Telegraph: Two Lewisham MPs could lose their jobs in Momentum plot

Telegraph journalist and Greenwich resident Andrew Gilligan has written a lengthy analysis of the power struggle between Labour's hard-left grassroots groups, energised by Corbyn's victory, and the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Yet again, Lewisham is front and centre of the story, with the influential Labour Representation Committee (LRC) reported to be considering a reverse takeover of Corbyn's grassroots organisation, Momentum, in order to win "the battles that will take place within the Labour Party," with our MPs allegedly in the front-line. Gilligan writes:

"The south London borough of Lewisham can be revealed as a key target for Momentum, with the group likely to challenge at least two of the area’s moderate Labour MPs...

"The [LRC strategy] paper makes clear that the principal target is Labour MPs, about whom it is vitriolic, saying: “Barely 20 of more than 200 Labour MPs support [Mr Corbyn] as leader. Some lose no opportunity to run to the capitalist press and denigrate him… Their loyalty is purely to their own careers…Jeremy has preached conciliation, but all his opponents show in return is disloyalty.”

"Current party rules allow activists to call a “trigger ballot” to force sitting MPs to face reselection. Many seats will also be redrawn under boundary changes, often triggering a reselection battle automatically.

"The main battles will not begin for a year but the London activist said there was already “concern” for two Labour MPs in south-east London, Vicky Foxcroft in Lewisham Deptford and Jim Dowd in Lewisham West.

"Lewisham West is one of only five constituencies where the local party nominated Mr Corbyn for the leadership but the MP nominated the most right-wing candidate, Liz Kendall. Lewisham Deptford is one of only four constituencies where the party nominated Mr Corbyn but the MP nominated the centrist Yvette Cooper.

"An active Momentum branch, including Trotskyites from the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, has already held two meetings in Lewisham, each attracting about 80 people, and will hold a third on Monday to discuss whether the local Labour council should implement cuts or pursue a “more radical form of resistance.”"

The quotes are probably little more than hot air from people with big grudges, long-memories and small horizons - Foxcroft was recently made a party whip and 64-year-old Dowd would surely be a long-way down any plotters list of priorities. But this story is one of many that show how petty, insular and London-centric the Labour movement has quickly become.

The desire for a new kind of politics that swept Corbyn to power was real enough, but it was as deep and considered as a Change.org petition. The idea that a party obsessed with Lewisham politics is going to make serious headway against the SNP in next year's Scottish elections is laughable. This is the first time in recorded history that BC has ever said this, but it's time for people to stop thinking about Greater Brockley and talk about something else for a change.

0 comments:

Brockley Central Label Cloud