David 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!