Momentum leadership must think again about conference speakers

August 19, 2016 at 6:15 pm (anti-semitism, Asshole, ex-SWP, Galloway, jerk, labour party, posted by JD, reactionay "anti-imperialism", scotland)

Like me, Coatesy is a Corbyn supporter and Momentum member. Like me, he’s appalled by their choice of speakers for their forthcoming conference (his report appears below):

Target of Richard Seymour’s ‘anti imperialist’ mockery.

The coming Momentum conference looks interesting.

The “five-day festival” of radical politics will take place alongside the official party conference in Liverpool, and will include talks from the film-maker Ken Loach and the journalist Paul Mason. The Young Fabians’ Greg Dash will be doing a slot at the event, but tells the Staggers it is not an official Young Fabians event (the group will, however, be hosting their own fringe events alongside the conference).

It  has stirred up controversy.

I will not comment on the list of speakers, or the programme (such as available at present)  but it looks pretty obvious that a 5 Day event is going to have a broad range of opinion on the left, and that many of these views, and individuals, would not be palatable to everybody.

That is the nature of democratic debate. 

These are more balanced reports, at least about the event’s content:

Momentum launches “special event” timed with Labour’s conference – but some see it as a rival. (New Statesman)

Momentum event featuring Corbyn ‘is not Labour conference rival’ (Guardian)

It is however of concern, which the Guardian notes,  that this individual is going to have a platform.


Simon Weston suffered serious injuries whilst on active duty on HMS Sir Galahad when the Argentinians attacked it. His injuries included severe burns to his face.

Richard Seymour wrote in a comment:

“If he knew anything he’d still have his face”.

Seymour refused to apologise on his comment which appeared on an article written by Simon Weston in the Daily Telegraph.

The Guardian no doubt underlined Seymour’s appearance for the simple reason that they refused to have anything more to do with him after these vile, anti-disabled, comments were written.


More on this story: here. 

Apparently Seymour has not learnt to curb his tongue.

It seems that Trolling is now an acceptable part of the political scene.

Or it is, if this creature is invited.

Seymour would go down well in certain quarters with further remarks – perhaps a few jokes – about making those fighting on the side of the   ‘imperialists’ disabled, or murdering them.

Well-established rumour has it that he could have them rolling in aisles.

We hope this does not include Momentum.

Another comrade (from Scotland) reports the following:

Line-up of some of the speakers for the big Momentum event at Labour Party conference in Liverpool:

“Speakers include Cat Boyd of RISE”:

The problem with having her speak is: a) Cat Boyd; b) RISE.

Cat Boyd/RISE are rabidly anti-Labour (far more anti-Labour than the SWP). They count for nothing in Scotland (see their election results in May of 2016). One of their leaders (Jonathan Shafi) called for a constituency vote for the SNP in the Holyrood elections. Their only policy is for a second independence referendum. They took no position on the EU referendum (as it would have split them down the middle). Insofar as they have people around them, they systematically miseducate them politically. In practice, their politics are simply nationalist, not some nationalist ‘variant’ of class politics. Their members in Unite line up with the bureaucracy (as a trade off for being given places on constitutional committees).

You’d really have to go back to the RCP to find a similar bunch of preening prima donnas (with the difference that the RCP had some intellectual ‘weight’, whereas RISE are merely pretentious, and Cat Boyd – laughably described as a ‘trade union activist’ – is the most pretentious of them all).

There has been no discussion with Momentum Scotland about this invite. A post about it went up on the Momentum Scotland Facebook page a few hours ago. It attracted more comments in an hour – condemning the invite – than any other post on their Facebook page ever has.


  1. Jim Denham said,

    Explanation from an apologetic Joe Todd (of Scottish Momentum) re Cat Boyd:

    Momentum is organising a big event in Liverpool at the same time as the LP national conference. Other groups have been invited/are being allowed to run their own workshops. Compass is running a workshop, and it is Compass which has invited Cat Boyd to be a speaker.

    Compass is welcome to her. After their Open Letter to the SNP calling for a Labour-SNP ‘progressive alliance’, Cat Boyd is just what Compass deserves. In fact: Compass and RISE must count as the ‘progressive alliance’ to end all ‘progressive alliances’.

    Cat Boyd will be speaking on “The ‘English Problem’. What are the historical, social and cultural parameters of ‘Englishness’? What might a progressive English politics look like, if such a thing were even possible?”

    Please reserve a place ASAP in order to be sure of a seat and avoid disappointment.

    PS: Compass advocates a ‘progressive alliance’ between the LP and the SNP. But RISE doesn’t. It wants to wipe out the LP. See their pre-Holyrood-elections tweet: “SNP on course to win all constituencies. Holyrood can be a pro-Indy powerhouse by making 2nd vote count. Wipe out Labour. Get indy-left in.”

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      You cannot get progressive alliances with Nationalists moreso Scottish Nationalists. They are anti English fanatics with sad hard done tae historical stories to tell. Stories they make up.

  2. @pplswar said,

    Seymour is probably mentally ill. Maybe a personality disorder.

  3. Jim Denham said,

  4. jschulman said,

    Whatever his past sins (and they are sins) his new book on Corbyn is quite good.

    • Jim Denham said,

      Wagner wrote some good tunes as well

      • Ben said,

        Yes, Wagner is not as bad as he sounds.

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