The great thing about being seen as all-powerful is that your reputation is re-enforcing and you need to do very little to maintain it. Yet, as the Wizard of Oz discovered, there is always the risk that someone will look behind the curtain.
We can certainly see the first in action in Newham in East London where long-serving mayoral incumbent Sir Robin Wales is now fighting for his political life in an all-member ballot against the supposedly Momentum candidate Councillor Rokhsana Fiaz.
This, it has been said, promises to be a second Haringey. In that borough – just a few miles to the North West – Momentum very much did organise a purge of their enemies. But the parallels with Newham are not all they seem.
Some recall Councillor Fiaz working for the Labour Party press office in 2005 with a specific brief of rebuilding personal support for Tony Blair amongst Asian voters after the Iraq war.
“To the extent she had any politics, she was New Labour, like the rest of us. Her job was very clear and we weren’t apologising for Iraq,” says one of her former colleagues there.
In Haringey the leadership of Momentum have backed another ex-Blairite, Councillor Peray Ahmet as their favourite for leadership of the Labour group after May’s election. But they also fear that a genuine and unrepentant hard leftist – Councillor Noah Tucker – might have the authenticity Ahmet lacks. In Newham Jon Lansman appears to have opted to eliminate the risk by backing a Blairite from the outset.
A similar pattern is also emerging in Wales where many Momentum true believers must be left feeling bemused by the instruction to support Julie Morgan AM as candidate for deputy leader.
Mrs Morgan has always been to the left of her late husband and former first minister, Rhodri, who was one of the last true Croslandites to hold high office in Labour, but as a personal friend of Harriet Harman who backed Yvette Cooper over Corbyn for Labour leader, she is no Bennite-sleeper either.
Once again Lansman has opted to back someone who is competent and can win rather than a true believer who might lose. He must be hoping the curtain stays closed.