Watson ‘intends to set up “centrist Momentum”‘ to bring down Corbyn

Watson hopes rival group will ‘make it impossible for Corbyn to continue’
A Labour insider (artist’s impression)

At the same time as unelected peers are trying yet another no-effect vote of no confidence, right-wing commentator Isabel Hardman has published an article outlining plans by Labour’s notional deputy leader Tom Watson to turn his “Future Britain” project into a ‘centrist Momentum’. Hardman wrote:

The plan this time is to surround and destabilise Corbyn and his lieutenants, until they resign of their own accord…

Crucially, Watson intends to set up a movement to rival Momentum, the left-wing grassroots organisation that took Corbyn into power. He runs a group called Future Britain, where MPs discuss how to hold the party together. I understand that the group is planning a massive expansion in the next few months, taking in not just more MPs and local government councillors but grassroots Labour members…

The hope is that this voice will become so deafening and destabilising, with a blizzard of angry letters and protests against the leadership, that it makes it impossible for Corbyn to continue.

Ms Hardman is well-ensconced in the ‘Westminster bubble’ and is also in a relationship with John Woodcock, who quit the Labour Party before an investigation into sex-pest allegations and has sniped from the sidelines ever since, so she is well placed to read the ‘centrist’ mood.

Doing the same thing and expecting a different result

Of course, ‘setting up a rival Momentum’ is nothing new – and those who try it invariably miss the point and set themselves up to fail because Momentum, for all its faults, grew from an authentic movement. It harnessed something already happening, rather than ‘setting it up’.

The Tories missed this point when they set up ‘Activate’ and provided side-splitting hilarity from the moment of its launch through to its rapid collapse – and at all points between – in which the late and much-missed Simon Baker played a significant and not yet fully-disclosed role. Baker, of course, knew all about harnessing authenticity in his groundbreaking and hugely powerful political videos supporting the Labour movement.

The Tories also tried to ‘set up’ their own Glastonbury when they were dismayed by the loud support for Corbyn among festival-goers. That was also an embarrassing disaster and a source of much amusement.

Watson’s attempt to ‘take in’ (and how that applies in all senses!) ‘centrist grassroots’ is doomed to go the same way – not least because the ‘centrist grassroots’ isn’t really a thing. The centrists have spent the last four years trying to galvanise the mass of other centrists they always fondly imagined was out there waiting to be galvanised and the result has been bigger wins for Corbyn and a steady extension of the left’s democratic control of local party structures.

Lazy ****

The other major problem Watson’s ‘Momentum’ faces is, well, Watson himself. Even Isabel Hardman acknowledges the intrinsic laziness for which Watson is well known among MPs, saying:

There are many challenges with this new plan, not least when it comes to Watson’s own character. ‘At the heart of him, there’s a mixture of a desire to be in control at all times and a laziness that means he doesn’t always manage it,’ says one foe.

Watson’s ‘fake news task force’ was announced with fanfare more than two years ago – he even appointed a short-lived ‘czar’ – yet has done so little since that it takes a lot of Google-result sifting to find out it existed.

Similarly, the ‘Future Britain’ group of MPs that Watson hopes to turn into a ‘rival Momentum’ seems to have done nothing apart from an initial meeting. An enquiry to Watson weeks ago about what exactly it had done since was simply ignored.

In short, if the centrists hope they can create their own version of Momentum to get rid of Corbyn, the best advice to them is not to hold their breath – they have no vision and no substance for anything remotely useful to grow from. And if they’re pinning their hopes on Watson to make it happen, a rapid reconsideration of their life choices would be in order.

Meanwhile, Blairite peers have peerlessly managed to inject even more energy into the actual Labour grassroots by proposing a meaningless vote of no-confidence in Corbyn among ‘Labour’ members of the unelected House of Lords that Corbyn plans to abolish.


‘Centrist Momentum’. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. [Breath] Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

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  1. Date for your diary – I heard the inaugural meeting of this new group will take place in the red phone box nearest to Westminister next Monday at 4.00pm. It is expected that there will be Standing room only. LOL!

  2. Lansman the feifdom owner of momentum would probably help Watson out,providing he sticks with the AS scam!.Like watson he’s CONNED his way into a left wing organization and cleared out the opposition within momentum with trumped up charges of AS…….sad old man..Lansman and Watson comedy duo……the show runs daily!

    1. Joseph, in many ways, Jon Lansman is a much sadder character politically than that at least consistent, lifelong insider of the old corrupt Right wing Trades union-based Labour Right, the pathetic attention-seeking narcissist, Tom Watson. Because Lansman was of course originally a close crony of Tony Benn during the “glory years” of mildly Left radical Bennism (which at least was still saturated with a basic socialist ideology , even if of a deeply reformist, Labour Party obsessed, kind, vis a vis the need for comprehensive economic socialist PLANNING and wide-ranging nationalisation , re, Clause 4 – unlike today’s essentially non-socialist Left Liberal Momentum members ) .

      The long night of Kinnock/ Blairite neoliberalism in Labour reduced Lansman and his tiny band of CLPD and LRC cronies to mere backroom manoeuvring for 30 years – “doing deals” with the “soft Labour Left”( actually entirely Right Wing neoliberals like Ann Black, etc) to achieve bugger all in turning back the neoliberal rot in Labour. Since the utterly unexpected, very flukey, 2015 “Corbyn Insurgency” happened, the likes of Lansman, and all the old Labour Left, have proven incapable of breaking out of this deeply engrained small circle backroom cronyism. So Lansman turned the huge political potential of Momentum into nothing more than a passive electioneering mobiliser, with a totally undemocratic dictatorial leadership structure. Momentum has done NO socialist political education of its huge membership – just trained them in basic apolitical canvassing techniques – because a politically educated membership would be a threat to the small old Labour Left claque’s continued “leadership”.

      Too many posters on here are obsessed with Lansman’s kowtowing to the pressures of the mainstream media and the mainly Tory and always unconditionally pro Israeli “official leadership” of the (non Orthodox community) UK Jewish community, by stabbing comrades like Chris Williamson in the back . But this is just part of a much wider failure of the Lansman-controlled huge potential mobilising force of Momentum to play any meaningful role in defending Jeremy Corbyn and the Left over the last two years of incessant attack. Lansman is still pursuing his own petty personal agendas and interests (remember his cavalier willingness to risk giving up his vital NEC seat to Eddy Izzard so he could stand for the post of General Secretary ?) , as if we were still in the old days of the Labour Left being a bunch of sad old guys who could all meet in someone’s front room, with room to spare.

      When the history of the now unfortunately inevitable failure of the Let Wing “Corbyn Wave” in Labour is written, Left historians will perfectly well understand the always endemic personal corruption and associated Right Wing politics which drove the Labour Right to deliberately wreck the Labour Party, rather than see a Left government in power – but the political bankruptcy and self-serving motivations which drove the likes of old Bennite Jon Lansman to deliberately demobilise the potentially biggest Left activist campaigning and organising force EVER in the Labour Party, Momentum, and hence politically and organisationally disarm the Labour Left in the current historic struggle, will be a harder reality to explain or understand. Unless those Left historians read Ralph Miliband’s scathing demolition of the Labour Party as a vehicle for socialism in “Parliamentary Socialism” – or actually examine the role of the always cowardly Labour Left throughout its sad history. Then they would see that the Labour Left has ALWAYS, when in a position to advance, sold out the potential gains to be made by standing up to the Labour Right – because whilst the Labour Right have always been perfectly prepared to destroy the Labour Party rather than lose control — for the Labour Left, “Party Unity” has always been sacrosanct – even if at the expense of socialist advance.

      1. But JP you always fail to provide a final paragraph: So we need to?
        There is quite a bit in what you say butsome of us left wing democratic socialists who want a more participatory grassroots bottom up approach are trying for change.
        For example I have had discussed a resolution for a more democratic process for choosing the left wing slate at LRC and it is to be shared with Momentum etc to pass up the chain unless some kick it into the long grass!
        The problem we have is the Left is presented with a Left 9 usually with Lansman at the top of the list and if we don’t vote for him (which I don’t want to) and them then the Right get in thus weakening JC on the NEC.
        The left wing democratic socialists who get it have got to continue to fight the Right AND the bourgeois socialists within (top downers who take the power for themselves).
        And the Right without!

      2. Jpenny thanks for the history,its good that younger activist bloggers and all learn from the people there at the time and maybe stop history repeating itself.I too remember Lansman of the past and that is why I am scathing of him.. Not momentum and the activists I have knocked on doors with.You may be right about not being elected,but I live in hope.I disappeared for a time and concentrated my young activism in Ireland and eventually into the firing line of apartheid s Afrika..I never trusted Lansman or Tony benn,but always felt lansman was motivated by Zionism rather than socialism….beware!

      3. Joseph, whilst the blame for most of the missed opportunity of Momentum becoming a real force for socialism in Labour lies with Lansman and his claque of old Labour Lefts , the opportunity for this tiny claque siezing control of Momentum wasn’t purely because Lanaman holds the database and outmanoeuvred the Far Left’s equally undemocratic bid to sieze control. It is the solidly middle class membership base of Momentum, with its merely Left Liberal and identity obsessed politics, that set the underlying weakness in Momentum that , merely by excluding the Far Left, and avoiding socialist political education and internal debate, gave Lansman and his tiny claque the ability to emasculate the potential power of 40,000 people. Lansman even closed down the popular Left Futures discussion site because too many of us socialists kept going off his idea of the correct line in debates !

        And behind the current weakness of Momentum, and the entire Corbynist insurgency in Labour, lies, not dodgy manoeuvrers like Lansman, but the failure over the last thirty years or so for Labour to retain a solid working class active membership, or even real roots in the blue collar working class. The policy shift to PV and Remain, the implementation of austerity for the Tories by all Labour Councils, and Labour’s liberal, not socialist, acceptance of unlimited labour supply (whatever happened to socialist planning ?) , threaten in the next General Election, the mass desertion of millions of Labour’s now cynically disillusioned working class voters to The Far Right opportunist fakers of the Brexit Party, a transfer of loyalty with potentially dire social consequences . Yep, like you, and Bazza, i’ll keep fighting in my CLP for Left policies, but the future looks a lot less hopeful today than it did even a few months ago.

      4. “Lansman even closed down the popular Left Futures discussion site”

        I often wondered who did that! I’d assumed it had deferred to this site’s popularity as the voice of the Corbyn left and wound itself up.

  3. Future Britain has been set up to discuss how to hold the party together??? Just a thought but not trying to undermine the democratically elected leader might be a good start.

  4. He is so thick it’s risible at times. The worst DL ever. He has a lot of animal cunning and sneakiness (which shouldn’t be underestimated) but neither imagination nor intelligence enough to achieve his intended goal.

    1. ‘He has a lot of animal cunning and sneakiness (which shouldn’t be underestimated) but neither imagination nor intelligence enough to achieve his intended goal.’

      I’m inclined to disagree with the cunning (unless it’s ‘baldrick-style’ cunning’) It’s harder to underestimate him than to ‘estimate’ him. He’s most definitely snide, though.

      You’ve forgotten another major flaw….watson’s inherent inability (because of his overinflated ego and being infatuated by the sound of his own voice) to STFU about what he’s up to.

      Useless fat knacker’s incapable of holding his own piss. He just can’t help himself.

  5. Remember when we pissed ourselves at them toerag attempts to attract ‘de yoof’? Well this’ll end up being every bit as hilarious if fatboy slime manages to pull it off.

    But given watson’s a bone idle (b)laggard, don’t get yer incontinence pants on just yet.

    A ‘centrist momentum’ Oh, lordy! Every bit a contradiction-in-terms as ‘police intelligence’ or ‘compassionate conservatism’.

  6. Toffee….you must be a scouser,your sense of humour gives me hours of laughter.A sense of humour in todays stressed out society.Also a devastating tool to be used against my favourite comedian deputy Dawg Watson!

  7. If it brings Watson’s Deputy reign closer to ending then I’m all for it.

  8. It seems they’ve decided they’re not digging fast enough and are doubling-down! 😭 Is Mandelson the most incompetent Machiavelli ever?

    Get the popcorn in, people!

    1. ‘Is Mandelson the most incompetent Machiavelli ever?’

      For now, but if boris doesn’t win his leadership election it’ll be a toss-up.

  9. Twatson why don’t you take your new Centrist( Tory) MoanmentIum and all the disloyal PLP Mps with you and start a new political Party

  10. There’s one thing for sure, Watson and the #lordyLords are just making themselves even more disliked with the members and some of the more Centrist LP MP’s. Maybe they see a GE looming and want to curry favour with their CLP’s.

  11. in recent past always backed momentum nominees, except Lansman,
    liked their work on the ground,
    proved right on Lansman with his coming out against CW and JVL
    Watched Sky debate today on Labour future, with Louise Ellman on one side and momentum rep on the other,
    except there wasnt a fag paper between them,
    need help who the hell do we vote in now

    1. Joseph i have no clue whats going on
      just read GMB union staff members at Labour HQ voted against parties response to Panorama

      1. Doug….concerning…what’s the partys response to do with the employees?…..

      2. GMB is a small, right wing, anti-Corbyn union. Does that help?

  12. Tom Watson is a leg end in his own mind. He really has finally lost the plot. Does anyone out there know how we get rid of this bloke.

  13. I have had this humungously awesome gob-smacking thought.
    The dilys actually believes his own propaganda!

    1. Yep, Ceredig, I strongly suspect that , being a very obvious classical narcissistic sociopath (he won’t keep that directly related chronic weight problem off for long) , Watson constantly practices his long imagined Leadership Election victory speech in front of his bedroom mirror – probably with a tape recorder on hand with a canned mass applause and “here, here, Tom THE MAN”, audience interjections tape, to intersperse in his, to himself, totally inspirational (but strangely actually politically banal and empty) perorations.

      Tom Watson, the man now claiming to be soooooooo concerned about anti-Semitism , who personally took circa £500,000 off Oswald Mosley’s ghastly over-privileged scion, Guinness family inherited money millionaire, Max Mosley, who himself was a committed fascist streetfighter and foul racist lie spreader with his late dad in their 1960’s anti Black immigrant-related temporary fascist revival !

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