Watson Says Second Referendum Possible An Hour After Diane Rules It Out

Jeremy Corbyn, three weeks ago: Doesn’t rule out second referendum

Diane Abbott, two weeks ago: Backs second referendum

Diane Abbott, today: Rules out second referendum

Tom Watson, today: Doesn’t rule out second referendum

Got that?

Murdoch’s De-Risked With Disney

Tom Watson can barely contain himself: “This is the end of an era for the Murdochs who after decades of aggressive empire expansion are now in retreat.” The left is celebrating because their blood enemy of half-a-century is “in retreat”. If it is a retreat then it is a luxurious one. Disney is paying $52 billion for the Fox assets Murdoch is selling, which includes Sky in the UK. It pleases Rupert’s legion of enemies that he has lost the battle for total control of Sky…

As some of the more sober analysis on the business pages has noted, Fox stock is up 30% since the bid speculation started; Murdoch is selling at the top. Disney is gearing up for a streaming war with Netflix, Amazon and Apple. Content libraries are the key weapon in that war. Fox is getting a full premium for that treasure without the risk of becoming a casualty. Rupert could again – as he was at the dawn of satellite television – be ahead of the game. The billions in profits generated by Sky may dazzle investors now; those with more vision can see that the future of universal fast broadband and the shift to mobile means this tsunami of subscription revenue could recede very quickly. The Pay TV assets Murdoch has sold to Disney could never have it better…

Murdoch still has control of Fox News, the most lucrative news channel on earth. He still has News Corp’s newspapers around the world and a big chunk of Mickey Mouse’s stock. Fox also now has billions in cash and cash flow with which to make Murdoch’s next move…

UPDATE: Murdoch tells Maria Bartiromo that he wants to be out of entertainment and in real-time news:

Watson’s Capitulation

It’s hard to over-estimate the level of opprobrium Tom Watson generated by singing “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” on the conference stage yesterday. Last night Labour moderates shared this viral BBC clip in disbelief that a man who railed against Momentum entryism and helped orchestrate the failed coup against Jez could, like a captured prisoner in a hostage video, sing the anthem of those he once opposed. Even Corbyn looked embarrassed. The main takeaway from this year’s conference is the pathetic capitulation of Labour centrists who just a few months ago were telling us Corbyn isn’t fit to be PM…

Barry Gardiner: Watson Not Up to Explaining Single Market Late at Night

Intriguing choice of words by Barry Gardiner on Westminster Hour, suggesting that Tom Watson got Labour’s position on the single market wrong because it was a “late night interview”. What’s he implying about the famously fun-loving Labour deputy leader?

Watson: Labour Could Keep UK in Single Market and Customs Union Permanently

Tom Watson confirms Labour could keep Britain in the single market and customs union permanently and admits Labour is the party of “soft Brexit”. Soft Brexit is a term only used by Remainers, staying in the single market and customs union is not taking back control of borders and trade, it is for all intents and purposes staying in the EU.

It was obvious Labour Remainers were seeking a permanent transition which keeps us in all the institutions of the EU, Watson has confirmed Labour would ignore much of their Leave-voting base…

Glaston-free: Labour’s Headline Acts Showered with Freebie Tickets

Turns out Jezza and Tom Watson were showered with freebie Glasto tickets. Corbyn – who spoke on the main stage at the event – received two free tickets from the organisers at a total value £476 via “a member of his family“. Watson had it even better, wangling a total of five free tickets paid for by Live Nation, an American events firm based in Beverly Hills. Watson’s fistful of tickets came to a total value of a whopping £2,445. Sheffield Heeley Labour MP Louise Haigh also had two free tickets, paid for by Michael Dugher’s lobbying group UK Music (total value £900). John McDonnell, who branded the Grenfell fire “murder” at the festival, didn’t declare any Glasto freebies. While their middle class fans paid thousands, Labour’s headline acts went Glaston-free…

Watson at Wimbledon

In the Royal Box mixing with minor royals and tycoon Martin Sorrell, who just about manages on a million-a-week pay, so a lot of cream on his strawberries. Watson is doing the season; Glasto, Wimbledon…

Gove on Watson

Michael Gove on Tom Watson:

“Tom believes Rupert Murdoch picks the England cricket 1st 11 and England rugby 1st 15, as well as deciding who’s on Britain’s Got Talent.”

Tom Watson’s Rich List Chutzpah

Tom Watson has fired off a punchy blogpost attacking the number of super-rich Tory donors in the wake of this weekend’s Rich List. “What do many of the 100 richest people in the UK have in common,” Watson asks, “A good number of them have donated significant amounts of money to the Tory Party”. You have to admire Tom’s chutzpah, given he has accepted donations from several entrants on the Rich List himself. 

JK Rowling – worth £650 million and one of the highest profile Rich List entrants – gave thousands to Watson’s deputy leadership campaign. Former Rich Lister Sir David Garrard has been a major Watson donor. Mega-rich former blackshirt Max Mosley has given £500,000 to support Watson in the last year. Other Watson backers include multi-millionaire Labour moderate bankroller Trevor Chinn and millionaire casino tycoon Derek Webb. Classic Watson, listing the millionaires on the Rich List who donated to the Tories but not mentioning the ones who donated to him. For the money not the few? 

Tom Watson on Boris Johnson

Tom Watson on Boris Johnson:

Boris Johnson is a cack-handed, cheese-headed fopdoodle, with a talent for slummocking about, who would do less damage to Britain’s reputation in the world if Theresa May sacked him as Foreign Secretary and replaced him with a souvenir paperweight.”

Labour Breaks Own Leveson Pledge

In a 2014 speech delivered to mark the second anniversary of the Leveson Inquiry, Labour media supremo Tom Watson said:

“We all – every party including my own – need to comply with the Leveson recommendations on the contacts we have with senior journalists, editors and proprietors. There is a lot of talk about the public’s right to know, well given the shabby history, the public has a clear right to know when their elected representatives are mixing with these people and why.

“All parties need to do what the judge asked on that point.”

The Tories have written to Jeremy Corbyn to raise the issue “that the Labour Party has not published any transparency data relating to meetings with proprietors, editors and senior media executives since the last general election.” Transparency details used to appear on the party’s website, listing contact between frontbenchers and the media. Today Guido cannot find any such information. Despite Max Mosley giving £500,000 to Tom Watson to get him to push the Leveson agenda, Labour has broken its very own Leveson pledge…

We do not now know which media moguls and senior editors Jeremy Corbyn has met. Morning Star’s editor will probably be on the list…

Watson’s Anti-Semitism Double Standard

Tom Watson is getting a lot of credit for coming out and condemning the Ken decision. Watson says:

My party is not living up to its commitment to have a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism. I will continue the fight to ensure that it does, and I will press my colleagues to do so too.”

These words might mean something if Watson hadn’t accepted half a million pounds in donations from a former blackshirt. When the donations were criticised, Watson replied:

“I’m proud to call Max Mosley a friend and I’m delighted he has made a financial contribution.”

This is what Watson thinks about a former fascist who has ranted about “ending coloured immigration”. Bizarre that Watson gets away with this, let alone has the nerve to portray himself as some sort of anti-racism campaigner…

Watson Blasted By Shadow Cabinet Colleagues at “Robust” Away Day

Tom Watson was repeatedly admonished by Labour colleagues at the Shadow Cabinet away day this afternoon, Guido can report. A source in the room says Watson’s decision to go public with his criticism of Jon Lansman and Momentum was “almost unanimously” opposed by Shadow Cabinet members. A point made several times by different Shadow Cabinet ministers was that “this kind of intervention is damaging in elections – this behaviour does us no good”. It was noted that a public Labour Party civil war would ironically harm the chances of Watson’s close friend Sion Simon in the West Midlands mayoral election. Another Shadow Cabinet minister issued a stronger rebuke to Watson, accusing him of a “reckless intervention” designed to influence the Unite general secretary election. Watson did have some support – Guido is told three Shadow Cabinet members spoke up in support of the deputy leader. A Labour source says the choice of the word “robust” in the joint statement issued by Corbyn and Watson this afternoon reflects the level of criticism Watson faced. “He had to skulk out the side door…”

Lansman Was at Unite HQ Two Weeks Ago

Unite have responded to the Jon Lansman – Tom Watson row by issuing a bold statement claiming there is no Momentum plot and that Lansman and Len McCluskey have never met:

“Tom Watson has made claims about Unite and its general secretary Len McCluskey which are entirely inaccurate. As Unite has made it clear it is exclusively for our executive council to determine which organisations we affiliate to. There are no plans for Unite to affiliate to Momentum. For the record, Len McCluskey has never met Jon Lansman to discuss this or any other matter.”

Hmm…

We know from reports at the time that Lansman attended a summit at Unite’s training centre at Esher Place last year. It was hosted by – you guessed it – Len McCluskey. Unlikely the pair wouldn’t have met there…

Guido can also reveal that Lansman was at Unite HQ on Monday, 6 March. Indeed, we caught him on video entering their building in Holborn. Guido understands a meeting of the Unite executive council – a key body that must be consulted before any affiliation – was held there that day. No plot, no plans, no meeting ever with Len? Oh really…

Tom Watson “Obviously Had Irony For Breakfast”

With a straight face, Tom Watson has told Sky News that “we can’t have secret plans” to take over the Labour Party, claiming he is “shocked” anyone would use Unite in this way. Seems like only yesterday it was Watson who was forced to resign for plotting to use Unite to stitch up Labour Party selections. Blairites must be smiling wryly at his new “no secret plans” pledge, or as a Momentum source puts it:

“He has obviously had irony for breakfast.”

Unite meanwhile accuse Watson of “an unprecedented pattern of interference in the current Unite general secretary election”. Which itself is hilarious given how Watson and Unite used to plot to interfere in Labour selections. Irony overload this morning…

Tom Watson v Jon Lansman

Sit back, grab the popcorn and enjoy: Labour’s civil war is boiling over in public following the leaked tape of Momentum boss Jon Lansman discussing his plot to take over the party. Tom Watson says Lansman “will destroy the Labour Party” and must “be stopped”.

Lansman hits back:

Lansman has waited decades in the wilderness for the hard-left to be back in charge of Labour. He ain’t gonna give it up without a fight…

Who Are You? Labour’s Unknown Leadership Hopefuls

If tomorrow Corbyn has led his party to a by-election double disaster, speculation will turn to who will replace him. Since all those new £3 members will want another left-winger rather than a Blair-era tarnished figure, YouGov have taken a look at the hopefuls. They found that voters have never heard of them…

To be fair Guido had never heard of Rebecca Long-Bailey until a merciless Brillo took her apart, she is apparently the great next hope of the Corbynistas and known to just 5% of the public. The truth is only politicians who have been around for a decade or two are known by more than half the public. Even Tom Watson is known to just a third of voters…

For the moderates Dan Jarvis (11%) and Sir Keir Starmer (19%) just about manage to get double digit recognition. The ambitious Sadiq Khan (74%) has the highest name recognition…

Watson on Mosley

Tom Watson on accepting £500,000 in donations from former fascist Max Mosley:

“I’m proud to call Max Mosley a friend and I’m delighted he has made a financial contribution”

Mosley Gives Watson Half a Million

Max Mosley has given Tom Watson another £300,000, meaning Labour’s deputy leader has accepted £500,000 in donations from Max in the last eight months. Imagine what Labour would say if a Cabinet minister had taken half a million quid from a former black-shirt who once punched a policeman in the face at a fascist rally…

Tom Watson’s PMQs Dab

Tom Watson performed a “dab” at the end of PMQs. For readers not familar with the Atlanta hip-hop dance scene, a dab is a dance move popularised by various musicians and sports stars, and copied by naff people trying to be cool.[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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