The massed ranks of the mainstream media, centrist Labour factions, and even the odd supposed 'leftist' have centered their crosshairs on popular party chairman Ian Lavery as it becomes obvious he has massive support from the membership if he chooses to stand as a candidate for the Labour leadership.
We've had 'payouts from the NUM' (debunked here), we've had 'Stalinist thug' (admittedly from a LIbDem/FBPE 'political expert' on Twitter) - we've even had an argument that Lavery could not credibly represent Labour's 'Green Industrial Revolution' by virtue, apparently, of his having been a miner, and President of the NUM.- despite the fact that he actually helped LAUNCH the policy
We've even had 'he's too old' - despite the fact that he's actually younger than the preferred centrist candidate, knight of the realm and Remain stalwart Keir Starmer.
It doesn't seem to be making any difference - there is a huge groundswell of support for him growing daily within the grassroots Labour membership, as evidenced by independent media polling as well as social media commentary.
This Twitter poll - more than three times larger than YouGov's 'Starmer winning comfortably' offering - puts Lavery 'comfortably' ahead. And those aren't the final results.
And even this one, from an account which appears on investigation to be backing Starmer, doesn't seem to be going according to plan...
Hardly even worth mentioning Jess Philips - although it's worth noting that the other left candidate, Rebecca Long-Bailey, only just manages to double the Yardley Yap's percentage. Lavery is clearly a candidate that can command the left vote, it seems all that Rebecca could do, excellent MP though she is, would be split it.
Indeed, the prospect of the centrist's choice becoming Labour leader is not filling the wider membership with unbridled joy...
The obvious commencement of hostilities also shows something else - it shows that the establishment are mortally scared of a continuity socialist candidate taking over the Labour leadership. And they believe he can, or they wouldn't bother attacking him.
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