Forward Momentum is a broad coalition of Momentum and Labour Party activists from across the country who want to rebuild Momentum, to give the Left the best chance of succeeding in the post-Corbyn era. We want Momentum to be a much more member-led and democratic organisation, up to the challenge of campaigning effectively in the Labour Party and in our communities.
Starting out in January 2020, we held conversations with over 200 grassroots Momentum activists across the country, growing through this process into a UK-wide campaign team, sharing our experiences with one another and building a collective vision.
Momentum has had some brilliant successes, but today it is an organisation desperately in need of a new identity, a new strategy and a new way of working. If it is to succeed, Momentum needs to change.
A Way Forward for Momentum sets out some initial ideas for what our movement could do over the coming years to win the struggles ahead of us.
We think these ideas will change Momentum for the better. But we do not think we are the only ones with good ideas. We want these proposals to be the start of a movement-wide discussion about what needs to be done to take the left and Momentum forward.
Jeremy Corbyn's time as Labour leader has come to a close, but the effects of the Tories’ cruel austerity agenda are still all around us: underfunded and collapsing public services, record homelessness, an increase in racism and domestic violence, precarious and exploitative working practices, and the persecution of migrants by the state and civil society.
The last few weeks in particular have demonstrated how fragile and unequal our society, economy and public services have become. As Covid-19 turns our world upside down, we need a united, socialist left ready to meet the challenges of the crisis and its aftermath head on.
But with a new leader of the Labour Party, the broad coalition that united behind Corbyn’s socialist politics is in danger of fragmenting. To prevent this, and to strengthen the campaign for a socialist and democratic society, we need an organisation that is democratic, effective and rooted in local communities as well as in the Labour Party. These ideas are our contribution to making Momentum that organisation.
Put forward a socialist vision of society
Lead from the left inside the Labour Party
Build power in communities
Link the Labour Party with social movements
What Momentum does is important, but so too is how it does it. These principles should underline everything Momentum and its members do.
Socialist in its practices
Open and inclusive
As a result of the discussions we have had with activists around the country, we have developed a set of ideas to start the discussion about how to move Momentum forward.
A major limit on Momentum’s success has been the assumption that only a handful of people in senior positions in London can be trusted to lead and come up with strategy. We think the organisation is stronger when we’re inclusive and democratic; when everyone’s views are heard.
Momentum should be ‘refounded’ by its members through a democratic and inclusive process.
Socialism can only be built by a broad, powerful movement. Momentum should be committed to helping this movement to grow.
Momentum can play a major role in the Labour Party, ensuring it stays true to its socialist values. We want to see the party live up to the potential of its mass membership by opening out its structures and by empowering its members.
Momentum is a democratic membership organisation. We are strongest when we harness the energy of all our members.
We think these ideas will change Momentum for the better. But we do not think we are the only ones with good ideas. We want this to be the start of a movement-wide discussion about what needs to be done to take the left and Momentum forward.
We want you to get involved and have your say. You can do this by sharing content from Forward Momentum on social media, participating in our mass Zoom calls, attending digital regional meetings or even joining our campaign.
Sign up to get involved in these discussions.
In the short term:
We are calling on the NCG to immediately announce a timetable for the NCG elections, which should take place no later than the end of Summer 2020.
We will put together and campaign for a slate of candidates in these elections. These candidates will be selected through an open nomination and application process with transparent selection criteria. We aim to select a broad and diverse coalition of candidates who support our core goals.
In the meantime we will crowd source from Momentum members the key changes we need to make to Momentum's constitution and pursue these through Momentum's existing democratic structures.
Together we can rebuild Momentum.