Analysis comment

Lansman insults tens of thousands of Labour members

Founder’s anger plain as poll suggests low popularity of one of Momentum’s preferred NEC candidates

Momentum founder Jon Lansman has insulted tens of thousands of Labour members during a social media tirade triggered by a poll that suggested one of his organisation’s favourites is an unpopular choice among members for a key Labour committee.

The SKWAWKBOX poll was issued as an attempt to democratise the slate-selection process. It asked which two candidates should feature on the left ‘slate’ in the vital NEC by-election that opens on Monday – and while one candidate supported by both Momentum and CLPD came second, the other Momentum pick came bottom with only 8% of the thousands of votes cast:

Popular Birkenhead councillor Jo Bird, recently reinstated after being suspended because of a ‘pretty spurious’ complaint, cruised home in first place, in spite of an attempt by supporters of Momentum’s picks to pad their voting tally.

Lansman took to Twitter to try to rubbish the poll result, attacking the ‘fake poll’ and smearing the SKWAWKBOX as ‘fake news’ and worse – but the most significant insult of his tirade was against Labour members:

SKWAWKBOX has around seventy thousand regular followers across Twitter and Facebook, the vast majority of whom will be Labour members – and many are also members of Momentum.

The SKWAWKBOX is often attacked by its right-wing opponents as ‘fake news’, but this is wishful thinking. SKWAWKBOX has a perfect rating from news reliability service Newsguard and is regulated by IMPRESS, the UK’s only independent regulator, with a full and independent complaints process.

It is also drearily attacked by its right-wing opponents as ‘hard’ (or ‘ultra’) left, so it’s interesting to hear such a term being used by the founder of a reputedly left organisation.

Lansman’s tweet was heavily ‘ratioed’ – far more responses than retweets or likes – usually considered a sign of a disastrous post. Among the hundreds of responses – which were overwhelmingly negative – were some pointing out that he had persuaded them to vote for Jo Bird, with others providing a helpful link to the details of the poll.

Many more turned Lansman’s comments on both him and his organisation:

The SKWAWKBOX has not asked Jon Lansman to comment on the reaction to his comments, as he has previously told the SKWAWKBOX that he does not wish to be contacted and the IMPRESS standards code says that publications must:

Comply immediately with any reasonable request to desist from contacting, following or photographing a person.

However, should he chance to read this article he might wish to consider which of these SKWAWKBOX values are ‘ultra left’:

Far more importantly, however, Mr Lansman should consider the appropriateness of his insulting comment aimed at the tens of thousands of SKWAWKBOX readers who are members of the Labour Party – most of whom have been consistent supporters over the last five years of the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

After all, that’s supposedly what Momentum was created to do.

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83 comments

  1. Am both a Skwawkbox reader and a member of Momentum,but I think I will only continue as one of those unless Mr Lansman offers his apologies for such offensive comments.

  2. Lansman’s wish not to be contacted is extremely redolent of the Cummings/Bojo strategy of hiding/avoiding being held to account. If I remember correctly Lansman’s guru, Tony Benn, was a stickler for people being held to account. Perhaps someone should stick that to Lansman?

    1. Lansman’s been on borrowed time for a while. Think it was Labour Against the Witch Hunt who, couple of years ago, called on Momentum Exec to sack Lansman

  3. When will RLB realise that Lansman is working for Starmer and Nandy not her? His plan is to make her unelectable by feeding her lines which will alienate her from the membership, thereby leaving the field open for Starmer and Nandy.

    1. I think a potential leader who can’t recognize the nature of her campaign manager is hardly a leader. Sorry – no crocodile tears … I don’t think we need a convoluted conspiracy here.

      1. RH, it’s not convoluted at all. It’s straight forward and tried and tested. Work from within the camp of someone you are supposed to be supporting so that you can damage them in favour of your real favourite.

        Recognise the modus operandi?

      2. Jack … but RLB has the capacity to ditch Lansman. If she won’t, or can’t … ’nuff said.

      3. We’re all assuming that Lansman is using RLB, and I’m not saying that’s wrong. But it is conceivable that she’s using him.
        There’s no doubt that he has organisational and other skills; it is possible that she’s recognised that and is simply using him to help her campaign.
        Even if that’s the case, I suspect it may be a choice she’s had reason to regret. But If she wins with him, then drops him like the steaming turd that he undoubtedly is, I’ll not be complaining.
        As I’ve said many times since all others were eliminated, for me, she’s far and away the only choice in the leadership election. She’s the only socialst going for leadership, though the Dep post has 2, maybe 2.5. If RLB loses, the Project is almost certainly dead in the water. Though even then, I’d wait until the next conference just in case a miracle happened.

      4. RH, yes I agree but does she have the ‘capacity’ to recognise the harm Lansman is doing to her campaign?

  4. Momentum should distance itself from Lansman – and RLB should beg a certain ex-Glaswegian nurse to help her campaign stay relevant to the needs of the Left Labour members who want to vote for her but are being Lansmaned (disillusioned).

    1. Happily, Momentum is full of good people for whom socialism embodies morality and goodness. Lansman’s shameless self-interest will be more obvious to them than many. The technicalities of a companies house registration and a few copyrighted words and logos will amount to nothing without the passion and commitment of such people.

      Momentum is nothing without its people – and many are disappointed and disillusioned by their founder’s behaviour.

      1. Agreed it is , BUT , what are they going to do about Lansman and his increasingly unhinged behaviour.
        I left Momentum because of his actions over Jackie Walker, Pete WiIlsman, and the final straw Chris Williamson , all whom he threw under the proverbial bus.
        No solidarity there for sure. His coup back in 2016 purging the then elected ” steering committee” and replacing it with HIM and his own lackeys , lead my local Momentum grp dissociating itself from the maim stream his empire and carrying on , on our own. Still activists supporting Corbyn etc etc .
        Since then it has become clear to me and many that Lansman is a now a liability to the left and not the friend of a socialist Labour. He is utterly centred on the Jewish/Zionist issues and to the detriment of helping the causes of the left continue post Corbyn.
        I urge all members of Momentum to leave and join Left Unity or even the CLPD both of which are far more democratic than his Privately owned company called Momentum.

      2. I’ve read there are about 40 thousand Momentum members – I wonder how a breakaway cohort could organise?
        It must be doable – if anywhere near half are more left-leaning than Lansman it would still be a potent force – and given Momentum’s original purpose I’d have thought the Lefties would far outnumber the Lansblairites.

      3. David, they could start by attending the ‘Festival of Resistance’ in Derby on 20th June where among others, Miko Peled and Chris Williamson will be speaking.

  5. Lansman comes across as entitled and pathetic. But it’s Momentum members who suffer. They really need to ask themselves if they want to be part of a totally undemocratic organisation with increasingly suspect (and secret) aims and objectives.

  6. I left Momentum a few weeks back. The last straw was Momentum endorsement of Angela Rayners rather than Richard Burgon.
    I am still receiving communications from Momentum. Hence, it looks like I am still in the loop for free. What’s not to like?
    I am going to subscribe to the Skwawkbox, instead. Lasman’s lost, is Skwawbox gain.

    1. A good link to a good analysis.

      The Israel hasbara playbook has, however, been running for quite a long time.

  7. Particularly egotistically stupid indeed crass of Lansman to have a go at a poll which results in a handsome show of support for Lauren whom Momentum is backing. How does she feel at the mo? Recall also Lansman writing that LP institutionally antisemitic. Now here he attacks a poll of thousands where the clear winner is Jewish…

    1. Another good reminder of where Lansman is coming from. He seems to have shifted his profile quite consciously by that time away from the previous ‘radical’ schtick to fall in with the BoD line.

      I can understand how individuals can have conflicts with untenable beliefs conflicting with political beliefs in the real world – but a political Party is not the place to impose such conflicts on the rest of us by distorting that reality.

  8. Solidarity Steve. I was never a member of momentum, could only just afford my bog, Labour party and union subs. I made the right choice. There’s been a few times Lansman has made me say “WHAT” over the last 12 months

    1. Having conned his way to be her manager, perhaps this latest attack on the left is his way of making sure RLB doesn’t win?
      I think she’s better than that, and certainly better than the alternatives – though far from perfect. Let’s hope that if/when she does win, she rapidly dissociates herself from Lansman.

      1. “perhaps this latest attack on the left is his way of making sure RLB doesn’t win?”

        This possibility has occurred to me too.

        Sabotage does happen:

        1. The Secret Service refusal to protect President Kennedy when he went to Dallas

        2. The Watergate burglars who left plenty of clues that led back to the White House in order to bring Nixon down.

      2. “certainly better than the alternatives”

        Nope – even tho’ that’s a low bar. Being recruited by Lansman and claiming support for neocolonial apartheid as a badge of honour are no-no’s.

        It’s like trusting Blair after his support for the Iraq war.

      3. Now – did I say that?

        I have been a bit stuck on what to do in this leadership election – with ducking out of voting being my first preference.

        But that’s not really an answer.

        Facing your question honestly – yes, I would chance my arm on Starmer rather than Nandy or RLB, a less experienced lawyer who, at best, can’t distinguish between shit, shave and breakfast time, and at worst is an utter sell-out mouthing empty platitudes.

        I’m one of those who’s sick of blundering incompetence being a prized feature of the avowed ‘left’. I’m not into token rhetorical gestures based on self-promotion – and Lansman + Zionism is, at best disqualifying naivety – at worst, devious incompetence and ignorance. Bullshitting about ‘socialism’ needs back-up.

      4. @Heenan

        It pains me to say this but you are correct. It’s all about sabotage. Political cul-de-sacs. False hope.

        It pains me more to predict that Starmer is going to win, and by some margin.

        But in my opinion, it’ll be just like the last GE. Daylight robbery.

      5. ”Facing your question honestly – yes, I would chance my arm on Starmer rather than Nandy or RLB,”

        Why make out as though it’d be a decision that’d pain you, rh?

        We alll KNOW you’re a bliarite who wants stamrer anyway, so don’t kid on that you’re on the left, because you’re NOT and you NEVER were.

        Your taciturn silence on his shithousery over the second referendum plus anything & everything else slimy starmer had to do with undermining Corbyn (Who you laughably claim to have supported) demonstrates irrevocably what you are.

        ” I would CHANCE my arm on starmer” he SAYS.

        ”I would GIVE my right arm to see starmer leader” he MEANS.

        Kindly refrain from insulting others’ (far superior) intelligence. It’s every bit as exasperating as your condescending tone you use towards better, more profound people than yourself.

      6. Totally Obtuse Fantasies For Every Eventuality – Did your carer ever tell you that crass stupidity coupled with incoherent Tourette’s isn’t really a career option? It’s really may not be not compulsory.

        If coherence and rationality are indeed totally beyond you, it might be wise might be to seek help … or simply to stay under the duvet farting to yourself whilst indulging your weird stalker obsessions.

  9. Skwawkbox is in very good company, see Lansman attack on Jewish Voice for Labour, it’s on their website,
    Now he doesn’t have a pot to piss in, theres little or nothing left of the original organisation
    Respect to momentum activists and their great work for the Labour party
    That’s TWatson and Lansman who took us all for a ride, never to old to learn
    FFS

    1. “see Lansman attack on Jewish Voice for Labour, it’s on their website”

      I think that’s a crucial point. What you can say about JVL is that it is (a) completely transparent about its political standpoint and (b) that the range of articles it publishes on its site are remarkably consistent in their quality – you don’t have to necessarily agree to see that they are worlds away from the sphere of internet/social media partial garbage.

      That Lansman (and his ilk in the JLM) attack JVL is actually a mirror that reflects their own lack of integrity and consistency, since they are unable to engage at the same level of rational and literate argument – they depend upon the classic propaganda ploy of the repetition of falsehoods.

      1. Never mind “Woodentop” Starmer will sort things out when he becomes leader,isn’t that right RH?

      2. If you say so, Thatcher minor.

        I didn’t.

        Why do you and certain other ‘Doh!’ characters deliberately feed the Tory/SunMail narrative of the ‘left’ being hard of understanding, out of touch and obsessive – aka ‘a bit of a joke’?

        Only idiots need fantasy opponents when the real ones are enjoying smashing their face in.

        We have enough problems without unaware Tory trolling.

  10. I’ve just noted a salutory comment on the ‘Electronic Intafada’ :

    “If Labour can’t manage an internal disciplinary process, it can’t hope to govern a nation.”

    Sad, but true. Breweries come to mind.

    1. How many aphoristic soundbites masquerading as insight in the same vein as EI’s “salutary comment” could we write about the Tories I wonder?
      “If Tories can’t keep far right fascists out of Number 10…”
      “If Tories award huge building contracts to insolvent companies…”
      “If a Tory PM can’t manage his ‘domestics’ without the police…”
      “If Tories piss £millions away on shipping companies with no ships…”
      “If Tories can gamble the wealth of the next three generations on a referendum to settle an internal Tory spat… and still not settle it…”

      1. “How many aphoristic soundbites masquerading as insight …”

        Quite a few, evidently. But that’s no guage of the accuracy of the indictment of Labour’s inability in its present state to manage the basics of a brewery piss-up.

        It’s not a ‘masquerade’ – it’s a statement of bleedin’obvious history and current affairs, whatever the reasons for the sad state. The 80 majority in the wrong direction is a bit of a hint. If it’s wrong, I’m sure I’ll wake up tomorrow to a socialist paradise!

      2. RH, by “masquerading as insight” I was simply pointing out that the the EI comment contained no fresh insight – not that it was wrong.
        My examples were to make the obvious point that the Tories are at least as unfit to govern – the unstated point was that political parties will always have failings because they’re made out of people and people are imperfect beings.

      3. For “at least as unfit” please read “far less fit” – duh.

      4. I think we’re a bit at cross purposes, David.

        We obviously have no disagreement about the Tories being unfit to govern – but the fact is that they are in government – the key bit of the situation.

        For me the interpretation of the quotation was about the fact that *unless* and *until* Labour can get something like the obvious basics of a disciplinary process sorted out (and not subjected to the influence of lying fakers), then it will not be fit to create the possibility of being in government. A litmus test, if you like.

        It’s this problem of sectarian corruption of basic principles and lack of coherence.

  11. “triggered by a poll that suggested one of his organisation’s favourites is an unpopular choice among members”

    If you think about it, that’s not an accurate statement. It’s one of Lansman’s favourites; ‘his organisation’ has no democratic mechanism to accurately discern members’ favourites.

    Everything in Momentum is like Blackpool rock, except that it has Lansman written right through it.

  12. Lansman conveniently forgets that the people he is slagging off were momentum activists before they bailed out from the fiefdom that is increasingly anti Labour and a danger to socialism..

  13. Sectarian and out of touch with the wider community,That’s Tony Blair’s assessment of the 500.000plus membership of the Labour party..So not only landman is criticising the membership,but its open season for socialist party members and the witchunt has begun.The unrestrained war criminal also takes a shot at Bernie Sanders and democratic socialism..If you think you are not wanted,in the new Labour party you might just be correct.Re….Huffington post.

  14. Steve, is this a fact or is it Propaganda put about by the Right in our party?
    I would like concrete proof before making any comments about Lansman.
    Being a member of Momentum I’m dubious to say the least.

  15. Like Johnson., Blair has no ability for self-reflection, and similar personality traits. Leo Abse made a damning psychological assessment of his ‘unassuaged narcissisism and ‘marked exhibitionism’ : ‘a man who depends upon denial as a principal weapon’

    Certainly, someone who led the country into the Iraq war and then feels able to pontificate about the vast number of Labour members who campaigned against such idiocy has no self-awareness, let alone humility.

    There is an interesting parallel between Lloyd George’s bone-headed pushing of the Zionist cause in Palestine – against all knowledgeable advice and Blair’s pursuit of Bush’s hemorrhoids. Both have set up massively mistaken historical conflicts.
    .

  16. VIDEO
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-51578275/jeremy-corbyn-would-consider-shadow-cabinet-role
    Jeremy Corbyn has indicated he would consider a shadow cabinet role under the party’s next leader.

    Leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey has reportedly said she would offer him a post if elected.

    Speaking on a visit to Wales, Mr Corbyn said he would be “happy to serve the party in any capacity”.

    He said he would “see what it is” if offered a role, telling a reporter: “You’re telling me something I didn’t know”.

  17. Dawn Butler has written an excellent article in LabourList

    We need to talk about electoral reform
    …..first-past-the-post has repeatedly enabled right-wing government on a minority of the vote. Most people voted for parties to the left of the Conservatives in December. In fact, as Make Votes Matter have pointed out, most people did so in 19 of the last 20 general elections. Yet by the end of their current term, the Tories will have been in power for two-thirds of this time.
    https://labourlist.org/2020/02/we-need-to-talk-about-electoral-reform/

    1. SteveH
      There is no link between an MP and their constituency for simple reason they are not qualified to advise on specific issues
      Leave advice to the professionals, cant think of anything I would ask my MP for help with
      FPTP is part of the problem,
      We castigate young people for not voting, do you not think they have worked out in most constituencies their vote counts for nothing
      My dog would have won those 3 blair GE’s

      1. I was disappointed that Clive Lewis didn’t get past the PLP stage because he seemed to be the only leadership candidate who was strongly advocating a complete overhaul of our voting systems both in and out of the party

    2. Labour has, for a long time, ‘laboured’ under the delusion that Buggins’s Turn would always deliver in the end by FPTP. A large number of MPs – left and right – have resisted their sleep being disturbed by more proportionate forms of voting..

      By now, even the dim should have recognised that it doesn’t quite work like that, and that FPTP is actually mainly a gift to the right, backed by the dinosaur left.

      It’s not a magic bullet – just a necessary reform to help drag this benighted country into the 21st century – and needs to be coupled with a much more wide-ranging review of the antiquated constitutional arrangements, which also benefits reaction rather than reform.

      The sorry state of the country is currently directly related to a FPTP mentality in another way – suffering the opportunity and actual costs of Brexit as the result of a manipulated FPTP referendum that represented a minority vague wish rather than a studied result. Amongst other things, the travesty gave more weight to those now dead than those coming onto the electoral register and who will suffer the consequences.

      The Blair government had one term to get reform embedded, and – despite all the ‘modernization’ yadda yadda – doidn’t even seriously try, leaving the bleeding stumps of devolution and Lords reform as truncated gestures. It’s up there with other more obvious failures.

      Where are we now as a result? Landed with another unrepresentative government that will take the opportunity to hack away at basic democratic roots like the rule of law and human rights.

      1. That unrepresentative Government are going to have to move like shit off a shovel to catch up to the unrepresentative Opposition when it comes to doing away with basic democratic rights and the rule of law – such as the principles of due process and innocent until proven guilty – which have been conveniently purged from the LP Bureacracy by the naive self id’d and self labelled monopoly left of the Party.

        The Blair Stitch-up Project probably can’t believe their good fortune at having such numpties working on their behalf. No wonder that parasitic and sectarian faction went along with Momentum PLC by protecting their PPC candidates from the Complaints against some of them.

        Giving them enough rope to hang themselves.

      2. RH, ‘Buggins’ Turn’ implies Tories dying or retiring from government and Labour simply being next in line, surely?
        An incumbent losing an election I see more as a sacking than a retirement.
        The electorate does have a sort of lazy inertia that takes a lot of resentment toward the incumbent – or a huge amount of respect for the opposition – to overcome.
        The Tories, MSFM and Israel only pulled out all the stops after they’d shat their panties seeing and hearing the magnetic effect Jeremy had on those huge crowds.
        Even if they hadn’t been shit scared they’d probably have done it out of pure jealousy and spite, knowing none of them will ever inspire people like that.

        All Labour can do now is wait for BloJob’s screw ups to multiply or for Brexit’s vultures to pick our pockets so clean they squeak – then maybe he’ll have company in his ditch.

  18. FAO Steve Walker…

    Not on twitter, but just wanted to send my condolences on noticing the tweet about your sad loss.

    My thoughts are with you and your family. Stay strong, mucker.

    R.I.P. Mr. Alan Walker. xx

    1. I also would like to send my sincere condolences to Steve and family. Take care of yourselves and each other.

      Rest in peace Alan Walker.

  19. I am more concerned about Starmer right now. It is rumoured that he has huge sources of funds for his campaign and I do not doubt it. Myself and my husband received personal letters in the post from him. Have most members received these? Why is this allowed when the other candidates have not done this? Who/what is funding him? His club, the Trilateral Commission?

  20. I don’t go on Twitter much so missed the news Steve’s Dad had passed.
    Sorry for your loss, Steve.

    I’d gone there looking for the responses to Lansman’s tweet and watched @Cornish_Damo demolish him in two minutes and twenty seconds.
    UP THE FUCKING CRANKS, Steve 🙂

  21. Steve and family
    My best mate still talks to his old man
    I asked him how that works
    Because I always know what he would have said
    Regards

  22. The fog is lifting. Many have realised for some time the duplicitous nature of Lansman and his cohorts. In Merseyside even the Momentum Exec don’t get a vote on Momentum issues, and are excluded in any discussions; just expected to follow orders, which some do.
    In the old days we’d have called it Stalinism. The Left of the LP are far to the left of the millionaire Lansman, and he knows it, hence the bureaucratic manoevres. We won’t accept anything less than open and transparent democracy.
    I hope Lansman and his mates are reading this. It may not fit with their ‘kinder, gentler’ (betrayal) politics but the half a million people who joined the LP generally don’t have the living standards or luxuries of the chattering classes; we can’t afford to wait forever.
    The total disregard of democratic procedures to the favour of rt wing candidates shows these people for what they are. Many rt wing councillors are in Momentum. They are few, we are many.
    We should endevour to expose the tricks being played by promoting good motions at clp’s that challenge the ‘free market ecomony’. This is how to expose the phoney Left, who will either show support, or vote with the opposition.
    In general terms there’s an old saying, ‘the higher up the ladder the monkey goes, the more we see it’s arse’. Get organised, expose the politics of Lansman and Co in your clp by discussing politics.
    In particular, motions that forward the benefits and necessity of public ownership, and how it would be funded shoild be discussed at clp rather than back-slapping the LP dog pooh patrols. Producing hand outs for meetings with facts n figures provides info that people can take away that further these arguments, are also beneficial.
    Watch out though, the ‘Stals’ won’t like it, though I somehow doubt they even know or understand the roie played by the butcher, or are aware that they follow his traits and methods. They hate open democracy; it’s an arena where they would never win. The game’s up Lansman.

  23. Short of the devil can it be possible that lansman is even more despised than Twatson or dare I say it Blair.No wonder hes thinking of the “promised land” .Such a sad legacy of betrayal for a former left wing firebrand and Corbyn supporter..

    1. Joseph – I think Lansman like many of the others who hitched themselves to JC’s coat-tails. simply saw Corbyn’s ascendancy as an opportunity to further their own agendas.

  24. I’d imagine that most people who joined Momentum thought that they were joining a Left wing organisation that was established to support Jeremy Corbyn,
    Now everyone knows that it’s an organisation devoid of democracy, owned by a millionaire whose sole intention is to control, and full of rt wingers who share his philosophy. Momentum is just another set of Liberals; just another set of snouts in the trough.
    I see little point in honest Momentum members attempting to democratise Lansman’s Company as this has been attempted in other areas. He’s the boss don’t forget. How many managers/owners of large Co’s operate democratically like a cooperative?
    In Merseyside, I’ve been told that there’s financial irregularities and Momentum officers who can’t answer pertinent questions regarding that organisation. Kerching!! Job’s a gudn.
    Needless to say, Momentum have long been sussed out here, especially as many of the rt wing councilors are associated with that odious organisation. These are the same people who claimed to be on the Left when seeking support.
    The fog’s cleared and now everyone can see them for what they really are. Better to have the enemy in front of you than standing behind your back I think; Momentum are the new rt wing and those LP members that aren’t aware, should be informed.

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