Desperate Manoeuvres as Brighton & Hove’s Lansmanite Steering Committee Tries to Keep the Members at Bay
With the AGM 3 months overdue the Steering Committee of Brighton and Hove Momentum is trying to do locally what Lansman has done nationally
With just one week to go I have received a copy of the AGM agenda for Brighton and Hove Momentum. It is clear that the Lansmanite majority on the Steering Committee [SC] is trying to retain its position through the use of bureaucratic and highly undemocratic procedures such as trying to ensure that the AGM doesn’t have control of its own proceedings
Let us be clear. It is for the meeting itself to decide its own agenda. The Steering Committee can propose but it is for the meeting to dispose. For example previous practice is that people can be nominated for the SC from the floor. There is no explanation why that is no longer acceptable and to try and slip it through in this way is nothing other than a sleight of hand.
The suggestion that ‘candidates for positions on the steering committee will be expected to demonstrate some ability to carry out some of them in a responsible and reliable fashion’ is an interesting one. To whom are they expected to demonstrate these things? The current SC?
The only thing that any candidate needs to do is to obtain the support of the meeting. My suggestion is that we revert back to the practice at the founding meeting that the SC is elected as a block of 12 or 18 and then allocates responsibilities. The most obvious task is to once again ensure that BH Momentum is an active and democratic group.
The Agenda proposed is the height of unreality. It is as if the world outside doesn’t exist. We are in the midst of a major attempt ruling class attempt to remove the Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party. The SC doesn’t appear to have noticed. Tom Watson is on manoeuvres and unfortunately his partner-in-crime is none other than the unelected head of Momentum, Jon Lansman.
Tomorrow some of us are going up to a lobby of Labour’s Disputes Committee/NEC and taking the Momentum banner with us. Although the agenda makes no mention of the suspension of Chris Williamson at the behest of Tom Watson and Lansman, that is what will be on the agenda of the NEC. There is no mention of the witchhunting of a fine socialist MP by the right-wing of the PLP in conjunction with Momentum nationally.
On Wednesday we will have a hatchet job by Panorama about the fake anti-Semitism campaign. The programme will not, of course, examine the bogus nature of the allegations but it will focus on process alone and who lost what.
The only indication in the agenda that this is happening is a tangential mention of the fact that members expelled from Momentum, i.e. myself, will not be allowed in the AGM, even though the present Committee are aware that I was expelled by the same forces that are using the State, in the form of the Equality & Human Rights Commission [EHRC] to attack the Corbyn leadership.
I refer to the Jewish Labour Movement which is effectively the Israeli state inside the British Labour Party. Despite the fact that we last year criticised the democratic deficit in Momentum and hosted Chris Williamson the present SC is now intent on implementing the witchhunt locally. They have no mandate.
It is abundantly clear that there is a massive campaign nationally by the State to remove Corbyn. This is being undertaken in conjunction with the Right of the Labour Party. The SC is oblivious to all this. As far as they are concerned socialism is confined to the municipal boundaries of Brighton and Hove. We are in the midst of a political crisis in the Tory Party over Brexit and the imminent election of Boris Johnson has made Corbyn’s removal even more urgent.
The EHRC, which is not an anti-racist body, will almost certainly provide the fuel for a further attack on Corbyn. Yet there is nothing whatsoever on the agenda about this or other matters.
The proposed agenda is just that. A proposal from those who have failed to organise any public meetings of Momentum in the past year. Nothing on the witchhunt, nothing on Brexit, nothing on anything. It is as if the election of Brighton and Hove Council was the limit of their socialist ambitions.
Tony Greenstein (Steering Committee member 2016-2018)
Brighton and Hove Momentum AGM Agenda Tuesday July 16th 7.30 Community Base
Brighton and Hove ‘Many-festo’ results
Many Momentum members were involved in Brighton & Hove Labour’s ‘Many-festo’ consultation process. The findings and policy recommendations arising from that process can be found here, along with the published manifesto, as formulated by the outgoing Labour Group of councillors.
Brighton & Hove Momentum Member Survey
As Brighton & Hove Momentum looks forward and outward, we want to ensure that all members’ voices are heard, not just the small number who attend and speak at Momentum meetings. Please take a few minutes to participate in our members’ survey.
Brighton & Hove Momentum Annual General Meeting, 2019
As previously announced, this will take place at
7.30pm, Tuesday 16 July 2019
Community Base, 113 Queens Rd, Brighton BN1 3XG
1. 7:30pm Steering committee statements, reports & announcements
2. 7:40pm Q&A with: Cllr Nancy Platts, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council and Cllr Noah Tucker of Haringey Borough Council.
3. 8:30pm Elections for steering committee posts – please read carefully
The steering committee consists of the administrative officers (Secretary, Data Protection Administrator/joint secretary, Treasurer) plus a further six members.
The officer positions carry with them specific legal duties of trust and confidentiality.
The other six positions have during the current session been defined by functional role. Many of these roles were inevitably sidelined by the successful campaign to select and elect Corbyn-supporting councillors.
Labour Party Liaison – this role has to a large degree been shared among active members of the steering committee on an ad-hoc basis. Trade union liaison has not occurred in any formal sense
External Liaison (vacant) – this role was intended to involve forming connections with other Momentum groups. This was not done.
Social Media (vacant) – in practice this role was shared among different members of the steering committee.
Political Education – in practice this role was subsumed in the campaigns role
Campaigns coordinator x 2 (1 vacant) – this role was carried out to a significant degree and needs to be a key focus in the next year
While the committee as a whole will still need to carry out these functions, and candidates for positions on the steering committee will be expected to demonstrate some ability to carry out some of them in a responsible and reliable fashion, the needs of the organisation are for an expanded campaigning capacity, and for the other named functions to be shared between members of the committee or co-optees to it. The exact recommendations for these positions will be dependent on the outcome of the member survey.
Procedure for candidates and elections
Candidates for steering committee positions must be members of the Labour party. This helps to ensure that Momentum remains, and is seen to remain, a legitimate group within the Labour party.
Candidates must be nominated, with their knowledge and assent, by a Momentum member. Nominations must be sent from the email address to which this email has been sent, to [email protected] to arrive by 8pm, Monday 15 July.
Nominated candidates should submit a statement in support of their candidacy, of no more than 200 words, also to to [email protected] and also to arrive by 8pm, Monday 15 July. Statements in support of applications for officer posts should explain the candidate’s capacity to carry out the administrative duties involved, and fitness for trusted office. Statements in support of applications for other positions on the steering committee should describe how the candidate can help reach out into the wider local community and become involved in local campaigns.
The steering committee will be subject to a gender representation requirement – at least four members must be female. In addition, ethnic minority members if applying in sufficient numbers will be expected to comprise at least 20% of the committee. Momentum’s constitution also contains a commitment to youth representation, and it is vital that it connects with younger generations. Accordingly, and again subject to sufficient applications being received, the committee recommends that the committee consist of at least 50% members aged under 35.
4. General discussion
Please send any topics or proposals you would like to see discussed to [email protected] by 8pm, Monday 15 July. If you have already sent a proposal to this address, there is no need to re-send it.
Please note that like any other membership organisation, Brighton & Hove Momentum branch invites only members to the AGM.
If you have received this email, you are recorded as a member of Momentum. If you know of anyone who believes they are a member but has not received the email, please ask them to contact us at [email protected] to check their membership status. Supporters who join Momentum in good time for the AGM will be able to attend: no-one therefore need be excluded unless expelled from Momentum.
We hope to see you on the 16th.
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