Monday, 25 September 2017

Labour First: Monday Bulletin to Party Conference

Momentum stitch-up means no Brexit vote

Momentum has denied members the chance to vote on Labour’s position on Brexit.

They instructed their delegates in the Priority Ballot to vote for debates on four worthy topics which had less urgency to them, in order to ensure Brexit did not get on the agenda.

There is therefore no opportunity for Conference to let Jeremy Corbyn know how members feel about the vital questions of UK membership of the currency union and single market, or freedom of movement.

This is an unprincipled and anti-democratic stitch-up designed purely to prevent the real differences of opinion within Momentum between old-fashioned anti-European Bennites and Stalinists and idealistic younger internationalists from being expressed.

It’s just bizarre – conference won’t be able to vote on the biggest political issue facing the UK because it might harm the narrow factional interests of Momentum.

Momentum claims it wants to empower members and create a culture of open debate.

In fact new delegates are being manipulated by old-fashioned fixers who are trying to ensure conference only debates bland, “safe” subjects and that difficult policy decisions are handed down from on high rather than decided democratically by elected delegates.

Attempt to silence Sadiq seen off 

Momentum factionalists are just looking for ridiculous fights over anything. They thrive on conflict so they are trying to provoke division and infighting on conference.

It’s obvious that Conference should hear from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan when he is one of our most senior BAME politicians, the most senior Muslim politician in Europe, has the largest personal mandate of any Labour politician ever, and is a great example of Labour in power

But stooges from hard-line Momentum CLPs jumped up one after another to move reference back on the CAC report to try to block him from speaking.

Luckily this was heavily defeated or it would have made the party a complete laughing stock.

Oppose further reference back motions on the CAC report at start of the day – these are Momentum trying to get a procedural advantage or just pick unnecessary fights.

Stop the bullying – it’s not socialist, it’s not Labour

Amid many decent idealists who have been politically energised by Jeremy Corbyn – “John Lennonists” who want a better world but are arguably a bit naive about the nature of the British electorate and how fast we can persuade voters to change society, there are unfortunately a minority of extremely cynical Leninists. Leninists don’t care what voters think because they are happy to impose political change through violent revolution. They fetishise the violence of the Russian revolution and the authoritarianism of contemporary regimes like Cuba or Venezuela, a country whose economy offers a model of socialism where everyone is so impoverished that shops are empty of basic foodstuffs and even toilet paper, and where opposition politicians from our sister democratic socialist parties are arrested by secret police goons and democracy protesters are shot in the streets. This kind of tradition is not part of the democratic socialism that Labour stands for and for these people – some Stalinist, some Trotskyist – to infiltrate Labour is pure cynicism – they just wanted to recruit people into their micro-sects and push Labour to adopt policies that are unachievable without a revolution – “transitional demands”.

Because they are not democrats, and they feel no comradely feelings towards democratic socialists, these people treat fellow Labour members with contempt. They subject anyone who disagrees with them online to a barrage of disgusting, personalised abuse to try to drive them out of political activity. They threaten MPs and councillors with deselection if they do not toe the line and think for themselves. They booed and heckled when a young first time delegate tried to defend Sadiq Khan’s right to speak at conference yesterday. They organised a picket line to try to sack Iain McNicol as General Secretary – a grotesque display in a party founded by trade unionists of trying to undermine a member of party staff who cannot answer back, in fact a highly effective member of staff who just organised a very successful General Election campaign. Conference showed real members hold Iain in great affecrtion with a tumultuous standing ovation for his General Election report.

They are bullies. And bullies have to be stood up to.

Bullying and intimidation are the antithesis of socialist values and comradely behaviour and everything Labour stands for.

Labour First will call out their behaviour nationally and we urge people locally to set up Labour First groups in their CLPs to provide a place where members can express solidarity with each other, work to maintain Labour’s ethos as a pluralistic party, and stand up to bullying and deselection threats. We urge decent, idealistic people in Momentum who believe in a pluralistic, democratic Labour Party to get the internal culture of their movement cleaned up and have zero tolerance of bullying and indeed of infiltration by entryist Leninists who do not share Labour’s values.

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