Momentum responds to Camden’s strong criticism re smear response

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Earlier, the SKWAWKBOX published an open letter in which Momentum members in Camden made a stinging attack on the response of the organisation’s steering committee to smears against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and others.

The NCG must by now have begun to realise that with every scalp that is taken, a new target will soon loom into view. Camden Momentum

Momentum responded to the letter. That response is reproduced below, without comment on its content so that readers can judge it for themselves:

From: Momentum Info <info@peoplesmomentum.com>

Date: 9 August 2018 at 16:58
Subject: Re: Letter to the NCG
To: [redacted]

Hi _____,

Thank you for writing to Jon Lansman, Laura Parker and our team – they have asked me to reply on their behalf.

We understand that there are a range of strong views within our membership about this decision and we appreciate your engagement on the issue.

There has been a lot of discussion about this on social media, and we would like to clarify that the Momentum NCG has not called for Pete Willsman to be removed from the NEC ballot paper, nor has the NCG has accused him, or those who support him, of antisemitism.

The decision to withdraw support for Pete Willsman was taken collectively by our NCG Officers group. This is a group of elected NCG members, formed in accordance with our governing structures, responsible for making decisions between meetings of the full NCG.

The decision was based on an agreement of the NCG Officers that his standard of conduct, in addressing what is a sensitive and important issue, at the NEC meeting in question was inappropriate for somebody seeking re-election to the governing body of the Labour Party and was not in line with the principles outlined in Momentum’s own Code of Ethics.

While the NCG welcomed Pete’s apology and agreement to undertake equalities training, and accept that this has been judged sufficient by the Labour Party to avoid further disciplinary action, a recommendation to support his candidacy from Momentum must be based on expectation of a higher standard of behaviour. It was therefore agreed by our NCG Officers that it would be inappropriate for Momentum to continue to campaign for him as a candidate.

We understand that you do not agree with the NCG’s decision in this case but hope that you will remain engaged to continuing supporting our campaigns over coming months – and helping bring to power a transformational, socialist government under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

We will also be passing your comments on to the NCG. We thank you again for your engagement on this issue [redacted].

In solidarity, [redacted]

Judging by the last sentence, the letter appears to have been written without input by the NCG.

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25 responses to “Momentum responds to Camden’s strong criticism re smear response

      • are the NEC making a concerted effort to discover who recorded the meeting & publicise it? Why don’t they clarify the events surrounding Wilsman’s words? A 52 second extract of (presumably) an hours-long meeting is hardly representative! What was he responding to? Many questions need answering!

  1. Pingback: A row erupts on the left | Rotherham Politics·

  2. Very offensive and dismissive, I voted for Pete and have no regrets in doing so.

    Momentum leadership have no need to ponder to the Blairites. Hoping that by hanging Pete out to dry will satisfy the bloodlusf of the Blairite rabble who continue to peddle anti smite smears against Jeremy and the whole Labour Party.

  3. Blablabla, no actual points who where actually raised by Camden had found answer here. If antisemitism isn’t discuss anymore in that case (wich should have never been anyway), raising your voice a bit (has Willsman did) or being passionate about something should never be enough to sideline longtime activists because that energy, this indignation toward injustice is the source of Momentum existence. So I suggest Momentum NCG should have an hard look about themselves and find back the guts they lost along the way. Debat the subject transparently and openly and protect freedom of speech or the revolution may end before it even started.

    • Thankfully, Antoine, the “revolution” (which is actually a rather gentle nudge towards social democracy and is somewhere to the right of the Wilson government’s policies in the 1960s) does not depend on Momentum. We don’t need Momentum. It was useful for a while but it has outlived its usefulness.

      • Sorry Tomlondra but I disagree re not needing Momentum , yes some of the leadership and/or NCG need changing , and I will be voting them out if I am given the chance for sure .
        But the Left needs an organisation such as this to act as a focal point and centre for all our activities supporting Corbyn.
        Without Momtm then I seriuosly doubt the Left would have been as effectrive as it has been so far.
        Main point is NOT to give succour to the RW in Labour who are gleeful at any talk of splits etc.

  4. Here is what they wrot eto me …..

    Hi Philip,

    Thank you for writing to Jon Lansman, Laura Parker and our team – they have asked me to reply on their behalf.

    We understand that there are a range of strong views within our membership about this decision and we appreciate your engagement on the issue.

    There has been a lot of discussion about this on social media, and we would like to clarify that the Momentum NCG has not called for Pete Willsman to be removed from the NEC ballot paper, nor has the NCG has accused him, or those who support him, of antisemitism.

    The decision to withdraw support for Pete Willsman was taken collectively by our NCG Officers group. This is a group of elected NCG members, formed in accordance with our governing structures, responsible for making decisions between meetings of the full NCG.

    The decision was based on an agreement of the NCG Officers that his standard of conduct, in addressing what is a sensitive and important issue, at the NEC meeting in question was inappropriate for somebody seeking re-election to the governing body of the Labour Party and was not in line with the principles outlined in Momentum’s own Code of Ethics.

    While the NCG welcomed Pete’s apology and agreement to undertake equalities training, and accept that this has been judged sufficient by the Labour Party to avoid further disciplinary action, a recommendation to support his candidacy from Momentum must be based on expectation of a higher standard of behaviour. It was therefore agreed by our NCG Officers that it would be inappropriate for Momentum to continue to campaign for him as a candidate.

    We are very sorry to hear that you are considering ending your membership of Momentum. We understand that you do not agree with the NCG’s decision in this case but hope that you will remain engaged to continuing supporting our campaigns over coming months – and helping bring to power a transformational, socialist government under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. We will also be passing your comments on to the NCG.

    We thank you again for your engagement on this issue Philip.

    In solidarity,

    Momentum Volunteer

    • Yep They wrote EXACTLY the same to me as well . So from that I would guess there has been one HELL OF A LOT of anger and complaints focused on the NCG and the Momtm Leadership office . GOOD !

  5. The fundamental problem here is that this whole debacle is self inflicted by Momentum. Comrades rightly protest that Willsmans endorsement was removed by a small unrepresentative minority of the NCG but were happy to accept that the list itself was created by the very same undemocratic methods at no stage in any of this process have the membership of any of the organisations which made up the centre left grassroots alliance consulted let alone allowed to vote on who should be on the left list , it was in esscence a stitch up between Lansman and Willsman behind closed doors and then presented as a fait accompli which led to a damaging split in the CLGA.
    This is no way to run a process to nominate for our NEC and we must draw the lessons and put in place a transparent fully democratic system with involvement of rank a file members . The way Momentum operates is profoundly undemocratic which will lead to the erosion of trust among its own membership , its current way of working is unsustainable over the long haul for the transformative Labour government that we are working for.

  6. As a Welsh Labour Grassroots member I want nothing more to do with Jon Lansman’s Zionist takeover of Momentum – supporting the Warmongering Israeli Govt. is no role for a Democratic Socialist Party – absolute disgrace!

  7. My view is that Pete went off the momentum line, which is that some anti Semitism does exist within Labour, but that the Leadership is making the right moves (and is being very unfairly treated by MSM etc.). I agree with Momentum on this issue. I’m a pretty ordinary bloke who is a party member, momentum member, supportiveof the leadership, but way too busy with a young family to get very involved with local politics. I digest hardly any Labour member views, when compared to serious active party members, but even I’ve seen casual unthinking anti Semitism within our party following. I have sympathy with Pete, because he probably spoke in ire against a backdrop of unjustified attacks we have had to endure. But saying that he had not witnessed anti Semitism within our movement was an error IMO. Was it a serious enough error to have momentum support pulled? I probably think so. Best wishes and thanks for reading.

    • Er Phil, how could saying that he has never witnessed anti-semitism (in the LP) be an “error”? You know differently do you, and that he HAS witnessed anti-semitism?!

      And lets not forget that he was speaking at a private meeting…….

      • Good point, Allan. I can’t prove he has not witnessed it, nor can Momentum.

        My thinking was that even I’ve witnessed it (and I’m not that involved with politics). But as you say, I guess it is possible that he hasn’t. Unlikely I think, but possible.

        Best wishes.

      • Phil, a few years ago a co-worker described our employers as ‘Jews’ – his tone of voice made it clear that it wasn’t a compliment.
        We had Polish co-workers about whom he was even less complimentary – his views were shared by other UKIP & far right racists & their tacit supporters in the company.
        The loudest believed themselves revolutionaries ffs and were convinced theirs were majority views.
        Never heard one of them express support for Labour – all had had limited education and were S*n, Star & Mail readers.

        Born in the 50’s I’ve seen lots of racism but with the Holocaust being a recent memory antisemitism was beyond the pale – the single event I described above is genuinely my only encounter with antisemitism.
        I have heard Muslims described as evil & subhuman by otherwise-reasonable Jewish ex-friends & acquaintances though.
        I’ve heard Aboriginal Australian culture described in similar terms by white Australians.
        Heard the worst racist comments ever causing hilarity at a rowdy Conservative club event I visited in the course of business.

      • David, that comment about Aboriginal Australians. I got into a conversation with an otherwise lovely Australian elderly lady on the train in the UK – the bile that came out of her mouth when she started describing Aboriginal culture. I couldn’t believe it.

    • Many Jewish members of JVL will say just what Pete will have said – that they will not have experienced antisemitism in Labour in over 50 years – quite a common experience!

  8. Considering events over last few weeks/months yet another example of double standards. Disappointed.

  9. Very disappointing move by Momentum. They played right into Blairite hands. If a right winger hadn’t of taken his seat otherwise, I definitely would NOT have voted for Lansman. His motive is now worrying.

    Throwing Pete under the bus like that was disgusting.

    #JC4PM

  10. Hi. I added a comment to this story yesterday. It was showing as awaiting moderation for a few hours, but today had simply disappeared. Could you please provide a reason why my comment failed moderation? Regards. Phil.

  11. “Judging by the last sentence, the letter appears to have been written without input by the NCG.”

    Momentum NCG officers group position is clear and reiterated in this letter. Momentum NCG officers group do not support JC9 only JC8. Does it make any substantive difference whether the NCG officers group were consulted about wording of this reply? Their position is unlikely to change and even if it does, damage to JC9 will have already been done.

    LP members who fully support Corbyn, the manifesto and democratising LP need to vote for what and who they believe in and trust to deliver as representatives on the NEC.

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