Jon Lansman’s Xmas Punch Could Sucker Corbyn

Jon Lansman’s Xmas Punch Could Sucker Corbyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

Explosive Evidence of Israeli Embassy Involvement in Labour’s False ‘Anti-Semitism’ Allegations

What else would you expect from the world’s only democracy?
Jon Lansman – perhaps not quite as hapless as he makes out?  The question is what did Lansman know about Jeremy Newmark of JLM’s links with an Israeli destabilisation programme?
It was a nice touch for Jon Lansman and ‘Team Momentum’ to get
Jeremy Corbyn to send me and thousands of others a Merry Xmas and New Year
message.  Of course there were no
ulterior motives for sending a message this Xmas.  It’s just that I don’t seem to recall a
similar thank you last year!
Attached to the email was a button inviting me to ‘Take the survey now’.  It is nice to be consulted.  Of course one of the problems with
consultations or plebiscites, to give them their proper name, is that it’s
someone else who gets to ask the questions, not you.
Jackie Walker – the target of the Israeli Embassy’s ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign and Jeremy Newmark’s Jewish Labour Movement – 

I have a few questions of my own that I would like to be
answered such as ‘Who gives the right for
Jon Lansman to be the sole owner of everything to do with Momentum?’
and
maybe a follow-up along the lines of ‘when
does Lansman intend to make all members of the Steering Committee Directors of
his personal Momentum companies.’
 Perhaps ‘Team Momentum’ might consider
organising a survey with this and a few other questions? 

If I was being very daring I might ask ‘Who gets to decide who asks the questions?’ and ‘Who gets to decide the wording of
questions?’
  I could also ask Jon
Lansman a few of those questions that Tony Benn once suggested, such as ‘who put you there’ ‘from where does your
power derive’
and the clincher ‘how
do we get rid of you’?
There is a reason that dictators have always loved
plebiscites.  That is because they get to
choose the questions and to frame them in such a way that they get the ‘right’
answer. Most people won’t remember Hitler’s plebiscites on the Rhine and the Saarland
but they haven’t had a very good reputation ever since.
That bogus survey
Of course you may say that things have moved on.  We have social media now.  There was no Internet in the Germany of the
1930’s but the principle is the same. 
Surveys, plebiscites, call them what you will, are one way methods of
communication.  They
ask the questions of you, not the other way around.  Of course they can go awry as Generals
Charles de Gaulle and Pinochet found out when they asked the people their views
and the people gave the wrong answer. 
However it is not a socialist method of communication.  Participatory democracy means a two way
exchange of views, dialogue and disagreement, not the imposition of a
particular view through the manipulation of outcomes.
This is why secret ballots were the centre piece of
Thatcher’s union reforms.  Having people
vote in isolation, susceptible to a hostile press and media was infinitely
preferable to them voting together in mass meetings.  When you vote together you feel your
strength.  Secret ballots had their
effect.  Even when, as with the Doctors,
they voted for strike action, they had been atomised and were thus susceptible
to demoralisation.  What Lansman and his cronies
are advocating is a Tory version of democracy.
Needless to say the questions in Lansman’s bogus survey were
fixed.  They gave people a choice between
delegates having a vote under a delegate structure and everyone having a vote under OMOV. 
This is the kind of thing the Daily
Express
does.  You fix the questions
and then you get the answer you want.

Lansman’s bogus petition
Under delegate voting systems everyone has the right to vote.  They vote for delegates who will then vote
under a mandate and report back.  With
everyone voting via OMOV and the Internet, you get no debate, you don’t get to
choose the questions and you don’t have any accountability.  OMOV is a means of disenfranchising people
and ensuring that power remains in the hands of Momentum’s sole company
director.  It really is as simple as
that.
Laura Murray – not quite the political innocent
Nor is there any greater level of participation.  The women’s delegates to the National
Committee, Laura Murray and co., were elected with about 10% of those eligible
to vote.  In Brighton we have a higher
participation by people attending meetings. 
Before the Labour Party AGM which the NEC overruled when it suspended
the Brighton party, there were something like 800 people present.  Presumably ‘Team Momentum’ would have
preferred that those 800 people voted on-line in the isolation of their home without
listening to speakers or giving their own views. 
But there is far more that lies behind the campaign to
prevent a democratic structure in Momentum. 
What matters is the political strategy that lies behind what is a
seemingly minor disagreement over voting systems.  What is at stake is the very nature of Momentum.  Should it be a stage army to be called into
action if Corbyn is threatened or a movement that can think and act for itself,
a social movement as much as anything else.
This concept of what Momentum should be is critical to the
survival of Corbyn.  If Lansman succeeds
in neutering Momentum and taking the life out of it, then he will also doom
Corbyn’s leadership. 
Owen Jones has always been willing to run with the bogus ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign and do Lansman’s dirty work – the question is why
That is why Lansman has pulled out all the stops to prevent
the Conference on 18/19 February being organised.  That is why he got his pet poodle, Owen
Jones, to bark on demand in The Guardian.  The same Owen Jones who was in two minds
whether to support Corbyn last summer. 
An undemocratic Momentum will be a weaker Momentum.  It will rely on instructions from the centre
rather than the self-activity of local groups. 

Lansman’s Media
Campaign

The first broadside
was placed with Lansman’s ‘go to’ reporter on the Guardian, Jessica Elgot.  It quoted this blog on Lansman’s attempted
coup.  It was followed by a nasty little
red-baiting article
by Owen Jones Momentum is a beacon of hope. It must be saved from the saboteurs.  The Guardian, which had waged an
unremitting campaign against Corbyn, leading on the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign,
was apparently concerned to save Momentum from ‘the sabotuers’!

Owen Jones told lurid tales of Trotskyists conspiring
against Lansman and his democrats.  It
was posed as younger activists vs older, wizened Trots.  Like his mentor Joe McCarthy, Jones
assertions relied on vague, sweeping assertions.  The main Trotskyist group in the Labour
Party, the Alliance for Workers Liberty has all of a 100 or so members.  It is detested by most people on the Left for
its Zionist/ imperialist politics. 
Ironically Lansman ganged up with the AWL’s Jill Mountford and sympathiser
Mike Chessum in order to remove Jackie Walker as Vice Chair of Momentum.  But of course Jones didn’t mention Lansman’s
wheeling and dealing with the dreaded Trots! 
Of course Jackie Walker is genuinely popular amongst Momentum members
and that is what Lansman, Jones and the AWL fear.

The nonsense about the battle in Momentum
being a generational battle between young internet savvy OMOV supporters and an
older generation of Trots was dealt with effectively by Rida Vaquas in the New
Statesman, No, the battle in Momentum isn’t
about young against old
  It’s worth reading what Rida said. 

I was nineteen years old then.
Unfortunately speaking and voting in favour of a delegates based conference has
morphed me into a Trotskyist sectarian from the 1970s, aging me by over thirty
years.’
  He goes on to explain that a number of other
delegates who voted for genuine delegate democracy were also under 30 and
lambasted ‘the caricature of an
intergenerational war between the old and the new is precisely that: a
caricature bearing little relation to a much more nuanced reality.’

Laura Murray,
daughter of Stalinist hatchet-man Andrew Murray, led Lansman’s fightback with
an overlong article, wittily titled ‘Momentum
vs. Inertia
’.  No guess who was in favour of
inertia!   In it we were told that ‘Dyed-in-the-wool
Trotskyists are not the majority in Momentum. But they are a vocal, disruptive
and over-bearing minority’. 

What Murray ‘forgot’ to mention was that it was among
Momentum groups, at large  meetings of
ordinary members of Momentum, that people have voted overwhelmingly against an
OMOV system that would keep Lansman and his clique in power perpetually,
without any means of removing them. 
Laura writes that ‘AWL a group with such extreme Trotskyist politics that they are almost
a caricature of themselves 
and their fellow travellers. Subtle support for imperialist wars,
uncritical support for Israel and fanatical support for the European Union are
amongst their policies.’

Yes AWL are a caricature of the Left. 
Yes they are pro-Zionist and pro-Israeli.  I debated with them in Brighton last year.  But
so is Lansman who has consistently supported the fake anti-Semitism allegations
directed against people like Jackie Walker and myself.  Ben Sellers who was a close associate of Lansman put his
finger on what the division in Momentum is really about.  On Facebook  Sellers asked:  

‘Is it the Jon Lansman who only wants
a “pluralistic”, democratic, grassroots organisation facilitated by a
new era of digital democracy?
Or the Jon Lansman who told me to my
face just a year ago that Momentum groups should be banned from having social
media accounts and encouraged a completely unaccountable ‘helper’ to take over
regional Facebook pages from local Momentum activists?’
What
this is really about is a contempt for local Momentum groups and
activists.  The question is why?  That relates to the politics that lie behind
Lansman’s machinations.
How Lansman’s
Opposition to Democracy in Momentum chimes with Jeremy Corbyn’s Strategy
The
strategy of Corbyn and his office is quite simple.  Having won the leadership election for a
second time, they believe that their opponents in the PLP, or  most of them, have now accepted his
leadership and that they can work with most of the Right.  The last thing Corbyn’s Office want is a
Momentum which is not controlled from the Centre, by Lansman and cronies.  They don’t want right-wing MPs being upset by
calls for reselection.
This is
profoundly mistaken.  The Right has not
given up.  Some of them may have accepted
posts in the Shadow Cabinet but there is a sullen majority in the PLP who are
waiting for the chance to plunge the knife after their disastrous
miscalculation with Owen Smith.  The
first sign of a rebellion was the mass abstention by the Labour Right over a weak
motion calling for a cessation of arms shipments to the Saudi regime.  We have now had a report from the Fabian society, which is on
the Right of the Labour Party, making the case that Labour cannot win an
election and has to go into alliance with other parties.  These are merely shots across the bows.
The Labour
Right is biding its time, waiting for the opportunity to stick the knife into
Corbyn and like Brutus it wants to be sure that this time that it gets its man.
Corbyn’s
position could have been virtually impregnable when he won the
leadership election last September with an increased majority.  He could have dealt a mortal  blow to the ambitions of the Labour Right.
People
will remember that ‘crooked’ Iain McNicol, Labour’s General Secretary went into
overdrive to suspend anyone suspected of intending to vote for Corbyn.  Thousands, they won’t reveal the number, were
suspended.  Normally investigations are
conducted when a complaint is made about someone.  Instead McNicol went on a fishing expedition,
pro-actively trawling through the social media accounts of thousands of Labour
Party members in the hope that they
might find something, anything, that would give them an excuse to suspend the
member.  Use of a four letter word, ‘I
like the fucking foo fighters’ was enough to get one member suspended. 
The Labour
Right is awaiting for the right moment to pounce.  It may be after the local elections in May or
after a by-election defeat.  It is
impossible to predict, but what is certain is that they will move at some point.
What was
crucial to Corbyn’s survival over the summer was not only the support of the
membership but the fact that the trade union leaders supported Corbyn.  There is no guarantee that this will always
happen.  UNISON does not have a left-wing
leader in Dave Prentis.  He said it was a
‘no brainer’ to support Corbyn.  The
Right in UNISON are not famed for their brain power.  UNISON have already put a Blairite on
Labour’s NEC.  Hopefully Len McCluskey
will win the Unite General Secretary elections, but it is impossible to be
certain.  What is quite possible is that
UNISON’s leadership will at some stage join the GMB union in opposing Corbyn.
People
have been lulled into a false sense of security but if there was a combination
of circumstances such as bad election results and the defection of UNISON, then
Corbyn’s position could very quickly become untenable.  That is precisely why Momentum’s local groups
need to be taking the fight to the Right now, not waiting to be attacked.
What Corbyn Could Have Done After
His Victory
If Corbyn is deposed by the Right, then he will have been
the author of his own misfortune.  Corbyn
was always an unlikely leader of the Party. 
He happened to be the right person at the right place at the right time.  There was a fortuitous combination of
circumstances, not least the nomination of Corbyn by a number of those on the
Right such as the self-confessed ‘moron’ Margaret Beckett.
When Corbyn spoke to acknowledge his victory last September
he could have dealt the Right a decisive blow. 
He could have thanked his supporters for giving him a larger victory second
time around and then noted that but for the suspension of thousands of Labour
Party members on the flimsiest of pretexts then his victory margin would have
been even greater.
Corbyn could have gone on to say that the behaviour of
Labour Party officials in suspending thousands on the basis of an odd tweet was
an unacceptable interference in the conduct of the elections.  He should have said that he had spoken to the
General Secretary, Iain McNicol and told him that because of his behaviour, his
attempt to keep him off the ballot paper when the rules were clear and other matters
outlined in a solicitor’s
letter
from Jim Kennedy of Unite to McNicol, meant that he had lost all
confidence in him.  He could stressed that
it is essential that the officials of the Labour Party must work in harmony
with the leader.  There can be no doubt
that McNicol’s position would have been untenable.
Corbyn could also have said that he wanted to ensure that he
had an NEC that would work with him. 
That Tom Watson’s proposals to gerrymander the composition of the NEC by
adding two representatives from Scotland and Wales, neither of whom were elected
by members in these regions, was unacceptable.  
Corbyn did none of these things. 
Instead he told McNicol at the NEC that he had never challenged him
despite McNicol trying to keep adverse legal advice on Corbyn’s right to stand
away from the NEC.
Corbyn could also have made reference to the MPs vote of no
confidence.  He could have made the
simple argument that no Labour member had the right to a seat for life.  That no one is stopping them standing as
independents but that if they wish to retain the Labour nomination then they
have to accept a democratic election. 
Further that members of CLPs have the right to decide on who should
represent them.  This was the demand of
the Bennite campaign for democracy.
There were also a series of policy options that could have
been announced.  Be it proposals to
increase tax on the wealthy and companies or tacklinig the housing crisis with
an emergency programme to build council housing coupled with rent controls and
security of tenure in the private sector. 
A pledge to immediately nationalise the railways and to take the utility
companies into public hands, thus erasing fuel poverty.  But above all welding all the above into a
common theme, to reverse the Tory redistribution of wealth from the poor to the
rich.  Instead Corbyn’s office chose to
appease the Right.  Yes the right-wing
press would have screamed as Mandy Rice Davies once said, they would wouldn’t
they?  Clear radicalism would have chimed
with a large section of the electorate. 
There are also two other areas where Corbyn has fallen down.
Anti-Semitism/Israel/Palestine
Shai Masot – Israeli Embassy’s Political Officer was engaged in ‘taking down’ politicians hostile to Israel
Let’s be blunt. 
Beginning with Corbyn himself in the summer of 2015, there have been
constant accusations of anti-Semitism. 
We have been told that the Labour Party is plagued by anti-Semitism yet
no one has ever found any evidence.  The
few paltry allegations that had been made were comprehensively debunked by Electronic Intifada journalist, Asa
Winstanley.
People like Jackie Walker have been traduced by Zionist
activists and agents.  I use the term
agents deliberately.  I have no doubt
that Jeremy Newmark, the Chair of the so-called Jewish Labour Movement has
worked hand in hand with the Israeli Embassy. 
The JLM even took its new Director, Ella Rose, directly from the Embassy.  When challenged over their links by Asa
Winstanley in September, Newmark said it would be ‘rather odd’ it would be if the JLM didn’t
have links.
Despite their denials, Duncan was the target of the Israeli Embassies political work
The forthcoming Al
Jazeera
documentary, parts of which have already been revealed, are likely to
be explosive.  We already know that the Israeli
Embassy’s political officer, Shai Masot, was discussing ‘taking down’ Deputy
Foreign Secretary, Alan Duncan, who has long been a supporter of the Palestinians.  There is, I understand, much more to come including
the £1m made available for trips to Israel by Labour MPs.  I have been saying for a year now, in
speeches up and down the country, that it is inconceivable that both the Israeli
and American embassies were not involved in the ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign.   In a
speech I gave at the Boycott Israel Network conference on November 5th
I said
this
, in answer to a question:
I mean, someone asked about Mark Regev and the
Israeli embassy, I don’t think Mark Regev began it but certainly he’s involved
in it. If you look at it from this perspective, when Corbyn was elected or
seemed likely to be elected to the Labour leadership, I imagine panic set in,
not just in the Israeli embassy but the US embassy. Britain is the closest ally
of the United States in Europe, the special relationship; the idea that someone
who is anti-Nato, anti-Trident and so on, with his record, I would be amazed if
the CIA and the Intelligence Agencies weren’t doing something. I mean that’s
what they’re paid to do all over the world; why not in Britain? It would be
bonkers if they didn’t; they would be failing in their duties, so, yes, of
course they have been behind this campaign.
Corbyn has cultivated a Jesus like persona of never engaging
in personal attacks and turning the other cheek, but he forgets that even Jesus
drove the sinners out of the temple with whips. 
There comes a time when being nice to your opponents is a sign of weakness
not strength. 
When the fake anti-Semitism allegations first surfaced it
was Corbyn himself who was the target of these allegations.  He was accused
of associating with a holocaust denier, Paul Eisen.  There then followed a series of bogus
accusations – Gerald Kaufmann, then Oxford University Labour Club, Ken
Livingstone, Jackie Walker and other individuals including myself and finally
the Chakrabarti inquiry was set up which found no evidence of
anti-Semitism.  But far from laying the
matter to rest, the Right persisted and only two weeks ago Corbyn accepted
a definition of anti-Semitism which conflates anti-Semitism with opposition to
Israel and Zionism.  Given Corbyn’s 30
year record of support for the Palestinians, his failure to stand up against
these bogus allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ is inexplicable.
Corbyn could have made a simple response that would have
taken the poison out of this fake, Israeli Embassy driven campaign.  He should have said that yes, he condemned
unreservedly anti-Semitism and indeed all forms of racism.  But he should have also made it clear that he
condemned false allegations of anti-Semitism against anti-racists and anti-Zionists.  He should have said that it was monstrous to
abuse the memory of those who died in the Holocaust in order to defend Israeli
racism.  Despite having been accused of
anti-Semitism himself, Corbyn failed to rise to the challenge.  In failing to stand up to the bogus
allegations of anti-Semitism and simply repeating that he wasn’t an
anti-Semite, he encouraged his detractors. 
It didn’t occurr to him that the ‘anti-Semitism’ that his critics talked
about is criticism of Zionism and their Jewish supremacist state, Israel.  It has nothing to do with hatred of Jews as
Jews.
Momentum has not only failed to campaign against the suspensions but by removing Jackie Walker as Vice-Chair, Lansman actively helped the Jewish Labour Movement and Israeli Embassy’s witch hunt.  Lansman has consistently defended the JLM and argued that there was substance to the allegations, even though this has been shown to be untrue.  When Jackie was secretly recorded at a ‘training’ session of the JLM at Labour conference saying she hadn’t yet heard of a definition of anti-Semitism she could work with and then accused of anti-Semitism, instead of defending her Lansman went out of his way to defend Newmark.  In the Guardian he was quoted as saying:  spoke to Jeremy Newmark of the Jewish Labour Movement this morning, he’s very upset and I can understand that.’  The idea that a seasoned operator like Newmark, who was all but accused of perjury by an employment tribunal, was ‘upset’ by the remarks Jackie made, which were spun by the JLM to suggest anti-Semitism, is absurd.  Newmark who had engaged in race baiting Jackie for months, because she was Black-Jewish and anti-Zionist would have been delighted.
Lansman is known to believe himself to be very clever and a smart political operator. If that is the case then one can only assume that he was aware of the links between the JLM and the Israeli Embassy and that he acted accordingly.  Either he was stupid or consciously acting to further the agenda of foreign embassies.  Either way he should depart.
Brexit

Brexit could have offered Labour unimagined
opportunities.  Instead it appears
determined to be caught on the wrong foot. 
I make no apology for being a strong supporter of Remain.  The idea that an independent British capitalism
is preferable to European capitalism is not one that I find particularly attractive.  In the wake of the Brexit vote, there has
been a massive increase in racist attacks. 
Those who believed it was ushering in an age of enlightenment are sadly
misinformed.
Many of those who voted for Brexit did so because they saw
immigration as the cause of their problems. 
Communities which Thatcherism laid to waste, the former mining
communities of the North-East in particular, saw in Brexit a means of reversing
the effect of Thatcherism.  It is our job
not to pander to these sentiments but to make it clear that leaving the
European Union, could well have a devastating effect on Britain’s economy.  The fact that it was bought with the lie that
the NHS would benefit by about £300m a week, merely adds salt to the wound.
The Labour Rights is split over Brexit tactics with some
like Tom Watson happy to exit the single market and others wanting a second
referendum.  A clear message from Corbyn
and McDonnell that Brexit and possibly the break-up of Europe is in no-one’s
interests, that freedom of movement has helped not hurt Britain’s economy and
that having now had a foretaste of what Brexit will be like, with the
devaluation of the pound, that people are indeed entitled to a rethink once the
outline of negotiating terms are agreed. 
Access to the single market should be the touchstone of Labour’s
strategy.
If this analysis is pessimistic it is because I am
pessimistic as to Corbyn’s future.  It
seems like the clock is ticking.  The
Right is still in power, if not in office. 
The failure to control Labour’s civil service is a devastating mistake.  That is why a minor struggle over voting
methods is symbolic of much greater struggles ahead.

Tony Greenstein 

 

 

 

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