Tony Greenstein | 19 July 2019 | Post Views:

Open Letter to Jon Lansman – the Proprietor and Owner of Momentum

Is there anyone left on the Left that you haven’t yet betrayed?

Dear Jon Lansman,

Sorry for not having written for some time but this is to let you know that I’ve cancelled my son’s subscription to Momentum which I took out to enable him to vote at the local Brighton and Hove Momentum AGM.

There doesn’t really seem to be much point in belonging to Momentum any longer does there? Momentum was established to defend the Jeremy Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party but ever since you got into bed with the Jewish Labour Movement, Margaret Hodge and those making false accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ against socialists, anti-Zionists and anti-racists, Momentum has become, how shall I put it, somewhat irrelevant.

Given the almost daily attacks by Tom Watson on the Corbyn leadership one might have expected you to break your trappist silence. Indeed the question on many peoples’ lips is ‘what is Momentum for’?

I understand that this is the reason for the recent haemorrhage in Momentum membership. There was a time when you boasted every week about how many new members you had. Perhaps you might confirm whether or not it is true that membership has slipped from a peak of over 40,000 to under 30,000 now?

I notice that you have been very quiet about the 64 Peers, New Labour leftovers and corporate lobbyists who paid for afull page advert in the Guardian two days ago calling on Jeremy to resign.

Surely you don’t find it difficult to point out the racist record of former Home Secretary John Reid who protested that Jeremy had failed to ‘to defend our party’s anti-racist values’. This is the same John Reid who boasted about ‘throwing out” record numbers of asylum seekers’ and who hoped to make life “constrained and uncomfortable” for illegal immigrants. Yes the hostile environment policy didn’t start with Theresa May.

Indeed your silence in the face of Tom Watson’s attacks on Chris Williamson and Jenny Formby are equally puzzling, except for the fact that you have attacked the former and kept silent over the latter.

Watson is the person who defended Phil Woolas MP when two judges from the High Court removed him as an MP for lying about an opponent in the 2010 General Election. Woolas’s election campaign was based on ‘making the white folk angry’.

Tom Watson, the great campaigner against ‘anti-Semitism’ ‘lost sleep over poor Phil’ but perhaps that is because he ran a similar campaign in the 2004 Birmingham Hodge Hill by-election putting out leaflets that said‘”Labour is on your side, the Lib Dems are on the side of failed asylum seekers.”

Indeed despite Tom Watson’s professed concerns about ‘anti-Semitism’ there was more than a whiff of the stuff in hishounding of Leon Brittan over allegations of paedophillia. You will remember that Brittan was dying of cancer at the time. As Nick Cohen wrote: ‘When he hounded a dying man to his grave, Watson sank lower than the News of the Worldreporters he and Hacked Off once fought.’ As we saw with Jenny Formby, Tom Watson likes to attack those who are suffering from cancer.

If you still don’t feel confident in defending Jeremy Corbyn against allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ can I suggest that you read Aaron Bastani’s excellent article on the background to these hypocritical racists or indeed Skwawkbox.

Your silence over the continual attacks on Corbyn can only be explained by the fact that you have reached the conclusion that he too must go. After all you have stabbed virtually everyone else you once befriend – from Christine Shawcroft to Peter Willsman – in the back.

You first came to my attention as someone who was active in the campaigns to elect Tony Benn as Deputy Leader and later Leader of the Labour Party. I suspect that if Tony were alive today and saw how you were deliberately undermining and helping to destroy the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, something which unfortunately Tony did not live long enough to see, then he would have no hesitation in denouncing you as just another in the long line of left-wingers who had betrayed those who put their trust in them.

Finally I have still not forgiven you for describing me as “probably the rudest person I know in politics. He says many offensive things, most of the time”. There is no excuse for qualifying your description of me with ‘probably.’ When it comes to calling out traitors, backsliders, opportunists and hypocrites I pride myself on not speaking in clichés or euphemisms . Suffice to say you qualify on all counts.

Yours truly,

Tony Greenstein

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  1. AnneTan42 on 19/07/2019 at 2:11pm

    Fortunately I live in Wales and belong to ‘Wales Labour Grassroots’ which is affiliated with Momentum.

    I can leave Momentum and still be a member of WLG.

    WLG is a lot older than Momentum it was flourishing when I moved back to Wales in the 90’s.

  2. Richard Comaish on 19/07/2019 at 4:31pm

    Sad but true. Sad to see Bromley Momentum joining Bromley Trades Council, Unite, the Labour Party and Clarion Housing Group in the ongoing defamatory right-wing witch hunt against me. You’d think Unite and the ‘left’ would see thru the bogus right-wing claims of antisemitism, but then, Bromley is Bromley. Or is it Momentum? I started having doubts about Momentum when, at a local Labour Party meeting, someone said ‘Critical Mass’ and it occurred to me that it was a better moniker for a left-wing political movement than ‘Momentum.’ But then I found out that it had already seemingly been taken by those somewhat delinquent cyclists who take over city streets on Friday evenings, keeping pedestrians waiting to cross while they glide past en masse. A tricyclist, myself, I do wonder about their strategy.

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