Corbynite activist network Momentum hosted a mobilising call on Wednesday evening that it described as the “largest in British political history” – and had Jeremy Corbyn join the discussion on party strategy.
Setting out their campaigns plans in the run-up to the December 12th general election, Momentum staffers encouraged the 2,000+ people on the call to create “Let’s Go” group chats to facilitate the mobilisation of friends and family members.
They also explained that mycampaignmap.com, which should be launching tomorrow, will be different from the much-praised ‘My Nearest Marginal’ map from 2017 in that direct users to the marginal seat that needs them most rather than simply the closest.
The upgraded online constituency map will allow activists to advertise their own events, unlike the 2017 tool to which only Momentum itself could add campaign events such as door-knocking and phonebanking.
Momentum’s wider intention is to motivate activists and supporters of the Labour Party to organise their own “phonebank parties”, run their own events and “fight the battle on social media” – all of which can be done from home. Those abroad in particular expressed an interest in that aspect of campaigning.
In order to achieve the objective of knocking on two million doors through canvassing sessions, Momentum asked people on the call to take time off work to campaign for Labour if they were able to do so. They recommended that the best time would be during the last two weeks before polling day.
The staffers also revealed that they would be setting up a “clipping team”, which will watch television news programmes and clip all good comment by Labour MPs so that it can be shared easily online and become viral content.
Dialling into the group call from a community centre in Harrow, where Labour candidate Pamela Fitzpatrick hopes to take Harrow East back from the Tories, Jeremy Corbyn joined after a roundtable discussion with GMB ASDA workers.
The Labour leader talked about PMQs that took place today, emphasising that he highlighted Tory plans to “offer up our public services to the US”, before moving on to the Grenfell fire and pointing out that many thousands of people still live in buildings with the same dangerous cladding.
Corbyn said he was “proud of community organisers and the work Momentum has done” in moving beyond voter ID-focussed campaigning and towards “empowering communities” through genuine engagement.
“We’ve got to win in Harrow, Mansfield, Invercylde, Aberconwy,” he told activists, giving an idea of Labour’s top priorities for key target seats. Corbyn added: “You’ll look back on the winter of 2019 as a time you delivered a government that believes in people, social justice… You will have got cold and wet for a very good reason.”
Commenting on the call, Momentum’s national coordinator Laura Parker said: “This is going to be a political campaign like no other this country has ever seen. In one day we’ve managed to recruit thousands of people, get hundreds to commit to action and raise more than £180,000.
“Over the next six weeks we’re going to make sure every person in the country knows that they’ve got a clear choice. This election gives us a unique chance to transform our country – to end almost a decade of Tory austerity and deliver real change to every town, city and village across the UK.
“The Tories have millions of pounds behind them from just a handful of billionaires. But we have a secret weapon – the thousands of ordinary people across the country ready for the fight of their lifetime.”
Momentum’s Plan to Win, which is inspired by the Bernie Sanders campaign in the US, can be viewed at plantowin.peoplesmomentum.com.