I submitted the following rationale for a division of the Labour Party in a Motion submitted to my Constituency Labour Party of Gillingham and Rainham and simultaneously to Mr Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (on correspondence relating to the following matter on education: https://shantanup.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/why-the-labour-party-should-not-oppose-the-introduction-of-grammar-schools/) for onward transmission to the National Executive Committee:
RATIONALE FOR THE MOTION ON LABOUR PARTY DIVISION
This is a tentative rationale that I am canvassing opinion on prior to the debate on my proposed Motion submitted for consideration at the Annual General Meeting of the Gillingham and Rainham Constituency Labour Party on 14 October 2016.
Motion: The Labour Party will actively establish a task force directed by the National Executive Committee to compile together policies to split its Labour movement into the Momentum Labour group versus Green Socialist Labour group and take steps to divide party finances between these two groups to operate within the Labour Party with a view to their eventual separation as separate parties.
Substance: Momentum’s website states that it exists to build on the energy and enthusiasm from the Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader campaign to increase participatory democracy, solidarity, and grassroots power and help Labour become the transformative governing party of the 21st century. This however does not convey the underlying philosophy of Momentum that has steadily become clear with its policies being what constitutes fundamental textbook socialism. Jeremy Corbyn and his team seem to focus on high spending economics by borrowing rather than living within ones means with austerity when required to balance the books, and display a lack of meritocracy in education, a lack of adequate defence of the nation, and no focus on environmental-sustainability and the utilisation of diversity, a lack of emphasis on natural justice for the common person, and a lack of emphasis on commerce and international trade as the basis for international relations. It is seen by many in the Labour Party that Momentum policies are incompatible with the governance of the country and it is highly unlikely that voters will trust such a Labour Party into power.
It is wrong to assume that the current mood of the Party is to unite as a broad-church Labour Party to try and win the next general election under the Momentum guidance. The intellectual division between Momentum and the Rest is vast. There is no reason to believe that what unites the Labour Movement is greater than what divides us.
Policies are more important than who is the leader of the Labour Party. The Party needs to rediscover a credible philosophical alternative to the influence of Momentum with policies to match Momentum on each issue so that it can be trusted by the population as having something to contribute to the nation.
So what can be done about Momentum’s influence in a democratic manner which is of overriding importance for us to consider.
The overwhelming vote of No Confidence by the Parliamentary Labour Party against the Leader Jeremy Corbyn last summer which lead to a fresh leadership election that saw the alternative leader Owen Smith secure 193,200 votes representing 38 percent of the electorate represents the Rest of Labour whose voice must not be drowned within the Labour Party or this will lead to unhappiness among members frustrated with what their prospects are with regard to contributing to the health of the nation. It is therefore clear that there is a strong Labour movement that is protesting against the dominance of Momentum policies within the Party. The alternative to Momentum sees the primary focus of the Labour Movement being to cater for the needs of working men and women and their families and this requires moderate and realistic policies on issues such as education, economics, social justice, law enforcement and the preservation of the natural environment and biodiversity. I have labelled these commonsense values as constituting Green Socialism which needs to coalesce around a Green Socialist Labour Group within the Labour Party. These are ideas that have widespread support within the Labour Movement in the country because they are environmentally and socially-friendly. These policies under the umbrella term of Green Socialism represent real meaningful ideas for government with a Labour-centric focus. It is necessary to define the policies of Green Socialism and Momentum Labour and form these rival groups as official Labour Party Groups rather allow ourselves to be led unchallenged by Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of Momentum.
The Green Socialist Labour Group is that alternative group to Momentum as it represents a more meaningful name than Social Democrats that has been tried earlier in Labour history but which was doomed to failure. The Labour Movement has nothing in common with Conservatives or Liberals so that the call for members unhappy with the present leadership to join Conservatives as Blairites or the Liberal Demoncrats will not secure support.
The fight-back for commonsense values within the Labour Party began in the summer of 2016. It now needs to be taken a step further to concentrate minds on what the Labour Party should stands for. It is necessary for this alternative voice to Momentum to make itself felt within the Party through the formation of an official splinter group of Labour members who will oppose the fundamental socialism of Momentum within the Party. It is necessary for this debate on policies to take place now rather than allow the Labour Party to be taken over by Momentum policies. The Party cannot go on in this turmoil for the next four years until the general election in view of the surge in UKIP support that is taking votes away from the Labour Party.
There is no consensus among the membership to stick together as a Party hoping things will all work themselves out for a broad church Labour Party rather than looking for a way for moderate socialism to unite to form a splinter group of Green Socialists to rival Momentum which could garner support to split off completely at a later date once the party finances are legally sorted out between Momentum and the Rest. Forming the splinter group of Green Socialists right now would therefore be the appropriate manner in which to progress democracy in the right direction within the Party because that will give time for the membership to assess the policies of Momentum and Green Socialists to then decide where their allegiances lie.
It is argued that the formation of these two official Labour Groups within the Labour Party now is desirable because such movements are important for democracy to take shape.
I commend this Motion to the Labour Party through the Gillingham and Rainham Constituency Labour Party, and request your opinions to be sent to me at the address given below:
Shantanu Panigrahi 3 Hoath Lane, Wigmore, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0SL; Tel: 07967789619 Email: email@example.com
For Members of Labour Party: https://members.labour.org.uk/event/28035/ .