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#JezWeDid. And now we have #Momentum

Momentum icon smallIt is no secret that when Jeremy Corbyn received his 35th nomination and entered the race to be Labour’s leader, we didn’t expect to win. What we did expect was that we could build a broad alliance of people committed to Jeremy’s straight talking, honest, new kind of politics:

  • We did expect to draw large numbers of people into or back to Labour.
  • We did expect to pull the debate to the left.
  • And we did plan from the outset to build a new movement that would campaign for the policies and values Jeremy supported, and which we believed were necessary for Labour’s survival (many would say re-establishment) as an alternative to the Tories, long after the contest was over.

That was the plan. We new it would be an uphill struggle to win the party and to win in 2020, but we believed that if we didn’t Labour would continue to see its core vote eroded. Indeed the erosion of  our core vote could turn into a rout as it already had in Scotland. But now that uphill struggle will take place with Jeremy as leader.

And today we are launching Momentum. The social movement that Jeremy promised that will carry on Jeremy’s campaign for a new, kinder politics. For peace and justice, equality and a better life. For proper jobs with fair pay, for decent homes at a genuinely affordable cost, for a society that looks after all it’s people.

Momentum will campaign for a Labour victories in 2016 in Wales and Scotland and London. None of them will come easily.

It will back Labour’s campaign to register voters before the end of 2015 to minimise the effect of the Tories immoral, self-interested attempt to gerrymander the forthcoming boundary commission, just as it attempting to fatally damage the finances and organisational capacity of both the trade unions and the Labour Party with its trade union bill.

It will campaign in our communities and workplaces against evictions and for rent controls, against benefit caps and the iniquitous work capability assessment that amounts to nothing less than the persecution of disabled people. And alongside trade unions, for secure jobs with reasonable conditions, and for wages that afford people a decent standard of living without having to rely on benefits.

And it will also campaign inside the Labour Party to change it into the campaigning organisation we need, rooted in communities and workplaces, a truly democratic party with polices to match the needs of the many not the interests of the few.

This is a positive outward-looking agenda and that is as it should be but there is a defensive agenda too. The fact that those who were threatening a coup until days before Jeremy’s victory stopped doing so when they saw the size of his majority does not mean that they have all changed their minds. But what they do, when they choose to strike, will depend in the first instance on what happens in the elections next May – elections which in Scotland, Wales and London were never going to be plain sailing whoever was leader of the Labour Party. Making sure that Labour does as well as possible is as much in Jeremy’s interest and in the interest of the Labour Party as a whole.

In the launch email, the signatories (Richard Burgon, Katy Clark, Clive Lewis, Becky Long-Bailey andKate Osamor) described the new organisation as follows:

Momentum will be our grassroots network to continue the work we have begun:

  • To organise in every town, city and village to create a mass movement for real, progressive change.
  • Make Labour a more democratic party, with the policies and collective will to implement them in government.
  • To bring together individuals and groups in our communities and workplaces to campaign and organise on the issues that matter to us.

Momentum will be your network; please help build it. But right now, as we begin to organise new events and campaigns, and to launch Momentum online, we need you to help us spread the word about these plans. 

Please help the campaign: Like Momentum’s page on Facebook and share it with your friends. Follow Momentum on Twitter. Email your friends and get them to sign up. And please donate to Momentum – it isn’t going to be bankrolled by supermarket owners or global corporations.

29 Comments

  1. chris gibson says:

    This is wonderful wonderful news. Working for Momentum will be my number one priority!

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      Good for you mate; but as far as I’m concerned Momentum Ltd is the corpse of the British labour party floating face down in the Westminster Cesspit and I’ve have been better putting my £3 towards a bottle of cheap red wine because no matter how hard or how often you poke the cadaver it’s still going be lying dead in sewer.

      An old friend of mine made this comment last night, “Glad you’re still as bothered, I don’t give a fuck anymore, same old shit political mania; although their lying smiles are always fun to watch.”

    2. Rod says:

      Well said.

      This is the most significant development in UK politics for a number of years.

      Momentum looks set to revitalise grass-roots politics.

  2. John P Reid says:

    Hopefully this page won’t be taken over by the Corbyn fans who put all the hateful things online about Kendall and Cooper during the leadership

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      “The third time you say a thing it sounds like a lie.”

      Harrison Ford

      1. john says:

        I’ve said it twice, hopefully people won’t believe the lies about cooper and Kendall

        1. Robert says:

          What lies are those then, are you making thing up again , will you go back and remind us of 1880 of something that was said.

          1. Jim says:

            No, the lies about Kendall Being a Tory, and wanting to be in the Tory party,I’ve not made stuff up,I don’t come out with lies about labour losing in 1983 due to it not Boeing left wing. Enough

  3. Ric Euteneuer says:

    I suppose me being called a ‘trot’ and a ‘moron’ and being told ‘you can forget ever being a councillor’ is fair enough, then?

  4. historyintime says:

    OK, obvious question. So the left wanted Progress banned, but Momentum is OK. And the differences, apart from ideology, are???

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Who on the Left wants Progress banned? Not me

      1. Jim says:

        Andy Newman paul Kenny and CLPD wrote to all CLPs calling them a party within a party and their expulsion

  5. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

    This sounds more promising and although I’m not holding my breath for any kind of sea change in the negative attitude of our local CLP to wards JC I’d sill be interested to hear from them or anyone else from labor about this initiative.

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      Also be aware than many people, (probably far more than you might imagine,) dislike both Twitter and Face-book, (you never really have the faintest idea who you’re really talking to,) and we decline to use them; therefore any campaign confined only to those media will inevitably have only a limited outreach.

      1. bill says:

        This is true. I have avoid facebook if I can.

  6. Jim says:

    I take it Jon Lansman is now going to send around letter to all local CLPs saying that Momentum is a party within a party, undemocratic and should be expelled, like they did with progress

    1. David Ellis says:

      I don’t know but I assume Momentum intends to be a faction rather than a party within a party. A loyal faction that includes mainly rank-and-file members invigorated by the Corbyn campaign and which is self-funding unlike Progress which is an organisation of Blairite MPs and Party bureaucrats with funding streams from outside the labour movement including some that are down right hostile to it.

      1. Jim says:

        Hopefully any ine who was refused try to the Labour Party Mark Sekwota, Mark Steel,won’t give money,and unions similar,so the idea that people who fund progress are hostile to the Labour Party,would prove, a un reliable comparison.

      2. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

        Momentum Ltd.

        For me this is probably the final insult; basically it’s been set up to whore the Labour party out to anyone who will sponsor it.

        Byeeee

        1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

          Essentially what has just happened is that JC, who all early indications to the contrary, is a obviously just another complete and utter tosser; has effectively privatized the British labour party.

  7. Mukkinese says:

    I’m very happy that Corbyn is leader, but I am also a realist.

    The big problem that no one wants to deal with is how to get our message out to the wider public? Activists you say? Try talking to those who slogged through the streets last time, most people had made their minds up before we knocked on the door and they made their minds up based on what the press was telling them.

    It does not matter how unfair and unjust the Tories are or how good and hopeful our message is.

    Face the facts.

    Until we find an effective way to combat the rightwing media onslaught, then we will never get a fair hearing.

    If it takes the next ten years to get enough people to realise that they do not have reasonable information on which to make reasonable decisions and turn them away from what is far from being a “free” press, that would be ten years well spent.

    But few want to take on this fight and so we will, again, have to wait until circumstance or public weariness ousts the Tories.

    Because no message, no matter how good, will work if it is not heard…

  8. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

    This throws up some interesting and important issue and whilst I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea marketing JC’s Momentum movement as separate and distinct flavor of socialism, (along roughly same the lines of all this, “Progress; nonsense that we’ve all been so browbeaten with,) it will immediately polarize people in what will inevitably be perceived as being 2 separate and inevitably mutually antagonistic camps.

    Nonetheless as an attempt to bypass the sclerotic and too often rotten, self serving and compromised party machine it has some merit.

    However alarm bells started ringing when I was immediately asked to make a financial donation; which seems simply a reiteration of exactly the same kind of thinking that’s got Labour into so much trouble and attracted exactly the kind of people that we don’t want.

    I have heard it argued more than once that there is really no such thing as altruism and while this point of view that obviously has some merit it would not entirely reflect with my own experiences, labour now need to rise above the grubby and rotten politics that have brought them and particularly the PLP into such widespread disrepute and to reclaim the trust, respect and confidence of the country and the kind of moral high ground which they have traditionally sometimes commanded, stuff like compassion, generosity, fairness and for gods sake a bloody sense of humor.

    I would therefore suggest that certainly initially there should be no paid officers and no sponsorships involved in this at any level and people’s time, experience and even premises should be donated without charge, which would also be a useful test of how sincere and robust the grassroots support for actually is.

    They also need to bite the bullet, (and stop dismissing anyone with genuine concerns about this as a mere racist,) and deal with far more honestly issues such uncontrolled immigration and the UK’s membership of the European Union and all the abuses that have arisen from our membership, (such as uncontrolled immigration about which we have never been consulted and in which we have no say and TTIP,) and stop trying to fudge it, because it isn’t going to go away.

    They also need to urgently reconnect with their traditional core vote among the older voter, (those people who having paid into the system for our entire lives are now being described as scroungers and parasites etc,) , the low paid, (badly let down by the increasingly disconnected, impotent and self serving Trade Unions,) our Ethnic minorities, (large and small, whilst once again acknowledging that there are real issues her that need to be faced honestly, but still with compassion, tolerance and a sense of humor because once again they won’t go away and they can’t simply be left to fester,) the sick and disabled, people who would previously, (before Blair,) have voted labour almost without thought.

    We also need to build bridges with CLP and our professional political class, to recognize both value of some of their achievements, but also the extent and magnitude of some of their failures, (the event at Rotherham, Rochdale, Birmingham , Mid Staffs etc.) and to restore their political initiative and independence, whist at the same time recognizing the extent to which they have been compromised various commercial, (and too many of the wretched charities as well too often indistinguishable,) interests.

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      If labour can do even some of the above, then we can pretty much let the Tories hang themselves.

      1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

        But then I read this, “The organisation’s founders say it has been registered as a limited company on an interim basis and will have a devolved democratic structure when it develops,” so really just another nice little earner for the usual sticky fingered crew,” well so much for that then.

  9. Bazza says:

    Just had an e mail invite to the annual Labour Party Dinner hosted by Rachel Reeves with guest speaker Dan Jarvis (which I promptly deleted) in my view they represent the failed past.
    But this also confirms that those supporting JC need to be organised too!
    But let’s have comradely discussion and draw on research, evidence, reading,and our life experience.
    I have signed up!

  10. Bazza says:

    The rich and powerful and their right wing representatives on Earth like the Tories are the little people of the planet.
    I feel the best thing we should do about the Tory Conference is to just to ignore it.
    I wonder if the progressive activists there were just self-actualising (feeling good about themselves) when perhaps we could have used the 80,000 to knock on doors to talk to people, to try to politicise them, (and to encorage them to join trade unions) plus at the same time to try to sign them up to the electoral register.
    Why do we make the right wing little human beings feel important?
    Have just read that industrialised economies in the West have used (a right wing use) of quantitative easing of 7 trillion dollars over the last 7 years to put off the financial crisis, basically because the rich and powerful haven’t a clue what to do!
    But we know what to do.
    Democratic socialists shouldn’t feel defensive, we offer global hope!
    Yours in international solidarity!

  11. John Rogers says:

    The Momentum movement will fail if it just jumps on all the topical and easy and popular bandwagons, like the far left, SWP, PA, etc has done for decades. Why aren’t there popular mass campaigns against, say, workfare, etc, which impact on hundreds of thousands. Last week, only about two dozen people supported the disability benefits protests in Manchester, despite thousands being around. This isn’t new: nearly 10 years ago, 80 people and their allies attended a similar one in Manchester with the N/L Conference, but 60, 000 at the STWC one. Hundreds of vulnerable people, maybe many thousands, have died as a consequence of the brutal welfare reforms. How can this not be a priority for the left?

  12. John Rogers says:

    “It will campaign in our communities and workplaces against evictions and for rent controls, against benefit caps and the iniquitous work capability assessment that amounts to nothing less than the persecution of disabled people. And alongside trade unions, for secure jobs with reasonable conditions, and for wages that afford people a decent standard of living without having to rely on benefits.”

    This sounds great. but will it, once the usual suspects get involved, such crucial domestic issues that are impacting on millions will be marginalised for the ‘important’ ones(in their view) like Palestine, Syria, Anti-imperialism,etc. Seen it so many times, Left Unity was the most recent example, Momentum must concentrate on the great misery people are facing here as well as an internationalist focus. Go on the estates and in the villages, find out what they are up against, not just parachute in with the usual biases.

  13. Congratulations on establishing Momentum. I wrote this blog before the conference http://socialaction.info/wp/?page_id=203
    I would like to offer my support and services to help build a social movement particularly in poor and oppressed communities

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