By Jake Wilde
The original text is in bold and my translation of what they really mean is in italics.
Individuals and groups using the Momentum name and branding must operate according to the following principles at all times:
It’s important to ensure that there’s an opt-out if needed. When someone holds an official role in an organisation that confers status upon them, but they’re either writing or speaking about a subject that the organisation would not authorise them to write or speak about, there’s an old trick to pull. This is to use the words “in a personal capacity” after their name, the office they hold and the organisation they hold it in. Sometimes the “in a personal capacity” is in microscopic font, abbreviated to “PC” or only ever mentioned in the flyer for the event, and not when introducing the individual at the event. So, for example, when a someone wants to speak at an event that’s beyond the pale even for Momentum (at least publicly), they can still be billed as being from Momentum but the “in a personal capacity” prevents any action being taken. Such privilege is, naturally, only accorded to the chosen.
● As the successor to Jeremy Corbyn’s Leadership Campaign, Momentum promotes the values that Jeremy popularised during the campaign, of fair, honest debate focused on policies, not personal attacks or harassment.
Ever wondered why so many of the Corbynista Twitter accounts are anonymous? Momentumites use their anon accounts to abuse and harass, and their named accounts for the “fair and honest” stuff.
● Momentum seeks to build positive relationships with Constituency Labour Parties, trade unions and other Labour movement or campaigning organisations that share its aims and principles.
The method by which this is achieved is entryism, and the building of those “positive relationships” is done by Momentumites from the inside. The subtext here is also clear: if you’re against us we’ll come after you.
● Momentum seeks to reach out across the community and encourages the participation of people who may not have been involved in political activities before. Ensuring the safety and self expression of everyone is a priority, especially of those who are often marginalised on the basis of their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, religion, class, disability and educational or economic status.
At first glance this looks like a pledge to protect free speech but it’s actually the very opposite. There’s only one version of the truth allowed, and as long as you agree that society has marginalised everyone – a necessary prerequisite for forcibly implementing massive societal change – then you will be allowed to express your (supportive) opinion. Essentially this is an endorsement of identity politics, but also a warning that disagreeing will be condemned as -phobic or -ist.
● Groups of individuals may form local Momentum Groups to share ideas, organise and participate in activities at their local level, which demonstrate how ‘socialist values’ and collective effort can make a positive social and/or environmental impact. These groups must be democratic in their nature and be organised around a spirit of collaboration, inclusion and respect.
You don’t know how soviets work? You will comrade, you will.
● As the successor to Jeremy Corbyn’s Leadership Campaign, Momentum promotes the communication of progressive ideas for political change, such as:
o Opposition to austerity and privatisation,
Austerity really only means spending less than your income, a necessary prerequisite for reducing the deficit, a pledge made by John McDonnell. So this must only refer to bad austerity, or something. And one of the odd things about privatisation is that it just means using the private sector to perform a task previously undertaken by the public sector, even if so doing offers better value, or a better service, to citizens. To oppose this in every single case is simple dogma.
o The promotion of equality and participatory democracy,
“Participatory democracy” is code for “your right to vote is dependent upon turning up to a meeting, and still being there when the vote is taken”. It’s an old scam, to hold meetings when opponents are known to be unavailable, or to drag out proceedings until everyone else has gone home and then take the vote.
o Strong collective bargaining to stamp out workplace injustice,
This means the return of the closed shop, better known as compulsory union membership.
o A big housebuilding programme and rent controls,
How big is your big? This big? Not big enough comrade.
o Action on climate change,
Action eh? Strong stuff.
o No more illegal wars, replacing Trident not with a new generation of nuclear weapons but jobs that retain the communities’ skills,
Describing wars as “illegal” is an oldie but a goodie. This simply translates to “as long as it’s OK with the Russians” as “illegal” means “not endorsed by all of the permanent members of the UN Security Council”. The desire to subcontract our foreign policy decisions to Moscow is simple anti-Americanism, but also owes much to a desire to support Iranian interests in the Middle East, which Russia generally favour. In case you’re wondering this particular clause would have ensured that the Serbs would’ve repeated Srebrenica in Kosovo.
Including Trident is interesting. Labour reached a policy on Trident democratically, so the inclusion of this demand places Momentum in an undemocratic position. The inconsistency with the demand about respecting Corbyn’s election is obvious.
o Public ownership of railways and in the energy sector, and
Carefully phrased to avoid saying “Public ownership of the railways and of the energy sector, because neither is affordable. Would a Government Gas Company survive in the market without making huge losses? Maybe we’ll find out.
o An end to scapegoating of migrants.
A seemingly throwaway line, but one that hints at censorship. How could such a pledge be delivered, or even defined? Which migrants? The ones decried by Jeremy Corbyn for producing downward pressure on wages in the UK?
These are the policies for which Jeremy Corbyn was elected.
● Momentum is wholly committed to working for progressive political change through methods which are democratic, inclusive and participatory.
Jon Lansman’s coup earlier this year disabused many people of the idea that this was indeed the case.
● Momentum seeks to build a social movement in support of the aims of the Labour movement and a fairer and more decent society.
Those familiar with Clause 1 of the Labour’s rules will wonder what this really means for the future of the party. Leading supporters of Momentum have often spoken of ditching Labour if Corbyn was ousted, or indeed, in the past, been actively involved in rivals to Labour.
● Momentum is committed to supporting the Labour Party winning elections and entering government in 2020 and seeks positive and productive engagement with Constituency Labour Parties and trade unions.
And this looks ominously like a deadline.
Failure to abide by this code of ethics may result in suspension or permanent exclusion from Momentum meetings, online groups and/or membership.
“He who has the gold makes the rules.”