We support JC Facebook group with 70k members gets behind Formby

jf wsjc.png

One of the main Facebook groups for Labour members who are behind the direction of the party under Jeremy Corbyn, with a membership almost double that of Momentum, has come out behind Unite’s Jennie Formby for the position of Labour Party General Secretary.

The We Support Jeremy Corbyn (WSJC) group, which has almost seventy thousand supporters, polled its members for their opinion – and around ninety percent of those voting were behind Formby.

This is especially significant when Momentum, as of January, had 35,000 members – many of whom will also be members of WSJC.

The group’s official statement on its support reads:

Following a poll of our members we are proud to announce our support for Jennie Formby to become Labour’s next #JenSec. Representing nearly 70,000 grassroots members on Labour’s biggest online forum we believe Jennie commands great and widespread support across the wider party membership, and is the choice of the grassroots.

Jennie is unashamedly a life-long socialist rooted in the best traditions of our party. Her work as a Unite Regional Secretary, Labour NEC Vice Chair, and Labour NPF Co-Convenor demonstrates an unmatched track record as an exemplary organiser in all parts of our great movement. We believe such a combination of management experience, visionary leadership and loyalty to the leadership make her the decisive choice of the grassroots. As our party finds itself on the cusp of power, there can be no better person to serve as its General Secretary.

We also believe it is incredibly important to have strong female representation at the top of our party. Labour has led the way for gender equality with the Equal Pay Act, Sex Discrimination Act, and All-Women Shortlists. None of these achievements would have been possible without the advocacy of formidable Labour women who have fought throughout our history against the forces of patriarchy and conservatism. Our NEC must make its decision on both the basis of merit and socialist principles. In doing so, it cannot forget the makeup of our party’s structures—or that socialism is impossible without women’s voices.

A group insider told the SKWAWKBOX:

We can debate about ideas and policy but when it comes to strategy, we have to be onboard with the leadership. If Jeremy’s backing her and so do the members with the groundswell of grassroots support across social media, then it’s time for all of us to get behind her.


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  1. Jon Lansman surely has to realise that he has alienated many left wing members of the Labour Party who have severe doubts about his trustworthiness and some of his utterances. He should make the best of his NEC seat and leave it at that!

  2. Fake news alert (using Paul Mason’s definition of fake news in his @novarmedia video): the claim that ‘membership’ of a Facebook group is the equivalent of paid-up membership of a political organisation is clearly highly dubious. For example, which ‘grouping of people’ – a Facebook group or Momentum – is likely to have greater influence at the next election? In short, the equivalence claim can be seen as nonsense which both insults the intelligence of your readers and adds to the problem of fake news.

    1. It’s a fair indicator of support though, isn’t it?

      More importantly on the subject of influence, what is your view of organisations with very small numbers of members, Progress, for example, which only has two thousand members, but which has a disproportionate level of influence over the Labour Party and claims to represent the views of members?

      Or how about the Cooperative Party, which only has 10,000 members but which has almost 1,000 councillors and 38 MPs and a seemingly endless number of councillors leading Labour Groups in councils?

      Interested to hear your thoughts on that type of disproportionate representation and influence.

      1. An interesting point, which it’s good to debate – how ‘representative’ is ‘representative democracy’? Especially, now that OMOV has, on the surface, the potential to offer a Greek Polis type of democracy. Also, in addition to the problem you raise of disproportionate influence by the likes of Progress, what about yesterday’s events at the CLPD AGM? I’ve been to one of their AGMs and witnessed the ‘election’ of their ‘standing’ Executive (‘standing’ in that the Executive stand up at the appropriate moment and the Chair says ‘ok, that’s the election of the Executive’). It seems to me that ‘democracy’ is something we should talk about more (although, I wouldn’t want Jon Lansman chairing that debate!).

        Nevertheless, that wasn’t my point above. Rather, I’m concerned that in the effort to promote #JENSEC (which is fair enough), Skwawkbox is heading towards a slippery path. For example, while the FB poll could be seen as a ‘fair indicator of support’ within the FB group, I don’t accept that the poll has twice the weight of any Momentum poll because the FB group has twice as many ‘members’ as Momentum. I see that claim as almost laughable and insulting to the intelligence of readers. Moreover, while I expect readers to be able see the problem with the claim, the potential for the claim to gain traction within the less discerning world of social media is why I see it as fake news (which is a problematic concept but Mason’s recent video helps me).


      2. For your point to be relevant, you’d first need to show where in the article is says that ‘the poll has twice the weight of any Momentum poll’.

        Momentum hasn’t done any poll, though. Wish it had..

      3. My understanding of the term “fake news” is, distilled to its essence, news which is demonstrably false.

        On those terms this article is not fake news.

        Your key objection appears to be that a comparison is being made between members of an organisation and Facebook group members, and that more weight should given to the former than the latter?

        I would suggest that it is most probable that, at the very least, the 70,000 Facebook members of this particular account are Labour Party members.

        If you accept that premise the members of the Facebook group be weighted equally to the Momentum membership? And if not, why not?

      1. At work at the moment, but a quick response. Whether you meant to or not, it seems to me reasonable to assume that when you are highlighting the corresponding ‘membership’ numbers – almost 70k / 35k – and noting that the FB group has “a membership almost double that of Momentum”, there is an expectation that one should treat these groups equally. Whether yo meant that or not, that is what appears to me. The question then arises, when you say they are both ‘membership’ groups, is it the case that ‘members’ of a FB group regard that ‘membership’ as equal to membership of Momentum? Surely not and so why draw the ‘membership’ numbers comparison?

        Accepted that this is beginning to like a ‘dancing on the head of a pin’ exercise but I do feel there is an issue of responsibility here. I’m on your side but am concerned aboutt the tone of your articles supporting #JENSEC. However, noted that the GS selection is opening up left tensions.

      2. It’s just context. Any old Facebook group could say anything – this isn’t any old FB group

  3. “Fake news alert (using Paul Mason’s definition of fake news in his @novarmedia video): the claim that ‘membership’ ”

    Please look/read wider and use your own critical thinking rather than relying on a short video definition of ‘fake news’ and how it works.

    The subject of how we are manipulated by media and vested interests is very complex.

  4. Mason’s puff piece to video is a pathetic attempt to exonerate the MSM that pays his wages of blame for the fake news it’s happy to perpetuate until it’s found out.
    His graphic ignores the existence of the New Left Media – like Skwawkbox – as if it wasn’t the thing that gives him and his kind the night terrors.

    Only fear of being found out and the eventual consequences keeps the MSM even close to honest.

    Why would you try to use such nonsense in support of your argument against claims that weren’t even made?
    (Rhetorical question)

    The FB group poll was offered only as evidence of the feeling within that group – perfectly legitimately.
    It does, however, appear to add considerably to the weight of counted opinion in #jensec’s favour.

  5. On “the potential to offer a Greek Polis type of democracy”

    The potential to hold a hundred or more referenda a day already exists.
    I only mention the fact to illustrate the utter pointlessness of your own statement, given that such a “type of democracy” in anything larger than a small city state would be completely ineffectual.
    It would produce random and impossibly contradictory results without an electorate capable of understanding every facet of every part and every local area of the larger society.
    Good luck with that.

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