Earlier this week Momentum Thanet was launched, as a new group campaigning for the policies of Jeremy Corbyn.
But some local Labour Party members are questioning the need for Momentum.
Why not just work within the Labour Party, they say? Let’s get knocking on doors, posting fliers and just forget about everything except winning the next election.
Well, as someone who was in the Labour Party years ago and helped get Tony Blair elected (God help me), I can explain why that oft-repeated call to arms will no longer wash.
Time after time Labour Party candidates have stood for election promising to bring radical change, more equality, more jobs and to keep us out of cruel and unjust wars.
Time after time dedicated party foot-soldiers have flung themselves into battle trying to get those candidates elected.
And time after time those same foot-solders have found themselves comprehensively shafted by their MPs, both in government and in opposition.
Policies are watered down, promises discarded, principles forgotten.
But this time, for the first time, the foot-soldiers of the left, have found someone who miraculously both represents their views and seems to be actually ready to stand up for them: Jeremy Corbyn.
So we the poor bloody infantry will fight for him, with unrelenting commitment and passion, both to keep him as leader and, ultimately, make him prime minister.
But we will not accept that the party, which Jeremy himself has promised to change, will easily give up its old ways.
We may join the Labour Party. We may rejoin the Lahour Party. We may decide not to join the Labour Party at all but simply work with them in the quest to realise Corbyn’s policies.
But, whatever we do, we will not waver in our commitment to Corbyn and his exciting, energising attempt to change the way we do politics, because some members of the “old guard” in the party find it hard to march to a different tune.
At all levels in the party from MPs and national officers to local councillors and branch officers there are people who believe that Jeremy is a sort of strange diversion on the road to their golden grail of what they believe is necessary for “electability.”
They believe maybe that Jeremy will calm down and compromise or more likely be deposed in some coup or other.
But, however it happens, he will be gone and then they will resume their progress to being the same old hopelessly compromised Labour Party whose main virtue is that it’s not as nasty or inhumane as those terrible Tories, but will still, on the whole, pursue very similar policies.
Well, we, the foot-soldiers who made Jeremy leader, won’t wear that.
Not any more.
This time we want REAL change.
And that’s why we need Momentum.
A FOOT-SOLDIER WHO FOUGHT FOR JEREMY CORBYN