Momentum: the BBC’s Assistant Political Editor reassures apprehensive right-wing Labour and Conservatives – or does he?
Momentum, the grassroots organisation set up in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s election victory, currently has about 60,000 supporters, charges no membership fee, organises mostly through social media and has around 50 local groups across the UK. Its aim is “to create a mass movement for real progressive change”.
Why is it described by ambitious fear-mongers as a hard-left organisation?
Norman Smith, the BBC’s Assistant Political Editor ‘tells it like it is’ – and describes meeting a group of Momentum supporters in Brixton and finding no-one fitting the hard-left stereotype:
“What Steve, Samira, Nadine and Roland (and we add hundreds of thousands) have in common is an enthusiasm fired by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign. They are Corbyn’s foot soldiers.
“Steve – a self confessed “middle aged, BBC Radio 4 addict”- says he joined the Labour Party ‘about 20 seconds’ after Mr Corbyn’s victory. Samira also joined after Mr Corbyn won. “For the first time”, she says, “I felt there was somebody I could stand behind and that I could trust”.
He reports that Labour MP and former shadow minister Emma Reynolds says there is a suspicion they are really about de-selecting MPs.
Are her words prompted by the uneasy conscience of disloyal Blairites and career politicians who don’t accept the democratic mandate given to the new leadership and the policies designed for the common good – and are attempting to undermine it – appearing closer to the Conservative Party?