Labour Representation Committee: We condemn the undemocratic closing down of elected bodies within Momentum

23rd January, 2017 4:23 pm

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This is the full text of the motions on Momentum passed by the Labour Representation Committee at its national executive committee meeting on Saturday 21 January.

Momentum and the LRC

1) The LRC rejects the new constitution imposed upon Momentum. The new constitution dissolves the existing democratic structures of Momentum – the National Committee, the Conference Arrangements Committee and the Steering Committee – without proper discussion and without even consulting the first two of these bodies. It puts in their place a National Co-ordinating Group and a Members’ Council. Neither of these bodies have yet been elected or selected, so at present there is no governing body of Momentum at all. Even when the National Co-ordinating Group and Members’ Council are in place there is no proper means of their members being made accountable to the membership. We shall fight for a democratic alternative to the new constitution.

We condemn the way this new constitution has been put in place, with a simple email to the members of the Steering Committee asking for a Yes/No reply, with no discussion and replies from a bare majority of the Steering Committee without explanation deemed sufficient to dissolve the existing democratic structures.

We reject the fact that the new constitution abolishes the regional structures of Momentum currently in place. It also thereby cancels co-ordination between regions.

We reject the fact that the new constitution abolishes the power of the Conference to be a decision-making body.

We reject the fact that the new constitution makes Momentum a body where all members of Momentum are required to be Labour Party members. While we believe that all members should be encouraged and convinced to become Labour Party members, the best way to achieve this is not by demanding LP membership as a precondition of becoming a member of Momentum. This rule also means that those unjustly expelled from the Party are ineligible for membership of Momentum.

We call on all members of Momentum to maintain their membership and to campaign for it to become a democratic organisation. The LRC campaigns for Momentum to become a mass fighting socialist organisation committed to winning the widest support in the labour movement and in British society in order to win support for the policies on which Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership and to elect a Labour government committed to these policies.

The LRC shall also be sending a delegation to the Momentum National Committee (which the new constitution claims to have abolished) due to meet on January 28 2017.

We want the LRC’s views on this matter to be published as widely as possible on our website and on social media.

2) The LRC condemns the undemocratic closing down of elected bodies within Momentum, by its legal owner, Jon Lansman. We recognise that the particular history of Momentum’s brief existence required the transition from initial set up of a private company to a full-fledged socialist and Labour Party orientated organisation, which gave power to ordinary members through election processes and the formation of democratically elected representative bodies. The organic forms of representation that developed in local areas, in the form of branches and local groups, reflected the desire of Labour Party members and Corbyn supporters to build a coherent left, with a mission to transform the Labour Party as a vehicle of democratic socialist policies and for government, both locally and on a national scale. We acknowledge Jon Lansman has used his legal private ownership and staff he has appointed at the London office to circumvent the wishes of the wider active membership based in branches and local groups to destroy the current emerging national structure of Momentum.

We therefore resolve to endorse the following:

1. not to accept Momentum’s offer of a place on their National Co-ordinating Group, as outlined in their new constitution, as we cannot give legitimacy to its undemocratic actions;

2. support measures to continue the plans for a national conference of what would have been representatives from local Momentum groups.

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