What is Momentum for?
Originally Momentum claimed it was the successor entity to the Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader campaign but it is independent of the Labour Party’s leadership. It will work with everyone who supports Jeremy’s aim of creating a more fair, equal and democratic society.
At last night’s inaugural Liverpool Momentum meeting initiated by members of West Derby LP its position appears to be a radical departure from the original concept of building a broad-based and inclusive ANTI-AUSTERITY movement. Far from being anti-austerity it declined to discuss the looming round of council cuts, and a Councillor who has nodded through every cut proposed by Mayor Anderson demanded that anybody who had opposed right wing Labour should be excluded from Liverpool Momentum.
A motion calling for a debate on council cuts was moved. I seconded it and was informed that I was not allowed to do so. The chair then declined to take the motion on the grounds that he was in over his head. It’s clear to me: you are either opposed to Labour councillors voting for cuts or you’re not.
The same chair then informed me that as I was a member of the Socialist Party I would be excluded from Liverpool Momentum, on which ruling I, along with other comrades, withdrew from the meeting. This is a peculiar method of building a broad-based anti-austerity movement. Momentum, it seems, has been hijacked by Labour Party members who cringe when even the question of council cuts is raised.
Mayor Anderson claims he sees no difference between a legal and a needs budget (Echo 19/1/16). So I will spell it out carefully. An illegal budget is where a council decides deliberately to spend an amount then fails to identify where the money is coming from.
A needs budget, on the other hand, would entail the Council identifying the amount needed to defend services, then using reserves and prudent borrowing to bridge the gap created by Tory cuts. For Joe, and here’s the rub, it would be the first step in a campaign led by his council to force central government to restore the funding filched from the city to solve the bankers’ crisis. If Osborne can be forced into a U-turn on his tax credit cuts by the House of Lords, he can be made to retreat on council cuts.
Needing a drink after my ‘diatribe’ he sketches the analogy of having only £5 to pay for a £10 round. But, if the Mayor’s inability to pay had resulted from his pocket being picked by a bloated billionaire quaffing Champaign at the bar, I’m sure he would fight to get his money back.
‘If I don’t make the cuts, government inspectors will’, he laments. However, such government intervention requires parliamentary approval. Corbyn could use his position in Parliament to denounce it; this could help in boosting a campaign of such magnitude that the Tories would be compelled to retreat.
Joe should run the idea past Jeremy – he might endorse such a move.
TRADE UNIONIST AND SOCIALIST COALITION (TUSC) NEWS RELEASE –16 JANUARY 2016
OSBORNE’S PROMISE OF INTENSIFIED SAVAGE AUSTERIY
TUSC congratulates, and pledges ongoing support for, the junior doctors in their struggle to defend their pay and conditions and defence of the NHS.
Chancellor Osborne has confirmed that the Tory government’s policy of savage austerity has worsened the performance of the economy. He intones that there is ‘a dangerous cocktail of new threats to the economy’ and that the only antidote is implementing even more cuts completely contradicts his claim repeated throughout 2015 that the economy is healing. He represents a government mired in mendacity and falsehood.
The working class get poorer while the income of the fat cats continues to increase. The High Pay Centre revealed that chief executives were paid 183 times more than the average employee, compared with 47 times more in 1998.
We also condemn government proposals to force Council tenants to vacate their homes after a period of occupation.
Mayor Anderson has declared that Liverpool is staring over the abyss and will not be able to meet even its statutory commitments to assist the needy.
TUSC will give full support to those councillors who vote against further cuts but will stand anti-austerity candidates against those councillors who continue to vote for cuts.
Our campaign will also send a clear message to those in the Labour Party who are intent on undermining Jeremy Corbyn that their treachery will be noted by the thousands who propelled him into the leadership.
For further information contact
Daren Ireland on 07787128498 – Dave Walsh on 07969511796 – Tony Mulhearn on 07939098455
Trust the mayor to answer a call for Liverpool’s Labour council to make a stand against cuts with verbiage laced with a heavy dose of distortion, seasoned with a dash of psychobabble (Echo December 29 2015).
Surely only the most deluded who could argue he is ‘taking the city forward’ while slashing £340m from social provision. The falsity of his claim that he is fighting what he rightly terms ‘the real enemy’ was displayed when arch-supporter of Cameron’s austerity Lord Heseltine was given the freedom of the city.
He refers with his usual charm to my ‘political warped view’ and my twisting the facts. Well he knows all about twisting facts. My call is for a needs budget not an illegal budget. Facts show that a courageous stand against injustice and oppression can succeed. Labour councillors in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 1980s successfully defended the needy of this city.
By his own admission he says thousands are going to find life ‘miserable and hard in 2016’. His answer? To carry on with his cuts agenda.
He claims he will act responsibly. Responsible to whom? Jeremy Corbyn has called for Labour councils to stand together in opposing cuts. The mayor’s responsibility is to embrace that call.
Rarely has anything underlined the vacuity of the media than Jeremy Corbyn’s reshuffle. And never, since the emergence of Party politics in the late 1800s, has so much hot air been generated by so many about a routine political event.
In 1962 Harold Macmillan dismissed seven members of his cabinet, one-third of the total. The speed and scale of the reshuffle caused it to be associated by its critics with Hitler’s Night of the Long Knives in 1934.
Now, because Corbyn took his time in careful deliberation, it is being described as ‘a disaster’ for Labour.
The right wing of the PLP have wallowed in this orgy of Corbyn-bashing. The media gorges itself on the sound bites of MPs who can’t stomach being held accountable to the rank and file. One makes the incredible claim that Corbyn is ‘petty, divisive & most of all, out of touch’.
Ironically one right wing analyst wrote there are now two Labour Parties: one rooted in the PLP and Party bureaucracy, the other rooted in the anti-austerity movement that propelled Corbyn to the leadership. He is right. Jeremy must now recognise that he will never mollify the right wing, and he must decide which Party he should lead.