Analysis Exclusive

Excl: Hodge ‘triggered by Barking RIGHT’ – and more heavily than media implied

Right-wing Labour MP faces selection contest because of move to remove her by own faction
‘Triggered’ MP Margaret Hodge

The media has cast the vote by local Labour members to ‘trigger‘ Barking MP Margaret Hodge – forcing her to face a full selection contest – as a move by the Labour left.

Hodges’ supporters, including a gaggle of ‘usual suspects’ among right-wing MPs, have leapt in with full-throated condemnations, with some all too predictably framing it as an antisemitic move by the left – a campaign to ‘reselect Margaret’ has already been started and widely publicised.

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, like a sudden number of others, thinks the wicked lefties should leave poor Ms Hodge alone and focus exclusively on fighting the Tories (because of course, that’s all the Labour right ever do):

Embarrassing, then, that it seems the trigger was the result of a move by the Barking right.

Local sources have told the SKWAWKBOX that, while the left in Barking is relatively weak, two senior right-wing figures coordinated the move – and that the trigger motion only carried because of their supporters among the local branches. Those ‘movers and shakers’ include at least one with extremely close ties to right-wing pressure group Labour First.

The same Labour First whose campaign to ‘reselect Margaret’ was so eagerly publicised by Wes Streeting.

Not only was the vote a right-wing move, but Margaret Hodge lost more heavily than media reports have indicated.

While supporters of the right-wingers turned up, a number of left-wingers stayed away precisely in order to avoid or invalidate claims that the move was driven by the ludicrously-termed ‘hard left’.

In an attempt to underpin the presentation of the move as an unfair left-wing plot, Establishment media and the Labour right have tried to claim that only a minority of branches voted for the trigger – five of eleven – with other branches supporting her. Labour First’s Luke Akehurst majored on it as a reason that the trigger process is not democratic.

But in fact, only seven of the eleven branches voted. Five of those seven voted in favour of the trigger – but when the threshold of one in three branches was reached, the remaining branch votes were abandoned.

So of the seven branches who did vote, in 71% a majority apparently wanted an opportunity to select a new candidate.

Media also reported how tight the votes were, mentioning only one that voted for a trigger by a wider margin of thirty to seven – with ‘others’ decided only by a few votes.

However, while some were tight the overall score was – according to members present – vastly in favour of a trigger. The overall totals among those who voted seem to have been heavily in favour of the trigger.

Labour First’s Luke Akehurst responded to a SKWAWKBOX enquiry as to whether he would be surprised to learn that the trigger was driven by the Barking right:

We are against deselections of sitting moderate MPs whoever is involved.

SKWAWKBOX view:

A tight, undemocratic progress driven by the ‘antisemitic’ left – or an emphatically-decided move by the same Labour right to which Margaret Hodge belongs?

Yet again, the corporate media are feeding the people a line.

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33 comments

  1. This seems to be the mantra from right wing Labour MPs “let’s just concentrate on fighting the Tories” Sure, but what happens when we win? The right wingers will continue their attacks on Corbyn if we don’t get rid of them.

  2. Could it be the right vote was an attempt to raise the spectre of anti-semitism again, and then revert back when the real votes are cast.

    1. First thing I thought when I heard that it was the Right in her constituency who organised this. Most out there would straight away see it as the Left that did this, no matter what the facts.

      Already I see in some general forums it’s the Left who are getting blamed for this, claiming that they’re trying to silence someone who’s fighting anti-Semitism within Labour and is herself Jewish, that Corbyn is being a Stalinist, etc. It just seems soooo convenient.

      Not that I’ll defend her if it is the Right who orchestrated this, and would be very happy if she loses her mandate, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not fishy considering who seems to have pushed this. Seems more a case of trying to create a martyr…

  3. The fact that Watson passed his trigger branch meetings unanimously is testament to how outrageously poorly Momentum has been in organising the base of the membership. In fact I’d go so far as to say as they are purposefully blocking national organising because it doesn’t fit in with their idea for the role of the organisation. It’s going to be a real problem if Corbyn gets into Downing street without an organised and politically prepared base (never mind all the MPs that will be sabotaging any kind of radical agenda)

    1. I think there is a widening distance between national momentum and local momentum groups. No idea what local momentum is like in West Bromwich East.

      National momentum are good for national campaigning – phone apps, info, videos, etc. Buy it takes local organising to lobby for local voting.

    2. Momentum appears to be losing members because of the antics of Jon Lansman. Nobody is saying don’t continue your support but there needs to be a home for disaffected members. I suggest Labour Left Alliance

      https://labourleft.org/appeal/

      1. Momentum was downgraded in its first year by the Lansman coup. Its potential to lead the transformation of the Party was destroyed and lo and behold that transformation has not actually happened. The group was never going to amount to much once it was demoted to mere leafletting-fodder for the Labour Party with no internal democracy.

    3. “The fact that Watson passed his trigger branch meetings unanimously is testament to how outrageously poorly Momentum has been in organising the base of the membership.”

      More likely the surprise comes from much of the ‘left’ being out of touch with the actuality of the Party, cocooned in a self-reinforcing bubble of assumptions.

  4. If CLPs want to trigger a re-selection process because they are dissatisfied with the sitting MP for any reason they have every right to do so . No MP should be excluded from potential re-selection because of their ethnic origin,religion, disability,gender sexual orientation etc. It is disgraceful to attribute bigotry of any description to a CLP which is not happy with its MP and triggers a selection process. CLPs do not do this lightly and MPs and others from outside the constituency should not interfere -its undemocratic.

  5. According to Jon Lansman on Twitter
    “The Left is most certainly not behind the triggering of Margaret Hodge in Barking nor was it the result of antisemitism. I’m told it happened because members on the Right had expected her to retire & want an MP who actually lives there, not one who has always lived in Islington”

    https : // twitter.com/jonlansman/status/1178249267829493760

  6. “a number of left-wingers stayed away precisely in order to avoid or invalidate claims that the move was driven by the ludicrously-termed ‘hard left” This sounds sophisticated. The optimist in me hopes it was as a result of researched foreknowledge of the likely voting numbers.

    1. Sadly I don’t believe this was the case. There are only a few of us that could be described as left in the CLP ,this can be evidenced by our failure to have sufficient numbers to form a local Momentum group when we tried a few months ago. However the demographic of the area is changing and it is,I believe incorrect to simply blame Hodge’s defeat on right wing dissent. For many years Hodge and her associates have treated Barking as their personal fiefdom and a couple of very ambitious figures have emerged in the party. Neither of these figures appeal politically to me,but would be preferable to the present incumbent. With Hodge standing again the right,centre right vote could be horribly split which may provide us with an opportunity,unfortunately we are not organised and taken very much by surprise by Saturday’s vote. Internal politics are at work here,broken promises and the suspension of a Labour Councillor have played a part, but so,if what I heard Saturday is correct,has Hodge’s behaviour on the national stage.Please don’t underestimate what has happened here,two years ago nobody would have had the temerity to go against Hodge,this result would have been unthinkable. Her behaviour has provoked this and the left will gain strength and confidence as a result of Saturday’s bombshell.As the young boy sang prior to the leaders speech at conference,”A change is gonna come”.

      1. Jim thanks again for the insight into what’s going on inside the constituency and wish we had more on the spot reporting from the key traitors consituency.No apologies for the word TRAITORS

      2. Where every penny is worth a pound
        How many members live in the constituency, what would it take to get them to attend the critical meetings as a one off
        Apologies if I’m trying to teach me nana how to suck eggs

  7. The main Question for many of the membership is who controls the Labour party.We’ve been shocked at the clearout of loyal members who have done nothing to be expelled for.We now know who saved Tom Watson and it was the chair of the NEC before the conference.We have seen mps who should have been expelled,but instead were allowed to leave with supposed moral objections against a left wing racist and violent membership and they continue the attacks from inside other partys.We have a leading member of the NEC john lansman who control his personal Zionism using his own momentum approved NEC members to push is own agenda.We have a smattering of Labour first and progress members and others.I am sick and tired of this fiasco of waiting for a Jeremy Corbyn government,and now I watch it slip away Because who controls Labour,well its definitely not the Socialist left wing.We have ! Membership,we have the manifesto,we have the Labour leader.But we have not THE Control and now we go into an election arguing policys half the PLP will actively oppose and replace Jeremy Corbyn ASAP.

  8. The hoo-ha over Hodge shows how much better it would be if a contested reselection were a matter of ordinary, humdrum routine which each and every Labour MP had to face once in the lifetime of every Parliament.

    If we had open selections it would also lead to greater fairness between sitting Labour MPs and alternative candidates who would like to take their place.

    The trigger system gives sitting Labour MPs too much privilege and not enough accountability, It makes for an ill-disciplined PLP which thinks it can arrogantly second-guess decisions of the membership on matters like who should be the Party leader. PLUS – as we now see – it gives a field day to a hostile mass media. Every argument cries out for open selections.

    1. Not all Danny…..We are just desperate for a socialist Labour government along with millions of others.You are right to bring attention to the forgotten people in detention camps and the way the greeks and the refugees have been abandoned by the EU.You are wrong though to compare the camps to concentration camps of old.The British invented them in the Boar war to lock up the family’s of the Boar commando who attacked the Brits on horseback and disappeared into the bush..They starved the woman and children and then fed them glass in their mealys when it became expediant to murder them.They refined it in occupied Ireland in long kesh and the notorious internment without trial for any Catholic over sixteen that they considered too political.The really sad part is that we never learn from history and need to understand that the people that murdered innocent women and children ,and banged people away for years without trial are here now in the form of Johnson’s Tory party.

    2. Sometimes, Danny you descend to laughable levels of stupidity in your attempt to install Trump’s USA as the UK’s colonial master.

      Not a good look for arguing a case.

      1. RH has ‘jumped the rhetorical shark’ here with his latest completely fact-free bullshit comment. The socialist Left do not want our UK economy to be trapped within the straightjacket of either the neoliberal EU , or the equally neoliberal US economic zone, stupid boy. The Liberal Left fantasy that the EU is some sort of benevolent protector of our public services and worker’s rights is so tragic a self delusion as to question the willingness of those who hold to this bogus idea to do any background reading of the facts at all. And the idea that a Crash Out will suddenly , for the first time, expose the UK health service to privatisation ‘by Trump’s America’ , rather avoids the harsh reality that with the UK within the EU our NHS is ALREADY being privatised on a huge scale – including to subsidiaries of US Health companies !

        But then RH probably knows that – but as a day-long, every day, paid troll he is just trapped at his computer all day pumping out the Mandelson scripted bullshit.

      2. Ha’penny – do try harder to not appear a congenital idiot appearing occasionally from under s smelly duvet in a darkened room.

        “The Liberal Left fantasy that the EU is some sort of benevolent protector of our public services and worker’s rights is …..etc etc etc”

        Yawn. No-one claims that. Try an argument that doesn’t depend on creating antagonists constructed from your own rabid fantasies.

        On the other hand, that the Lexiteer dream is based on the nightmare of an extreme neoliberal Atlantacist right is just a simple fact.

        Of course, the existence of the fantasist Toytown left depends upon being in opposition to any concept of a working Labour government – impotent yelling from the fringe is the comfortable duvet.

  9. Smelly rats I smell .if her support by the right wing is so strong they would be arrogant and confident enough to trigger this knowing she will get te elected giving her a fresh mandate to continue her damage pathway with agust. Worked for watson ..

  10. I will take jims lead on whats happening in Hodges constituency.It clearly isn’t the left wing,theres just not enough for them to send Hodge on her way.Perhaps even the right are fed up with the foul mouthed fish wife..?

  11. Nia Griffiths was on the ‘Westminster Hour’ last night and she praised Hodge almost as much as she praises Trident these days.

    I certainly hope she is triggered in her constituency of Llanelli.

  12. I may be being thick here but why would the RW do this when she is one of them?
    Could there be an ulterior motive, I can think of only one.
    GE on its way & the antisemitism row erupts again, left wing against the Jews, if she isn’t elected again.

    1. It is of course just more machinations from the anti-Corbyn brigade, and whether or not she is re-selected is irrelevant, as they have elicited the negative media coverage their ploy was designed to do. And if Hodge DOES get replaced (by another ‘moderate’) then you can be 100% certain that THAT is because she has decided to retire, and all the reselection stuff is just so as to exploit and re-energise the A/S smear campaign – ie conjure up more negative A/S publicity out of thin air.

      Remember the motion re the Pittsburgh synagogue murders that was opposed on the grounds that it mentioned ‘anti-semitism’ too much!

      1. AND if she is re-selected, it will be “the decent moderate members” who turned out to defeat this anti-semitic move by the hardcore left JC supporters to get rid of her etc, etc!

  13. Where these quislings have ruled the roost for so long it is hardly surprising that local members gave up a long time ago
    There is definitely a role for NEC to press reset button and impose candidate

    1. Doug 01/10/2019 at 3:09 am

      Instead of resorting to the Blairite like central control you advocate it should be left to the membership of the CLP to sort it out democratically. After all we are still a members led party, aren’t we?

  14. The idea that we do anything to avoid the wrath of the MSM and toilet papers is a nonsense
    70% of the Jewish community vote Tory we lost them a long time ago
    We govern for the entire country not just our supporters,
    Starting by withdrawing the whip from every bad penny, kick out JLM and LFI, sign up JVL,
    ThenTrident and GMB you cant have the I’m alright Jack’s dictating policy
    You can say there is a green revolution around the corner do you want to be part of it,
    Twas clear red water that got us here

  15. What really happened when Barking triggered Margaret Hodge
    It’s also not a left-wing coup as the media have suggested. There are only about five or six of us lefties who attend CLP meetings. Hardly enough for a ‘takeover’. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story? Why should the press bother speaking to local people to get an accurate picture when they can get away with printing entirely baseless assumptions?

    Read it for yourself, it seems like an honest and straight-forward account to me
    https://labourlist.org/2019/10/what-really-happened-when-barking-triggered-margaret-hodge/

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