Statesman’s Prescott piece is really an evisceration of the ‘moderates’

Confirming its new status as the hostile mouthpiece of the Lib Dems, the New Statesman has run an article by former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott under a headline of

John Prescott on Labour: “This must be the worst operation I’ve ever seen”

Former Deputy PM John Prescott

Seeing that, you’d think he was talking about Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. That’s very far from the case.

Instead, Prescott launches immediately into an attack on the [rebel] PLP (parliamentary Labour party) – and it’s in that context that he talks of an ‘operation’:

I’ve attended a thousand PLP meetings. This must be the worst operation I’ve ever seen. It is more about personality politics than in the past.

He talks briefly about the undoubted achievements of the last Labour government and the fact that its legacy has been obliterated by the disaster of the illegal Iraq war – but then, in case we forget his intent, he moves swiftly back to his main theme and attacks the blairites for their orchestrated ‘outrage’, their collusion with the press and their relentless war of attrition:

Some members in the PLP sit there with their social media, already typing out the fight going on to the mass of reporters who are amassed outside and told to come along and report because there’s going to be a big row. All that means we can’t really have unity. The division now is the attack on the leadership. A core who sit in the same places, make the same accusations against the leadership, right or wrong, every bloody week. They do it by a death of a thousand cuts – keep on making the same complaints.

While he talks of Corbyn’s lack of experience when he first became leader – and very briefly about Momentum and how they don’t fit with his ‘old Labour’ mindset – there’s no doubt about where he places the blame for Labour’s current situation. But just in case, he goes even further:

I just think that the PLP is in civil war status. It’s not carrying out what it should do – that is, project Labour’s policies and be supportive of our people in the field.

All this criticism is about removing [Corbyn]. And then what adds to that is when Tom Watson comes along and joins in with this criticism. He’s entitled to do so, but he is the Deputy Leader, for God’s sake – quite different from the way I saw the role as defined; to support the party in a positive way, right. Get out and increase his membership, etc.

His assessment of the result of all this agitation and attrition is brutally frank:

To sit and watch [the Labour Party] waste away its great reputation.

And just in case we’ve forgotten where he puts the blame – and where he doesnt:

I don’t put it down to leaders, I put it down to the nature of the party. We’re responsible, not the leaders.

Of course, this is not what the New Statesman wants you to carry away from the article, especially if – like the majority – you glance at the headline and don’t digest the rest of the article.

Because hostile mouthpieces for other parties and interests are looking to damage the Labour Party, not help it. Unlike John Prescott, happily.

The SKWAWKBOX is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you found this information helpful and can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your support so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.


  1. John had his fair share of ups and down’s as deputy PM, but one thing you knew & never had to question was his loyalty to the leader and the membership, he might have trounced both in private who knows,but never in public, he understands how the PLP must be seen as a unit that fights together, where what we have is a personality show with no depth of responsibility to the leader the membership and worst of all the Labour voting public who they are letting down so so badly, when people are being forced into foodbanks, homelessness and suicide they refuse to drop their personal battles to fight for what we the Labour voting public put them there to do, make the Tories lives hell and force them backwards on every despicable thing they do. But no they are set on destroying the party for their own ends to try and re-take power, hell if they fought as they should and still Jeremy etc didn’t make in roads into the the poll Tory poll leads, we the membership would ask for a new leader, but they can forget it along as they continue to throw toddler style tantrums we will sit tight and back a honest caring man, we don’t have many like him sadly.

  2. When Blair became the leader, I, for one, was disappointed with the fact!
    John Prescot was Deputy, it did ease my disappointment a little.
    As time moved on and it became apparent that Blair was leaning more to the right, more than any other Labour Leader.
    Then the IRAQ war happened on a total lie, with the declaration of WMDs being the reason for invading a sovereign country!
    John, now sees what most of us do, it’s not the leadership but the PLP and THE OLD GAURD BLAIRITES who are the cause of the major problems within the Labour Party!

  3. Reblogged this on Sid's Blog and commented:
    ❌ PLP is in civil war status❌

    It’s not carrying out what it should do –

    that is, 🔴project Labour’s policies🔴

  4. I’m sure John is basically right in his analysis.He was a loyal deputy leader in a very good govt pre Iraq.
    However somehow I believe that rightly or wrongly the public see in Corbyn et al a vision of 1970’s industrial turmoil and won’t vote for it. He is surrounded by many who hold that vision dear.
    Call me a Blairite I don’t care -I’ll still vote Labour but I think there has to be change at the top .

  5. We have John Prescott to thank for the new Clause 4 saying ‘democratic socialist’ instead of ‘social democratic party’. He threatened to resign if Blair didn’t change it!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: