There is something stirring at the grassroots. Momentum, until recently in decline, is showing signs of new life. Members are once again beginning to invest their ideas and hopes in an organisation that has so much promise but has lost its way.
We believe that Forward Momentum has played a leading role in sparking this surge of energy, and we are proud to stand as its candidates for Momentum’s national coordinating group (NCG) elections. We are united in one ambition: to rebuild Momentum from the ground up into the socialist campaigning organisation we know it can be. And we are asking you to join and support us.
Even though there are too many people invested in the status quo to let change happen easily, there are more of us than them. We know Momentum can be changed when grassroots members work together.
We know this because, like you, we have worked tirelessly in and alongside Momentum groups with hundreds of other activists united by shared socialist values. We have seen Momentum at its best, campaigning in communities and organising to transform and win in the Labour Party.
But too often this energy and commitment has been taken for granted or shut down by Momentum’s leadership. Too many decisions have been made in back rooms, unwanted candidates have been imposed on local groups, and bold socialist strategy has been abandoned, often for no strategy at all. Momentum is failing because of this. Members have left in droves and trust in the organisation is at an all time low. We are standing to change this.
The open primaries through which we were selected gave many of us the opportunity to stand in this election. It was votes from activists who trusted our work on the ground that gave us the legitimacy to stand. But this isn’t democracy for its own sake. Democratic organising builds capacity and creates the alliances we need to build broad and winning campaigns. And the only way the left can successfully confront the immense challenges of this political moment is if our organisations are fighting at full capacity.
For Momentum, that means letting the membership take the lead. To do this, we need to overhaul how Momentum works and give members a real say in key decisions and control over strategy and resources.
But changing how Momentum works only matters if we use it to change what Momentum does. Transforming the Labour Party through winning votes, passing policy and political education is crucial, and we cannot draw back from that. That’s why we at Forward Momentum have spent hundreds of hours reaching out across the Labour left to develop a plan for each of these tasks, starting with a unified left slate in the next national executive committee (NEC) elections.
That said, socialism isn’t just built in party meetings or through canvassing, and it can’t be delivered in a manifesto alone. It requires deep organising in working-class communities across the country, from our city heartlands to our post-industrial ones, and across every nation of the UK.
Momentum must be at the heart of a new wave of socialist organising, providing a hub for activists to share skills and experiences, and empowering local groups to launch their own campaigns and to support trade unions and social movements to win theirs. Only by the left being an active and relevant force in working class communities will support for socialism grow, and we cannot leave it to the labour movement to fight that fight alone.
We at Forward Momentum want to turn Momentum into an organising machine. The majority of Momentum members know this is necessary – they have done for five years now. It’s finally time that we made it happen. This is why we are standing, and at the core of Forward Momentum’s plan are five key areas we believe reflect the change needed. If elected, these will be our overriding objectives:
- Unite the socialist left and transform the Labour Party
- Refound Momentum and put members in charge
- Build power in our workplaces and communities
- Give more control to Momentum’s local groups, regions and the nations
- Campaign for a just and green response to Covid-19
This plan was developed through thousands of conversations among Momentum members, and we encourage you to engage with it in full on our website. If elected, we commit to using our positions on the NCG to actually deliver on this bold vision for change.
You might not know each of us as well as our unions or local Momentum groups do, but what you do know is that we owe our position in this slate to grassroots members, not because of some backroom deal. Our records and the policies we are advocating speak for themselves. We firmly believe that after years of being ignored and seen as expendable, it is time that Momentum members are given the chance to speak for themselves. And then the fight really begins.