Momentum Lost

BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN

Two years ago they were still a formidable force feared by the Conservatives. Today Momentum is dead.

Like other Marxist groups that have splintered before the Tories’ eyes over the centuries, Momentum now suffer from a terminal case of the People’s Front of Judea syndrome – meetings about meetings, low vote levels required to pass policies, and a surplus of lunatics. These days Momentum also desperately lack traction.

Back in the day we attended their meetings to find out what they were up to and how to combat their Red Menace. People were genuinely worried about the Corbyn threat, especially back in the General Election years of 2017 and 2019. We bought jumpers out of British Heart Foundation charity shops. Like stamp collectors of Marxist faces, we noted names, roles and titles. We didn’t shave for weeks. Hours spent brushing up on Gramsci and Luxemburg were wasted as meetings were always very light and lowbrow. Get-togethers were fun. There was a feeling of buoyancy – even before their 2019 crash and burn – which first attracted and then kept gullible punters returning. The organisation back then was amazing – they were outperforming the Tories online and engineered innovative doorstep-winning solutions, such as ‘persuasion’ tutorials to win over last-minute swaying voters. Socialist heroin has that effect on newbies. Recruits felt like they were genuinely changing the world.

We reported on how Momentum were planning to give public showings of ‘recruiting sergeant’ Ken Loach films. Along with many others we pointed out how cult Corbyn was a genuine danger and how its acolytes were quite mad. We explained how Momentum were cynically/strategically looking for types of individuals over others, so split into networks accordingly – its women’s network focusing on women in unhappy marriages, who they perceived to be more malleable. There were anti-Semites – plenty of them –  and they were certainly no joke.

I feel a bit guilty now. I shouldn’t. They have been so wiped. We played a small part in their downfall as we helped expose some of Momentum’s prejudice and inconstancy.

I was Clive. My mate Dave was Nick. We were so ideologically out of place but tried our very best to look and sound the part. We were never rumbled. We did quite a few motorway miles to attend various ‘Maomentum’ meetings. And now we can burn our jumpers. Like Momentum, they won’t be ever making a comeback.

We used to wager back then on Momentum’s eventual demise. It was inevitable even at Peak Corbyn. I was sure they would run out of cash, as Momentum’s chief funder, the Communist Jon Lansman, had a vast family property empire but his patience seemed limited. Dave was sure any new Labour Leader – Starmer seemed the logical choice even back then – would ban the movement outright.

We were both wrong.

A look at Momentum’s website today and ‘this is just the beginning’ is their desperate-sounding slogan. Their manifesto for the future, called ‘Socialist Organising in a New Era’ reads like a Methodist church newsletter scribed by Noam Chomsky.  But at least these days the organisation has some grounding on planet earth and admits defeat:

‘In the end we came up short, but much of what we’ve built along the way is here to stay. One thing is certain: the era of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is behind us, and it’s time to move forward’

The clue to the terminal nature of their cancer comes here:

‘We’ll transform Momentum’s structures to create a democratic culture that facilitates this member-led organising, and our staff will support this by developing digital infrastructure, delivering training sessions and providing strategic advice, all under the leadership of the National Coordinating Group (NCG)’

Piss up and brewery spring to mind. The once well-oiled machine has succumbed to government by committee.

Their disease clearly marked out in convoluted structures that make the map of Tokyo’s metro system seem suddenly comprehensible:

Why is it that Marxists have a tendency to over-organise? Micro management works for ants but never for human beings.

Their revival video has lost the Dawn Butler energy / Ruth Berry slickness of days gone by. A series of nonentities make an appearance. They seem jaded, hopeless and worn:

So, let’s stick a neck out. It is now fair to say that Momentum is no longer. Their illusion has shattered. People are wise to the nonsense of socialism again. Once a seemingly unstoppable force, the organisation hit the British People’s rampart of common sense and a general detestation of its rob-thy-neighbour policies. Thank God for that, in spite of the crapness of the record of the current incumbents at Number Ten embracing and acting upon the will of sound Brits.  

How will History judge Momentum’s end?

Momentum were punctured by a bunch of brave Jewish ladies (RIP Janet) and Burke.

Edmund Burke spoke of conservatives “having an ability to perceive truth, argue for justice and combine a disposition to preserve with an ability to improve”. Shine the light of truth on such Marxist entities long enough and they will inevitably fracture and split. They are built on false premise. When Momentum’s connections to unsavoury groups and ideologies were exposed for all to see, paranoia soon followed and key cadres fled – there was never any turning back from that.

Dominic Wightman is Editor of Country Squire Magazine