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Left Futures recommends the following candidates in Momentum’s elections

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Under Momentum’s new constitution, members have the opportunity to elect twelve people to the National Coordinating Group to represent them. Left Futures is supporting the following candidates in these elections, and encourages all those who are also interested in moving on from internal disputes, building Momentum up to take on the Tories and transform the Labour Party to vote for them too.

These candidates are comprised of some of Momentum’s best grassroots activists who have built up their local groups, and people who have been building up Labour and winning victories for the left, both in the party and elsewhere, for a long time. 

 

London and South East

Puru Miah – A co-founder of People’s PPE, who rejoined Labour after Corbyn’s win. Puru says:

I was born and raised in Bedford, and have friends in the surrounding cities and towns of Northampton, Luton, Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Norwich. I am aware and conscious of bringing a non London centric view. I will do my utmost to make representation of views and issues which exist in the South East outside of London. Momentum has the potential to be a vehicle to empower communities which feel they have been left behind outside the M25.

Pascale Mitchell – Helped build up Momentum Southwark from the beginning, and ran phonebanks for Jeremy Corbyn in 2016. Pascale says:

Momentum is transforming how people do politics. I helped at the Unite phone bank sessions during the Jeremy For Labour campaign and then set up a local phone bank event, which Jeremy Corbyn attended. I was also workshop manager at The World Transformed Conference.

David Braniff-Herbert – David has vast experience in organising within the labour movement. He is a Senior Organiser for LGBT+ teachers in the National Union of Teachers; GMB SHOUT!; LGBT+ Committee Member TUC; LGBT+ Committee Member (2013-16) Reclaim Vauxhall; LGBT+ walk Organiser; Young Workers Month founder; GMB Young Members founder; HOPE not hate National Organiser (2010-13)’. David says:

I provided a policy briefing to Jeremy on LGBT+ issues before his interview with Pink News last year. I am a co-founder of London LGBT+ Momentum and facilitate meetings including running workshops, writing minutes and chairing. If you want someone that truly understands organising – who will facilitate access for wider participation including disabled people and carers and who will help win a transformative Labour Party then please vote for me.

Christine Shawcroft – A Labour NEC member for many years, Christine is a longstanding activist on the Labour Left, and has been a member of Momentum’s Steering Committee. Christine says:

I have been a party member for 40 years and have fought to represent members on Labour’s NEC for 17. I have been involved with Momentum from the very beginning. We have excellent staff and volunteers who deserve our support. I want to work with all our members and supporters to build a Momentum, and Labour Party, to be proud of.

Wales, South West, West Midlands, East Midlands, Eastern division

Cecile Wright – A Labour member for over 30 years, co-chairing the Black Caucus. She is also Vice-Chair and BAME officer of her CLP, and organises campaigns against all forms of racism and xenophobia. Cecile’s says:

The lives of ordinary people in the UK can only be improved with a Labour government.
These values must guide us in our effort to support the NHS, provide homes for all and reverse the austerity cuts by the Tory/Liberal coalition. We need a politics that improves living standards for all, not just a few.

Martin Menear – In Labour since 1978, Martin has made massive efforts to rebuild moribund Labour Parties in South West (read more about his efforts here as well as the challenges of building the Labour Party in Cornwall and South West). Martin says:

In 2016 I volunteered as SW coordinator of Jeremy’s leadership campaign. The Heartlands rally in Cornwall attracted thousands in an area hostile to Labour. I believe most members want to get on with campaigning – building a left Labour Party in their areas. The time has come to stop debating structures and direct our fire onto the Tories.

Sam Poulson – A member of Momentum Birmingham South since last year’s leadership election, and was elected from his branch to the Momentum Regional Committee, and then to the National Committee. Momentum Birmingham South is one of the most vibrant group in the West Midlands, a region which has been difficult for the Labour Left to organise in for decades. Sam says:

I’ve been a member of Labour since the age of 18, often feeling disillusioned, demotivated and powerless to influence the only party that came close to representing my views. 6 years later, Corbyn and this movement have given me fresh hope and inspired me to become politically active and campaign for what I believe in. Now is not the time for internal bickering, factionalism or other disputes which will distract us from our goals. It is vital that we organise within the Labour party to ensure it’s both strong and democratic. We need to take on the Tories and succeed in getting a socialist Labour government elected.

Liz Hames – Active member of Calling for Corbyn, and a key organiser in Lincolnshire Momentum. Liz says:

I am an experienced campaigner and have campaigned in the PCC and EU elections and for the City Council elections in Lincoln. I am also a member of Lincolnshire Women’s group and am a big believer in equality for in every area of life. I want to help the organisation progress in any way I can, which is why I am standing for the NCG.

Northern Division (Northeast, North west, Scotland, Yorkshire and Humber)

Gemma Thornton – Gemma has been a key Momentum organiser in Leeds, helping lots of new members get involved in their CLPs. She set up city-wide network of campaigners sharing best practice, councillor training, and ran phonebanks in 2016 Jeremy for Labour. Gemma says:

As a Labour member in East Leeds and the membership secretary for our CLP, my role has been to bring the hundreds of new members we’ve gained here over the last two years into our party. Whether it was running the phone banks in Leeds, setting up a city-wide network of campaigners to share best practice, or training our candidates for selection and election to the council, I’ve worked constantly to unite our movement and make it stronger.

Nav Mishra – Founder of Stockport Momentum, one of the most successful local groups, who attract around 40 people per meeting. You can read about their activities here. Nav says:

As a 27-year-old retail worker, I’ve been active in my trade union, Unite, and my local Labour Party in Stockport for several years. I have served as Vice-Chair and parliamentary elections agent for my CLP of Hazel Grove, as well as campaigning with Young Labour across the North West.

Elizabeth Hayden –  Elizabeth’s statement:

I work in community arts in Liverpool. Every day I work alongside local people to encourage community activism and political engagement. I am a member of my trade union Unite and I sit on the North West Young Members Committee, where our focus has been on tackling the exploitation of young workers in our region.

John Taylor – John’s statement:

I have been an active member of the Labour Party and Trade Union Movement all my adult life, having been a Branch Secretary / Chair, Constituency Chair/ Secretary. I believe I am widely respected for my work in Momentum Teesside, the Labour Party and the Trade Union movement am currently Secretary of Tees Unite Community, Vice Chair Momentum Teesside and Executive Member Redcar CLP.

Here’s the full list of those Left Futures is recommending a vote for:

London and South East

Puru Miah

Pascale Mitchell

David Braniff-Herbert

Christine Shawcroft

Wales, South West, West Midlands, East Midlands, Eastern division

Cecile Wright

Martin Menear

Sam Poulson

Liz Hames

Northern Division (Northeast, North west, Scotland, Yorkshire and Humber)

Gemma Thornton

Nav Mishra

Elizabeth Hayden

John Taylor

23 Comments

  1. James Martin says:

    Well how interesting. “Left Futures is supporting the following candidates in these elections…”. And how did that decision come to be made James, and by who? Who or what exactly is Left Futures? Who held the meeting to decide this ‘recommendation’, when was it held, and where? Who attended it? I certainly knew nothing about it, so how would I as a LF participant be able to be a part of that process? Should I have been, and if not why not? Is LF like Momentum a limited company, and if it is what are we doing having individually owned limited companies take the place of democratic socialist movements?

    Further, I understand that following the Lansman coup in Momentum that Left Futures has some sort of a delegate on it’s new governing body. Is this true James? If it is true who is it, how is this person selected, who votes for them and how can they be changed?

    Or to put it another way, please would you (and Jon Lansman) have the decency to answer the following five very easy questions:

    1. What power have you got?
    2. Where did you get it from?
    3. In whose interests do you exercise it?
    4. To whom are you accountable?
    5. How can we get rid of you?

    1. Ric Euteneuer says:

      “Left Futures is supporting the following candidates in these elections…”

      And how did that decision come to be made James, and by who?”

      By the person who runs Left Futures

      “Who or what exactly is Left Futures?”

      It’s a blog written by Jon Lansman and others. Also a company

      https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09689986/officers

      “Who held the meeting to decide this ‘recommendation’”

      Presumably the people above

      “When was it held, and where?”

      You’d need to ask the people above

      “Who attended it?”

      Jon Lansman and others, at a wild guess

      “I certainly knew nothing about it, so how would I as a LF participant be able to be a part of that process?”

      LF is not a membership organisation, so why would you know something about it? “Being an LF participant” does not make you part of a democratic process to back a candidate, as again, LF is not a membership organisation, it’s a blog, you’re free to write one of your own. Being a reader of the Guardian/Red Pepper/the South London Press does not afford you the right to say what these organisations print and what opinions they propagate.

      “Is LF like Momentum a limited company”

      Yes.

      https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09689986

      But it’s also a blog

      “What are we doing having individually owned limited companies take the place of democratic socialist movements?”

      You probably need to ask such beacons of democracy like the AWL and the Socialist Party questions like this, in the first instance.

      “1. What power have you got?”

      None – it’s a blog

      “2. Where did you get it from?”

      You – by reading it

      “3. In whose interests do you exercise it?”

      Democratic socialism, I would hazard a guess

      “4. To whom are you accountable?”

      No-one, as, er, it’s a blog.

      “5. How can we get rid of you?”

      Not reading the blog ?

      1. James Martin says:

        You really don’t understand the labour movement or battels for Labour Party democracy do you Ric? I have no problems with privately owned blogs, but I do have a problem when an organisation (Momentum) that seeks to represent the ‘left’ within the Labour Party has such a clearly undemocratic basis to it and where unelected ‘delegates’ like those from LF have as much power as the very limited number of elected ones.

        In fact in many ways I suspect that Progress is more democratic and transparent in how it operates than Momentum is currently. If you don’t think that Tony Benn’s approach to democratic accountability is important then fine, but as an old Bennite myself asking such questions to someone like Jon Lansman who has traded on his own pasty associations with Benn for years is rather important given the influence he has at the top of the Party with people like Corbyn and McDonnell.

        I want a democratic transformation of the Labour Party and for it to adopt socialist policies formulated by the grassroots members. What is it exactly that you want when you are not sneering Ric?

        1. Ric Euteneuer says:

          What do I want ? Democratic socialists to join the Labour Party and Momentum. Groups like the AWL and SP to stop lecturing the Labour Party in democracy when they don’t actually practice it themselves. The AWL’s Damascene conversion to a delegate based organisation solely centres around their ability to organise more effectively, despite representing a tiny percentage of Momentum’s members. Their sole motivation in joining Momentum is to recruit more members, as is the SP’s association with local groups.

          What do I want ? Democratic socialism and a democratic mandate that includes *all* socialists in the Labour Party, not just tiny unrepresentative groupscules.

          1. James Martin says:

            Ric, I’m not sure how long you have been a Party member, but I have been one for more than three decades. I am not a member of any other political grouping, although I am happy to work in a non-sectarian way with any socialist or socialist organisation to achieve common aims. I’ve seen plenty of witch hunts over the years, and I’ve seen how the right wing who have done that have also systematically destroyed our internal democracy.

            Democracy within the labour movement is never an optional extra, Tony Benn understood that and rightly had it at the heart of his own politics, something that I too always try to adhere to, which is why I have so many problems with Momentum aside from some political disagreements (I find myself ironically constantly to the left of the Momentum leadership these days). But how ironic that you talk of “unrepresentive groupscules” having just defended a privately owned blog that is accountable to no one making recommendations on Momentum elections and having its own automatic delegate that no one can challenge in a democratic way. If you are a young student with much to learn then that is one thing, but otherwise your breathtaking hypocrisy on labour movement democracy would be funny if it were not so utterly tragic.

            At least though you sum up nicely why as an old Labour Party socialist still loyal to Tony Benn’s politics that I have come to the sad conclusion that Momentum is now a barrier to democratising the Labour Party, and thereby opening it up to adopting socialist policies, rather than a vehicle for it. Not that you will probably be bothered by that, after all I see that Owen Jones now writes emails on behalf of Momentum, the same rotten Owen Jones I assume who disgracefully sat on his hands for more than a week while the PLP coup against Corbyn unfolded last summer and refused to condemn it until he saw whether Jeremy would be bullied into standing down or not. With friends like those…

      2. Karl Stewart says:

        Not a Momentum members, so wouldn’t be voting in this in any case. But Ric Euteneuer’s response to questions sound like:

        “Shut up, do as you’re told, vote for these candidates, and don’t ask why.”

      3. Steven says:

        This comment is lol

    2. Danny Nicol says:

      Exactly. Who is this “Left Futures” supporting this list of candidates? Person or persons unknown. After the Momentum coup, this is a wholly illegitimate slate for an entirely illegitimate body. That takes some doing!

      Corbynistas should have binned Blairite manipulation from the word “go”. But just as the Blairites supercharged Thatcherism rather than discarding it when they came to office. so too a supercharged Blairism has now become the standard political practice of the Momentum Coup-bynistas. A precursor no doubt to a thorough-going conversion to “Washington Consensus” neoliberalism.

  2. Bill says:

    This is an honest question. What is the point of Momentum other than its original mission to support the election of Jeremy Corbyn.

    Are Labour Party members not being distracted from our main aim of actually engaging in the party?

    Is Momentum a campaign group, or should it be a campaign group a bit like 38 degrees?

    Is it an organisation storing contact info so that if the Labour Party splits or ‘left wingers’ are bunged out at least we have a home to go to?

    I honestly don’t know so you tell me.

  3. Charlie Mansell says:

    Having read the other comments above, I am surprised why people are so angry it suggested a list of candidates it preferred. This blog often makes recommendations for internal Labour elections and thus performs a service that none of the others above would ever have criticised.

    That also entitles it to express a view on an internal election within the Labour left too. It’s not as if others are not doing similar such as Sacha Ismail who has often written at the AWL website. Go and have a look at his Facebook page. There also now seems to be something called Grassroots Momentum too which is standing candidates in opposition to the slate above.

    I suspect the anger is more because the the 80% pro-OMOV and 21c ‘platform’ structures survey result combined with the earlier 67% Remain vote by Momentum members indicates that Jon Lansman almost certainly has a better understanding of the political demographics of the 20,000 Momentum members than the small number of advocates still arguing for 20c ‘gatekeeper’ structures

    1. Danny Nicol says:

      You talk about “a list of candidates it preferred”, Charlie: “it” presumably referring to Left Futures. Left Futures has no members. The blog appears to have two leading lights, Jon Lansman and James Elliot. So in all likelihood this is a slate decided by only two blokes. Talk of a Left Futures slate serves to conceal this.

      There are a larger number of comrades who often make comments on the articles published here. None of them appears to have been asked for their opinion on these names.

      1. John Penney says:

        As a local Momentum Group organiser and Labour Party activist who rejoined Labour after a 25 year absence, directly because of the huge hopes for Left advance raised by the astonishingly unexpected 2015 Corbyn Leadership victory, what is one to make of all this ?

        First, I think a major caveat need to be made about the mistaken idea that the recent ruthlessly cynical undemocratic seizure of complete control of Momentum by Jon Lansman and his Old Left Corbynite circle has derailed a radical socialist Left mass movement. Au contraire , it is quite clear by now that the overall politics of the 20,000 Momentum members is , at best, “liberal reformist” , with very little socialist politics evident. Have a look at the, now irrelevant, MxV site proposed motions for clear evidence of this sad fact.

        This makes the earlier , equally cynically undemocratic, disproportionate seizure of Momentum leadership body “delegacies” by the tiny factions of the ultraleft, (taking advantage of the Lansman circle’s deliberate failure to create a branch-based national framework for Momentum), simply a farcical diversion from the real challenges in fighting for Left advance in the Labour Party.

        The 20,000 momentum Members were never going to be manipulated onto a hijacked Momentum “vehicle “ to form “The Revolutionary Party” . It would have been akin to hijacking the 1970’s Young Liberal ”Red Guards” to the same end ! I think it is this dismal level of socialist political awareness amongst Momentum members that I find most disappointing. The small claque , perennially accommodationist politics of the Old Guard Labour left Corbyn/Lansman Circle, and the manipulative irrelevance of the tiny ultraleft are just a fixed reality .

        The 20,000 Momentum Members could however potentially have been combined with a Corbyn Leadership group determined to transform the local and national politics and structures of the Party significantly to the ( radical liberal reformist) anti austerity Left, to create a real challenge to the corrupt, neoliberal, Austerity accepting, current Labour party .

        Sadly the combination of a politically very ideologically weak, Momentum , now totally under bureaucratic control via an entirely bogus “OMOV” process (12 Delegates elected via OMOV , but 16 put on the leadership body via a wide range of dodgy “affiliations” – including, breathtakingly, being a delegate of this private “Left Futures” Blog !), and a Corbyn Leadership Team in Parliament clearly now entirely captive of the Labour Right’s intransigence, bodes ill for any real Left advance for the Left in the Party from now on.

        I don’t know what success Momentum has had in Stoke in particular in getting masses of Momentum Members out to canvas for the rabidly anti Corby, Right Wing Labour candidate, but it seems unlikely that many Momentum members will for long be motivated to put in serious time to canvass, time after time, to get ever more neoliberal Right Wingers into the PLP or local councils . It’s not what Momentum Members expected when they joined during the “Corbyn Surge “ ( even if for probably the majority, their hopes were always of a decidedly limited , Left liberal scope !

        1. Danny Nicol says:

          I agree. From the start Momentum were overwhelmingly a bunch of left liberals with a paltry number of socialists within their ranks. Notwithstanding this, however, the coup was intended to make absolutely sure that the organisation offers no resistance to a complete capitulation by the Corbyn leadership to the pro-austerity, neoliberal majority in the PLP.

          1. Paul Hutchens says:

            Yawn

  4. David Pavett says:

    I joined Momentum from the start even though I always thought (and said) that it had been badly misconceived. Now that the chickens are coming home to roost and the organisation is beset by internal squabbling I feel increasingly detached from it. I just signed out of the interminable factional messages from my local group.

    I thought on first glancing through the above article “Ah, they are getting the message that when people stand for election they need to say what they are standing for”. But when I read the blurbs from the candidates I felt instant depression. When all an experienced activist like Christine Shawcroft can say is

    I have been a party member for 40 years and have fought to represent members on Labour’s NEC for 17. I have been involved with Momentum from the very beginning. We have excellent staff and volunteers who deserve our support. I want to work with all our members and supporters to build a Momentum, and Labour Party, to be proud of.

    When, in the midst of organisational difficulties and massive policy lacunae, such a bland message is all that can be said then it is a racing certainty that things are very far from healthy.

    1. Stephen Bellamy says:

      The depth and width of the corruption in the LP is such that it needs a thorough clean up before anyone can think of being proud of it.

      It is probably beyond resemption.

  5. C MacMackin says:

    I’m less concerned by the fact that Left Futures has endorsed certain candidates than the fact that there is no explaination as to why they were endorsed. As David has said, the blurbs provided by the candidates themselves are exercises in banality. Nothing was said in this article to indicate what the candidates have to offer in terms of organisation or policy. Following links, I see that these candidates clearly make up slates. Who organised the slate? Why wasn’t this mentioned in the article? What is the purpose of these slates, given that the candidates don’t appear to be running on any discernable positions?

  6. Ray says:

    Just to affirm that I rejoined Labour following 20 years membership just in order to support Corbyn. I rejoined Labour and Momentum. I’m appalled at the way the right furiously organised throughout the constituencies last year in order to win delegates to Conference while Lansman invested the Momentum energies towards organising a pointless jamboree adjacent to the real conference which was being hijacked by the right whose mobilisation had been rewarded with control of the conference. I continue to keep my membership of Momentum but only until I can ascertain whether the organisation can be wrested off private ownership and democratised into a socialist body whose aims are to transform Labour to a Socialist party. This will not happen as long as Lansmans clique control the organisation as a private fiefdom .

  7. Andy Newman says:

    Well done James, that bis an excellent slate of candidates. Thank you for publicising

  8. Bazza says:

    I’d stand myself to build a Left Wing Democratic Socialist Momentum in Labour but can’t be bothered trailing down to London x times a year!
    Oh and it would then probably hopefully try to merge with LRC Labour members and only if both sets of members agreed.
    And as for the sectarian/bourgeois socialists/middle class liberals/non-Labour members of Momentum frankly I don’t give a damn!
    But I am getting tired of being told by some mysterious process who are the Labour Left Great and Good.
    But equally the non-Labour member forces are mysteriously also promoting their great and good.
    Momentum should have been set up as Labour Momentum in the first place as a left pressure group to counter Neo-Liberal Progress and JL has perhaps gone about it a bit crack handed; were the non-Labour members of Momentum really going to to vote like Trot Turkeys for Christmas?
    I would rather anyone interested in positions to be able to write 500 POLITICAL words about themselves and what they stand for and want then the grassroots can choose the best socialists.
    We could have categories such as 50/50 male/female, working class (occupation parent/s), LGBT/BME/Disabled.
    These could have been posted on all the Left websites etc and/or mailed to Labour Momentum members.
    Although I have had to make major adjustments to my life I now attend my branch meetings (it is 50/50 Corbyn/Against) – the rest of the Corbynistas just don’t come but at times you feel you are fighting almost alone.
    I supported the Momentum Constitution because it broke with the bourgeois socialists but it wasn’t offering bottom up, grassroots, left wing democratic socialism (a space between Revolutionary Socialism and Reformism) but in my opinion there are perhaps 3 battles for this.
    1. Beat the bourgeois socialists outside Labour (and some of the old Left have to have confidence in new ways and learn to let go) 2. Beat the Neo-Liberal Right in Labour. 3. Beat the Tories, UKIP, Lib Dems – Capitalist Neo-Liberalism’s Ist X1, 2nd X1, and 3rd X1 (Labour’s Right are the 4th X1).
    So I will keep on beavering away.
    So for me.
    What power have you got?
    Just my ideas drawn from wide reading and life experience as a working class kid from poverty who was first in family to go to university.
    Where did you get it from?
    Hopefully elected on these ideas by Labour members.
    In whose interests do you exercise it for?
    For the oppressed of the World but I am a faciltator of power, I try to generate ideas to be shared, discussed, amended, added to, so people empower themselves -a socialism WITH.
    Who are you accountable to?
    Whichever electorate that gave me potential power to do this.
    How can we get rid of you?
    Don’t vote for me, vote me out!

  9. Bazza says:

    Footnote but in this election I will probably vote for this slate and I know at least one of the Leeds Momentum candidates is a grafter and a good socialist.
    But in future we need to improve our practice.

  10. So the Leninists discover that Labour is a reformist organization, not a revolutionary one. As if they didn’t know. Their handbook says they should take over a mass workers party and they see an opportunity via the kids joining Momentum. Momentum’s founders see what is going on and outwit the Leninists. How upset the revolutionaries now are. Of course they could always try and build their own mass movement, or even a British Syriza, but that never seems to happen, at least not since old Gerry Healy for all his terrible faults and crimes gave it a go. As always it’s a middle class cadre looking for working class cannon fodder.

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