Right-wing media pressure prevents planned debate on Momentum at Socialism

Last week we were very pleased to announce that Jon Lansman, a director of Momentum, had agreed to take part in a debate at this weekend’s Socialism event with Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party, on how best to defend and build upon Jeremy Corbyn’s victory. We are disappointed that Jon has now taken the decision to withdraw from the debate following an article that appeared in the Sun on Wednesday.
Under the heading ‘Corbyn aide will join ex-Militant leaders to plot battle for Labour’s soul’ the Murdoch paper quoted right-wing Labour MP John Mann denouncing Jon Lansman for attending. They also quoted another alleged ‘moderate’ MP who said: “It is just absolutely horrifying that people who are now at the centre of the party are associating with members of the extreme left who we kicked out decades ago.”
It is inevitable that the big business media are petrified of socialists discussing how to defeat austerity and consolidate Jeremy Corbyn’s victory. But if we are to succeed we cannot retreat in the face of these attacks. We appeal to Jon not to allow the right wing and their big business backers to set the agenda and to reconsider his decision. Alternatively, if another director of Momentum was able to step in, we would of course welcome this too.