Owen Smith to face Corbyn in Labour leadership challenge
Same old clichés, same old empty rhetoric.
Owen Smith, former head of policy and government relations for Pfizer, former radio producer for BBC, former lobbyist (who voted against a statutory register of lobbyists when he became an MP) now seeks to become leader of the Labour Party. In this quest, he is supported by Benn, Eagle, Kinnock and others, who recognise him as another of their kind. The "suit" who will maintain the status quo within the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and restore their position as the dominant clique leading the party. Not a Blairite as such, but as close as it is possible to get, while still maintaining the party line of "Unity", "Representing working people", "New generation to take party forward", "Helping people get on", and all the other well worn banalities that party members have heard so often in the past.
|"Austerity is right" says Owen Smith. With Angela Eagle on the Marr show.|
On the Andrew Marr programme, Smith actually stated that "Austerity is right" but quickly followed this with the qualification "but we need a plan for prosperity" as if hoping that nobody had noticed. In that one quote, Owen Smith defines what the Labour Party would revert to under his leadership. A party offering the British people more of the same old Labour, a party which offers Tory-lite, a party which proposes watered down conservative policies, in a different shaped box, wrapped in a different coloured paper. This explains why the plotters of the PLP, are (mostly but not all), now so enthusiastic in their endorsement and support for Smith. Until mid day yesterday, Angela Eagle was the greatest thing since sliced bread amongst many of the plotters, but less than six hours later, she had been sidelined and abandoned for the Lancashire lad, raised in Barry and now MP for Pontypridd.
If the Labour party is to maintain the progress in policy proposals that has been made over the last 10 months, the anti austerity party, building more houses, rolling back NHS privatisation, bringing energy companies under public control, removing anti trade union legislation, investing in industry, controlling the excesses of the banking and finance industries, attacking tax evasion and avoidance and all the other policies which we shall implement following the next election, we must ensure that the party maintains the drive and commitment of the present leadership reaching out to the people of the United Kingdom with a clear, radical alternative.
We cannot afford to have Owen Smith, or any of the other discredited conspirators of the PLP, as Leaders of our party. We have been there before under Brown and Milliband and on each occasion we have failed because we failed to offer the British people a real choice.
Over the course of the coming months of the election campaign, we can expect the usual suspects within the PLP, encouraged and supported by their sponsors and friends in the media and television, to launch an even more aggressive and hostile campaign than that waged during the election of last year. With Owen Smith as their front, it is their last desperate attempt to wrench control of the Labour party away from the membership and restore their own dominance.
For the sake of the people that we represent and for the sake of this country, we must not allow this to happen. We must support the present leadership with Jeremy Corbyn as Leader.