Giving new members confidence

Submitted by Matthew on 28 October, 2015 - 11:13

Merseyside Labour Left came out of the Corbyn campaign and has kept organising.

At our next general meeting, I think we’ll constitute ourselves as a Momentum group, although there’s some discussion about how that’ll work.

We have working groups which form left caucuses in each local Party. We have quite large caucuses in some constituencies, others where we have only a small group. We’ve set up working groups for various things. One project is a local labour movement conference, to be held on 28 November. Another working group is organising social events.

The local labour movement conference will be a dayschool about local Labour issues, and broader issues like democratising the party. We’ve had a training session about how Party structures work. We’ve been putting a few motions to parties. So far, it’s been more to do with making sure that party structures are functioning. In Wallasey for example, we have passed policy to get affiliated supporters signed up as members.

One of my worries is that we wind up in endless meetings about Party process, and don’t get onto talking about the kind of politics we want to raise in the party. I want to make sure we always discuss an item of policy — Trident, for example. We hope to influence the way Momentum develops. We want the left caucuses to nail down what policy we want to propose. We want to give new members the confidence and support to know that if they are elected to office within their local Party, they have a network of support.

Mark Easton

Nottingham

On 21 October, fifty Momentum supporters met in Nottingham to begin the task of building the new Labour left wing movement in the city.

The meeting was organised with the involvement of activists from six constituencies. Nottingham councillor Steve Battlemuch spoke about the need to energise the Party to campaign against the Tories. Ashfield councillor Lauren Mitchell spoke on the hope that Corbyn’s victory has brought into politics. Broxtowe activist Pete Radcliff spoke on the need for Momentum to act independently of the Party machine if necessary to draw activists into campaigning and debate about the Party’s future.

Momentum’s “Ethics Code” was circulated around the meeting. The “code” clarifies that Momentum would need to be “committed to supporting the Labour Party winning elections”. No argument was made to challenge that even though a few attendees did not support Labour electorally. It was agreed that a steering committee be established with reps from each constituency to plan further meetings and activities.

Joan Trevor

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