The Jeremy Corbyn affiliated activist group, Momentum, have pledged to put radical policies at the forefront of a future Labour party manifesto. The pressure group believe its influence, with over 40,000 members, could be enough to urge Labour to formally endorse a green new deal and four-day working week. With the Labour party crippled under Brexit and their polling position on EU election predictions looking dismal, a paradigm shift to radical reform could be instrumental in the party’s future electoral success.
A fresh Labour party under Corbyn has seen the far-left preside over the leadership of the former social democratic and neoliberal party. During the 2017 snap election, Corbyn and his team proposed renationalisation of industry and energy providers, tuition-free education and a vast overhaul of the current welfare state. The 2017 manifesto proved overwhelmingly popular with Labour’s 500,000+ members and the electorate, resulting in a hung parliament for a Tory government. The Momentum group were crucial in extracting votes from other parties for Labour, working as a grassroots organisation to the canvas in local areas. Now, Momentum is using their prominence to push forward radical reform to appease a voter base so frustrated over Labour’s stance on Brexit.
The issue of Brexit itself and Labour’s pondering over what to do has caused disillusionment from both Leave and Remain voters. Party members on the ground and senior figures in Corbyn’s handpicked shadow cabinet have grappled with the idea of a confirmatory referendum on a Conservative exit agreement. Corbyn has not categorically positioned himself on the second referendum side, instead opting to deliver Brexit through a second general election to put his party in government.
Momentum is split on what to do over Brexit. Laura Parker, Momentum’s chief organizer, is a staunch and outspoken Remainer. It is fair to suggest she favors a people’s vote over Corbyn’s current cross-party talks for a Brexit compromise. Parker and Momentum leader, Jon Lansman, have attempted to deter anger on Brexit with new endeavors for the party to follow. A green new deal could alleviate the global warming catastrophe that is rife all over the world. A four-day working week would appeal to many voters working flat-out to maintain a steady income. Furthermore, shadow chancellor and Corbyn muse, John McDonnell, has mulled the idea of introducing a universal basic income to eradicate financial hardship for many young families and workers.
What a future Labour manifesto will entail remains to be seen. However, Brexit is certainly distracting core Labour voters from the party’s transformative domestic policies. If Momentum garners enough attention from grassroots members, a radical socialist party under Corbyn could be just enough to topple an unjust Conservative government. Having Momentum promote a future Labour government and encourage voters to sway is doing tremendous favours to a leader of the Labour party who seems to be despised by his fellow parliamentarians.
A bold but riveting transformation under Labour will thwart austerity cuts and end an era of disenfranchisement. With Momentum at the helm of policy-making, the future after this Brexit deadlock could be bright for the current Labour party.