Regular reading of my blog and followers of Momentum will probably be aware that their has been some concerns about Momentum Steering Committee carrying out its policy as passed at its two National Committee meetings in the last 12 months
- that the NC should meet at least quarterly (it met for the second time 3.5 months after the first, so close, and now wont until 3 December nearly 7 months after the second meeting)
- that after opposing a national conference some of the leading officers were defeated and a national delegate based decision making conference was agreed at May NC, and a coordinating committee for conference was set up (which then never met)
- the third NC was cancelled in July, then again in Sept and Oct, and now Nov…
- the conference being motion based and decision making looks in jeopardy or at least now has less time to plan it.
But eventually the National Committee has now been agreed to be convened in Birmingham on 3 December. 3 December you ask, but wasnt the 5 November cancelled because of the North West Regional LP conference clash, and the proposed 10 December turned down because of a clash with Grassroots Welsh Labour conference, so why can they not clash with Wales or North West but still clash with NE and Cumbria actual Momentum Conference? Seems odd.
So as representative on the National Committee for North East and Cumbria after consulting with people in our region, I first contact Momentum National Chair and then asked Jill Mountford to email the whole Steering Committee requesting that at the very least if it must clash with our conference they hold it in Newcastle. We await a response to texts and emails, is Newcastle too far from London? (Perhaps they could have held 5 November NC in Manchester then, if they wanted a more central city) And since our North East and Cumbria conference will have policy session hold our National Committee representatives to account and also elect our representatives for the next year, so how can we be both at our regional conference in Newcastle and in Birmingham at the National Committee. If I were paranoid I would consider perhaps they didn’t want us proposing our regional motions submitted to the NC? see motions here
Anyway while we await a response you can read the statement from the SC below:
UNANIMOUS STATEMENT FROM MOMENTUM STEERING COMMITTEE
The Steering Committee recognises and regrets the discontent and frustration felt by Momentum members in recent days. Momentum’s democratic structures were always intended to develop. Unfortunately, this summer’s leadership election delayed that development, with all our energy being diverted into ensuring Jeremy Corbyn’s reelection.
The Committee recognises the need for a greater level of accountability and transparency from the leadership and administration of the organisation and will work to deliver that over the coming weeks.
Our path to democratisation, through our first National Conference in the new year, has not been sufficiently effectively communicated, leading, at times, to a breakdown in trust between different sections of our movement. There was not enough consultation and discussion with the diverse political and organisational traditions that exist in our movement. Pluralism is our strength, and all views must be properly engaged with.
After further discussion, the Steering Committee has agreed unanimously the following path for Momentum’s democratisation, which places unity, pluralism and member-control at its heart.
The National Committee, postponed from this Saturday, will take place on 3 December. We will ensure that this meeting is properly representative, including new elections for our liberation strands where necessary. A plan for ensuring this will be submitted and approved by the Steering Committee at the latest by 11 November.
A further National Committee meeting will be held in January before our Conference in February. Our Conference, involving all members of Momentum, groups and affiliated organisations, will decide our organisation’s long-term structure.
Taking into account the strong views on both sides of the OMOV (one member, one vote) vs. delegate for Conference votes, the Steering Committee has agreed on a recommendation to the National Committee of a suitable format. There will be both a physical delegates conference to thoroughly debate proposals submitted from the membership, and then OMOV voting on the proposals in the period after the conference. The details of this procedure will be determined over the coming weeks.
We know all levels of Momentum are committed to a truly inclusive and democratic structure and will make it succeed over the next few months.