Media and centrists focusing on supposed ‘Momentum’ action, with some even claiming ‘it was Momentum wot done it’
The horrified reaction of the Establishment to the thought of Labour abolishing its deputy leader position would be funny if it wasn’t so predictably nonsensical – can anyone say who the deputy leader of the Tory party is, if it even has one?
That misleading reaction has centred around the framing of the NEC’s decision to vote today on whether to abolish the position as a ‘Momentum’ manoeuvre – and a tweet by right-wing Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy typifies:
Momentum may not be affiliated to Labour, but Momentum founder Jon Lansman was elected by Labour members as one of the left ‘slate’ of candidates for the National Executive Committee (NEC).
That slate that has a far more current mandate than Tom Watson, who has outraged Labour members so routinely that he must be well aware that he would be humiliated if he stood again for election as deputy. Consequently he has avoided ‘testing his mandate’, in spite of mass campaigns for him to do so or step down, with a stubbornness that has some Labour insiders referring to him as ‘Barnacle’.
Much of the corporate media has gone further, with the BBC, Sky News and others characterising yesterday’s decision as a move entirely by Momentum. But Labour’s NEC voted overwhelmingly to put the abolition to today’s vote, including many members who are not associated with the group.
Those who did so included several front-bench MPs who have to try to work alongside – or in spite of – Watson’s grandstanding and disregard for collective responsibility. That fact is telling – and speaks to the unity and consistent message that the party will need going into the coming general election.
Tom Watson is the biggest obstacle to that unity and to consistent message. The decision of the NEC – if it is confirmed today – to quarantine him from any claim to speak on behalf of the party is not only justified but essential.
Any media or MPs who say otherwise are not speaking in the best interests of the party or of the country that desperately needs a Labour government.
Poll: is the NEC move to abolish the deputy leader position the right one? Have your say here.
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