Momentum is running a “policy primary” in which local Momentum groups and selected campaigns can submit motions for Momentum to consider for prioritisation for 2022 Labour Party conference. The conference is 25-28 September in Liverpool: https://labour.org.uk/conference/annual-conference-2021/. The deadline for motions is 12 September, and most local Labour Parties will consider motions much closer to that date, but submissions for Momentum’s “policy primary” close 24 March. Here are some suggested wordings which can be adapted. Some of these texts are markedly shorter than the official 250-word limit. The purpose of this is to reduce the risk of the main point being lost in compositing, or the motion being ruled out of order as covering more than one issue or allocated to an unsuitable agenda area. We understand that the Labour Campaign for Free Movement will submit text on free movement to the Momentum policy primary.
For public ownership of energy
1. That the energy bill crisis has highlighted the need for radical measures to defend and improve living standards. It has also shone a light on the wider question of how our energy system is organised.
2. That full public ownership, democratic control and radical reorganisation of the energy industry are necessary for social, ecological and security reasons.
1. That last year’s conference voted overwhelmingly for “public ownership of energy including energy companies, creating an integrated, democratic system”.
2. That conference 2019 voted overwhelmingly for “public ownership of energy, creating an integrated democratic system; public ownership of the Big Six”.
Conference further believes
1. That it is extremely poor that the party leadership has ignored these clear policies.
1. That Labour will campaign for and pledge to implement full public ownership of the energy industry on the lines of the 2021 and 2019 conference policies.
2. To send a clear instruction to the leadership to get in line on this and lead.
Decent sick pay for all
1. That the UK has some of the worst sick pay in Europe. What has long been a scandal has during the pandemic become a social and public health disaster.
1. To campaign, and pledge to legislate in government, for all workers, without exemption, to be entitled to their full normal salary for 26 weeks, with no delay; followed by Statutory Sick Pay at the level of the National Minimum Wage for another 26 weeks.
2. To work with trade unions, affiliated and non-affiliated, to build an active mass campaign to win decent sick pay for all on the lines set out above.
1. That the Tories’ Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts legislation is an appalling attack on human rights. Labour must campaign and pledge to repeal it in its entirety.
2. That restrictions on the the right to protest from the 1986 Public Order Act and 1994 Criminal Justice Act also need abolishing.
Conference further believes
1. That heavy policing and punitive criminal justice are not solutions to society’s problems. We must attack poverty and inequality, restore and expand social provision, and narrow the spheres in which criminal justice operates. We must push back hard against the Tory agenda for society, towards a society based on provision for people’s needs, not profit-making.
2. Labour must advocate:
– Urgent moves to tackle police violence and abuse, including replacing the so-called Independent Office for Police Conduct with a more independent and democratic body;
– Full accountability of police to elected local authorities;
– Addressing drug-related problems through public-health policies instead of criminalisation;
– Provision of services so that mental-health crises are dealt with by trained civilian workers, not police;
– A major prisoner release programme and sharply curtailing use of prison.
1. That Labour will campaign for and pledge to implement such policies.
A £15 minimum wage
1. That conference 2021 voted to demand a £15ph minimum wage.
2. That Labour’s £10ph minimum pledge was first made in 2017, and with inflation since has become outdated/
3. That from April 2022 the National Minimum Wage is £9.50; it seems very likely the Tories will soon pledge £10ph.
Conference further notes
1. The mounting, multiple-fronts cost-of-living crisis.
1. That the party will campaign for the National Minimum Wage to rise to £15ph for all, without differentials or exemptions, and then rise in line with inflation or earnings, whichever is higher; and that if we have not yet won £15ph, the next Labour government will implement it.
1. That Brexit has been a disaster.
2. That “making Brexit work” or “taking the opportunities of Brexit” is the wrong narrative and approach. We must vocally condemn the Tories’ talk of making Britain a ultra-neo-liberal “Singapore-on-Thames” and their Brexit-related manouevres which have stoked up communal conflict in Northern Ireland, and advocate closer links with Europe as part of a fight to defend and improve living standards, workers’ rights, social provision, human rights and environmental protections internationally.
1. That Labour will campaign for
– the UK to rejoin the European Single Market;
– closer links with the EU, with a view to rejoining;
– working-class and labour movement unity across Europe and beyond to level up and improve conditions and rights.
1. That the Northern Ireland political set up based on bureaucratically balancing sectarian interests is not stable.
2. That shifting demographics and politics are calling a Unionist majority there into question.
3. That Brexit, particularly in Boris Johnson’s form, has further destabilised Northern Ireland.
1. That Labour should favour a united Ireland.
2. To be democratically viable and sustainable, and allow for unity of workers from different communities, a united Ireland would need to recognise the distinct Protestant / British-Irish community, e.g. through devolution for the Protestant-majority region (which is distinct from the current Northern Ireland).
1. To encourage a discussion of these issues and ideas in the British and Irish labour movements.
After the invasion of Ukraine
1. That while we do not know what the situation in Ukraine will be by the time of conference, it is clear:
– That Ukraine must have the full right to self-determination, free from Russian intervention or imposition.
– That we must support the left, labour movements and internationalists in both Ukraine and Russia, including Russia’s anti-war movement.
– That we should welcome Ukrainian refugees.
– That Ukraine’s debt should be cancelled, it should be provided with extensive aid, and the attempts to impose neo-liberal reforms on its economy (including by the UK government) should be stopped.
Conference further believes
1. That more widely the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and Putin’s role as “gendarme of reaction”, eg his intervention to prop up the Assad regime in Syria, has dramatised the need for the international labour movement to champion struggles for democracy.
2. That the British labour movement was right to denounce Russia’s war and support the rights of the Ukrainian people – in the same way we should support struggles against India’s oppression in Kashmir, Turkey’s oppression of the Kurds, China’s of the Uyghurs, Israel’s of the Palestinians and the Saudi war in Yemen (and many others).
3. That Russia, not NATO, was to blame for the war in Ukraine. That does not make NATO an “alliance for peace”. We want to see NATO disbanded as soon as possible.