Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/888/22197

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2016

Lack of strategy - and exclusions - threaten Momentum

Anti-austerity demo, London, June 2015, photo Paul Mattsson

Anti-austerity demo, London, June 2015, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

On Saturday 6 February Momentum organised its first national committee. The response of John McTernan, former Blairite advisor, was: "It's war." Well, if it is a war, and it is, then Momentum is unfortunately setting itself up for defeat.

Where was the democracy in this process? An organisation that claimed to be open, broad and, in its initial aims, "involving all those who support Jeremy Corbyn inside and outside Labour" had attempted to appoint regional delegates.

When protests came in, it then limited those who could stand to Labour members only. The details of the meeting were organised like a secret society - it was impossible for others to leaflet and discuss with delegates.

Excluded

Why was it done like this? The primary purpose was to exclude the serious forces on the left, in particular the Socialist Party. Outrageously for example, Tony Mulhearn, a leader of the magnificent battle of Liverpool City Council against Thatcher's onslaught in the 1980s, was excluded from a meeting in the city.

But they will not succeed in excluding the Socialist Party and our ideas from the battle.

A report from Labour's local government conference, also held over the weekend, confirms that there is a war on between the two parties that exist within Labour. Right-winger Luke Akehurst reports that these councillors are "mad as hell with the antics of the national leadership".

This is the mountain that must be overcome - and that won't be done by an attempt to mollify the right wing.

Compare the approach of the Momentum leadership to the local government committees in the Unite and Unison trade unions. There, Socialist Party members have successfully moved resolutions that call on councils not to implement the latest round of cuts to jobs and services. This shows what is necessary - the creation of a mass vehicle for working class political representation that has been absent in Britain for nearly 30 years.

In Momentum meetings across the country, Socialist Party members have found interest and enthusiasm for the strategy of fighting council cuts - by calling on Corbynista councillors to fight for no-cuts budgets and refuse to pass on Tory austerity.

We will continue to put forward such a strategy, in Momentum meetings and elsewhere. If Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Momentum were pursuing this energetically it would bring millions of people to the party as fighters.

But the Momentum leadership has issued no serious strategy to rally the millions angry about austerity into action.

The situation of two parties in one cannot continue indefinitely. Will a new anti-austerity party come from Corbyn and McDonnell leading a fight that can force out the Blairite rump from Labour? Or will the enthusiastic Corbynistas, without a clear lead, give up on the idea that Labour is the vehicle for their struggle?

The movement against the bombing of Syria gave a glimpse of the potential if a clear appeal was made to the working class and the youth to fight the right. Around 70,000 people contacted their MPs at Jeremy's request to demand a No vote to the Tories' warmongering.

This was not an exclusively Labour Party event by any means - for example in Walthamstow Socialist Party members joined with others inside and outside Labour to march on local MP Stella Creasy's office and demand a No vote.

As a result of this pressure, four times more Labour MPs voted with Jeremy Corbyn than had nominated him to stand for leader.

Angry

The 66 Red Tories who sided with Cameron faced calls of deselection from angry young people and workers, with Socialist Party members making the call on TV in the face of vicious attacks from the right wingers in Labour and the media.

We warned that this odium was as nothing compared to how the right wing would attempt to crush any serious moves to curb the interests of the 1%, such as nationalisation of the energy companies, an end to the anti-trade union laws or the scrapping of student fees.

Instead of readying the troops for future battles, unfortunately, the leadership of Momentum when faced with attacks chose to abandon the call for re-selection and attacked the Socialist Party for raising it.

The primary task for the left is to mobilise the millions who could be drawn to a militant anti-austerity banner and the building of a political organisation that can give it a voice. The Momentum leadership's decisions show it is not at all prepared for this struggle.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 10 February 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight council cuts!

Tories bankrupting NHS

Defiant mood as junior doctors demonstrate

Lawyers defeat Tories' unjust legal aid cuts

Cushy government job for Amazon boss

'Pro-rape' anti-feminist Roosh V humiliated

Liverpool fans walk out against ticket price hikes

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Mental health: system in crisis

Mental health: My battle for the help I needed


What we think

Cameron's EU renegotiation charade

Don't give money to Ukip and Tory EU campaigners!


Momentum, Labour and the Socialist Party

Lack of strategy and exclusions threaten Momentum

Birmingham: socialists kicked out of Momentum

Labour right wing blocks call to debate budget cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs

Local government union backs no-cuts council budgets

Big victory at Small Heath School against academy attack

Cuts to premiums mean no 'rise' in store for Tesco workers

Leicester taxi dispute: Labour's rank hypocrisy

South London: Library workers strike to save services

Continued action in crane drivers' pay dispute

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Portsmouth: support for anti-austerity stand

Leeds meeting expresses Corbyn and McDonnell's contradictions

Socialist Party members inspired by conference

Torbay: "A tale of two towns"

Anger against plans to close Bradford libraries

NHS campaign gains support


International socialist news and analysis

Sanders' socialist message rattling the establishment

US elections: Clinton coins it

International news in brief


 

Facebook   Twitter

Home   |   The Socialist 10 February 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop






Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Related links:

Momentum:

triangleThe Socialist postbag

triangleElections showed anger and fragmentation

triangleLivingstone suspension: 'Slow coup' against Corbyn.

triangleJeremy Corbyn's EU u-turn

triangleLibrary occupied in 'siege' against Blairite cutters

Labour:

triangleSocialist inbox

triangleThem & us

triangleFight to win: join the Socialists!

triangleCampaigning for a people's plan for Waltham Forest

Socialist:

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: The socialist case to vote for EU exit

triangleBolsover Socialist Party: The socialist case to vote for EU exit

triangleMansfield Socialist Party: The socialist case to vote for EU exit

Socialist Party:

triangleSolidarity with protesters in Kazakhstan

triangleYork Socialist Party: The history of conflict in the Ukraine

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleWales: no change and all change

Anti-austerity:

triangleMotion passed for no-cuts council budgets

Labour Party:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Birth of the ILP

John McDonnell:

triangleDefeats and U-turns show Tories are weak

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

25/5/16

EU

EU referendum can bring the Tories down

25/5/16

What we saw

What we saw: 'I, Daniel Blake' and Hunt/'Thick of It' remix

21/5/16

EU

Britain's gaping political fault-lines

18/5/16

EU

The EU and the economy - Project Fear steps up

18/5/16

Them & Us

Them & Us

18/5/16

Cuts

Tories attack: Fight back

18/5/16

NHS

NHS staffing black hole

18/5/16

Bristol

Bristol Green backs cuts

18/5/16

Women

Stamp out sexist dress codes

18/5/16

Universities

University of Facebook

18/5/16

What we saw

What we saw

18/5/16

Tony Blair

Blair bombshell

11/5/16

Elections

Elections showed anger and fragmentation

11/5/16

BMA

Government blinks first in junior doctors' dispute

11/5/16

Tories

Tories retreat: now drive them out!

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

triangle27 May BIS office closure: Anger and determination to fight on

triangle25 May Austria - Hofer defeated, but far-right threat remains

triangle25 May EU referendum can bring the Tories down

triangle25 May University lecturers strike for fair pay

triangle25 May Motion passed for no-cuts council budgets

triangle25 May Link the strikes - come to the NSSN conference

triangle25 May Tories forced back in junior doctors' dispute

More ...

triangle31 May Bristol TUSC: The socialist case against the EU

triangle31 May Liverpool Socialist Party: The 1916 Easter Rising

triangle31 May Chesterfield Socialist Party: Hillsborough & Orgreave

triangle1 Jun Salford Socialist Party: Leveson, Murdochgate and the press

More ...

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Find us on Facebook

Archive

Categories

1-9 

1-9 


Archives:

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice