Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Dispute about Jade Azim’s article ‘Cranks’ rocks British left.

with 10 comments

Image result for Labour Party cranks


Yesterday this set several felines amongst the peace-loving doves of the British left.

The Real Battle For Labour’s Soul? Lansmanites Vs Cranks

Momentum, as a national body, have been swift and effective. There was a delay in the decision to drop Willsman from their slate, but the line at the top has since been clear: we will not tolerate antisemitism or bigotry that has become the apparent priority of the ‘crank’ left. In doing so, the Momentum National Coordinating Group (NCG) has aligned with the ‘Lansmanites’ who rightly draw the line at the likes of Jackie Walker. But local parties and local Momentum groups have seen rebellion and dissent. This has manifested itself online in organised ‘Twitterstorms’, the replies of Momentum’s Twitter account, and most amusingly in the replies of loyalists such as former Jeremy Corbyn spokesman Matt Zarb-Cousin. These activists, now #JC9-branded, have made it known this is still a hill they want to die on. On the left, the split hasn’t only just emerged – but it’s become too difficult to ignore.

This is poor old Skwawky’s response:

At present the Azimites are winning:

But there is a backlash:

This attack on comrade Azim intensely annoys me, and I imagine many others:


By contrast, the tone, not just the content, of the Azim article is immediately attractive.

The existence of this crank tendency, is one of the reasons many of us on the left have played no part in Momentum.

Not that it defines Momentum.

Or Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters.

There are a number of recommended books for those who want a serious analysis of the Corbyn phenomenon:

The Candidate: Jeremy Corbyn’s Improbable Path to Power Paperback Alex Nunns (Second Edition 2018) 

Nunn’s lucid account focuses on the inner workings of the Corbyn candidacy, both as he won the leadership (twice) in the Labour Party, with a full command of the various Parliamentary, party and union players. There is an illuminating section on the (post-Referendum) 2017 electoral  campaign. The role of Momentum, as a positive force that works to reach outside the Party is underlined. The debate  on whether Momentum should be a support team for Corbyn  or extend to becoming a wider social movement is discussed. 

A Party with Socialists in It: A History of the Labour Left Simon Hannah (2018).

The definitive modern account of the Labour left, pre and post-Corbyn.

Democratic Socialism.

There are problems about Momentum. Its basis may be democratic socialism but supporting Corbyn is its principal focus. Not everybody thinks that left populism’, around a Leader, however important unity may be, is the way forward.

The way the Momentum national structure appears not to have a fully transparent democratic basis, critics says far worse, does not give strong legitimacy to a NGC run by ‘Landsmanites’. Which is not to ignore problems in the way other groups, from the Campaign for Labour Party democracy to the Labour Representation committee, operate internally or externally.

It may well be, signs indicate, that Momentum will run out of steam faced with the present controversies.

Regarding Azim’s main charge, it is true that a fringe of cranks exists in the Labour Party, in Momentum and amongst the ‘ultra-loyalists’ like poor old Skwawky

It would not take long to find the word used for some in the Lansman camp as well……

But one group of kenspeckle cranks  are conspicuous on the issue of  antisemitism, defending their right to shout their ‘anti-Zionism’ at the top of their voices.

This body, Labour Against the Witch Hunt is noted for its oddballs,  internal faction fights and purges.

It is  hard to beat Lansman’s Nemesis,  the Monster Raving Greenstein Party (expelled from Labour and a pillar of Labour Against the Witch-Hunt).

Here is his latest plea for help:

We need to turn the heat up on the BBC and all the other liars in the mainstream press.  When we can have the racist press, the Sun and Mail, being in the forefront of the campaign against ‘anti-Semitism’ we can be sure that the ‘problem’ in the Labour Party is utterly contrived.  That is why Corbyn has to be saved from his own stupidity. If he doesn’t start fighting back he is doomed.  And the person who bears most responsibility is the scab leader of Momentum, Jon Lansman, a Zionist for whom defence of Israel is more important than a socialist Labour Party.  Already there are reports of secret meetings of his MPs.  CORBYN’S CURTAIN CALL: Furious MPs vow to ‘COLLAPSE’ leadership at SECRET MEETINGS

We know who these MPs are and in the event Corbyn manages to win a working majority at the next election we can expect these scabs to refuse to support him as Prime Minister.

We have to deselect Labour’s Tory MPs now.  If their bluff isn’t called then they will, when the time is ripe, act as a Tory/Liberal 5th column.

We confidently predict that we will see some crankery from this quarter after today’s news: Exclusive: Jon Lansman lobbying Labour to adopt full IHRA with examples

Sources tell Jewish News that the Momentum founder believes the NEC must accept full anti-Semitism definition to rebuild trust with the Jewish community.


Written by Andrew Coates

August 9, 2018 at 1:17 pm

10 Responses

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  1. Andrew Coates

    August 9, 2018 at 1:51 pm

  2. Entonoia (c.f. paranoia; etymology: Ye Olde English/Anglo-Saxon; c. Middle Ages) – a state where a person trusts someone automatically to have one’s best interest at heart and/or to not take advantage of or manipulate them.

    Word of the Day

    August 9, 2018 at 3:04 pm

  3. TimBobbins #JC9 > JC9 > Jobcentre 9 > Ipswich. Just the typical behaviour of a Silent Street cock roach. Nothing to so here… move along…

    Riverside Gardens

    August 9, 2018 at 3:21 pm

  4. TimBobbins #JC9 > JC9 > Jobcentre 9 > Ipswich. Just the typical behaviour of a Silent Street cock roach. Nothing to see here… move along…

    Riverside Gardens

    August 9, 2018 at 3:21 pm

  5. S/he does talk some sense

    Michelle Collins tweeted:

    As a parent, who has had children do old style and the new GCSEs, the new ones have been much worse. My daughter has found the amount of memorising required very stressful. Especially the closed book Eng lit papers. She cried pretty much everyday of year 11. Her MH has suffered.

    TimBobbins #JC9 tweeted:

    And none of these skills are applicable to real world tasks needed in later life. In 99% of adult roles, one builds up one’s knowledge in a particular field over time while learning through experience. Education should mirror this. Why are we doing this to our children?


    August 9, 2018 at 3:28 pm

  6. TEACHER! Leave them kids alone!

    Pink Floyd

    August 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm

  7. Andrew Coates

    August 9, 2018 at 5:29 pm

  8. Andrew Coates

    August 10, 2018 at 10:42 am

  9. Has to be Nick Robinson. Am I right? Of course I am. I am ALWAYS right 😀 Back to you, Sophie 😀

    Laura Kuntsberg

    August 10, 2018 at 7:02 pm

  10. A different view:

    ‘Lansmanites’ and ‘cranks’: opponents or allies?


    October 31, 2018 at 12:12 am

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