The 2015 General Election cleared 40 deadbeat Labour M.P.’s from Westminster – what does the future hold for Labour
The Labour Party post the 2015 General Election are in turmoil. The party is hopelessly split into a number of groups each pursuing widely differing agendas. The party is not known for exercising common sense and it is likely there will be a deal of blood-letting before the future direction of the party is decided. Meantime, in Scotland the party, ineffectively led by the inexperienced Kezia Dugdale is also divided along politically dogmatic lines. Indeed she was so bold as to make it known publicly before his election to the party leadership that Jeremy Corbyn did not carry her confidence or vote. But there are others, (now members of her shadow front bench team) who are supporters of Corbyn’s ideals. But many are “Blairites” holding membership of the Progress group led by arch Blairite Lord Peter Mandelson.
The divided Labour Party in Scotland is in big trouble since the next election is only a few weeks away. It faces Armageddon at the polls.
But what of Jeremy Corbyn? The left wing of the Labour Party has waited 25 years for the opportunity to be placed to decide the political direction of the party and they will not give ground easily. So far I have identified two opposing groups “Progress” and now “Momentum”. There are more. What a mess!!!!
8 October 2015: Senior Labour MPs have warned a new campaign group, set up by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, is a “threat to sitting MPs” and will “undermine” the party.
Momentum, a collective set up with the backing of the Labour leader and the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, aims to influence party policy but MPs are worried it is the beginning of a purge of moderate members who don’t support the leader. One Shadow Cabinet Minister said: “They are setting up a party within a party and I fear that they will use it to take control of conference, policy-making and mount a purge.”
Another MP asked not to be named but described the new group as “a worrying sign” while respected Labour MP Stephen Pound said: “This is basically a parallel organisation as far as I’m concerned, it’s against the principles of the Labour party and I think less of Jeremy Corbyn for endorsing it. “It will inevitably be seen as a threat to sitting MPs and the Labour party in parliament – it is a retrograde step.”
Welcoming the group, which is also backed by a group of Labour MPs including Katy Clark, Clive Lewis, Richard Burgon, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Kate Osamor, Mr Corbyn said: “Now, more than ever, we need to unite and continue to build our movement to change our politics and to win together in 2020.
4 December 2015: Labour split exposed as Tom Watson describes Momentum as a ‘rabble’
Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has highlighted splits at the highest levels of the party by describing Momentum, the group established by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn to strengthen his leadership, as a “bit of a rabble”. Watson spoke out against Momentum during an interview on the Today programme in which he hailed Labour’s decisive victory in the safe Labour Oldham West and Royton seat by-election. Watson praised McMahon and Corbyn – who will be given an important breathing space as he seeks to overcome divisions in the party – after the emphatic win.
But Watson highlighted divisions at senior levels of his party when he criticised Momentum, the group set up to provide grass-roots support for Corbyn, which has been endorsed by the Labour leadership. He said: “I am not a member of Momentum. They look like a bit of a rabble to me. But I don’t think they’re particularly a problem for the Labour party. They are not a party within a party. I just don’t think they’re that effective. They are a bit of an irrelevance in this debate. If there are people who are linked to Momentum that are intimidating Labour party members, then I think we should deal with it.”
Watson said he was grateful to Momentum for releasing a statement that said that it would not campaign for the deselection of MPs. It also condemned abusive behaviour. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/dec/04/labour-split-exposed-tom-watson-momentum-rabble-livingstone
8 February 2016: John McTernan -The idiots in Momentum will destroy themselves before they destroy Labour
It’s war. Well it was always a war, really. But the leaking of Momentum’s plans to become a fully-fledged party within a party and to win internal Labour Party battles shows how seriously the Corbynistas intend to remake everything in their image. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/12145352/Jeremy-Corbyn-Momentums-militant-style-blueprint-for-gaining-influence-over-Labour.html
Their target this year is 20,000 members – five times more than Militant had – and eight full time organisers. They say they will campaign to win internal elections, in their own words ‘counter moderates seeking key internal party roles’. All they need is a newspaper and Labour will really be back to the future and fighting against destructive infiltration.
But the return of the repressed is evident in politics as elsewhere in life. Momentum give themselves away in one key passage entitled “Consider for membership people rejected by Labour” which states:
“It has been pointed out that the Labour Party may unreasonably proscribe organisations or exclude individuals from membership. For this reason, it is proposed that the National Committee may decide by resolution to admit to membership any person whom it feels has been unfairly excluded from membership of the Labour Party, and shall be the final arbiter in any dispute about whether an organisation is ‘opposed to the Labour Party’ as a determinant of membership of Momentum.”
The aspiration to let non-Labour Party members join will be the undoing of Momentum – it is the thread at which moderates can pull. The Labour Party is an electoral machine or it is nothing. It’s organisational base remains local government and the most regularly attended meetings are based on council wards.
At these there is little sign yet of attendance by the new members. Discussions are always either highfalutin debates about ending inequality or hyper-localism, but they are congenial, comradely and always return to campaigning – campaigning to win. Trying to sneak enemies of the Labour Party in through the back door as Momentum plan is the surest way to find out that the “the broad mainstream of Labour Party grass-roots” do not welcome collusion with their electoral enemies.
8 February 2016: Corbyn hardcore plotting to deselect Labour moderates
Key organisers in Momentum, the new Jeremy Corbyn supporters’ group inside the Labour Party, are explicitly plotting “civil war” to get rid of moderate Labour MPs, despite repeated denials, a Telegraph investigation has found. Leaders of Momentum include, self-proclaimed revolutionary Marxists, and paid staff of parties which oppose Labour, including a man who was until five weeks ago official spokesman for a Green MEP.
Concerted efforts have begun to get moderate Labour incumbents pushed down the rankings of the party’s candidates for next year’s Welsh and Scottish elections, putting them at great risk of losing their seats. Momentum has harvested thousands of confidential personal records of Labour members, including their private emails and telephone numbers, and is already using them to operate phone-banks, it can be disclosed. The tactic has caused a major row, with Momentum’s opponents claiming it is illegal under data protection laws.
Momentum, launched last month to “continue the energy and enthusiasm of Jeremy’s campaign,” insists it is a “social movement” which is “not campaigning at all on any deselections” of MPs. Speaking to the BBC, the group’s spokesman, said: “The purpose of Momentum is not to have internal factional battles, it’s to look outside.” However, bulletins and documents – some confidential, others openly published online – make clear that Momentum leaders and activists have different ideas. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/Jeremy_Corbyn/11981745/The-Corbyn-hardcore-plotting-to-deselect-Labour-moderates.html
Momentum – Aims & Objectives (22 page document)
Jeremy Corbyn – Who is He?