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Tom Watson: As a member of the Labour Party’s privileged few, he can say whatever he likes. It is only rank-and-file members who are threatened with suspension and expulsion for expressing an opinion.

On Monday (March 11 – possibly today, by the time you read this), Tom Watson will launch his new Future Britain Group of Labour Party MPs – and it will be based on at least one enormous hypocrisy.

It can be explained very quickly:

When I attended Labour’s tribunal – the kangaroo court set up to find me guilty of anti-Semitism, no matter what the evidence showed – I was not questioned on the facts of my case. My argument was not disputed at all.

Instead, I was asked repeatedly why I had discussed an internal Labour Party matter in public. As a party member, did I not think that such things should remain confidential?

My response was that the anti-Semitism row was not an internal Labour Party matter, and had not been an internal Labour Party matter since Labour MPs had created such a fuss about it in the media, starting in 2016 with the Naz Shah affair. It was now a matter of public interest and it would be a mistake for Labour Party members to avoid the debate; false arguments would be allowed to go unchallenged.

Of course the tribunal’s members were well in favour of those false arguments, as their verdict shows.

Mr Watson, on the other hand, has done little else but agitate about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party since the current allegations first came to public attention. I don’t see him having to argue for his continued membership of the party before a tribunal.

The contradiction is clear.

Labour was founded to be a party representing those who did not have the benefits of privilege, in which ordinary people would have an equal voice.

But the party as it currently exists doesn’t want to hear the voices of ordinary members; our their purpose is to work for those who are privileged enough to be elected representatives and/or candidates; to listen, but not to speak. And under the Blairite system, elected representatives and/or candidates owed their positions to the patronage of the leadership. It became a system of privilege – exactly what Labour had been founded to oppose.

Mr Watson considers the party’s current direction of travel to be away from this; his Future Britain Group is an attempt to halt that movement and restore the Blairite system of patronage and privilege.

You can hear the proof of it every time he speaks up in support of the anti-Semitism witch-hunt, while ordinary party members who dare to do otherwise have their memberships suspended and are threatened with expulsion.

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