By Kas Witana, BME delegate to Forward Momentum policy committee (pc)
Forward Momentum has published a “Plan to take Momentum forward”. This is a good step forward, in that Forward Momentum now potentially has a much clearer outward-looking, class-struggle set of demands for the crisis, as opposed to earlier ones which were much more heavily focused on Momentum’s procedures.
You can read the Plan here.
Momentum Internationalists should be proud of the contribution we made to this process. Among others, myself, Michael Chessum, Roxana Fraser and Abel Harvie-Clark from MI contributed extensive proposals, which you can read in the full document of submissions here.
A number of important ideas we contributed were included in the composited proposals and then passed. (For what was passed and not, see here). That includes fighting to make Labour conference genuinely sovereign; democratic public ownership of energy and banking / high finance; developing a strategy for Labour councils / councillors to fight cuts; fighting to repeal all the anti-union laws; and a series of demands for migrants’ rights including the right to vote, access to services and freedom of movement.
More generally we think our contributions shaped the final document significantly. For instance, the focus on the role of local groups and the proposal for reborn regional Momentum networks seem inspired by our submissions.
There some important caveats:
• Some important proposals we (and perhaps others) made were not included in the proposals for voting, eg working to build local anti-cuts committees.
• Some of our proposals that were put to a vote were voted down. Notably: an annual sovereign Momentum conference to decide strategy; all-member regional conferences; regional conferences electing some representation to the NCG; building networks in trade unions to push for democracy and radical action in unions; and campaigning to extend the Brexit transition period.
• Concerningly, important ideas which were passed were not included in the published document, eg the hugely important one of fighting for Labour conference to be sovereign. Also public ownership of finance and reference to councillors fighting cuts. Free movement seemed to be left out but was then added back in.
• There are some important things that no one, including us, though to raise – eg the crucial campaigning demand for full sick pay/isolation pay for all workers.
Momentum Internationalists should both keep up the pressure to shape Forward Momentum policy in the right direction – consistent democratisation of Momentum, class struggle, socialism and internationalism – and raise ideas which it won’t.
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