Latest post on Left Futures

Peter Watt is boring and irrelevant

According to Peter Watt, a former New Labour General Secretary who writes at Labour Uncut today, “politics is boring and irrelevant“. What he really means is that the politics and concerns of politicians and activists are boring and irrelevant, that is they are out of step with what real people are thinking. This is his recurring theme, and somehow it’s always used to justify retaining the politics and corrupt, authoritarian party structure of New Labour, as if losing Labour 5 million votes after 1997 was nothing to do with them.

Real people, he says:

were probably worrying about rising utility bills, that it costs a small fortune to fill up the car and how their weekly food bill just keeps creeping up. They may be worried about their job or how they will pay for Mum’s care.”

He’s not wrong there. Not that that’s what he writes about. His blogs over the last month or so at Labour Uncut and Ian Dale & Co consist of articles about party structure, party funding, politicians being out of touch (two of those, this one and that one), the dangers of “moral absolutism (i.e. principles – they don’t win elections apparently),  going to a royal garden party (“it was an honour to be there and it felt special“), his dad (the personal is political, we accept), and, you will be pleased to know, how Cameron is coming unstuck. His book (Inside Out: My story of betrayal and cowardice at the heart of New Labour) is of interest only to students of Labour’s internecine warfare (I confess I’ve read it).

He’s right about how disaffected so many of the public are, millions of people who should be our core voters still amongst them, but he’s wrong about why and what we have to do about it. They were sick of our government, our politicians who seemed to believe in nothing but themselves, of lies and spin, of dodgy dossiers and unpopular wars, of talk of hard choices whilst too many of them fiddled and flipped, and holidayed in the villas and super-yachts of their tax-avoiding fancy friends.

The only way back is to change. To abandon those policies which alienated our people, which undermined their rights at work and their job security, which made them worry about their retirement and how their kids would find somewhere affordable to live. And to change the party structure to ensure that we never allow our “leaders” to make the same mistakes again.

Peter keeps banging the same drum. But his mind is closed to the changes we need. It is he who is irrelevant.


  1. Gary Elsby says:

    In Stoke-on-Trent a new member of the Labour party can walk into an empty room, put him/herself onto an empty ballot paper and win the ballot.
    The person everyone really wanted had their 50 ballot ‘Yeses’ binned by Wilson.
    That person can then be a serving ‘Labour’ Councillor and shut down a Library and disabled swimming pool on the first day of office.

    All thanks to ‘new’ Labour and courtesy of the Org Sub Committee.

    20 of the 20 Branches have closed down.
    The three Stoke CLP’s could meet in a phone box.

    If this is Peter Watt’s Party, he can have it.
    That’s why 100,000 don’t want to know anymore.

    Yes, we worry of our gas bills, but we also have a good reason for expressing our caution over Iraq, Libya, Conference (‘arrangements’) Regional Director power, Peerages, parachutes….

    and just about everything else the Labour Party does that is not in the name of the membership.

    We used to have a guy who trotted out the same old mantra at every meeting he blessed us with:
    “If the public heard talk like this, they would never vote Labour”.

    We thought he was a nut.
    The Org Sub loved him and the Regional Director worshipped him.
    We all know those that cling to waining power will do everything they can to promote none discussion such as his.

    The key is in the belief that we can woory over our gas bills AND chew gum at the same time OR open a discussion on how this lot wrecked our Party and got us kicked out of Government.
    A failure is a failure and they failed us but they attempt to get out of jail by blaming the audience and the blameless.

  2. Dave says:

    And another thing; he looks like Owen Jones’ kid brother …

  3. Syzygy says:

    I really don’t think that Peter Watts and his ilk joined the right party … in fact they should have joined the party of the right.

  4. john reid says:

    yes but new labour increased
    labours vote by 5.2 million on 1983

  5. Tom says:

    I found this article quite boring and irrelevant…..

  6. Gary Elsby says:

    John Reid:
    Once they increased the support by 5.2 Millions after 1983, what happened when that 5.3 millions were invited to express an opinion on casgh for New Labour Peerages and WMD?
    Did 100,000 members going AWOL show them the way?

© 2024 Left Futures | Powered by WordPress | theme originated from PrimePress by Ravi Varma