By Martin Thomas
Momentum Internationalists met by Zoom on Sunday 10 October to plan activity after the 25-29 September Labour Party conference.
The discussion started with reports on the conference itself and on MI activity around it. Despite our small resources (compare Momentum, which has 20 paid staff), MI was the most active group at conference on left-wing policy issues. Momentum largely limited its comment to rule changes, explicitly eschewed comment on the several moves to refer back parts of the National Policy Forum report (some of which succeeded), and constructed its The World Transformed fringe event largely in abstraction from the conference happening less than ten minutes’ walk away.
Much of the work on policy, of course, has been done and is being done by specialised campaigns. The planning meeting decided to schedule a series of Zoom forums with speakers from left and Labour campaigns.
At the very least that will exchange information and build links. If we’re more successful it will provide a lever to give life to the policies in on-the-streets campaigning by local Labour Parties, rather than letting those local parties lapse into despair at the Starmer leadership’s stonewalling.
The first in the schedule is on housing, on Saturday 20 November, 5pm, with speakers from the Labour Homelessness Campaign and the Labour Campaign for Council Housing, plus writers David Renton and Paul Watt.
The meeting decided that MI will agitate for an alliance of left-wing Labour campaigns, something like the brief Labour Campaigns Together initiative of late 2019 but as an active coalition rather than just a joint website. Getting a formal joint committee looks unlikely for now, but links and cooperation now may open possibilities in years to come.
We will continue to be involved in Momentum activities, and debates within Momentum, but decided to change the name of the group to “Labour Left Internationalists (formerly Momentum Internationalists)” to signal that our activities reach much wider than politicking within Momentum. A big majority voted for the idea of changing the name, and then “Labour Left Internationalists” won out narrowly against “Labour and Momentum Internationalists”.
The meeting also elected a new committee for the group.
More details in the coming days as we update this website.