Momentum, it’s time you stopped endorsing our opponents

David McKenzieDavid McKenzie says if the Labour Party is to come together then Momentum needs to ditch its associations with people who just don’t like Labour.


Okay, it’s a combative headline so I want to get things straightened out before we proceed. Momentum, this article isn’t intended to be an attack on your leadership, your members or even your policy base. I’m always happy to have an open debate and try to find areas of common ground. I have many friends in Momentum.

This is however a plea: it’s time you ditched your associations with people who just don’t like Labour!

Last Thursday I had the ‘privilege’ of watching Cat Boyd deliver the damning bombshell that she couldn’t even be bothered to vote in the EU referendum. Not only is that an utterly disgraceful example for a national activist and aspiring politician to set for a younger audience, it shows Cat Boyd and the movement she represents isn’t in fact interested in the grand left coalition that so many in Momentum and elsewhere keep endorsing. They are just all about independence.

The sooner we can come to agreement that there are people in our midst who just won’t ever say the magic words ‘Vote Labour’, the better.

And the sheer hypocrisy of a feminist, socialist activist claiming there just wasn’t enough to sway her to vote either way is staggering. This is the same Cat Boyd that in the past attacked Labour MPs for abstentions on votes in the House of Commons. I myself was critical of the EU’s handling of the migrant crisis; I even spoke to my MEP Annaliese Dodds regarding it. But I still campaigned for our membership of the EU.

Let’s just remember a few things that the EU represents: guaranteed rights on equal pay, sexual harassment and maternity leave; rights for part-time workers; the European working time directive. It all means workers throughout Europe have decent rights at work, meaning it’s harder to undercut terms and conditions across Europe. These should all be hugely important issues to socialists.

So, Cat Boyd, don’t tell me you’re the last bastion of socialist principles. Even Yanis Varoufakis could put aside his past with the EU to give a plea to change not leave.

No Cat, you didn’t vote for one very simple reason it gave you another whinge for independence. Helping families across Britain struggling to make ends meet, helping the Daniel Blakes of this world who are being forced back to work when medically unfit…these are all secondary issues to independence.

That’s not my politics and it isn’t the politics of Labour.

So, Momentum, my hands are stretched out to you. We can work together, because there’s a Britain I want to see that’s fairer and compassionate to all its citizens. I just need you to get away from those who want to do us down not build us up.

I don’t want to rerun the EU referendum, it’s done; but we have to get Brexit right because there are too many out there who can’t afford another 5 years of Tory austerity. There are workers out there who need to know what happens to their rights in the workplace.

When Labour is in power we can do so much for those rights. But right now Labour is not in power, so the only activists we need are those willing to work to put Labour in power. Always remember, Cat Boyd and organisations like RISE may say they like Corbyn, but they aren’t willing to put the X where it counts to democratically empower him!

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35 thoughts on “Momentum, it’s time you stopped endorsing our opponents

  1. And just a couple of weeks back, labour abstained from voting to keep Scotland in the EU single market, or did you forget that ?

    1. No they didn’t. Don’t spout SNP spin on here. The SNP voted against Labour’s amendment which supported keeping Scotland in the EU single market and the UK single market.

        1. Which part of what I said do you consider to be untrue?

          The most brazen thing about the SNP’s spin on this was that they even argued that the Lib Dems had changed policy and were now an anti-EU party. Everybody knows that isn’t true. That the SNP claimed it in the same set of spin that they claimed Labour opposed the single market should give you pause. You are not being given honest information by your precious SNP.

          1. As far as I can see the SNP want Scotland to have access to the single market—-as part of this, they would prefer the UK to also be in the single market.
            If the UK does not want to be part of the single market (with all that implies), then they want the UK to give authority for Scotland to be part of the EFTA/EEA grouping. That would require greater devolution of trade/legal competence/taxation powers which London may be very reluctant to “devolve”, given the status/soveriegnty that would give Scotland internationally.
            If the UK does not want to be part of the single market and vetoes Scotland from joining EFTA/EEA, only THEN does indyref 2 come into play.
            As far as I know, that is the position of the SNP. Part of EFTA/EEA and still within the UK—-sounds very close to what Labour/Lib Dumbs claim they desire. (Scottish Tories–I have no idea)

            And that is the problem. We KNOW what Labour and the Lib Dumbs sound bites are, but they have no publicised route map as to implementing them. I personally doubt if they actually want them implemented.
            Their preferred position always seems to be—-“do what London tells you”.

      1. aye Duncan you did your usual labour piss, just because it was an SNP motion, labour just sat on their hands and abstained.

        Just the usual labour in Scotland, never defend Scotlands rights instead abstain and pretend to look for squirrels, the quicker your partys gone the better.

        1. No, in fact the SNP were the ones playing games, trying to get Labour to vote for a motion which endorsed independence. So did you believe them when they said the Lib Dems had voted against the single market too? Are you seriously that gullible?

          1. Not as gullible as you try to make out and nor is the rest of the country, the motion was to put a united front for Scotland to remain in the single market.

            And what happened ! labour and the rest of the unionist parties either voted against it or abstained and guess who the abstainers were.

            You really are an idiot Duncan if you think the rest of the country missed what was happening. Everyone saw what labour did and what the torys and libdems did as well.

            labour just reinforced to everyone what a waste of time they are for Scotland. And no matter how hard you try and spin it, it was in full view of the rest of the country.

          2. No. Labour put forward an amendment which explicitly supported remaining in the single market, and the SNP voted against it.

  2. Where is the “hypocrisy” in Ms Boyd not being swayed by either argument? There was not a clean cut divide between Left/Remain and Right/Leave. People on both sides of the Left-Right divide voted for both EU options (obviously …. hopefully …. different people). That Left of Centre Ms Boyd was not convinced by either argument on the EU does not negate her Socialist credentials and does not make her a hypocrite. However, implying you have to vote Labour/Corbyn or be cast out of the Socialist family when Labour deride SNP supporters for the same attitude to non-SNP indie supporters is pretty hypocritical.

    1. Did she say she wasn’t swayed by either argument? I thought she said “technically I was out of the country”?

      1. The article asserts negatively on her behalf–“claiming there just wasn’t enough to sway her vote either way”.
        It is the contents of the article we are posting on, isn’t it?

    2. The hypocrisy lies entirely within her argument of bashing those who voted leave, at least they came to a decision she can’t say the arguments weren’t valid as apparently they swayed her not to vote either way…

      1. Still not seeing the hypocrisy. Perhaps you should look up the definition in a dictionary.

        Like many on the Left, Ms Boyd is no fan of the EU. However, she was repulsed by the wholly negative arguments put forward by the Leave campaign. She therefore did not feel able to support either position.

        She continues to be repulsed by the negative attitudes unleashed by the vote to leave the EU while being heartened by the open and inclusive nature of the arguments for Scotland remaining in the EU.

        She still has reservations about the current nature of the EU, but would rather live in an indie Scotland within it than in a Scotland within an increasingly insular and intolerant UK.

        I fail to see where “hypocrisy” comes into any of this.

        1. Perhaps you should look up the definition:

          ‘the practice of claiming to have higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case.’

          She speaks against leave voters and campaigners but spoke at a rally in favour of leave in Glasgow but then didn’t vote.

          1. Even by the truncated definition you’ve given there is still no evidence of hypocrisy.

            The fact she didn’t vote is irrelevant. It would only be hypocritical if she criticised others for not voting.

            Speaking at a Leave campaign event but subsequently changing your mind is also not hypocritical. Again, it would only be hypocritical if she criticised others for doing the same.

            Also, there is no evidence she has claimed to have “higher standards or more noble beliefs than is the case”. That, I believe, is just your opinion and not based on evidence. Again, not hypocrisy.

            She is repulsed by the arguments utilised by the Leave campaign (which you imply she once supported) and the negative forces the lies and invective they used have unleashed. That’s understandable, not hypocritical.

            Until you come up with an actual example of hypocrisy on Ms Boyd’s part, the charge of mud-slinging can be laid against you and the author of this article.

          2. Notice below there’s now no option to reply. Hardly a truncated version of the definition as it came directly from the online dictionary, but i suppose anything I say won’t be good enough for you.

            I’ll stop engaging in ‘mud-slinging’ when Boyd et al do the same.

            It is entirely hypocritical to talk about how you want a fairer more just Scotland but then refuse to vote the most obvious way to achieving that aim.

            The benefits of staying far outweighed the ‘evils’ of the EU, simply put Cat couldn’t or wouldn’t put aside her personal politics for the good of the people she claims to want to help.

  3. “No Cat, you didn’t vote for one very simple reason it gave you another whinge for independence.”

    Completely illogical argument this – had her motivation been to help create an excuse to ‘whinge’, she should have voted Remain to help widen the contrast between how Scotland voted and the overall UK result.

    1. No it’s easier to play Devils Advocate, by not supporting a side with your vote you can then choose the side which best supports your argument post result.

      1. And how would people know how she voted? It’s a secret ballot and anyone who researched and divulged her vote would be prosecuted (though who would think to …. ?)

        She could have voted either way or not at all and none of us would be any the wiser. But she was honest and admitted her failure to vote. Which kind of sticks a pin in your argument.

      2. That might explain Labour’s abstentions at Westminster and Holyrood.
        Explain but not excuse!

    2. I do think it’s a bit amusing that an aspiring politician(who doesn’t label herself as one, of course) decided to abstain and is being castigated for it by the Party of Abstainers.

      Have we forgotten what the EU campaigns looked like? It was Farage, Boris, Gove versus Cameron, Osborne, Will Straw. Which of those sets are more attractive to the radical left’s voters? The far left’s priorities surrounding the leave and remain options were so completely different from the UKIP-Tory choice we actually got that neither would have been happy with the consequences of either side winning.

      1. You become an aspiring politician when you stand for election, as she did in May.

        Jeremy Corbyn? Or sorry is he not radical enough for the left now? He asked people to vote Remain to save jobs and rights.

      1. “Could say the same about Tony Blair”

        Fair comment Jim.

        Tony Blair is flogging a dead horse.

  4. I think the brexit vote is a disaster cat boyd was going on about Scotland being dragged out of the eu against our will then said either she did not vote well that was a right shocker because if you don’t vote don’t complain my problem is it was a uk vote I have not heard anyone suggest a way round that a second indy ref if Nicola thought she could win she would do it tonight it might not be a world for small new countries right now trump has taken power France might elect le Pen or someone just as bad Germany might move to the right hope I am wrong on momentum they need to explain why they need office bearers etc you are a party member and not a member of an organization like momentum

    1. When has the world ever been without war or conflict? And Scotland isn’t a small new country its a small old Country that’s existed and survived for thousands of years.
      Its biggest threat and problem has always been England. In or out of the Union England is always going to be a problem for Scotland but we’re better able to deal with them when they are not dictating the conditions of our very existence.
      Its really that simple.

  5. Momentum is to the Labour Party what Progress was to New Labour under Blair so whats the problem, its alright for the right wing Progress to support New Labour and its not alright for the left wing Momentum to support the Labour Party whats going on that’s discrimination

    1. Progress is affiliated to the Labour Party and only allows Labour members to join.

      Momentum is not affiliated to the Labour Party and is open to Labour’s opponents to join.

      Also, Progress campaigns for Labour to win elections.

      The idea that they are equivalent is fundamentally dishonest.

  6. I think your assertion that “Progress campaigns for *Labour* to win elections” is utterly wrong-headed..
    Progress undoubtedly campaigns to win elections, but when they win, Labour ultimately loses. The bulk of Labour supporters in Labours so-called Heartlands, are turned off by Progress led governments indifference to the poor life chances of those who vote them in, their lack of *Labour* principles ( my view) and their personal greed.
    While Labour has always been a broad church, Blair and his cohorts are in a different league from Harold Wilson ( for example) or Clement Attlee.
    If I am wrong, then the grouping formed by Tony Blair/ Jim Murphy will sweep the board at any election they contest.
    My view?–The pair of them are electoral poison.

    1. What a fantastic, sweeping, bitter, self-fulfilling prophecy. Blair isn’t going to stand against Labour. He’s setting up a think tank not a political party.

      Progress members campaigned right across the UK for Labour candidates. Your bitter hatred blinds you to reality.

      1. What good is a think tank already tarnished with political and agenda driven bias? Who would give it credibility?

      2. Not bitter hatred Dunc. A fair appraisal.
        Reality now bites for Labour, and they are reaping the meagre harvest their wasted years in office has bequeathed them.
        Not all, of course. Blair’s ex-Cabinet members are mostly millionaires—-many are multi-millionaires while the areas who voted them in are impoverished and bereft of good modern industry.
        There was a GDP survey of Northern Europe done a few years ago.
        The wealthiest region was in the UK. London.
        But ALL the poorest areas, bar one if I recall, were also in the UK.

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