Analysis News

‘Joke’ absentee Watson slammed by NEC members – missed key NEC meeting for meaningless local one

Watson ‘avoiding accountability’ – since March

Labour deputy leader – notionally, at least – Tom Watson has been publicly lambasted by a member of Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) for missing yet another meeting of Labour’s ruling body. Watson is a member by virtue of his position.

According to Young Labour NEC representative Lara McNeill – meetings go more smoothly when he’s absent – but his ducking of accountability is a ‘joke’ compared to the diligence of the party’s general secretary Jennie Formby:

The meeting was a key one, in which the party’s actual leader Jeremy Corbyn won a key victory in the battle to ensure Labour continues to represent ‘the many’ over Brexit in the next general election, when other party’s are polarising to extremes.

Watson did not respond to a SKWAWKBOX request for comment. However, he went to the Huffington Post’s Paul Waugh with his excuse:

However, Watson had already won more than enough branches – populated by allies – in the ‘trigger’ selection process to survive and had no need whatever to be concerned about any branch meetings tonight.

Another NEC member had other ideas:

Tom may be embarrassed to see people, after his Brexit speech undermined Keir [Starmer] and pissed everyone off. But he should have the basic decency to send his apologies for not bothering to deliver his deputy leader’s report again.

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    1. I think he’ll lose his seat at the next election is comments from very Brexit West Bromwich East are anything to go by. So disappointed in the branches though

  1. The saddest thing about all this is that there are not enough people in West Bromwich willing to get rid of him. Truly depressing after all his skullduggery.

    1. Perhaps they like him? Anyway, it’s a shame LP hasn’t a procedure for sanctioning a deputy not doing his duties such as regular reports to NEC. I doubt he is embarrassed about his speech, no doubt he doesn’t have time as he is busy undermining Corbyn day in day out and there is the Beech saga hanging over him.

    2. My sentiments also , I can only assume that they are content with a RW bastard for an MP

    3. I believe that the stitch up is down to Watsons friends and family options that he likes to influence. ,makes me wonder just how big a family is it possible to have in Watson’s constituency.Makes me wonder if Watson’s family members include relatives getting it together?….IT would explain a lot regarding controlling branches make up and the bizzare support he gets.??

      1. Ps I would not like anyone to assume that Watson’s family and friends are the result of inbred liaisons,even though there is a remarkable similarity between these close friends and relatives.The stary eyes and the anemic appearance must be the climate in the w midlands.just for clarification comrades regards

  2. I guess our only hope now for justice and accountability is for Mandatory re-selection to be resurrected at some not too distant point in the future

  3. If I was on the NEC I wouldn’t endorse anti-left wing democratic socialists.
    Last time I looked George Galloway I think had raised £15k in West Bromwich.
    The CLP members can I understand still vote NO in a shortlist of one, Lefties get bloody decent tellers!
    My greatest worry is that we get Labour in with a transformative Govt but 30 or so Right Wing re-selected Labour MPs prevent its programme.
    YOU need to grill these bastards at selections in case they lie through their teeth!
    Will you support the Corbyn transformative Govt programme or will you resign if you fail to and cause a by-election? We ask you to be HONEST before rather than after the event?
    Quite a revolutionary concept for careerists.

    1. Bazza. If only it was 30 or so right wing mps undermining a socialist agenda.. But alarmingly its at least two thirds that undermine Corbyn and the membership Thats Why no mp as challenged Watson.Its going to be a long slog to democratize the Labour party and with casualtys like Chris Williamson sacrificed for nothing other than mentioning the perfectly bloody obvious. We have apologised too much on AS.

  4. It looks like Tom Watson was on the agenda

    Labour’s ruling body is drafting fresh emergency plans to allow it to take temporary control of the party if Jeremy Corbyn should suddenly quit as leader.
    A paper on ‘the role of the Acting Leader’ of the party is set to be discussed at the National Executive Committee (NEC) hearing on Tuesday in an apparent bid to clip the wings of deputy leader Tom Watson

    1. Steve H IT would not take a brilliant journalist to bill that as Corbyn forced out,or Corbyns health concernes?. Sorry but I do not have any trust in the NEC and can you blame me or anyone else after the witch hunt against loyal party members.All this at the eleventh hour and just before conference. Conspiracy theory its a wonder we’re not all paranoid by now with the NEC

  5. The trigger system is very difficult for ordinary members to be involved in and battle through. A routine secret vote of CLP members before each election is the only way to combat this sort of fraud.

    1. Too right rayvisino – how about online polling directly to the NEC who archive the full dataset (for any possible future investigation or analysis) and anonymise the published results.
      That would circumvent local party structures and avoid doubt as to the validity of the results.

      1. Good idea David. If we can have internet voting for national elections then why not for important votes at a local level. It would have the added bonus of enfranchising those members who for various reasons can’t attend CLP votes.

      2. One snag, David – would you trust the NEC as presently constituted after all the bending of rules to nail awkward, but honesst, members like Chris Williamson and others???

      3. RH, it would be perfectly natural when a new IT system is implemented to analyse all existing documentation and seek extensive corroborative input from current and past responsible individuals at branch, CLP and NEC level.
        Once that information is collated and cross-processed, who knows what will turn up?

  6. Absence of a trigger ballot is perhaps a truer assessment of the political state of the Labour Party outside the vocal Southern Momentum influenced few areas. It is a realistic wakeup. We need to be worried about those working class areas of Britain (outside London) and how we seem to fail to galvanise around a socialist message.

  7. I think you are right – we ARE failing to galvanise around a socialist message. Especially in working class areas of Britain outside London.

    Labour needs to make its absolute priority a fundamental shift in wealth and power in favour of working people. To that end Labour needs to inspire and enthuse with its radicalism. In particular it requires a socialist economic programme based on comprehensive economic planning backed up with nationalisation to ensure that the programme is implemented. That programme should be imbued with a sense of energy, drive and dynamism. Its content should determine our stance to the EU, rather than our stance on the EU deciding (in reality emasculating) our economic policy.

    I re-joined the Labour Party to get Corbyn elected and re-elected in the hope that we would have some sort of dynamic programme along these lines but instead we have a slightly left-of-centre left-liberal positioning, engineered chiefly to secure inner party peace over the EU, in which respect it has succeed after a fashion at least comparative to the early days of Corbyn’s leadership.

    The problem however is that all of this leaves the electorate unenthused (‘meh’) since they simply do not share the ultra-loyal Corbyn hero-worship exemplified by Skwarkbox and some contributors here, fandom which holds that the Labour government will somehow be wonderful no matter how many capitulations it makes to the EU-adoring capitalist establishment elite and how much time is devoted to keeping the Blairites on side as opposed to advancing an inspiring programme.

    More importantly with a weak programme tied to the neoliberal albatross of the EU – with its free movement of capital, its unlimited labour supply, its ban on repealing privatisation of most utilities, its ability to clamp down on State Aids to industry and its multitude of opportunities for corporations to sue the government – the programme would be blown off course by the first whiff of capitalist dissent, like Syriza in Greece, leaving us with the continuation of austerity by a Labour government.

    1. have made some very good arguments and many are disappointed in what is slow work in democratizing the Labour party.Like you I rejoined the Labour party to support a true socialist like Corbyn.Its not been an easey road to travel and extremely difficult as you know.You probably know the argument regarding the EU and those who wish to diss a democratic vote.I find that the only option is to support Corbyn to the end,and judge the Labour party on the end game.What other choice do we have…….?Socialism or bust.!regards comrade .

  8. To be objective – Watson is entitled to put such a branch meeting before the NEC. If it’s the truth. It’s not OK to not submit apologies: that is contemptuous.

    However, the ire about his constituency’s reluctance to deselect him misses the point. As Maria has said :

    ‘Perhaps they like him?’

    … After all, no-one is forced to not vote. There are areas where the Labour tradition hasn’t much changed from the old days of local hierarchy, and where the dominant instincts are essentially conservative (small ‘c’). The West Midlands shows all the signs of being one such area.

    The idea that some formal democratic deficit is to blame for the lack of anti-establishment instincts manifesting themselves is naive – just like the notion that a ‘Leave’ vote was such.

  9. DannyYes…all good points,but a simple movment of power from Westminster to Manchester or Birmingham would have a massive effect upon the Democratization of Britain…..Those cosy lives of the mps who make the London scene,would have to up their game and think of the money we would save.The palace of Westminster can be an archaic tourist attraction along with Buckingham palace and the royals….time for change.!

  10. Nah. The joke is that TWatson was unanimously supported by all his mug CLP’s.

    That’s the joke, and he’s having the last laugh on us.

    1. wlbcarepants 18/09/2019 at 2:44 pm I’d be interested to see the voting / turnout figures . Did he improve on the initial 14 family/ friends in each branch or was it a similar stitch-up . “” Maybe they like him “” – fine , keep him as your MP , you deserve him, but he should not be deputy leader . How can he be removed from a position he is mis-using to further his own self-interest….

  11. Breaking news After 350years of living on the Island of Ireland the DUP have acknowledged that they live in Ireland…The leader of the DUP as announced this amazing discovery during a stunning moment of clarity when she discovered that Ireland is part of the EU.Arlene foster still insists that the Earth is flat and the worlds 1 .5billion Catholics are still representitives of the anti christ..but any progress in democratic vision will be welcomed by the people of Ireland

  12. Ps Boris Johnson was astonished by the the DUP unionist alliance breaking ranks with the TORY establishment.He will ask HRH to wave her magic wand and using the Royal prerogative to declare Ireland as part of the UK and the British Empire….The supreme court may be asked to decide due to the missing constitution and any documentation on HRH magical powers bestowed by god at the time of coronation..Could this be a papist plot mentioned in the act of coronation?

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