Unions’ pre-ShadCab notes show Watson pitch rejected

Labour deputy leader isolated as Shadow Cabinet unites

The Labour Party announced a modified Brexit stance in an email to members this morning, following a meeting of the Shadow Cabinet. Deputy leader Tom Watson subsequently briefed media that the meeting had been a win for him, claiming that Unite head Len McCluskey’s position had been ‘kicked down the road’.

But a document circulated before the meeting by TULO (the Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation) – and Watson’s own comments yesterday on Twitter make it clear that the opposite was the case.

Unions circulated the position they had reached to their officials – and it closely mirrors the revised stance agreed by this morning’s meeting of the Shadow Cabinet:

TULO Brexit position, July 8th 2019 – Final text
Scenario 1
The Labour Party should confirm that whatever deal is negotiated by the new Tory Prime Minister or an exit based on no deal should be put to the people in a public confirmatory vote. The options must be:

– Accepting the deal or a Tory no deal in the knowledge of its terms

– Remaining in the European Union.

In this event, the Labour Party should campaign to remain in the European Union.
Scenario 2.
In the event that a general election is called, Labour’s manifesto position should be:
Negotiating with the European Union to respect the Brexit vote from 2016, reflecting the negotiating priorities that Labour has outlined.
Any final Labour deal should then be put back to the people. The options on the ballot paper should be:

Accepting the Labour negotiated deal

Remaining in the European Union

The Labour Party’s campaign position on such a ballot should depend on the deal negotiated.

Labour’s revised position follows this outline, making clear that Labour will campaign for remain in a no-deal or bad Tory deal scenario – but sensibly not committing to a remain on a Labour deal, making a general election still the key route for leave voters.

By contrast, Watson clearly went into the meeting expecting to push Labour into a ‘remain no matter what’ position. Watson tweeted last night that “Labour should not support” “any kind of Brexit”:

Tom Watson’s position, rejected by Labour’s Shadow Cabinet

The outcome of the meeting was a policy – agreed by the rest of the Shadow Cabinet – that Labour will campaign for remain if a referendum involves a no-deal or bad Tory Brexit, but not that Labour will campaign for remain on its own or a better deal. It also makes clear that Labour still intends to negotiate a Brexit deal if it wins the expected general election – the very opposite of Watson’s self-declared position.

Media pundits’ own preferences have been clear in much of the reporting on the matter, with many claiming last night that Watson’s position was the one Labour was going to back. But – as so often – reality turned out to be different.

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    1. Ten percent of MPs are needed are they not as well as someone doing a useful job prepared to give it up for a non role.

    2. Sadly this total upbeat Skwawkbox spin on the current Labour Brexit sell-out position is pure hokum. Kier Starmer is all over the mass media this morning announcing that Labour is, to all intents and purposes, now “a Second Referendum and Remain” Party. THIS is the position which will be repeated all over the mass media from now on. So as far as the pubic is concerned , that IS the Labour Party position. The finely nuanced circumstance-based conditionality of Labours actual, extremely tortuous Brexit position, will entirely pass the average Leave voter in our Labour heartlands by. The idea that Labour perhaps just “might” actually adopt Leave as its policy “IF” it was the government in power which negotiated a super dooper new Brexit deal with the EU, IF it won an Autumn snap General election -( and yet is more likely to be forced by its pro Leave majority of MPs AND activist members, to still hold a second Referendum, AND have Remain on the ballot paper) – stretches the gullibility of those Labour Heartland working class traditional Labour voting Leave supporters well passed breaking point.

      Those on here pathetically praising, as “statesmanlike “, Jeremy’s tragic capitulation to the Right , and the neoliberal EU, in his sad, (irrelevant nuance-fillled) message to members, need to face the fact that Jeremy and his immediate Leaders Office team were the only real socialists in the Commons and PLP , the only ones who actually understand what the EU is actually about – but trapped in a PLP overwhelmingly in favour of the neoliberal status quo, with a supposedly “Corbynista” membership who are Left Liberal and also pro EU, they have had to capitulate to a policy agenda which makes much of the promises of the hugely popular 2017 Manifesto impossible to deliver.

      Face it Skwawky, the adoption of what is quite clearly now (setting aside all that irrelevant nuanced conditionality bullshit) a Second Referendum and Remain position for Labour , for by far the most likely near future scenario , ie, a Boris Johnson-led government crashing out onto WTO rules pretty damned soon, and holding a snap General election, represents a total capitulation by “Corbynism” to the three year long machinations of the entrenched Labour Right, and the pro-EU gullibility of the bulk of our middle class Left Liberal membership.

      The cost of this underlying crap , Left Liberal, non-socialist, politics on the supposed “Corbynist Left” of our Party will be a wipe-out of Labour in our heartlands , some sort of Tory/Brexit party lash-up new neoliberal government – and, of course, within about five years , the subsequent demise of our NHS as a free at the point of need national health service. The post 2015 “Corbynist ” Left-leaning Labour Party had it’s dire “Syriza moment” this week – without ever even getting into power and facing the huge disruptive power of the global money markets and Big Business internal sabotage , that did for the initially espoused radical leftism of the Syriza government under its opportunist leader Alex Tsipras!

      1. Once again, JPenny, you conflate myth and reality.

        Firstly, there is nothing ‘left wing’ about the ludicrous right-wing Tory policy of Brexit, or opposition to a further informed democratic referendum. Quite the reverse.

        Secondly, your concept of the Labour Party, its membership and support, is a self-pleasuring dream. As intelligent life has worked out, the Party is solidly in favour of ‘Remain’, and the ‘heartlands’ aren’t populated by Labour ‘Leavers’. Even in those ill-defined areas, the majority of Labour voters were in favour of staying in the EU, whether they were ‘middle class’ or ‘working class’.

        Unfortunately, it is the Tory Party that is as much the ‘working class’ party in such areas (in the sense of attracting working class votes) – and that stretches back before Brexit.

        Your sentimental imagined country is not of the actual 21st century.

      2. Jpenny…….You may be right regarding a lash back in the Labour heartlands,,,and I left Bolton in the early 1960S a young teenager who didn’t realise the mill closed at the end of the street meant massive job losses men and women overnight thrown out of a job and a terminal decline of a mill town in the industrial north west.My family faced bancrupcy due to all 3 shops operating in the same street as the mill.We were left no choice but to move and that was repeated all over Lancashire family uprooted and transplanted in the south.This destruction they have never recovered from and many are bitter and feel ignored and marginalised ..The Labour party will suffer from a brexit change,in areas like Bolton and have already been removed from the local council by Torys for the first time in half a century!Corbyn has had a hobsons choice plus a rabbid PLP who have failed to get behind him and treacherous deputy leadership and back stabbers on every corner.He’s the best and only chance of a socialist Labour party in government and I would personally back him whatever,We have no other choice.

      3. Absolutely Joseph.

        Right now wild, blind optimism is our only hope!

      4. jpenney, Labour clearly needs someone able to state their position plainly without a lot of waffle.
        You should definitely apply for that job.

      5. Who ever claimed that the globalist neoliberal Tory version of Brexit WAS “Left Wing”, you moron ? But being in the entirely neoliberal EU Single Market straightjacket does make implementing a Left Labour government’s radical Left economic programme impossible. Not that a Right Wing Troll like you would want a Corbyn government in office to implement such a programme. See the difference , fool ? What are you drivelling about, RH ? Is this a serious post ? Utter crap from beginning to end laddie. Everyone knows that the Conservatives have always depended on a massive vote from working class Conservatives for their periods in power. (that is why the UK used to be littered with working men’s Conservative drinking and snooker clubs in most working class areas, nitwit) But of course, despite that constant significant reactionary (“lumpen”) working class Conservative vote, the “blue collar” working class has always voted by a huge majority for Labour, and still did in 2017. That is simply a uncontestable historic FACT.

        Your utterly pathetic attempt to claim the (blue collar) working class are mostly Tories just demonstrates what a middle class arrogant Remainer twerp you are. Yep, working class Tory voters voted Leave in 2016 , But so did masses of working class Labour voters. It is a total “weaponised polling” fantasy, propagated by the Guardian and Independent particularly, to justify the PV/ Remain Campaign bullshit, that even in the most overwhelmingly Leave majority areas, mysteriously the majority of all classes of Labour voter, still voted Remain ! This is the usual polling-as-propaganda, bullshit, based on a thousand or so tiny sample. In fact the poorer voters, who made such a (totally unpredicted by all pollsters) major contribution to the Leave victory, are notoriously very difficult to capture as a polling sample.

        Your claims about voting patterns are pure middle class Labour Right wing Guardianista fantasy. Unfortunately it isn’t just ignorant Trolls with a Mandelson/Campbell determined agenda like you that have bought this codswallop. Our overwhelmingly middle class membership certainly believes it too. As a deliberately serially lying Troll you won’t give a toss when the reality hits in the next General Election . But the Labour Party membership is going to be very surprised when all those working class Leave-supporting Labour voters – who the Guardianista middle class love to dismiss as “knuckle dragging racists”, turn out to have been Labour voters – who will either not vote, or vote for the Brexit Party in our Labour Heartlands at the next Election.

        You must be running in your brain for a rocking horse (as they say on Merseyside) to imagine that anyone but a Guardianista middle class fantasist believes anything you have spewed out in your daft ignorant post. Write less often, RH, but write something based on facts when you do.

      6. Very clear post. I do feel that sinister forces have been active within and without to oversee the demolition of a potentially socialist society for generations. Tapewormism can almost see the finishing tape. Regards.

  1. Don’t know about a united shadow cabinet,but just watched Sir ke ir knighthood drive a coach and horses through united cabinet in BBC ibreakfast.In AS suspend suspects and chuck them out of the party!On corbyn ,he does is best,with AS……shame.On brexit ,yes we have made a clear decission somthing we can campaign for.Would anyone believe he used to be a legal professional and barrister.Conference decide On policy? On corbyn and AS we do not allow the leader to dictate on guilt or otherwise..On speaking to the media we used to sing from the same hymsheet and had to check with HQbefore going before the cameras. and giving Interviews to distance themselves from agreement made. .All once again backstabbing and disloyalty not 24hrs after a shadow cabinet mtg by the usual suspects.I know were starmer should stick is knighthood and we really don’t need any knights of the realm or Lords to help us run the Labour party.

    1. I believe Starmer said that in a clear case of antisemitism a member is automatically expelled.

      That’s not a problem : I doubt if any genuine member of the Party would disagree.

      The *actual* problems are twofold :

      1. That members have been expelled who have not made *any* ant-semitic comment – they have simply upset the Israel lobby by bluntly telling the truth about the occupation and the politics of zionism.


      2. Too many representatives giving the impression – against all the evidence – that there is a major problem with *real* as opposed to *fake* ‘antisemitism.

      We had – again – people like Triesman yesterday speaking pure bollocks about Labour being ‘institutionally antisemitic’ – a total falsehood. We can only speculate at the motivations behind such clear lying – but even the most charitable explanation falls short of an excuse : i.e. religious extremism that supplants a sane and rational perception of the world and political debate.

      We rightly criticise the abysmal standard of journalism that lets such lies pass as fact – but the problems stem from timeservers propagating lies and – what many of us warned against – the devious confusion of the IHRA definition being adopted in the first place.

      We will see whether the EHRC can bring some honest rationality to the issue – or whether it, to, has been contaminated by political pressure. As a precursor to doing a proper job, it should dismiss the IHRA definition of ‘antisemitism’ and substitute clarity, since that confusion is at the root of the political manipulation. Only then can it engage with the consideration of actual ‘antisemitism’.

      1. RH I think we both know what Sir knighthood is up to and we both know what justice our loyal members have been faced with by our kangaroo courts of he said ,she said!and let the devil take the high road?

      2. Joseph

        Ahem, don’t you mean And the devil take the hindmost?😀

  2. Big Lies & hypocrisy. Watch as the Labour Party narrative unfolds B4 your very eyes. The very soul of the Labour Party is ‘Remain’ & Watson & Hodge can do or say whatever they please without fear of sanction, but Chris Williamson? The elites are rotten to the core,

    1. People should hold Hodges feet to the fire and not just about tax. Good luck.

  3. I want a national ballot of the membership to remove Tom Watson from the position of deputy leader of the Labour Party. I would like to see Laura Pidcock take over as deputy leader.

    1. Yes Kevin wright.If we ever get another chance to elect another deputy leader,I will make sure that the candidate will be for the Labour democratic socialist party,and not somone more suitable for Mosley s fascist party like Watson..We were presented last time by a total fiction and endorsed by pathological liar s.Never again will I believe anything from HQ before double checking and yes their private lives and former careers will be Important……I used to be Impressed with barristers but no more from that profession please!

  4. Momentum sent me a open letter video to counteract the AS propaganda and I would applaude the members but said to them that all of the work that momentum do will be immediately contradicted by the owner Lansman who runs a mini fiefdom for his very large ego and to the detriment of the whole Labour movment. No reply as of now from the group!I did sign the petition though!

    1. Indeed, Joseph. When the sad history of the short-lived, hope-filled,2015 onwards “Corbyn insurgency” in the , (by 2015 totally neoliberal, internally corrupt, and down to a fraction of our current membership) Labour Party, is written, the ignominious role of Jon Lansman in particular, and his personally hijacked , supposedly radical Left pro Corbyn, organisation , Momentum, will undoubtedly get a mention as a key reason as to why the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Labour to achieve real positive social change, failed.

      Lansman, that lifelong arrogant backroom old Labour Left, manoeuvrer, (very reminiscent of all those sad old, now dead, Far Left grouplet gurus of the 1970’s revolutionary Far Left micro boom, like Gerry Healey, and Tony Cliff, who couldn’t cope with a group they couldn’t fit in their front room) simply couldn’t adapt to the totally unexpected opportunity for genuine (democratic) mass Left politics, when hundreds of thousands of , admittedly very politically naïve and uneducated, new “Corbynistas” streamed into the Labour Party alongside Jeremy’s Leadership campaign and victory. Rather than work tirelessly to convert Momentum’s tens of thousands into politically educated socialists, Lansman quickly saw off the Far Left members (who share some considerable blame for their divisive politics and THEIR undemocratic manoeuvrings too) , set up a joke “Steering Group” of his mates and chosen ones, and then carried on as before with the dodgy backstairs deals and manoeuvring. And of course, staffed the Momentum London office with a right collection of liberal ex public schoolboys and girls – who have had a great time using our member subs gallivanting all over the world hobnobbing with the Bernie Sanders Team and that opportunist rascal, Alex Tsipras of Syriza !”

      Momentum has simply been, at best, a passive spectator during most of the three years of assaults on Jeremy and his small socialist team (too busy holding middle class-oriented festivals and bland “World Transformed” love-ins, even to have a disciplined political presence at Conference. So the politically merely Left Liberal tens of thousands who entered the Labour Party in 2015 onwards, and the 40,000 subset of that influx, the supposedly more militant, Momentum members, are today the same politically uneducated, non-socialist Left Liberals they were in 2015 – except lots of them have received very good training in basic election canvassing techniques ! No doubt useful for when so many drift off to the Greens.

      The most likely scenario going forward is the growth of a mass Far Right movement , beyond the current Brexit Party lash-up, to fill the political gap created by the imminent failure of the positive hope of “Corbynism”. We will yet pay in blood for the personal ambition, opportunism, political bankruptcy, and sheer chicanery of Jon Lansman and his cronies.

      1. I actually agree with you about Lansman – a faker of the first water.

        Trouble is that your arrogant rattle about ‘politically educated socialists’ displays a similar factional arrogance that you accuse him of – it’s shorthand for the usual dead-end Judaean fragmentation that is a boring feature of the posy-left landscape.

      2. Yes JP the top down bourgeois socialists in Momentum at the top took the power for themselves.
        But we need some hope and there are many many thousands of us diverse working class left wing democratic socialists out there and perhaps it’s our time to rise (and we can work with the better read and genuine progressive middle class socialists).
        A moron once said it was the end of history and (bourgeois) liberal capitalist democracy had won but I believe grassroots, bottom up, participatory, left wing democratic socialism can win!
        We need hope!
        ‘The old order Neo Liberalism is dying.
        But the new cannot yet be born.
        Perhaps we are all being tested.
        And only the stars will ride the storm!’

  5. Is this NEC decision fair or wise, how do others feel about it?

    Excl: Labour NEC agrees relaxed trigger ballot process for pregnant MPs
    Sienna Rodgers

    Labour’s ruling body has agreed that pregnant MPs will only be subject to the trigger ballot process at least one year after their return from maternity leave,

    Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) decided at its meeting on Tuesday that instead of allowing pregnant Labour MPs to avoid the trigger ballot process altogether and automatically reselecting them, as suggested by Harriet Harman, MPs would only have to face a trigger ballot at least one year after the end of their maternity leave.

    In practice, this means that if a snap election is held within the next year, any MP already on their maternity leave or soon to start their leave will be automatically reselected as a Labour candidate in that election.

    1. “Is this NEC decision fair or wise ….?”

      What was the last Not Especially Convincing decision that displayed those two characteristics?

      In answer : Of course not. Pregnancy isn’t an incapacitating illness, and simply justifying your record (there are lots of ways of doing this) isn’t a massive imposition.

      The proposal is actually discriminatory, in suggesting that pregnancy means that an MP in that situation can’t fulfil minimal reasonable demands.

      1. RH 10/07/2019 at 4:06 pm

        In the absence of a GE before 2022 can we expect a distinct spike in the birth rate amongst Labour MPs at the end of 2021 – start of 2022

      2. Steve – I don’t want to be too cynical : but the use of pregnancy as an extenuation for being a crap tourist MP does have some history (see ‘Berger’).

        I’m surrounded by ardent (real) feminists, so I’ll be interested in their reaction to this. My prediction – because they’re real – is that they won’t be particularly impressed.

        There’s a thread here, isn’t there? – the NEC distorting basic principles (anti-sexism, anti-racism) to sectarian advantage – ???

        Cowardice, Venality – or both?

    2. My missus repeatedly told me, ” I’m not fucking (I cribbed that word from Lady Pottymouth) sick, I’m pregnant!”. I know what I mean now, gawd help us.

    3. Maybe there is a case for it. However, it cannot be right that it should apply to people currently on maternity leave.

      That makes its implementation retrospective.

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