Quip mocks non-existent chance of success and Watson’s support for illegal Iraq war
Labour MPs have told the SKWAWKBOX that they understand that the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson is preparing a challenge to leader Jeremy Corbyn – and that they have coined an unflattering phrase to describe its chances of success: his “‘Umm Qasr’ strategy“.
The quip is also a jibe at Watson’s consistent support for the Iraq war described as illegal by then-UN general secretary Kofi Annan.
During the 2003 conflict, a column of fourteen Iraqi tanks emerged from Basra, just as western forces prepared an assault on the nearby port town of Umm Qasr. The resulting destruction of the ill-fated convoy led one British army participant to describe it in terms of a one-sided football match:
There were 14 of ours and 14 of theirs. The final score was 14 nil.
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott spoke to a public meeting on Wednesday about the expectation of Labour insiders of a fresh leadership challenge this summer, though it’s not recorded whether she mentioned the withering epithet:
Tom Watson was contacted for comment but did not respond.
If Watson does decide to pursue his ‘Umm Qasr strategy’, he will not find it difficult to obtain the nominations he needs. As the SKWAWKBOX reported last February, a number of left MPs eager to see the back of him have said they will ‘lend’ him their nominations to ensure a contest could be put to a vote by members and affiliates.
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