Watson tells peers Corbyn must hold ShadCab elections. But here’s what he told Miliband about them

Watson’s bizarre meeting with peers leads to call for elected Shadow Cabinet – an practice whose abolition he publicly welcomed

ITV’s political editor has reported on a bizarre meeting held by Labour deputy leader Tom Watson with the party’s members of the House of Lords – in which Watson called for a return to the party’s old practice of electing its Shadow Cabinet.

The oddness of making such a call in a meeting with unelected parliamentarians seems to have escaped the iTV pundit:

But when Shadow Cabinet elections were last being held, Watson found the whole process a nuisance – so much so that he said he wouldn’t vote for any candidate who texted to ask him to:

In fact, Watson thought Shadow Cabinet elections were a ‘massive distraction‘ – so when then-leader Ed Miliband announced in 2011 that they were ending, Watson give his leader a big ‘attaboy’:

Perhaps choosing to float his idea in front of unelected members didn’t seem that odd to Watson. After all, Watson is not a big enough fan of party democracy to put his mandate for all his recent behaviour to the test by giving members a chance to vote on whether they want him to continue as deputy leader – and the ‘ShadCab’ elections, when they existed, only ever gave a vote to MPs and not to members.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Suddenly Watson has decided they’re absolutely essential. Nothing of course with any scrambling for relevance, an attempt to build a form of patronage in which he can try to win places for the handful of MPs that might join his new ‘social democrat party within a party’ project.

And absolutely nothing to do with any wish to hamper Corbyn and the mass membership of the party even more than he’s already trying to do.

Of course not.

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39 responses to “Watson tells peers Corbyn must hold ShadCab elections. But here’s what he told Miliband about them

  1. We elected Jeremy as Leader of the Labour Party to lead not to be thwarted at every turn by factions in the PLP who can’t accept that the membership have rejected their Tory Light agenda.

    Tom Watson ought to look in the Labour Party rule book and remind himself what his job is,

    • Sorry, can’t agree. Tom Watson should GO. Period.

      There must be many candidates more favourably disposed towards the leadership and its general line of march who could do the deputy’s job incomparably better than him. Go, go, GO!!

      And make it quick. We are all sick to the back teeth of your machinations, Tom Watson!

      • “Tom Watson should GO. Period.”

        I might agree with your objections to Watson and his mendacity. But the same applies to him as applies to Corbyn – he was elected according to the Party rules. That’s the way he has to go, too.

        Cakeism is never a good look.

      • Watson must go. Theres a change.org petition with over 80,000 signatures right now signed by people who are sick to death of Watson’s attempts to bring the party down. He was elected on the promise that he would stand behind the party leader regardless and on that point he has massively failed. No point in trying to reform the mole in the party. Out. That would be like trying to get Hitler to be kind and reasonable.

    • No I don’t agree. Shadow Cabinet elections whether by the PLP or whole membership would dilute the authority of the Leader. Anyone who is elected to a position is answerable only to those who elect him/ her. He/she would be elected for a term and no matter how badly he/she behaved the leader would not have the authority to sack him/her. This would render the leader powerless in this matter which I suspect is the reason Watson has raised it.

      • Absolutely! The general membership elect the leader. It should be for the leader to decide who will be in his/her shadow cabinet.

        Only in this way will the leader be assured of the support of a shadow cabinet that will fulfil the mandate of those who elected them,

        Watson’s purpose in this case is to lumber Corbyn still further with a coterie of treacherous right-wing blankers who will undermine his legitimate authority at the very highest level. This will be especially true if the shadow cabinet members are elected by the PLP, which continues to be dominated by Blairites,

      • In practical terms, preventing the elected leader from shaping a shadow cabinet is a bad idea – that way a dog’s dinner lies, with various flavours of the month having to be slotted into important jobs that require more than popularity.

        In essence – that’s what the PLP tried to do in order to knacker Corbyn.

  2. At the end of tonight’s Newsnight when they sum up tomorrows papers one of the journalists remarked that their might be a challenge for Tom Watson Deputy Leadership job. I don’t recall hearing that on MSM before.

  3. Just who the hell does Watson think he is. He should defend JC, instead of going behind his back, and if you won’t do that then you should resign and go elsewhere there’s a good boy.

    • According to the rule book his job description couldn’t be simpler but Tom Watson appears to be doing the exact opposite.

      The Leader shall consult the Deputy
      Leader on a regular basis and the Deputy Leader shall provide the Leader with
      advice and support in achieving the goals
      of the Party and deputise as requested

      • The central point. *That’s* where he needs to be nailed. If he can’t in conscience (ha ha) do the job, then he should resign.

    • Chris Williamson would make an exemplary Deputy Leader, Corbyn could, and I am sure would, have every confidence in his loyalty.

      Another excellent reason to lift his suspension and the patently ridiculous charge behind it. Such an appointment would send a very clear message to Blairites and Zionists – one they should have received a long time ago.

  4. Sombody HAS to stand against Watson, the man is a living disgrace. Disloyalty and duplicity ooze out of every pore. How long do we have to put up with his attempts to destroy JC?

  5. I ask again: why won’t Corbyn sack Watson from the front bench? How can he be allowed to remain in the front bench he was appointed to by Corbyn under the current arrangement while advocating a different arrangement and leading an alternative ‘shadow cabinet’?

    • The answer is the same as the answer to why shadow cabinet elections are a terrible idea.

      Corbyn does not have the right to sack Watson because he was elected to his position.

      • No, he’s not. As the elected deputy leader his entitlement is a seat on the NEC. He is not entitled to a position in the shadow front bench. Corbyn rewarded him with the shadow culture and media post (which he required to justify the more than £500,000 he collected from Max Mosley for ‘meda reform’) after the coup as an act of generosity. He now has to show some leadership and kick Watson out or appoint him to something like Shadow Minister without portfolio.

      • Watson conceded that he holds his shadow front bench post at Corbyn’s pleasure last week on LBC

      • Surely you can sack him from his front bench role as Shadow Minister for DMS. He would still remain as Deputy Leader though. He’s certainly not settling the world on fire in his post though.

  6. It’s probably just another ruse, so that when the leadership reject the idea, Watson and Co can accuse JC of being anti-democratic, something along the lines of “Jeremy Corbyn maintains he wants to democratise the party, and yet he’s totally opposed to the PLP electing members of the shadow cabinet”.

    • One gets a very real sense that he LITERALLY spends most of his time plotting against Jeremy!

  7. I personally prefer an older suggestion that the Labour Party should have two Deputies (perhaps one man and one woman) with responsibilities to perform being allocated by the leader. It would much prefer to see Watson continuing to flounder as he tried to cope with having a non job but with no job except of course to continuingly drawing attention to his non contributions on almost anything he touches.

  8. Two deputy leaders, both ambitious politicians, will scheme for dominance even if both support the leader equally.
    Watson and his ilk already expend far more effort on personal advancement than is healthy for democracy.

    I’ve read that giving overlapping responsibilities to two senior underlings was one of Hitler’s less successful management strategies.
    Apparently the idea was that they’d be too busy plotting against each other to plot against him, and that the stronger would prevail.

    • Good point. I reckon it’s always worth having a look at Attlee when it comes to management. Remember – he virtually ran the country whilst Churchill was performing (a double act that worked quite well for the time).

      Despite the way he unimpressed the press, he was pretty unequivocal in dispensing with those ‘not up to the job’. Corbyn is not a natural – obvious – leader, but he does share Attlee’s basic integrity. it’s a good model to learn from.

  9. Watson can get away with anything at present, not least because the too-few “left wingers” in the PLP, who are themselves anything but solid, won’t nominate an alternative candidate for us to vote for in a contested election.

  10. I see Rupert Murdoch provides Tom Watson with his own platform. His belief in ‘Fairies’ is revealing, as well as his accusation that Chris Williamson is bringing the Labour Party into disrepute. The ‘catch all’ accusation without adequate definition, is applied to selected individuals by unaccountable elites within the Labour Party.
    Any support for Chris Williamson by Labour Constituencies is being censored. In a letter by Andy Smith, Regional Manager; Constituencies are warned that any comment is unwelcome & will not be considered by NEC.
    The JLM Parliamentary Representative is still Luciana Berger. This should disqualify the organisation from affiliation from the Labour Party, but MSM would not allow it.

  11. “bringing the Labour Party into disrepute. The ‘catch all’ accusation without adequate definition, is applied to selected individuals by unaccountable elites within the Labour Party.”

    Absolutely. The situation of Marc Wadsworth is the classic of this ploy – the charge of ‘antisemitism’ was so absurd that it couldn’t be made to stick. But this charge required no evidential backing.

    Obviously, if there was any coherent and meaningful definition, Watson would have been out on his ear a long time ago, as would Hodge.

  12. LOL! Please give us back some of the power and influence we threw away in an attempt to undermine party democracy. As I remember, Corbyn had a cabinet filled with so-called “moderates” and yet they chose to walk away from that in another ill-judged attempt to overturn the choice of the party majority.

    The PLP is not simply at odds with Corbyn, they are at odds with the majority of the membership and just refuse to admit that truth…

    • @ Eccles ,,, Correct , The membership MUST now be given the power of De-selection in order to hold to account the PLP MPs who continue to basically stick 2 fingers up at Corbyn , Labour and the membership.
      Enough ! we take the fight to them and we kick these fuckers out , not sure about anyone else but I fucking sick to death now of being called AS by association with the LP , sick to death of seeing our slim chances of a Socialist Govt going down the pan cos of these Blairite MPs and sick to death of seeing probably one of the very few honest , genuine Politicians, Corbyn being screwed over .

      John Smith probably one of the best recent labour PMs we never had , UNTIL CORBYN and now thanks to the PLP we may not get one this time round either .

      Sorry rant over ! fucking twats

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