So, last week, I deleted my original article on Momentum last week, after two friends told me it read like an attack. I replaced it with an apology. However, since then, I’ve now received three responses from friends telling me that my original article did not read as an attack and was instead an important and necessary critique. Two of these friends told me that they forwarded it to others who said that it also chimed with their own experiences of Momentum and the Labour Party more generally.
I agree that any individual and organisation should be open to critique and that was the spirit in which I wrote the original piece. I was not silenced by anyone. I was just wary about attacking anyone.
I planned to restore the original article to this site, but I’ve deleted it now.
So suffice to say that in the article I critiqued the organisational practices of Momentum which, I believed, would not enable the group to recruit enthusiastic new members, cultivate internal democracy, nor achieve the political goals it set itself. In short, from my personal experiences, I couldn’t see Momentum sustaining momentum and argued for a more inclusive, participatory, decentralised approach that focused on building relationships as a priority. I also argued that if Labour Party people saw their fight as against the Blairites then this also meant that they should focus not on the Blairites, but on reaching out in democratic alliance with grassroots groups, movements, and campaigns. Momentum rises from below, was the main message.
In conclusion, thanks to those who both critiqued the article as attack and to those who assured me that it was well judged and important. I’m very glad to receive your feedback. I hope this brief journey shows all my readers that I’m very open to criticism, I’m prone to errors of judgment, and that I seek to attack no one.