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“Labour Party is now much closer to being a socialist party”

28-Oct-2020Documented: Jon Lansman

Jon Lansman in his announcement not to run as a Chair for Momentum any more in May 2020:

“Though we are still recovering from a heart-breaking election defeat, adjusting to the new leadership, plus facing serious risks to our society from the Covid-19 crisis, we are nevertheless entering a new era for socialist politics and activism in Britain. [...]

Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of socialists who transformed Labour into a people-powered mass movement, the party was brought back to its roots. In 2017, with an incredibly popular socialist manifesto, we achieved the biggest swing to Labour since 1945. Promising to restore public ownership and end austerity, we came within just 2,500 votes across a handful of constituencies from forming a government.

Thanks to our movement, Labour can never again be the party of illegal invasions, anti-immigration mugs or support for Tory policies of austerity and privatisation. The Labour Party is now much closer to being a socialist party than simply a party with socialists in it. There is no doubt that it is the right place for all democratic socialists to be. Labour is the only major party serious about ending all inequalities, including those based on class.

We knew when we embarked on Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for the Labour leadership five years ago that there was no easy path to build both an economy in the interests of the many and a society that chooses its own future.

That is why, from the beginning of that campaign, I planned to harness the support shown for this vision to build what became Momentum – a lasting movement for socialism within the Labour Party, which could continue to grow and thrive as a campaign for socialist policies for generations to come. [...]

We didn’t succeed in democratising the party sufficiently while Jeremy was leader, but we must not give up now. It’s now more important than ever that Labour becomes a grassroots member-led movement. [...]

The struggle for an equal, environmentally sustainable world continues. By keeping up the momentum, building on the great strides made in the last five years, I have every faith that the next generation will succeed where we have not yet done so."

Here are other views on the balance sheet of the Corbyn movement: