Thursday, 1 February 2018

Correspondence with CalderValley Momentum

Thanks for writing Mr Mitchell,

Momentum often holds open meetings and you would be more than welcome to attend any of these which are advertised through Facebook and emails to members and supporters. Our Facebook page is open to all who wish to view and comment on posts so it use usually clear to people if a meeting is public or not.

It is regrettable that one of the candidates attending last night posted something that may have implied, to some, that the meeting was open, though I note that apart from yourselves, no one else made this error.

I'm sorry I didn't offer to buy you a beer, that was very rude. But as you had nearly a full pint in your hand I didn't feel it was necessary.

I understand your discomfiture at turning up to what was assured to be an interesting meeting and not being allowed admittance, but 'members only' unfortunately means 'members only'.

I hope you, and all Labour Party members in Calder Valley do get a chance to hear all the candidates before the hustings as that is the best way of ensuring an open democratic process. And I'm sure you will be as impressed as we were.

As to your questions, which I answer out of curtesy,

1, I'm not aware that Momentum is acting like an affiliated organisation.
2 No, we have not had any other meetings with candidates, open or closed. Last night was the first opportunity our members had to meet the candidates.
3 Momentum is recommending to members that they give their first three votes to the candidates who are Momentum members, in which ever order they choose.

All the very best


Dear Roger,
Thanks for your prompt reply. Good to know that it’s easier to get emails from Momentum then admission to its meetings
I’m sure that you don’t want to be thought of as some kind of secret society but if you’re not to give that impression it’s best not to act like one and that would mean having your meetings open to Labour members and not advertising them on Facebook as”public event”when they aren’t

It’s a bit unreasonable of you to blame the candidate for not saying that it was a closed meeting when she was only doing her best to put her case to as many party members as possible, as well as daft to say that I was the only person to be unable to read her mind or understand the contradictory signals you were putting out.Petty debating point that, Lansman wouldn’t like it, though since he wants to recruit more Labour members he might like you to allow people to pay at the door.

I assume you’re being lightly sarcastic in apologising for not buying me a beer, though of course, you’re perfectly free to do so whenever you want. What you actually said was that I should go downstairs and use the opportunity to drink which you were kindly providing by refusing me admission. upstairs.
Nice of you to express the hope that we all get to hear all the candidates in the two days before the selection but that only makes it more incompressible that you should have stopped my wife and I from hearing those who came to your meeting.

Finally your questions which you answer out of courtesy rather than accuracy.
Q1. Waken up. Momentum is applying to be an affiliated organisation and in making recommendations which candidate members should support and who they should deselect you’re acting like one. Naughty
2.So last night was your first ( selective) opportunity to meet the candidates. How many were there and who didn’t get the opportunity?
3.Did your recommendation to vote for  Momentum members arise from the meeting after hearing them speak. Was there any consideration of this or of the pros and cons of each or all at the meeting.I take it that your membership isn’t secret too, so which of the candidates are Momentum members, locally or nationally? If you’re going to hand out certificates of merit or black spots Labour members should know who’s got them.

Sorry to ask so many questions. Momentum didn’t exist when I were a lad.Happy to correspond or meet. Your campaigning record looks impeccable.
Yours (dare I say it?) fraternally


  1. I am afraid that this is the impression many of us in the North are getting. Of course, it may be wrong, but many people may find it difficult to vote for a Parliamentary candidate whom they perceive as operating on the fringes of the Labour Party. Now they may be fine people but there is a perception that they, and they alone, consider themselves to be The Chosen and have no truck with anyone who may not be a Believer. Therefore a degree of public scrutiny is needed in exactly the same way that I sometimes pop in to Town Council meetings just to check that the lunatics have not yet taken over the asylum.

    Chris. Sutcliffe.

  2. Hello Austin. I read with interest your article for Brexit Central today; and I agree with much of what you say. However, I do not agree that we should ask the EU for a 2 year extension of article 50; we should leave NOW and revert to WTO Rules. It will be painful and our government MUST finance a 'war chest' to rescue companies, industries and workers who suffer financial disadvantage from leaving. I would agree to a 5p hike in Income Tax to finance this - wouldn’t you?
    The negotiations have failed but they are now OVER! This has never been a proper negotiation; it has been and still is, a WAR and the EU presumes that we have LOST! Well, we haven't! Even if our cabinet want to surrender: we do NOT! From 29th March 2019 every 'Leaver' Brit should cease forthwith to buy any goods made in Europe. I think not many months would pass before the EU would come back to the negotiating table and invite us to have a Free Trade Agreement with no strings attached. It is time that we, the British people, take power into our hands; not by marching protests or violence, but by using our economic muscle. But who will lead us? Could it be Jacob Rees Mogg? Could it be Nigel Farage? Or could it be you, Austin?