by Essex Socialist
Jon Lansman is a Labour Party activist who worked on Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 leadership campaign and subsequently founded the Pro Corbyn organisation Momentum. Recently a new constitution was passed that in effect goes against everything Momentum was set up and marketed to be. Momentum originally encouraged people to join and become active claiming to be “a group independent of the Labour party’s leadership” and stating “it will work with everyone who supports Jeremy’s aims of creating a more, fair equal and democratic society”
So what does this new constitution mean for the grassroots activists who have become a part of Momentum? From July 2017, any paid up Momentum member and yes there are thousands, can no longer be part of Momentum, unless they join the Labour Party, they can attend meetings but not vote or hold any key position within their local branch.
It would appear that Labour Party members who were wrongfully expelled during the purge of 2016, our socialist brothers and sisters who have supported Momentum’s aims and objectives and those of no party allegiance are no longer wanted.
In its early days Momentum claimed that as it grew “it would develop democratic governance structures at every level of the network” but on October 28th 2016 at a very hastily organised meeting Jon Lansman brought these structures tumbling down. Michael Chessum a member of Momentum’s steering committee has accused some of the so called “Left” in Momentum of “having absorbed the modus operandi of Blairism during the wilderness years”
Many feel the new undemocratic constitution has been drawn up by Jon Lansman as a step towards affiliation with the Labour Party and his own growing frustration with socialists within. His recent resignation as the director of Momentum could be seen as an indicator that he may be seeking election to the steering committee at the conference later in 2017. Lansman ultimately controls the company which owns Momentum’s database and access to 21,000 left-wing activists which in effect gives him ultimate power.
Lansmans own branch, Southwark Momentum have rejected the new constitution branding it a “coup” stating “this branch condemns the undemocratic dissolution of Momentum’s elected National and regional committees and the imposition of a new constitution by the steering majority” They have also called upon all Momentum branches to oppose the Coup. My own branch of Momentum in Havering (which is Labour member managed) and includes one Socialist Party member opposed the new constitution in its entirety on the 21st January 2017.
I can conclude that at this moment in time, all future decisions within Momentum will be driven and decided by Labour party members, which in effect makes Momentum’s original intent a farce and in my opinion is an obvious plot to oust the more Left of centre activists it originally welcomed.
I have contacted Momentum with regards to the appeals process for expelled members and also Jon Lansman for his feedback, to date these requests have been ignored.
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