Tom Watson: hammering the Left; soft on the Right? [Image: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images].

Tom Watson: hammering the Left; soft on the Right? [Image: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images].

While Tom Watson is still banging his little drum about left-wing entryism into the Labour Party to support Jeremy Corbyn, perhaps he’d like to explain why it’s okay that Liberal Democrats and even Tories are being invited into the party to vote the current leader out.

The email described in the article quoted below is from three Lambeth Labour councillors – Jack Hopkins, Jane Edbrooke and Claire Holland. The fact that they are named should make them quite easy to find, so we should expect them to be reprimanded swiftly.

Will Mr Watson demand that they receive the same treatment as the Reds-under-the-bed he’s been preaching about? Or will they just get a slap on the wrist and be told not to do it again?

We’ll all be very interested in his reaction.

Here’s the text of the email from the three councillors. I wasn’t going to include it but it’s worth reading and some of you might not make it across to the original site:

“Email from Cllrs Jack Hopkins, Jane Edbrooke and Claire Holland, Oval Ward, Lambeth

“Sent: 19th July 2016

“To: Anyone who would listen

“Subject: A heartfelt request from your councillors, please consider carefully

“Dear Neighbours,

“We don’t normally write to you with party political matters but we feel so strongly that the present situation warrants it.

“As many of you will know the Labour Party is facing a crisis and as your local Labour Councillors we are hugely concerned about what impact this will have for not just our ward and our borough but also for our country.

“We do not feel that Jeremy Corbyn and the team around him are, or will ever be, ready for Government, nor do they give confidence to the general public on the issues that matter to them.

“There is now one challenger, Owen Smith MP and we believe that he will effectively lead the Labour Party and be better able to challenge Government policy with regards to its impact on Lambeth.

“We also feel that should Jeremy and his friends remain in charge that rule changes could jeopardise who your local Councillors could be in the future. We spend the majority of our time focused on tackling inequality, improving people’s life chances and supporting the most vulnerable, but we also make sure the bins are collected, that cycling is improved and our parks and green spaces remain beautiful and well kept, etc… We represent and deliver for everyone and we are practical and pragmatic. We balance the budget, even in these difficult times of central Government cuts.

“Should Jeremy and his friends remain in charge we are concern that this stability could be lost. No one wants a return to the Lambeth Council of the 1980’s, where Councillors focussed more on national issues than local ones and left Lambeth Council in a mountain of debt.

“As of 5pm yesterday members of the public are able to sign up as registered supporters to have their say in our leadership contest. The fee has been raised to £25 which we recognise is a lot of money for people and we hope you are not offended that we ask you to consider registering and voting for a stronger and more effective Labour Party. The link is here

“Whether you are a regular Labour voter or not, we hope you’ll agree that a strong Labour Party nationally is important to ensure the Government of the day is properly challenged and scrutinised. Please sign up as a registered supporter if you can and vote for the sensible and uniting candidate. You have until 5pm TOMORROW (Wednesday 20th) when this opportunity to register closes.

“Best wish from your local Labour Councillors and please get in touch with us if you have any issues you want us to deal with.

“Claire, Jane and Jack”

To read any account of the current leadership contest you would be forgiven for thinking that the only people who had joined the Labour party over the past year were Trotskyites, members of the hard left who have seen their opportunity to flood the party and take it over.

The acute fear that hard left ‘entryism’ conjures in many Labour MPs has a long history and perhaps it is for that reason we have seen no coverage of how supporters of the ‘anyone but Jeremy’ camp have been organising to pack the Labour party with anyone who will vote against him.

A few weeks ago I received a begging e-mail from three Labour Councillors in Oval Ward, Lambeth. The email was sent the day before the close of applications to pay £25 to vote in the Labour leadership election. It asked me to join the Labour party to vote against Jeremy Corbyn.

What was interesting is that the email is addressed to everyone, whether they are Labour voters or not… Former Liberal Democrat councillors and council candidates received it. Local members of the Conservative Party received it. It appears that anyone who had previously corresponded with them about anything received the email.

To be clear the three Labour councillors were asking people who they knew were not Labour voters, indeed who they knew to be members of other political parties, to join the Labour party; not because they believed in the party, but for the sole purpose of assisting them to get rid of their leader.

Source: Blairite Entryism — Medium


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