Legal note: there is no intent to denigrate in what follows, rather just a simple attempt to clarify what are to the ordinary party member like me, seemingly quite murky waters.
In 1992, Alan Clark famously admitted during the Matrix Churchill trial that he had been “economical with the actualité”.
Today many of us are asking ourselves whether James Schneider’s assertion that Momentum have supported the Jeremy Corbyn campaign with resources and activists is true, following a claim in Dispatches that Momentum have received support from Jeremy’s campaign.
First, we must establish who Momentum are. There are three contender companies vying for this surprisingly-less-than-transparent honour.
- Jeremy for Labour Limited. Incorporated 24 June 2015. Previous names Momentum Campaign Limited (23 Oct 2015 – 18 Jul 2016) and Jeremy Corbyn Campaign 2015 (Supporters) Limited (24 Jun 2015 – 23 Oct 2015).Director – Jon Lansman
- Momentum Campaign (Services) Limited. Incorporated 24 June 2015. Previous name Jeremy Corbyn Campaign 2015 (Services) Limited 24 Jun 2015 – 23 Oct 2015. Directors – Jon Lansman, Sam Tarry
- New Hope for Labour (Data Services) Limited. Incorporated 25 June 2015. Director – Jon Lansman.
What we know from the 2016 register of member’s interests is that Momentum Campaign (Services) Limited made a donation of £50,000 to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign. Well, let’s stop there…..the answer is clear, Schneider is telling the truth.
But is it the whole truth?
We don’t know to whom or which company the donation was made. Perhaps James can enlighten us as to the specifics?
We don’t know which of the above companies are Momentum, and which are Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign. It’s even possible that none of the directors knows either, nor particularly cares as it certainly seems their interests are inseparable at the moment. Perhaps James could clarify this point for us as well.
But perhaps most interesting is where did the money for the donation actually come from? We won’t know the answer to this until the above companies’ returns are available from Companies House in March 2017, so what follows must be speculation. Since the donation was made by Momentum Campaign (Services) Limited, it is entirely possible that the money originated as fees for services provided for Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 campaign and/or donations, since all the assets of Jeremy Corbyn Campaign 2015 (Services) Limited became assets of Momentum Campaign (Services) when the name changed in October 2015. Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign could effectively, therefore, have lent money to itself. Perhaps James could clear this up for us?
Additionally, if the loan was granted to Jeremy for Labour Limited, the new name for Momentum Campaign Limited since 18 July 2016, it is even possible that Jeremy’s campaign could have been lending money to Momentum, or that Momentum was lending money to itself. Who can tell what the next change of name will be, or to what purpose each company will devote itself after the current leadership campaign ends? Perhaps James can.
Whether the clear statement James has made is true, therefore, or some kind of a James Schrodinger’s statement where it is both true and untrue at the same time, we cannot tell. What many may judge, though, is that it is neither clear, nor transparent, nor the whole truth.
Alan Clark may well have been proud of him.