The following motion was passed by 16 votes to 0, with 14 abstentions at the meeting of the London Momentum Regional Committee on Saturday 19th November.
“Motion on the anti-Semitism witch-hunt and Jackie Walker for London Momentum
London Momentum condemns the anti-Semitism witch-hunt against the Labour Party left.
London Momentum opposes all forms of racism including anti-semitism. We believe that combating oppressive and discriminatory behaviour in society and in the labour movement is integral to socialist activity. However, the report of the Chakrabarti inquiry found the allegations of widespread anti-Semitism in the Labour Party to be unfounded and criticised the way in which the investigations and suspensions by the Labour Party disputes panel violated the principles of natural justice. Nevertheless, both the witch-hunt and the suspensions of Labour Party members have continued.
Unjustified attempts are now being made to undermine the credibility of the Chakrabarti report.
The attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour left by a united front of the mainstream media, the Conservatives, and the Labour right demonstrate the high stakes involved. The anti-Semitism witch-hunt is part of a wider assault and purge designed to discredit, isolate and destabilise the Labour leadership, as well as closing down the space for debate about the politics of the Middle East by equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.
London Momentum calls for:
* all suspensions by the Labour Party disputes panel (or any other unaccountable body) to be lifted immediately and all expulsions to be speedily reviewed with the intention of reinstating those subjected to the politically-motivated purge;
* the establishment of an open and democratic Labour Party disciplinary process that should be under the control of the elected bodies of the Labour Party;
* Momentum nationally to fight back against the witch-hunt and campaign for the rights of Palestinians.
[Motion to be forwarded to the Momentum national committee.]
Submitted by Haringey Momentum”
The following motion was passed by 27 votes to 1, with 2 abstentions at the meeting of the London Momentum Regional Committee on Saturday 19th November.
“The London Momentum Regional Committee agrees to send the following motion to the National Committee:
The National Committee agrees that:
- Local groups are the basic unit of Momentum. All members of Momentum should be encouraged to join and get involved in their local group. For those members where groups don’t presently exist the Momentum office and the regional committees/networks should encourage and support the establishment of new local groups. We should use FaceBook and e.groups as tools to bring members together to establish new groups. All unnecessary impediments to setting up local groups should be removed.
- In between National Annual Conferences, the National Committee (NC) is the highest elected body. The Steering Committee is a sub-committee of the NC elected from the NC.
- This meeting of the National Committee (3 December 2016) agrees to elect a new Steering Committee to hold office until the national conference, unless removed by the National Committee beforehand. The new SC will comprise of a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer elected directly by the NC by exhaustive ballot for each post, along with 8 other members to be elected by the NC by Single Transferable Vote, plus one representative from each affiliated Trade Union.
- In the interests of good communications and transparency, there will be a page on the national website that sets out and explains what the structures are in Momentum and who serves on the various committees (giving, with permission, contact details for our elected representatives). Minutes and decisions from all SC and NC meetings will be posted on the national website.
- This NC agrees to elect a sub-committee of three members from the NC to conduct a review of the current Momentum companies’ structure, with administrative support from a staff member. This sub-committee will make proposals to the next NC.
- This NC believes that Momentum needs a simple Rule book. This NC agrees to set up a working group made up of 5 members from the NC, with support from a staff member, to produce an initial draft for consideration at the next NC with a view to it being presented for adoption by the national conference.”
The London Regional Committee of Momentum, having heard about the business and decisions taken by the national steering committee last night, discussed the issues extensively this morning. We heard that the Steering Committee (SC) meeting had been convened at just 19 hours’ notice and that items were added to the agenda in the course of the meeting that had not been notified in advance. Decisions were made by the Steering Committee which should have been taken by the National Committee.
The SC voted to cancel a planned meeting of the NC due to take place on 5 November. It also voted on a method of organising the conference that pre-empted the discussion that has only just begun in the local and regional Momentum groups and which should have been taken to the NC.
There was a wide-ranging discussion including contributions from Jill Mountford and Michael Chessum who are London members of the Steering Committee who had voted against the decisions, as well as from Jon Lansman, the chair of the national Steering Committee who defended the decision, and from FBU general secretary Matt Wrack, who is also a member of the SC and who had refused to attend the meeting because of its lack of legitimacy.
The motion dealt exclusively with the undemocratic process involved and did not comment on the merits or otherwise of the substantive decision to held a conference based on all members voting online.
The meeting passed the resolution below by 31 votes to 0 with 2 abstentions.
“This meeting of the London Momentum Regional Committee censures the national Steering Committee for cancelling the meeting of the National Committee that was scheduled for 5 November and for agreeing a method of organising the national conference without waiting for the National Committee to discuss it.
We do not recognise the legitimacy of the Steering Committee to make those decisions.
We call for these decisions of the national Steering Committee on the conference and the National Committee to be rescinded and for the NC to proceed as originally scheduled on 5 November.”