Owen Jones’ Trotskyist Journey

In August Owen Jones blasted Tom Watson for saying Momentum is ridden with Trots:

“The political significance of British Trotskyism is minimal… in the grand scheme of things, they are just irrelevant… There are too few Trotskyist activists to have any decisive impact on a party as big as Labour now is.”

Then in September Owen attacked Channel 4 for their exposé on Momentum Trots, saying the group have been:

“demonised by the media as a sinister rabble of Trotskyist infiltrators… Rather than being led by revolutionary disciples of Leon Trotsky, most of Momentum’s leaders aren’t really ideologues of any sort”

Today Owen says – wait for it – Momentum is ridden with Trotskyist entryists!

“Momentum is currently facing a takeover bid by Trotskyist sectarians. If they succeed, Momentum will be destroyed. The most prominent sectarian figures are embittered veterans of struggles from the 1970s and 80s, people who have only experienced defeat, and who won’t let an unexpected opportunity afforded by the seismic political developments of the last two years slip through their fingers. This is their last chance. They jump from organisation to organisation, and are adept at manipulating internal structures for their own advantage: sitting out long boring meetings, coordinating interventions, playing victim when it suits. They’re not interested in say, door-to-door campaigning, but rather in debating their obscure pet issues with long-winded interventions at meetings on a Thursday evening.”

So Owen was completely wrong all along, not that he’s going to admit that to readers of his Guardian column. Will he be apologising to Tom Watson and Channel 4?

Trotskyist Super-Faction Organising to Take Over Momentum

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Guido can reveal the existence of a secret email group used by veteran Trotskyists organising to take over Momentum. An alliance of Trotskyist factions used a private mailing list named “Momentum Informal Contacts” to discuss how to vote at Momentum’s conference last week. Emails leaked to Guido show Sacha Ismail from the Alliance of Workers Liberty, Rebecca Anderson from Workers’ Power, Delia Mattis from the the Independent Socialist Network and Tina Becker from Left Unity and the Communist Party of Great Britain have formed a huge Momentum super-faction. In the emails, the various factional leaders refer to themselves as “we” and celebrate the “fantastic gains” they have made.  It is an unholy alliance of senior Trots.

What is their motive? A senior former AWL source tells Guido that the Trots are seeking to take over or split Momentum. They confirm allegations made by shadow cabinet aide Laura Murray yesterday that the Trotskyist faction is battling Momentum chief Jon Lansman and younger members of Momentum for control. The AWL want Momentum to organise in constituencies, setting up their own branches and parallel structures to the Labour Party, essentially forming a rival party. This is opposed by other more moderate Momentum members. The AWL see themselves as “democratising” Momentum and claim the Lansman wing are “Stalinists”. 

How significant is this Trotskyist threat to Momentum? Sources in the group say very. The AWL-led alliance is highly experienced and organised, many of them are Oxbridge-educated, the group runs public speaking training sessions for its members. They have money too – Guido is told some AWL members pay a subscription fee of £120 per month. The anti-Trot Momentum members are by contrast disorganised, inexperienced (other than Lansman) and, as one Labour organiser source puts it, “don’t have a clue”. Evidence of a Trotskyist super-faction will terrify those currently in charge of MomentumWho’d have predicted Momentum would be torn apart by splitters…

James Schneider Joining Corbyn’s Office

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Momentum spokesman James Schneider is joining Jeremy Corbyn’s office in a strategic communications role. Guido also understands Seumas Milne will not be leaving in the immediate future and that Schneider will be working under his fellow old Wykehamist in a mid-level role. A Labour spokesman says they do not comment on staffing matters and Schneider has not responded to Guido’s text. Though the move is definitely on…

Top Momentum Fixer’s Steven Woolfe Slur

Max Shanly, the top Momentum fixer who was made famous by Dispatches, said yesterday that he hoped Steven Woolfe didn’t recover from his injuries. Shanly wrote the above post on a private group of young Labour members, calling Woolfe a “fascist” and blasting others for sending him messages of goodwill. Shanly is an important figure on the hard-left and is Jon Lansman’s protege. Imagine the reaction if a leading Kipper had said that about a Labour politician who was believed to be fighting for their life…

Momentum Bosses Accused of “Bowing to Israeli Pressure”

Senior figures at Momentum are being sent abuse from Corbyn supporters accusing them of “bowing to Israeli pressure” for sacking Jackie Walker as vice chair. Despite the group’s overall very lenient response to the Walker row, Momentum bosses Jon Lansman and James Schneider (who are both Jewish) are being sent messages like the one above accusing them of following “the agenda of the Israeli embassy”. Schneider jokes in response: “I faked the moon landing actually”. The moment when the leaders of the hard-left realise how nutty their grassroots really are…

Labour Anti-Semitism Cover-Up

Labour will keep their response to the Jackie Walker anti-Semitism row private following new procedures adopted after the Chakrabarti inquiry. The party is under pressure to expel Walker over her comments on the Holocaust, yet Labour say they will not update the public on any action taken against her, a new policy recommended by Baroness Chakrabarti. A Labour spokesman says:

“We don’t comment on individuals’ membership status.”

Previously Labour would tell the press as soon as a member had been suspended.

Just hours after Jeremy Corbyn told conference “every one of us has a responsibility” to stand up to anti-Semitism, Labour are covering up their response to anti-Semitic remarks made by members. The new policy aims to make sure those accused of anti-Semitism are not treated unfairly, its priority is to protect those facing investigation. Unless Walker herself discloses what action, if any, is taken, the public will be kept in the dark. A complete cop out from Labour that ends all transparency on how they’re dealing with anti-Semitism. Corbyn’s words yesterday weren’t worth the autocue they were written on…

UPDATE: There is widespread uneasiness about this:

New Jackie Walker Facebook Posts: Holocaust “Not the Preserve of Jews”

New Facebook posts have emerged of Momentum boss Jackie Walker arguing that the Holocaust “is not the preserve of Jews”. She also suggested that Jews were proportionately not the main victim of the Nazis:

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And she suggested that Jews shouldn’t use the word Holocaust:

Can Labour and Momentum allow her to remain as a member?

Jackie Walker: “All Holocaust Denial is Acceptable”

Momentum boss Jackie Walker is facing suspension from Labour (again) for criticising Holocaust Memorial Day. So this typo in her tweet explaining her comments is unfortunate…

Momentum Withdraw Israeli Journalist’s Press Accreditation

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An Israeli parliamentary correspondent saw his press pass revoked by Momentum just over an hour after it was approved. Jerry Lewis was granted accreditation to Momentum’s “The World Transformed” fringe event at the Labour Conference before they withdrew just 1 hour 22 minutes later when an email told him he had been approved by mistake.[…] Read the rest

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Momentum Mock Injured Soldiers

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Some charming anti-war merchandise on sale at the Momentum conference in Liverpool…

Pic via Seb Payne
[…] Read the rest

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Undercover Footage of Momentum Plotting to Deselect Labour MPs

Momentum’s denials that they want to deselect moderate MPs are even less believable after this footage from Dispatches. “We will unseat him… you’re in the way. Get out the way…”[…] Read the rest

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Undercover Momentum Exposé Coming

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Guido hears Dispatches have had an undercover journalist infiltrate Momentum for several months over the summer. The programme is coming out on Monday and is expected to be trailed heavily in the Sunday papers. Some top Corbynistas will be spending the next 24 hours sweating about what they’ve said on camera…[…] Read the rest

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LEAK: Labour Moderates Infiltrated Momentum

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Labour Party moderates carried out an off-the-books investigation into the activities of Jeremy Corbyn supporters, infiltrating their meetings and private Facebook groups with the aim of leaking the findings to the press. Guido has obtained a 19 page document titled “An investigation into far-left infiltration of the Labour Party in Liverpool since September 2015”.[…] Read the rest

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Corbynistas Attempting to Preempt Co-op Plan

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In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Tim Shipman revealed that some nameless Labour moderates might use their sister Co-operative Party to form a new opposition. While plans for the immediate future include establishing a factional grouping, Shippers has uncovered a scheme to get Labour moderates to sign up MPs to the Co-operative Party itself, which has a pact to work with Labour in Parliament and elections.[…] Read the rest

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Labour’s Civil War Hotting Up

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A co-conspirator sent this picture of hundreds of Corbyn / Momentum posters being delivered to TSSA union’s headquarters on Melton Street.  Labour’s civil war is hotting up with thousands of Cobynistas are expected to attend Momentum rallies[…] Read the rest

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Barriers Up and Cops Out for Labour NEC Meet

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Barriers and police were deployed at Labour HQ to protect National Executive Committee members from their own support base. According to conspirators, 100 protesters gathered at the HQ, with some trying to storm the rear entrance to confront NEC members being ushered in.[…] Read the rest

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