Report of Momentum Scotland meet up

By a Momentum Scotland activist

Members of Momentum Scotland/Campaign for Socialism met in Edinburgh at the end of November for what turned out to be a productive meeting.

Momentum in Scotland is a continuation of the Campaign for Socialism, originally launched in the 1990s in defence of the old Clause Four of the Labour Party constitution. It has a well-established profile in the Scottish Labour Party due to its activities over the past 20 years.

Some Momentum members had been concerned that there might be proposals at the meeting to separate out the Campaign for Socialism from Momentum Scotland. In the event, the issue was not even raised for discussion.

Instead, there was a focus on how to make Momentum Scotland/Campaign for Socialism more effective in campaigning for socialist policies in the Labour Party, trade unions and local communities.

The role of Momentum members in Edinburgh in initiating an anti-cuts conference which had brought together Party members and councillors, trade unionists and community activists was highlighted as an example of the work that needed to be done in building campaigns against local authority cuts.

In Glasgow, on the other hand, the ruling Labour Group seems to be too preoccupied with industrial disputes involving school janitors, Community Safety staff and IT staff to be able to find the time to develop an anti-cuts strategy. It will pay for that next May (in the Scottish local government elections).

The need for Momentum/Campaign for Socialism to get organised for the Scottish Labour Executive Committee elections and the Scottish Labour annual conference, both being held early next year, was emphasised.

Some members felt that Momentum’s intervention into last September’s national Labour Party conference could have been better. It was important that any such mistakes were not repeated in relation to the Scottish Labour conference.

There was also some criticism of prominent figures in Momentum in England talking up the SNP and its policies and promoting the idea of a ‘progressive alliance’ with the SNP.

They need to wake up to the fact that, as the saying goes, there is no party in Britain quite as fake as the SNP. The only thing not fake about the SNP is its nationalism, its nationalist grievance-mongering, and its nationalist divisiveness.

In discussions about the pending Momentum national conference, the meeting agreed overwhelmingly to mandate its National Committee delegates to support a delegates-based conference (but with delegates elected online where there was no local group) and to reject policy-making through online-voting.

Momentum in Scotland is a weaker force in the Labour Party than it is in England. This is because a layer of people who would otherwise be in or around Momentum have been pulled into the orbit of Scottish nationalism.

Even so, the meeting in Edinburgh was useful not just in terms of stocktaking where Momentum in Scotland is now, but also in terms of developing it into a more effective political force.

Let us know what you think? Write a reply? theclarionmag@gmail.com

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