Tom Watson’s Future Britain ‘party within a party’ launch document leaked within minutes of its first meeting on Monday evening – a stellar start. But it has huge gaping hole – and what is included speaks volumes
Tom Watson’s first meeting of his Future Britain group garnered attention primarily for the fact that he gave away his full contact information on a piece of paper to a group of MPs that weren’t entirely supportive of his vanity project – at least one of whom promptly leaked it to the media and social media.
But there was a more serious aspect to the leaked sign-up form, which invited interested MPs to sign up for groups aligned with any of nine policy areas.
The move was criticised as an attempt by Watson to ‘completely circumvent Labour’s constitutional policy mechanisms – but it was what the form did not include that shouted loudly about the nature of Watson’s limp project:
The document makes no mention at all of the Tory/centrist austerity that is ruining the lives of millions – including millions of children – and ending the lives of many tens of thoursands.
It contains not a word about social security reform to undo the disaster of the Tories’ Universal Credit system that is piling misery on top of misery onto those already stricken with poverty or struggling against the government’s utter, callous disregard for the dignity of the disabled.
But it does contain – on its very first line – a nod to the deluded and discredited notion of Britain as a global player in foreign policy. After all, many of those who might be considering signing up for Watson’s group have probably demonstrated a persistent fondness for foreign wars that cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives.
And its last line – “Campaigning and incumbency” – might as well say “How to stop ourselves suffering deselection by Labour members”.
In other words, ‘dropping bombs on foreigners and protecting our seats’ are big items for Watson’s putative new group – attended primarily by dinosaur Blairites and assorted right-wingers.
But the suffering of millions of adults and children under the predations of the Tories seems not to have figured in Watson’s thinking enough to even appear on his piece of paper.
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