Momentum, as it presently exists, to be abolished?

January 11, 2017 at 2:27 pm (labour party, left, posted by JD, unions)

Image result for MOmentum

Nick Wrack has just posted this on Facebook:
“This has just been sent to members of the Momentum Steering Committee by Jon Lansman.

I am still digesting the contents of the email but I am staggered. It has to rank as one of the most undemocratic manoeuvres in the history of the British left – and that is saying something.

What was the purpose of the National Committee meeting on 3 December? Now we can understand why the Steering Committee has not met.

A constitution will “apply from now but would be reviewed in due course and be subject to amendments”.

The local groups and special interest/liberation groups are to be by-passed and the whole correct structural set-up is to be abolished by a plebiscite.

“If this constitution is agreed, the effect would be to wind up the SC, the NC and CAC, with immediate effect, though the conference would go ahead but under the new rules, no motions would be considered.”

So, it would seem, the conference, set for 19 February, will no longer decide policy, even if it still goes ahead.

“From: Jon Lansman <>
Date: Tue, Jan 10, 2017 at 7:39 PM
Subject: Proposal to Steering Group: A new constitution for Momentum
To: Marsha Jane Thompson <xxx>, Christine Shawcroft <xxx>, Sam Tarry <xxx>, Jacqueline Walker <xxx>, Martyn Cook <xxx>, Michael Chessum <xxx>, Matt Wrack <xxx>, Sam Wheeler <xxx>, Professor Cecile Wright <xxx>, Jill Mountford<xxx>, Maggie Simpson <xxx>
Cc: Emma Rees <xxx>, Adam Klug <xxx>

Dear Colleagues 

I am writing to explain why, in consultation with a number of others in Momentum, the Leader’s office and trade unions that have supported Jeremy Corbyn, I have decided to propose today that we immediately act to put Momentum on the proper footing that those dependant on the success of Jeremy’s leadership need it to be and our members want it to be.

Most of our members joined Momentum because they support Jeremy Corbyn and want to help him achieve what he is trying to do. We must put behind us the paralysis that has for months bedevilled all our national structures, and focus on our most urgent task – winning the general election that could come within months, by turning Labour into an effective force committed to that task, and to the transformative government that would follow.

I have also taken legal advice, based on a review of a substantial body of Momentum records, which is that in order to operate effectively as an organisation with members, Momentum needs written rules or a constitution with which all its members agree, and in our current circumstances, the only way of agreeing such a constitution which is binding on the relationship between the organisation and our members is to seek the individual consent of each of our members and affiliates.

The papers which are included in this mailing set out:

The results of the survey initiated by Jeremy Corbyn’s pre-Christmas message to Momentum members, which indicate members’ overwhelming support for the type of organisation we will continue to build, action-focused, rooted in our communities, wholly committed to the Labour Party, and involving our members directly in decision-making;

A constitution which establishes a sustainable democratic framework for the sort of organisation we need – an outwards-looking, campaigning organisation to change and strengthen the Labour Party, not to mirror its structures. This constitution would apply from now but would be reviewed in due course and be subject to amendments;

A paper on interim governance.

A paper on election process for the new National Coordinating Group to replace existing regional and national structures.

The Constitution may not be perfect in everyone’s eyes, but, whatever process we follow, it is common ground that we need one, and it is surely better to have it now and amend it later by a process that is indisputable. As well as setting out the essential elements of our aims and objectives as they have always appeared on our website and in our public statements, the constitution:

Reinforces our wholehearted commitment to the Labour Party by restating our aim of working towards affiliation, and requiring all members to be party members;

Provides for elections and key decisions including changes to the constitution to be made by our members themselves;

Provides for a structure with minimum bureaucracy reflecting members desire to focus externally on organising and campaigning through our local groups, liberation networks and the Labour Party rather than internally on making policy for ourselves.

If this constitution is agreed, the effect would be to wind up the SC, the NC and CAC, with immediate effect, though the conference would go ahead but under the new rules, no motions would be considered.

If you are happy with all these proposals as they stand, please indicate by email. If there is a majority – I think we all recognise that we shall continue to disagree on this matter – I propose that we seek the approval of members immediately.

In solidarity

Jon Lansman
Momentum National Steering Group

Jon Lansman’s attachments:

Interim governance

Election process

Momentum members’ survey

Momentum constitution

See also: Tendance Coatesy


  1. John Rogan said,

    You’ve got “Nick” and “Matt” Wrack mixed up re FBU General Secretary, btw.

    As for what Jon Lansman’s done, it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Jeremy Corbyn and his office. Indeed, the OMOV proposed for Momentum is very similar to the ideas of “digital democracy” put forward last year by Labour’s Leader –

    “In September, Mr Corbyn also proposed a democratic revolution that would give its hugely-inflated mass membership a role in shaping party policy.

    It would be modelled on the digital consultation that Labour held before last year’s vote on whether the party should back extending the bombing of Daesh to targets in Syria.”

    So, Momentum’s new Constitution should be seen as a test run for a future “digital democracy” within the Labour Party.

    In reality, of course, this would be a “guided democracy” with those closest to the Leader’s way of thinking proposing policies, NEC slates and, juiciest of all, suggested (Momentum backed) candidates for new Labour PPC’s when Boundary Changes and other possible deselection battles occur in the future.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Re the brothers Wrack: thanks for pointing out my error, now corrected.

  2. Andrew Coates said,

    That would of course be the Nick Wrack who has was Editor of Militant (1994), member of the Socialist Alliance, Southwark Respect and No2EU candidate in London (200(), Left Unity, Independent Socialist Network, TUSC candidate 2015, and, correct me I am wrong, the SWP at one point in his varied career.

    Not to mention a few other groupuscules that I may have ignored.

    The thought occurs to many people that he may not be the best spokesperson for non-factional democratic socialism that one could find.

    • Dave said,

      Not Labour through and through then?

  3. Dave said,

    The wheels within wheels nature of hard left politics. You now find yourselves having to ‘transform’ Momentum before you can use Momentum to transform the Labour Party. Excuse me while I piss myself laughing.

  4. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Sad we have to wait to lose the next election before Labour can rid themselves from momentum and Corbyn.

  5. John Rogan said,

    Fyi. A screenshot of a Nick Wrack (FB?) comment re Southwark Momentum meeting (from @momentumexposed).

  6. Frank Kincaide said,

    A compromise position that may now have been overtaken by events, but could possibly provide a way forward:

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