27 January 2017

Persona Non Grata & Banishment – The Price of Jon Lansman’s Displeasure

The Motto?  Telling the Truth to Power Doesn’t Always Pay!

Be gone Spot and never grace my Inbox again!  

Jon always liked to cultivate an image of power - little did I realise it would go to his head
They say the personal is political, but that isn’t always true.  Sometimes the personal is, well, just personal and that is how it felt when Jon Lansman sent me, out of the blue, a curt email ending a long and sometimes traumatic personal relationship.  From nowhere I got the following:

On 26 January 2017 at 11:13, Jon Lansman <jonlansman@me.com> wrote:
Please delete me from your records and do not send me any further emails

Jon Lansman
Mob: 07710 541410
This kind of best sums up my own emotions at the way this has all ended
There was no acknowledgment even of my name.  It is as if I had become just another anonymous email address.  Not even a Best wishes, your sincerely or even yours truly.  Just a name and a mobile number and email address.  Clearly Jon doesn’t do empathy or sympathy for that matter.
What I wondered caused me to become persona non grata in the Lansman Inbox?  All I had done was to send a short email last night, giving Jon the good news from Brighton.  With an image of Tony Benn with his famous 5 questions. Clearly he had taken the words of Tony Benn about accountability and getting rid of the powerful too much to heart.  I thought Jon might see the funny side of the image.  Obviously not.  Clearly the vote against his coup d'etat in his own, Southwark Momentum group, had not gone down well and now the news from Brighton and Hove on top of Liverpool et al was proving too much.
was it a mistake to send this to Jon I ask myself?  did I underestimate his sensitivity?
The Devil According to Lansman and Newmark
On 26 Jan 2017, at 06:08, Tony Greenstein <tonygreenstein111@gmail.com> wrote:

B&H Momentum Votes to Oppose the Witch-hunt and for Labour to Break all links with Labour Friends of Israel

So, with considerable trepidation, I penned the final email ever to pass between us.  Unlike Jon’s email to me I thought the least I could do was to preserve a few of the formalities, such as addressing an old friend by their first name:
In happy days a young Lansman with Tony Benn
Dear Jon,
I apologise for having displeased Momentum's absolute ruler.  I am fully aware that if this act of lèse-majesté had occurred in previous times I might well have lost my head.  However at the risk of incurring further royal wrath perhaps I might be allowed to ask a few questions?
i.  Given your enthusiasm for One Member One Vote, MxV and on-line voting, I am curious as to why it was that you didn't put your proposed Momentum Constitution out to an on-line vote?  How can something which was a principle before Christmas become dispensable in the New Year?
ii.  How is a democratic Momentum compatible with you and your personally selected cronies owning Momentum and its companies? 
iii.  Perhaps you could explain to me the constitutional logic behind a body, the Steering Committee, which is elected by another body, the National Committee, abolishing the latter body as well as itself?
iv.  Do you not agree that your relationship with Jeremy Newmark of the Jewish Labour Movement and your support for their false anti-Semitism allegations, which have now been discredited in the recent Al Jazeera programmes, has played a major part in the destabililsation of Jeremy Corbyn?  The JLM has been used as a Trojan horse in the fight against Corbyn and Momentum.  Not only did the JLM vote 92-4% in favour of Owen Smith over the summer, but in Brighton & Hove we find that 5 right-wing delegates are being sent from the JLM to each CLP General Committee to negate their defeat in ward elections. 
v.  Perhaps you can explain how you think socialist politics and hostility to a policy making Momentum conference are compatible?
vi.  Do you have any understanding of why, up and down the country, Momentum groups are voting heavily against your coup?  I understand that even your own, Southwark group rejected your proposls by 17-10? 
Even David Cameron resigned when his proposals were rejected in a referendum?  Has the idea ever occurred to you?
As a parting gift I thought I would send you a reminder of the questions that a mutual friend of our once asked those in positions of power.
In solidarity
Tony Greenstein
In more reflective times before Momentum started becoming a profitable business
I can only hope that my parting missive causes Jon to rethink the error of his ways and the curt way he has cut me out of his life. 

However I have to face up to the bitter truth that things will never again be the same between us.

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