The plot thickens as the two sides gear up for a bunfight over who controls Momentum and how. In one development today the Momentum Steering Committee has set up it's own webpage to denounce the "coup" in direct competition with the "official" website which seemingly remains in the hands of Lohn Lansman and his supporters.
In the only statement currently online the unnamed individuals who form the Steering Committee (probably the AWL, Nick Wrack and Jackie Walker, an unholy alliance if there ever was one) announce:
At 19:39 on January 10th, the Chair of the Steering Committee proposed a new constitution for Momentum by email. At 20:54 a majority was declared. Just 6 people indicated support for the constitution for a 21,000 strong membership organization.
All democratic structures of Momentum were then dissolved. No notice was given that these proposals were to be made, no meeting was held and no discussion or debate took place. No amendments were invited or allowed. Some members of the Steering Committee were unaware of these email exchanges and were excluded from participation.
Of course, we do not accept that the Steering Committee has the power to dissolve the structures of Momentum or impose a different membership system. In February 2016, after much discussion in local groups and regional meetings, the first National Committee established an interim structure for the Momentum. This structure is where the Steering Committee was established. In it, it is clear that the National Committee – not the Steering Committee – has the power to “establish a membership and affiliation structure” and to “maintain democratic, inclusive and pluralist representation.” The Steering Committee is elected from the NC, and is tasked with more operational matters. Momentum has more than 20,000 members. These members joined, and agreed to pay money to, the organisation established on February 6th 2016. That organisation has not been legitimately dissolved.
The fact that this appears on a website separate from the organisation as a whole indicates how deep the split in Momentum has become.
However Lansman has won over the Socialist Unity website whose now sole proprietor Andy Newman declares that Momentum becomes fit for purpose:
However, Momentum became bogged down in the usual and interminable arguments of the left, which have effectively prevented the organisation from operating. This had a very enervating effect, and parts of the left who have fetishised an alleged democratic deficit in Momentum have distracted attention away from the real scandals, the democratic deficits in society as a whole, and particularly in the Labour Party.
Momentum does not need to duplicate the functions of a political party. Momentum does not need to duplicate the functions of a trade union. What is needed is to have a structure on a broad left basis where supporters of the current trajectory of the Labour Party leadership can coordinate their efforts to good effect, on the basis of what we agree about. This gives the space for a new politics to develop.
I just joined Momentum, which I believe is now becoming serious and fit for purpose.
One would take issue with Newman's description of Momentum as "centre left" particularly as he is quite sympathetic to "Stalinist" politics hence his opposition to Tibetan freedom. Momentum is not remotely "centre-left. It is hard or far-left.
However amongst the comments which mainly involve a couple of Andy Newman's supporters with a member of the Socialist Party Scotland (Militant) there was this little gem of a contribution:
Think about that. Ir's not meant to be democratic, just a support group for the leadership to
brainwash educate members.
Frankly that's what the far-left are all about. Control and power.
And that's why Corbyn, Momentum and their acolytes must be stopped.