couple of months, wonder if I have been purged; I stopped giving them money over a year ago after the office rigged the 2nd Lewisham Momentum AGM in a row.) …

Down the plug’ole

Down the plug’ole

I had a look at the 2020 Leadership election and the 2016 results. There was a 4% drop, about 20,000 less, in people voting in 2020, from 2016 and yet, Rebecca Long Bailey, the standard bearer of the Left, got just short of 178,000 less votes than Corbyn. In a static electorate, the Left went backwards, by a lot!

This does not auger well for the next set of NEC elections. The rump left, which includes Momentum must begin to talk and listen to those who changed their minds and build unity within the Party around Starmer’s 10 pledges. …

Momentum, Democracy & IT Controls

I have written often on the need for transparency requirements for IT security controls and often how one might apply them to e-voting systems. I have specifically written about how this problem applies and is not solved in Momentum. I had a discussion today and recalled the voting results for Momentum’s Democracy Review e-consultation, in particular the vote on CLP governance issues where over 40 votes arrived in the dying hours of the vote, changing the result which up to that time, had been an important yet sectarian contest between “stop the purge” and “Labour against the witch hunt” as to who’s definition of fair expulsions should become momentum’s view. For clarity, I voted for the “stop the purge” proposal but, either of these positions would have embarrassed Momentum’s leadership, as from their actions, they seem quite prepared to use the exclusion mechanisms against political opponents and also the disciplinary rules even against former allies with a very limited support of natural justice.

This is important today as Momentum propose to change their OMOV systems for their central committee but voted not to appoint independent scrutineers. Whether what I saw is true and whether my suspicions are true is not the central test, Momentum cannot prove that the system is safe from an insider attack.

Since the private pages are not archived to the wayback machine, I have taken a screen shot of the final result as at 28th July 2019, showing the final results and posted it below/overleaf. …  …

Democratising Momentum, that would be nice

Democratising Momentum, that would be nice

You couldn’t make it up but Momentum have consulted (some of) their membership on new rules for the running of Momentum. It seems they don’t plan to change the bits that they can’t keep to, merely bits they find otherwise difficult for reasons I can’t fathom. Perhaps they’re just embarrassed but given what they’ve put up with, I can’t believe that. Simon Hannah describes the changes and the fig leave of a process by which they’ve done it in this article in the Clarion.

The changes relate to the composition, they plan to increase the number of directly elected members and the number of constituencies and term of office of the central committee, aka the NCG.

Simon expresses some cynicism about the pace of these reforms and forecasts the postponement of the next NCG elections. I think it will depend upon how rapidly they want the eight new members. He also points out they have failed to amend the rules pertaining to the embarrassingly absent, digital decision making platform and the strangely abandoned “Member’s Council”.

To be frank, I was waiting for the next elections but wasn’t hoping for much. Time to stop giving them money I think, although I might put in a DSAR asking if their selection for inclusion in the consultation was data based and what facts they hold on me which were relevant to this decision. …

Power in Momentum

I wrote a piece on Momentum, kindly published by the Clarion, which they finally published early in October.

Momentum democracy: how the organisation ignore its own flawed rules

It looks at the untrammelled powers of the National Coordinating Committee, the lack of the on-line voting portal promised, the lack of clarity on whether non-members of the Labour Party were grandfathered into membership, the necessity for a national conference (with no powers), the unlimited delegation powers of the NCG to officers and committees and the constraints its aims, objects and ethics place upon it. I also talk about the lack of transparency in its IT and finances.

I hope you find it useful. …

Power in Momentum I

I have been preparing a little blog article on “Power in Momentum” which has been overtaken by yesterday’s decision by the “Officers” of Momentum to withdraw support from Pete Willsman as a candidate for Labour’s NEC. The article, among other issues, examined the power structures and came to conclusion that with the exception of the powers allocated to OMOV ballots, for which the rules mandated IT still does not exist, every decision and power is granted to the National Co-ordinating Group which meets in secret, doesn’t publish it decisions or its membership and has unlimited delegation powers although it doesn’t publish its instruments of delegation either. (I begin to question if it is genuinely a membership organisation.) One has to wonder why they decided to delegate the decision to the Officers rather than the Chair alone, but it’s a sign of hope that they couldn’t trust the whole NCG even after they purged the remainder of the democratic opposition in the last round of elections.

I have already voted for the #JC9 but do not consider Pete Willsman’s comments to be anti-semitic, and I am not alone, and consider that the Left needs all nine of its slate to be elected. I would urge anyone that has not yet voted that supports the Corbyn leadership to vote for all of the #JC9. …

Labour & antisemitism

On July 5th, Labour’s NEC voted to approve a new guideline defining antisemitism and codifying how Labour should deal with incidents of Antisemitism. Jon Lansman, in an article in the Guardian describes it as a gold standard, however some inside and outside the Labour Party object in that the Labour Party has followed the advice of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on antisemitism in that while confirming its commitment to the International Holocaust Remembrance Association’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, it has ensured both that free speech rights on Israel and Palestine are defended and that the Macpherson principle is correctly adopted. This has involved the modification of four of the IHRA examples. Brian Klug, again in the Guardian, examines the Code in detail and concludes that, “Labour’s code in fact enhances the IHRA document.”

The Jewish Labour Movement supported by several/many of Labour’s MPs consider the failure to adopt all 11 examples as failure of commitment and are considering legal action. It is reported that  Louise Ellman & Ruth Smeeth plan to move a motion at the PLP meeting tonight calling on Labour to adopt the IHRA definition in full, including the 11 examples several of which are felt by many, including the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee to inhibit legitimate political discussion of the Israeli Government’s actions, and the wider issues of justice in Palestine.

Ealing Momentum, as reported in the Swawkbox have written an open letter to their MPs calling on them to support the NEC and not to support such an emergency motion.

I have written to my MP asking her to do the same, and I have reproduced the Ealing Momentum words immediately below/overleaf. …

Stop the Tory Brexit

And now I discover a reason for staying in Momentum, here’s a petition calling on Momentum to consult its members on the subject of Brexit.

Alena says,

We are proud members of Momentum and consistent supporters of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party and of the 2017 election manifesto. We deplore the persistent attacks of the right-wing of the Labour Party and their attempts to weaponise the issue of Brexit against our party leadership.

But we are equally opposed to the Tory Brexit now on offer. It is a disaster for working class people, public services, peace in Ireland, migrants, the environment, human rights, jobs and our children’s futures – the complete opposite of everything a socialist government would do. The so-called soft Brexit being pushed by neo-liberal “centrists” is hardly better: it threatens to turn us into a vassal state of Europe, making us rule takers not rule makers.

We call for a vote of all Momentum members this summer to decide whether to oppose Tory Brexit, and whether to campaign for Labour to hold a vote at Annual Conference in September on giving the people the final say on the Brexit deal.

We are a democratic socialist movement, and under Momentum’s constitution we can trigger a vote of all members with signatures from around 4000 Momentum members – please add your name today, and spread the word!

The petition form is also posted below the fold, to see it, Read More ….

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