Momentum election results show appetite for radical change
Momentum members have elected a new leadership in the wake of Jon Lansman’s departure. Activists from the Forward Momentum slate – standing on a promise to democratise the labour movement and fight for socialist policies – have swept the board.This demonstrates the real fighting mood that exists amongst grassroots Labour members. The task now is to turn this victory into a platform for a determined fightback against the Blairites and the Tories.Forward vs ‘Renewal’:Forward Momentum candidates ran a bold and positive campaign, pledging to put power back into the hands of grassroots activists.As part of a comprehensive programme, the slate called for open selection and “an end to selection stitch-ups and backroom deals”. These calls for greater democracy come alongside socialist demands for public ownership, and important efforts to scale up political education and trade union organisation.Notably, the slate itself was selected through a process of open primary elections, on the back of online meetings held across the country. As a result, amongst those now elected onto the Momentum NCG (National Coordinating Group) are rank-and-file trade unionists and community activists with roots in local labour movements.By comparison, candidates for the rival Momentum Renewal slate were chosen precisely through the sorts of opaque ‘backroom deals’ that Forward has promised to put an end to.Indeed, the only transparent thing about Renewal was how clearly they were the ‘continuity’ faction, effectively promising ‘Lansmanism without Lansman’. Rather than renewal, they offered ‘replace and repeat’. But this did not wash with Momentum members, who have grown tired of the deadend down which the ‘left’ bureaucracy has led the Corbyn movement.Notably, the only area where Renewal won was in the contest for NCG positions allocated to ‘public office holders’ (e.g. MPs and councillors). For this category, the only people who could vote were public office holders themselves.In all other areas, the Forward slate secured a clean sweep, winning almost 60% of votes amongst the far-larger pool of rank-and-file Momentum members. Turnout overall was over 8,500, representing a sizable chunk of Momentum’s total paid-up membership of around 25,000.This disparity shows the clear divide that exists between ordinary members of the labour movement and those in official positions, highlighting once again the need for open selection and genuine democratic accountability.
The New York Times fabricates Russian murder plot
Not since William Randolph Hearst cabled his correspondent in Havana in 1898 with the message, “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war,” has a newspaper been so thoroughly identified with an effort to provoke an American war as the New York Times this week.The difference—and there is a colossal one—is that Hearst was fanning the flames for the Spanish-American War, a comparatively minor conflict, the first venture by American imperialism to seize territory overseas, in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. The Times today is seeking to whip up a war fever directed against Russia, one that threatens to ignite a third world war fought with nuclear weapons.There is not the slightest factual basis for the series of articles and commentaries published by the Times, beginning last Saturday, claiming that the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU, paid bounties to Taliban guerrillas to induce them to attack and kill American soldiers in Afghanistan. Not a single soldier out of the 31 Americans who have died in Afghanistan in 2019-2020 has been identified as a victim of the alleged scheme. No witnesses have been brought forward, no evidence produced.The sole foundation of the reports in the Times, since reinforced by similar articles in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, and accounts on cable and network television, are the unsupported, uncorroborated statements of unnamed intelligence officials. These officials give no proof of their claims about the operation of the supposed network of GRU agents—how the money came from Russia to Afghanistan, how the money was distributed to Taliban fighters, what actions the Taliban fighters carried out, what impact these actions had on any American military personnel.Yet six days into this press campaign, there has been no acknowledgement in the “mainstream” corporate media that there is anything dubious or unsubstantiated about this narrative. Instead, the main focus has been to demand that the Trump administration explain when the president learned of the alleged Russian attack and what he proposes to do about it.The Times reporters spearheading this campaign are not journalists in any real sense of the term. They are conduits, passing on material supplied to them by high-level operatives in the CIA and other intelligence agencies, repackaging it for public consumption and using their status as “reporters” to provide more credibility than would be given to a press release from Langley, Virginia. In other words, the CIA has provided the plot line, and the newspaper creates the narrative framework to sell it to the American people.
From the River to the Sea: The Palestinian Liberation Struggle
Nu'man joins Breht to discuss the Palestinian Struggle, the Intifadas, the historical solidarity between black revolutionaries in the US and Palestinian revolutionaries, settler colonialism, Frantz Fanon, and SO much more. This was a really engaging interview, and we are positive that our listeners will love it!