Momentum’s priorities for Conference 2022

Momentum has just announced a series of radical policy motions it will be backing at Labour Conference 2022 after a ballot of nearly 2,500 members. Its priorities include the public ownership of energy, rent controls and a wholesale repeal of laws limiting the activity of Britain’s trade unions.

“The activist organisation conducted its second annual ‘policy primary’, asking Momentum members to vote on 20 motions proposed by local Momentum groups, affiliates and campaign organisations,” reports Labour List.

On many of these issues, Labour’s leadership is out of step with both the Party and the public. Energy bills are skyrocketing and set to soar even further in October just after Conference. Momentum supports nationalising the Grid, a position Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves have steadfastly refused to adopt.

With just 8% of voters opposing public ownership of energy and a majority – including of Tory voters – in favour of it, Momentum will be pressurising the Labour leadership to come out on the side of the many or the few. This will form part of its wider push on public ownership as part of a Green New Deal.

Momentum-backed motions will call for a range of public services to be returned to public hands, from water to transport, in order to ensure immediate financial relief for ordinary people and rapid decarbonisation.

A Momentum spokesperson said: “Amidst the Tory cost-of-living crisis, Labour is failing to set out an alternative. Momentum is stepping up to the plate, with an ambitious programme of public ownership, rent controls and trade union empowerment which would offer immediate relief to millions on the brink, and transform a failed economic model. In particular, we will push the Labour leadership to join the membership, trade unions and voters in demanding public ownership of energy – or to stand on the side of the profiteering few.”

Getting rid of the Tory-era anti-union laws is a key point of unity with trade unions. It’s also a litmus test of whether Keir Starmer is serious about changing the balance of power in Britain in favour of its workers, or is returning to a Blairite consensus. 

A commitment to Proportional Representation for general elections will also be a campaigning priority. Since the last Party Conference, Unite have backed PR, a potentially game-changing move.

Last year, Momentum-backed motions on a higher minimum wage, socialist Green New Deal and council house building all passed overwhelmingly. Getting the leadetrship to commit to these popular policies is proving more dificult.

Momentum’s national coordinating group (NCG) is expected to meet next week to discuss which additional policy areas the organisation will campaign for alongside those chosen in the policy primary. Last year, the NCG chose to focus on crime, policing and migration, and it is expected that these issues are likely to be prioritised again.

The five key priority motions are Labour for a Green New Deal, the Cost of Living Crisis and the Climate Crisis, Proportional Representation, Public Ownership of Energy and Advancing Workers’ Agenda by Repealing All Anti-trade union Laws. The full motions are here.

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