Churches Should Ban Momentum

BY ALEXIA JAMES

The cases of antisemitism right at the heart of Momentum’s leadership are infamous. The cases of antisemitism linked to Momentum via its members or past members are rife. This is partly because of the Hard Left’s fixation with Palestine but more to do with the bogeyman hatred the group tries to foster as part of its activism, which manifests itself in Tory effigies hung from bridges in Manchester, the revival of dangerous conspiracy theories and armies of trolls across Twitter and Facebook comprised of the likes of “Rachel” from Swindon.

Image result for rachel swindon antisemitic tweet

Momentum is a peculiar entity. It was formed to support Jeremy Corbyn, who now has the lowest poll rating of any UK opposition leader since 1977. Its founder Jon Lansman is the personification of incongruity – a communist multimillionaire. Its trolls threatened to “spear” a Tory politician, “put his head on a spike” and threatened a Tory MP’s pregnant wife with vile messages saying they hoped her baby died. Meanwhile, Momentum aims to transform society at every level? A kinder, gentler politics…

With an alleged 40,000 members Momentum is hardly the type of organisation that is struggling for pennies, yet the group still seems very keen on hiring dusty, old church halls. Is this because the Quakers woke up to the fact their reputation was likely to become permanently sullied by allowing Momentum to use its venues? Friends House in Euston near Momentum HQ used to be a favourite meeting location for this Labour-linked rabble – it is a multi-use building at 173 Euston Road in Euston, in central London, that houses the central offices of British Quakers. The Quakers cancelled an event in August that was due to host suspended “Jew-baiter” and Momentum favourite, the MP Chris Williamson – set to take place at a Quaker meeting house in Brighton after two other venues pulled out. At the time the Quakers made a clear statement: “Quakers in Britain recognise that antisemitism is a real and growing problem in the UK and globally. Antisemitism, as with all forms of racism, contravenes our fundamental belief that all people are equal and precious.” It seems the Quakers have woken up to what actually goes on at meetings of the Hard Left.

Attention has already been drawn to churches for hosting antisemitic speakers. St Anne’s in Soho, London, hosted a neo-Nazi group, ‘Keep Talking’ – the founder of ‘Keep Talking’ is notorious Holocaust Denier Nicholas Kollerstrom who argues that the purpose of the gas chambers at Auschwitz was to kill lice. Wesley Memorial Church has been hosting Momentum events for Momentum in Oxford. Momentum Birmingham used Stechford Baptist Church just this month for its Birmingham Yardley AGM. Hillingdon Momentum use Christ Church in Uxbridge. Momentum Edinburgh use the Augustine United Church.

St Matthew’s Church in Ealing saw the light. It cancelled a meeting back in 2016 where it was suspected there would be trouble as the Hard Left had attracted backlash from Jewish activists. This was the correct course of action.

Why should churches which are home to congregations of multiple political persuasions be the meeting grounds for this tiny subsection of British society which is riddled with antisemitic views and some of whose opinions are not fit for this century let alone church buildings? Momentum thugs are well known for their heckling and shouting matches when the Labour party’s antisemitism inquiry gets mentioned – should this kind of behaviour be tolerated in buildings built to honour Jesus?

Forgiving though he is, Jesus – lest we all forget – was a Jew.

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