Fight for Momentum heats up as Lansman claims members are being ‘disenfranchised’

Momentum supporters at a Liverpool fringe festival during the Labour party conference in September [Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images].

The most interesting part of this story is Jon Lansman’s claim that Momentum members are being “disenfranchised” by a decision to let elected delegates approve motions at the organisation’s conference next February.

Perhaps we should all remind ourselves that the choice was between a delegate system that would examine all motions put before it, or Mr Lansman’s hybrid plan that would mix a delegate-led conference with a computerised, ‘one-member-one-vote’ scheme that would whittle down the supportable resolutions until only three were left.

Which of those is more democratic? Ultimately, This Writer thinks the delegate system has the edge – simply because it doesn’t impose an unnecessary limit on the number of resolutions to be passed.

One wonders why Mr Lansman wanted to impose such a limit in the first place.

Jon Lansman, the founder of Momentum and a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, has promised to fight for his key role in the grassroots organisation following claims that it has been taken over by Trotskyists and could split.

In a statement to the Guardian, Lansman distanced himself from rumours he could walk away and claimed recent changes to the organisation had disenfranchised many of its thousands of members.

His first comments on the group’s internal crisis come as the activist accused of leading an alleged Trotskyist takeover said Lansman himself had first raised the prospect of a split last month.

Jill Mountford, who is on the organisation’s steering committee, said that far from being pushed out, Lansman appeared to be reacting to changes to the democratic structures which meant that he could no longer control it.

Lansman in turn indicated that he had not yet given up on the organisation he set up and whose database he controls. “Of course I’m not walking away from Momentum, but I do take the disenfranchisement of most of our 21,000 members very seriously,” he said.

Source: Jon Lansman vows stay in Momentum | Politics | The Guardian

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7 thoughts on “Fight for Momentum heats up as Lansman claims members are being ‘disenfranchised’

  1. elspethparris

    The previous article that you linked to doesn’t say that motions would be limited to three, but to 24! 6 in each of 4 categories. This is much more reasonable.

    “Mr Lansman’s proposal was for his online, one-member-one-vote method to be used to propose motions and gather supporters for them – but also to whittle them down to the six most popular motions in each of three categories – purpose, ethics and structure (and a catch-all ‘other’ category for those that don’t fit in any of them).”

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      From the article you mention: “Here’s the catch, though: Only the top three proposals – one for each category – would be approved.”

      1. Di Finch

        Not sure why this is a problem. It would be democratically decided OPOV rather than forceful delegates pushing their own agendas.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        But the amount of choice would be restricted at every stage. How do you know it would be administered fairly?

  2. Di Finch

    If there is electronic voting surely there is a record of numbers cast? As Momentum is a grassroots group then it should be the grassroot members rather than people with their own agendas on some issues that should make the decisions.
    Often those attending local branch meetings are a minority of the actual membership. Thus minority decisions get pushed forward by delegates.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Trouble is, only one person would be running the electronic voting system – or so the evidence suggests.

  3. Diana Finch

    Something needs to be done to ensure Momentum is grassroots movement and not a vehicle fir some in the Far Left to move it in their own ideological direction.

Comments are closed.