Self-described ‘hack’ Michael White had an ‘open mouth insert foot’ moment this week when he tried to defend, on Twitter, ridiculous complaints of a ‘Momentum purge’ in the London borough of Haringey.
The Sunday Times ran a lamentable piece last weekend trying to portray the democratic decisions of Labour members as a ‘putsch’ of sitting councillors – when in fact, the members supported or rejected both left-wing and centrist candidates largely based on their opposition to, or support for, the much-hated ‘HDV‘ (Haringey Development Vehicle) project to transfer large numbers of council homes to a private joint-venture for demolition with no guarantee of rehousing for ejected tenants.
White leaped to convey his disquiet about what appears to have been a perfectly standard, democratic selection, even after being challenged to provide evidence of what was wrong with it:
He then moved onto a specific allegation – that ‘Momentum’ had somehow blocked sitting councillors from ‘using party membership listed to defend themselves from losing trigger ballots‘:
There were two fairly substantial problems with the complaint councillors had apparently conveyed to White – and which he had apparently swallowed uncritically.
First, Labour rules do not allow sitting councillors to use their access to member lists for campaigning until after trigger ballots are complete:
Second, the person who reminded the selection’s ‘procedures secretary’ of this rule was not a Momentum member – but was in fact London Labour’s Regional Organiser:
White was accordingly invited to withdraw his wild and utterly inaccurate ‘conspiracy theory’ allegation.
He has not so far responded, as Twitter user @EL4JC observed:
— EL4C (@EL4JC) January 25, 2018
Yet again, the ‘MSM’s portrayal of the situation in Haringey bears no resemblance to actual events – but is cast in a way that is certainly useful to those who wish to smear Momentum and, by association, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
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