Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

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.


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.


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


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

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Bookshop

Related links:


triangleNo backtracks, no compromises: we must fight for real democracy in Labour

triangleMomentum should show Blairites the door, not Socialist Party members!

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleFighting racism today

triangleCombative, vibrant unions should be central to the Corbyn movement


triangleTUSC discusses new tasks after Corbyn victory

triangleNewsquest strike: Bosses realise 'contraints' of scab labour

triangleSheffield bin striker injured on picket line as dispute continues

triangleBristol: Millions of pounds of "horrifically unpalatable" cuts


trianglePeterborough & Huntingdonshire Socialist Party: Comparing the Russian and Chinese revolutions

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The ideas of Karl Marx and their relevance today

triangleDerby Socialist Party: Battle of Cable Street

Socialist Party:

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: Could Trump really win?

triangleButterfields housing victory: "If you stick together and fight you can win"

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleTories’ £5bn for housing not enough


triangleCome to Socialism 2016!

Labour Party:

triangleCome to Socialism 2016

John McDonnell:

triangleButterfields victory: housing crisis can be beaten

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



TUSC discusses new tasks after Corbyn victory


Labour Party

No backtracks, no compromises: we must fight for real democracy in Labour



Tories whip up division over Brexit



Tories’ £5bn for housing not enough


Tax credits

Suicidal phone calls: fight to reverse tax credit cuts



Where next for the BMA - is the junior doctors' dispute really all over?



Butterfields victory: housing crisis can be beaten



Say no to fracking!


Labour Party

Combative, vibrant unions should be central to the Corbyn movement



Fighting racism today



Tories out!


Young people

"Suspended adulthood" the norm for young people



Consolidate the Corbyn victory



#CorbynWins: New tasks for TUSC



School students late and hungry due to privatised trains

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Butterfields housing victory: 'If you stick together and fight you...

triangle19 Oct Aberfan: a disaster that should never have happened

triangle19 Oct TUSC discusses new tasks after Corbyn victory

triangle19 Oct No backtracks, no compromises: we must fight for real democracy in...

triangle19 Oct NHS at breaking Point

triangle19 Oct Teaching assistant pledges ongoing fight against pay cuts

triangle17 Oct Health campaigns demonstrate together in 'one fight'

More ...

triangle24 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: Could Trump really win?

triangle24 Oct Leeds Socialist Party: the National Question

triangle25 Oct Derby Socialist Party: Battle of Cable Street

triangle25 Oct Manchester TUSC: The need for a socialist metro mayor

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube






October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016




















Platform setting: = No platform choice