Lansman, Momentum: Jewish Chronicle claims ‘complete and utter bollocks’

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The Jewish Chronicle has published an article, showcasing claims by a supposed Momentum ‘senior figure’ about views allegedly held by Momentum founder Jon Lansman that attempts to dismiss the importance of Jewish Voice for Labour JVL), the left-wing, pro-Corbyn Labour group.

But the article goes further, with the inflammatory claim by the alleged source that:

Jon actually believes the real problem with JVL is their very existence.

The comments have provoked outrage among many Labour activists:

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However, Momentum and its founder have denied the accuracy of the claims, with a Momentum source particularly forthright:

These claims are complete and utter bollocks, designed to divide the left.

Another Momentum source described the piece’s author Lee Harpin – a former Mirror and Murdoch journalist arrested but not prosecuted during the phone-hacking investigation and now writing for the Jewish Chronicle – as a ‘very hostile’ commentator.

Last week, Harpin accused Labour MP Barry Gardiner of trying to ‘bypass’ the Jewish Leadership Council by asking for a meeting with the Chief Rabbi – and had to be corrected by the MP:

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Lansman himself was more circumspect than Momentum, however, sending an email this morning to members of CLPD (Campaign for Labour Party Democracy) expressing his surprise that the Jewish Chronicle was being treated as a credible source:

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SKWAWKBOX comment:

The final sentence of the email supports the idea that Lansman’s worldview is at odds with that of JVL. However, the only evidence for Lansman holding such an extreme view of JVL’s ‘problem existence’ appears to be an unattributed third-party claim in a newspaper that was recently exposed by the SKWAWKBOX as holding back evidence of the authenticity of a pro-Corbyn letter signed by over thirty London Orthodox rabbis until just after this blog informed them that it would be publishing the evidence here.

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39 responses to “Lansman, Momentum: Jewish Chronicle claims ‘complete and utter bollocks’

  1. When Sturgeon doesn’t deny a rumour, you imply that makes it true. When Lansman doesn’t deny a rumour, you claim that makes it false.
    Bit of double standards here, I fear.

    • Calling Lansman’s denial ‘circumspect’ is the understatement of the year; far more ‘circumspect’ than the SNP’s eventual denial*.
      And yet we are supposed to accept that his hands are clean?
      His outright hostility to JVL – and their candidate for NCC – is a matter of record.
      Calling the article ‘complete and utter bollocks’ – while undoubtedly correct – is not the same as denying the specific charges laid against him:
      1. Consistently opposing and seeking to undermine JVL.
      2. Trying to block Stephen Marks’ candidature for NCC
      3. Splitting the Left to further a personal agenda.
      Unless and until he comes clean and speaks directly to those issues (which he has never done publicly if at all), I am not the only person who is forced to assume that he is a danger to the project.
      Momentum deserves a leader who does not lead by rumour and innuendo. That is completely and utterly undemocratic, and should be left to the tories and the MSM.

      *The SNP and May’s ‘Offer’:
      Having said ‘simple denial … would put the rumours to bed’, the subsequent denial was then dismissed by Skwawkbox:
      https://skwawkbox.org/2018/10/18/snp-finally-denies-indyref2-for-abstention-deal-almost-and-blames-galloway/
      And yet Lansman’s mealy-mouthed misdirection is expected to satisfy Skwawkbox readers?

  2. Lansman’s previous (barely) clandestine machinations have made him a useful tool for the JC and rabid anti-socialist zionists, whether he likes it or not.

    He’s become a liability, and – for the good of the party – he needs to go.

  3. Well … one wouldn’t trust the veracity of the Jewish Chronicle. Their willingness to undermine the meaning of ‘antisemitism’ for political ends is a pretty stark indictment.

    But Lansman???? His credibility is pretty split across two horses – at best. And given that JVL has maintained a consistent credibility in both political and intellectual terms with the depth of its articles and clear moral compass, I know where to place my bets.

    Let’s face it – Lansman has not exactly been in the vanguard of those opposing the shabby treatment of those subject to past disciplinary hearings in the recent past. ‘Comrade’? A lack of faith in LFI and the JLM might be more convincing for a ‘radical’.

  4. Lansman only backed the slate under pressure and after rejecting Stephen Marks originally.If the Jewish Chronicle are making mischief,he has only himself to blame.

  5. There is a pattern here – obfuscation, equivocation, a shortage of honesty; aided, abetted and perpetuated by reference to so called Momentum ‘sources’.

    It’s not the whole of the email, but I think, by now, JL has made it abundantly clear, even in this short piece of text, that he is opposed to any group that is critical of the oppression of Palestine. He has made it clear that in spite of his ‘support’ for Corbyn, he is not of the Left.

    It is disingenuous for him to try and suggest that he has kept his personal views/endorsements to one side and out of the equation. The lasting damage done bears testament enough to that.

  6. Reporting rumours about rumours concerning the opinions of someone called Lansman. Come back when you have a few facts, you know, those things that can be verified.

    • Yes,”rumours about rumours” and yes re the “inflammatory” tone and cynical motives of the article. It was written though – and responded to; There’s a fact for you. It’s the nature of the responses from JL that give rise to continuing cause for concern.

  7. No fan of Mr Lansman but have to question whether any self respecting member of Momentum would have any dealing with the odious Harpin.

  8. Pingback: Lansman, Momentum: Jewish Chronicle claims ‘complete and utter bollocks’ | sdbast·

  9. There are many many good people in Momentum doing fantastic work for the Left and I hope for their sakes Jon does the right thing and implements immediately OMOV ,, and allows the membership to vote for who they see as the best Leadership team to take things forward .
    That time has now come !
    In fact doing so would strengthen Momentum and who ever leads it , even if Jon L is returned as Leader , it will then give whomever a democratic mandate which is missing for the Leadership at the moment

  10. The trouble is that Lansman has provided a peg for The Jewish Chronicle to hang its coat on.

  11. Advice to comrades: the left is in the ascendancy. The left’s opponents tremble but in their fear they seek ever harder to divide us. We are all comrades in the struggle, we do not need to indulge in holier (prolier?) than thou criticism of those we are temporarily disappointed in. The world is not perfect and there are no perfect comrades in it ( not even me). Let’s save our hostility for the real enemy. Our metric is to advance the left and to work with all comrades that share our vision of an equal society. I am an old man now, but I learned that modern European social democratic parties are not particularly social and their internal practices have been far from what an uninformed person would consider democratic. The Storming Corbyn revolution is changing everything, but the process of democratising the party must be by debate, a sincere commitment to engage and promote the maximum participation and accepting the democratic result. So all efforts against our external enemies and comradely debate with those within the project that we may have difference with. As my old mum used to say, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

    • Steve, in the past, for the sake of unity, we’ve failed to recognise those among us who although they claim to be on the same side are only there to advance their own agendas. We cannot allow them to fool us again.

      The answer to your last sentence is ‘not if they are vinegar flies’.

      • Ah, yes unity. I’m in favour of unity. I’m not in favour of the unity of the status quo. I’m not in favour of what I thought when I was 17 (I’m 60+ now). I am in favour of a unity that breaks the sh*tty system that oppresses us (note the contradiction? No? I was in favour of that when I was 17).
        Yes, I understand and also share the frustrations – but let’s express them with a spring in our step and a song in our heart (but keep a non-fossil fuel Molotov cocktail handy, in case of emergencies).

    • Our enemies have MSM but we have Skwawbox. F**k MSM, don’t even rely on Skwawbox (but it is always worth checking in), start your own media, write a blog, go on a demo, take some photos (but not of your lunch). Can’t do that? OK maybe start with talking to your neighbours. Or commenting on someone else’s media. The MSM is not gonna welcome the revolution. And think on this, every new progressive website, very new blog, every new Facebook page and even every challenging Tweet can help demolish the sh*tty exploitive ways of our oppressors. The Jewish Chronicle, the Daily Mail, The Sun, The Express, the Times, The Telegraph (feel free to add the title of any you think should be included) are dying. Be a nail in their coffin, make your voice heard.

  12. A person of integrity, in Lansman’s position, would say “I have become the problem, I am destroying the credibility of both Momentum and the NEC, the membership has no faith in me, I must resign for the good of the Party”.
    But, what, and this is a competition, 10 likes to the winner, would a power hungry scrote who is desperate to climb the greasy pole of politics do next?
    If I were Lansman, and I can be a crafty, nasty, bastard at need, I would be throwing my arms around the neck of the JVL and crying ” You were right! I was wrong! Oh! Oh! Oh! You have the ideas needed to change the world, all you need is a leader!”
    Any other ideas?

  13. Vote for Marks, who (like the rest of JVL) has a long record of denying antisemitism as any kind of problem either within the Labour Party or more generally, and you at a stroke destroy the good work done by McDonnell, Lansman and many others in rebuilding the bridges between Labour and the majority of Jews. Ah, but I forgot: many of you don’t care about that, do you?

    • Jim, you’re just making stuff up. JVL has never ‘denied antisemitism as any kind of problem’ in the Labour Party or elsewhere. Jog on and take your smears with you.

    • Jim, it’s extremely troubling to read the feelings expressed in your comment. It would appear that you have been hoodwinked by those in a section of the Jewish community who, for their own reasons, wish to exaggerate and frighten others into believing they have a problem or are at risk. What you are conflating is the very real and justified opposition to Zionism and totally unjustified antisemitism. By doing so you are doing a disservice to Jews.

      I personally know Jews from the orthodox Jewish community, who by their very appearance would be the first to be persecuted if there was any discernible level of antisemitism and not one of them tell me they feel threatened or have ever been a victim of antisemitism. Indeed, some of them who moved here from Israel did so because they feel much safer here.

  14. Jim, I’m losing my patience. You should give it a rest, especially the absolute nonsense of your comment about JVL. Please tell me – please give me some detail – about the “good work” done by JMcD, JL with respect to those “bridges”. Which bridges are you referring to anyway – LFI, JLM?

    Actually, I’d rather you didn’t bother. Enough of this nonsense!

    Destroy at a stroke? We should be so lucky!

    • … words fail me, as in my comment above, so let me apologise for the frustration it expresses and (not delete but) rephrase my final expletive!

      What I mean is “We should be so lucky” if the election of a member of JVL to the NCC is able, “at a stroke”, to undo the damage done: by those who have stood by and done very little to challenge the falseness of the smear campaign against Corbyn and those who have been complicit, in its falseness.

      The objective of the (relatively new) JVL is to challenge all forms of oppression, including the oppression of Palestine by the State of Israel and the oppression of Jews by Anti Semitic groups, or individuals. It is not partisan.

      After all that’s passed Jim, does any of this – your comments, my comments – really need saying?

      • Jim, If, you have good intentions, can I ask you to read paragraphs 1 and 2 of my comment, immediately above, before you arrive at any conclusion? They were written several hours before you responded. Perhaps you have chosen to ignore them.

        I became an affiliate member of JVL precisely because at the time of joining I could not see any “good work” or useful “bridges” being built, the very reverse in fact. I felt it was incredibly important to lend my support to a group committed to challenging anti semitism, whilst being critical of Israel, rather than a group that conflates anti semitism with such criticism.

        Like many others, I have been concerned by aspects of the behaviour of some members of LFI in particular and more recently, by the equivocal, or ambivalent behaviour of Jon Lansman. For me his is the behaviour that risks destroying bridges

        I look to JVL, amongst others, to building those bridges and it hurts to see their good work challenged by our own members.
        I hope you will have the good grace to have a more careful think about your viewpoint. However, it’s your opinion and I respect the fact that you are entitled to it.

  15. Jim Denham, you just acknowledged that there is dispute among Jews as to whether a majority do in fact believe there is more antisemitism in Labour than elsewhere.

    Many even seem to hold the view, as do I and many others here, that the fiction of antisemitic views being widespread within Labour is an invention of the current Israeli government acting through its UK embassy and others in an all-out attempt to silence its critics.
    Preventing Corbyn’s Labour winning an election – and crushing the BDS movement – are part of the plan, “as seen on TV.”

    The nugget of almost-truth in your post is – the more you push the antisemitism lie the less of a fuck I give about building bridges with you. Let the guilty build the bridges – starting with a sincere and humble apology to Jeremy Corbyn – the man you moved mountains to destroy and still failed.

    Otherwise when the UK population learns the full extent of Israel’s despicable plan to win a free pass for the murder of Palestinians and the theft of their lands there may well be increased antisemitism in Britain – and it will be entirely of Israel’s and its UK agents’ making.

    Don’t panic though, Labour will still be dedicated to the protection of the vulnerable however misguided their politics.

  16. Jim Denham is a member of the Alliance for Workers Liberty which was originally Trotskyist but is now pro-Establishment, pro-Israel and Islamophobic. All members of the cult-like ALW are required to be Zionists or else they get chucked out which might go some way to explaining why they have less than 100 members.

    Mr. Denham likes to threaten his political opponents with violence as he did here:

    https://socialistunity.com/the-alliance-for-workers-liberty-the-dynamics-of-a-malignant-cult/#comment-629501

  17. The worry with Lansman is his loyalty. Campbell was a bastard but stuck by Blair think and thin. The forces against Corbyn will always be trying hard to corrupt people close to him. Lansman would definitely be a target as he has not had a straightforward political life like Corbyn or McDonnell.

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