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Saturday 28 April 2018

John Woodcock Brings Labour Into Disrepute

[Update at end of post]

As I noted recently, semi-detached Labour MP John Woodcock has given the impression to politics watchers that he is on his way out of the party, and perhaps even out of the Commons. He has never been able to accept Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, instead embarking on a very public show of petulance. But how he would maximise the damage on The Red Team was not at first clear - until this week.
Events in the past few days have revealed that someone can be expelled from the Labour Party for bringing it into disrepute. Suddenly all became clear, especially when Woodcock struck a very public note of sympathy towards embattled Home Secretary Amber Rudd, telling anyone who would listen “Amber Rudd has screwed up big time, no question. And there is now clearly a significant question mark over her competence. But Labour has more common ground with her than so many of her potential successors - we should be careful what we wish for”. Labour has common ground with Ms Rudd?
Common ground with a Home Secretary who has misled Parliament so many times that many observers have lost count? Common ground with someone who was happy to see British citizens rounded up and deported, just to meet departmental targets, until she got caught? Common ground with a politician happy to dump on the weak and powerless?
It’s odds-on he didn’t run that one past David Lammy first. And a racing certainty he didn’t mention it to Diane Abbott or Dawn Butler. One Labour supporter reminded him “Labour has the SAME amount of common ground with Amber Rudd as ALL of her potential successors - NONE. You're in the wrong party mate. Have been for years”.
Tom London added “you constantly amaze me. Rudd has presided over a cruel and racist policy. She has lied to Parliament. Any Labour MP should be demanding her resignation. It is really as simple as that”. And Owen Jones responded “Reminder that if Labour’s old guard were in charge, the party would be throwing lifeboats to the Tories even when they were sinking”. The idea that Labour should make common cause with her was bizarre.
Peter Stefanovic spelt it out: “The Labour Party I know & belong to has NO ‘common ground’ with anyone who would preside over, promote, implement or enforce policies which have inflicted inhumane treatment on its citizens, denied them medical treatment, imprisoned them & deported them”. And there was more.
You have brought the Labour Party into disrepute with that tweet.  You think Labour has common ground with Rudd when she has presided over unlawful deportations of British citizens, loss of livelihoods, denial of healthcare, welfare etc?  Do you understand what has been going on?” Ah right. So perhaps there is method to this.
After all, Woodcock has apparently been reported by his own constituency party, which recently came together to endorse … Jeremy Corbyn. So all he needs to do now is to keep on provoking that party into landing him with a disrepute charge and thereby giving him the opportunity for public martyrdom - along with plenty of press commissions.
Then he can mosey off to a well-paid think tank sinecure, and laugh all the way to the bank. It would be utterly deceitful - but no-one would be surprised if he did it.

[UPDATE 29 April 0935 hours: Woodcock now finds himself splashed across the front page of the Sunday Mirror over yet another allegation that he has brought his party into disrepute.

The allegation is that "A Labour backbencher known as an arch-critic of Jeremy Corbyn is facing claims he ­sexually harassed a female aide ... John Woodcock will be the subject of a hearing before the party’s National Constitutional Committee later this year ... It is alleged the MP sent inappropriate texts and emails to a former staffer during the two years she worked for the party ... And it is said the woman felt uncomfortable and left her job. She claims that Mr Woodcock continued to contact her even after she had quit, sending regular messages and emails ... Mr Woodcock, 39, last night refused to discuss the ­allegations, said to date from 2014 to 2016".

The rest is for Woodcock and the Labour Party to resolve. But there is one point about this latest revelation that many observers have thus far missed.

Usually, the right-leaning press are all over claims of misbehaviour by Labour MPs. But on this occasion, they have been silent. Why should that be?

This speaks once more to the idea that John Woodcock is on his way to a berth in the London media set after he ceases to be an MP. I'll just leave that one there]


Anonymous said...

It isn't the Labour Party which has any "common ground" with Rudd.

It's NEW Labour red tories, of which Woodcock is one. Which says it all, really.

Anonymous said...

It's odd that the Sunday Mirror is missing from 'The Papers" on the BBC's website this morning:

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The Labour Party should support her in this?
High court blocks Amber Rudd attempt to deport witness

Anonymous said...

Has Woodcock resigned yet?

After all, Rudd has......