Testing The Tarry Approach

Managing the Labour party in a United Kingdom general election is surely one of the most difficult campaign jobs in British politics. The daily media cycle, the Murdoch press, the key marginals, pressured candidates, a lack of resources and currently an 18 point polling deficit.

What a relief it must be to those nervous Labour members of parliament looking at that huge Tory lead to know that Dagenham councillor Sam Tarry outlines in a thorough interview with the Huffington Post his desire to run the campaign.

With that huge Tory lead it’s obvious that a large number of Labour MPs now fear for their seats. Replacing current campaign chief Jon Trickett MP (someone who backbench MPs respect even when they disagree), with my old friend Sam would be a fatal smack in the face to those MPs facing close fights next time.

Not only is Sam completely unqualified for the position but his views on Labour MPs would create panic on the backbenches and a lack of confidence in the campaign.

In his deliberate attempt to set out his stall Sam goes on to explain how he views the PLP: “There are a huge amount of people in the PLP who just have this huge sense of entitlement. But have no skills in terms of community organising. No skills in terms of building a movement. No strategy for winning a general election and are kind of quite intellectually bankrupt“.

Labour MPs I have spoken to today fear a ‘Tarry campaign’ would be all about controlling resources away from MPs not 100% loyal to Jeremy Corbyn regardless of the cost in seats to Labour. These comments will only affirm their darkest fears.

If Corbyn wants to build a united team, reach out to the wider parliamentary Labour party and to give them the confidence that the campaign will be professionally run in the interests of the whole party then he needs to reject this blatant approach from the TSSA political officer.

Even if Sam took a more emollient view with those he sees as future colleagues in parliament, what are his qualifications for this job?

Yes, he played a key role in the Jeremy for Leader campaign but despite media reports he was not the campaign director, that was veteran Bennite Jon Lansman. But that campaign left its curator “kind of disappointed”, Sam tells the HuffPo team.

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