Sunday 29 December 2019


When Tom Watson formed the 'Future Britain Group' earlier this year it appeared that Billy Bunter was in for the long haul.  He was the fearless leader of the moderates, to such an extent that Jess Phillips once suggested that she would stand down if he ever did (no such luck).  As many others dropped like flies around him, Watson stood strong and tall.  The far left were strengthening their grip, but Tom wasn't going to be forced out.  Chuka left, Berger left, his friend Tom Watson threw in the towel.  Watson undermined Corbyn at every turn, smirked in the faces of the Corbynista hate mob and deftly batted away the coup attempt to remove him at this year's party conference.  Nothing rattles him.

So when Tom Watson told the Guardian this weekend that he quit because of "brutality and hostility", the smell of bullshit was overpowering.

It came as no great surprise to anyone that one of Labour's lost seats in the general election was West Bromwich East, least of all its former MP - Tom Watson.  Having spent the last two years ignoring both Labour's 2017 manifesto commitment to "accept the referendum result" and his own 68% Leave constituency, he must have known the writing was on the wall.  If he had any foresight that he might soon be serving in the first Labour government in almost a decade he wouldn't have quit when he did.  He knew they couldn't win, but more importantly he knew he would be one of those thrown on the scrapheap by the electorate.

Rather than face the ignominy of being unseated, rather than give Brexiteers, Corbynistas, George Galloway, Harvey Proctor, Owen Jones, the right-wing press and countless others the pleasure of watching it happen - Tom Watson stood down.  It was nothing to do with the brutality, hostility or abuse of the far left,  it was about his pride and his acceptance that Brexit was going to be the end of his political career.

He was right about that much.  Five weeks after he announced his departure, his old seat turned blue for the first time in its history.  Spare us the bull Tom.

West Bromwich East general election 2019

Nicola Richards (Con) 16,804 (46.7%) +8.5%
Ibrahim Dogus (Lab) 15,211 (42.3%) -15.7%
Christian Lucas (Brexit) 1,475 (4.1%) New
Andy Graham (Lib Dem) 1,313 (3.6%) +2.1%
Mark Redding (Green) 627 (1.7%) +0.4%
George Galloway (Ind) 489 (1.4%) New
Colin Rankine (Yeshua) 56 (0.2%) New