Model motion: Democracy in Momentum

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1. This branch of Momentum notes:

1.1 That the decision to suspend our vice chair Jackie Walker was taken a) by members of a Momentum steering committee that has never been elected by the membership; b) without a full report of how SC members voted on this important issue and c) with no report of the political arguments advanced by individual SC members for and against this demotion.

1.2 That agendas, documents and minutes of decision-making committees at national and regional level are still not published by the organisation nor distributed to members. It is extremely regrettable that Momentum members sometimes have learned about decisions many weeks after they were taken, often through media outlets that may be hostile to Momentum. Ultimately, the steering committee is the servant of the membership and thus has a strict duty to report on its decisions and actions.

1.3 That a founding principle of Momentum is to “Transform Labour into a more open, member-led party, with socialist policies and collective will to implement them in government” and its stated commitment to “working for progressive political change through methods which are democratic, inclusive and participatory”.

2. Further, we believe that:

2:1 The fight to democratise the Labour Party is inseparably linked to the way that Momentum conducts its own activities. We should therefore practise what we preach to the Labour Party when we criticise its internal decision-making processes. We need to be seen to be fully democratic, accountable and transparent. Openness is an essential requirement of a healthy, member-based, democratic socialist organisation.

3. Therefore, we call for:

3:1 Momentum national office to publish agenda papers and detailed minutes (issues of security taken into consideration) for all its decision-making bodies, as well as the names of their elected officers and committee members. All regional decision-making bodies and local branches of Momentum should adopt the same good practice. National Momentum should provide support and training where necessary to facilitate this.

3:2 The convening of a fully democratic national conference of Momentum within the next three months (ie, by the end of January 2017);

3:3 The steering committee will:

  • Establish a timetable for the submission of motions, amendments to motions and nominations for the steering committee and to provide an open forum where these can be disseminated to and discussed by members;
  • Take motions from both the current leading committee/s of Momentum as well as recognised Momentum branches;
  • Take nominations for the steering committee;
  • Supply lists of Momentum members and contacts to local branches to enable them to use this important democratic initiative to draw new forces into the organisation and the Labour Party itself;

3:4 The national conference will:

  • Elect the steering committee, which needs to publish minutes and reports of its work and all decisions and which has the right to appoint officers from its own ranks to facilitate its work.
  • Discuss and decide upon a democratic constitution for the organisation.
  • Discussion and decide upon the political and campaigning priorities for the organisation over the coming period.