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Why I support Owen Smith by Rob Whyman


Labour is in crisis, but Owen offers us the chance not only to reunite, but to be a strong opposition again.


Owen Smith is the unifying candidate in this leadership election. Owen Smith is our candidate to be the next Labour Prime minister.

I’m voting for Owen Smith as Labour leader.

Labour is in crisis, but Owen offers us the chance not only to reunite, but to be a strong opposition again. Post Brexit Britain is a frightening place.

Incompetent right wing Tories are daily appointed to positions of power whilst Labour’s voice is weak and ridiculed. Owen is the alternative to Theresa May. He shares the values and principles of Jeremy Corbyn, but he has the aptitude and ability to connect with the electorate.

Let’s not kid ourselves, winning safe by-elections and a lack-lustre showing in local elections does not make us an electoral force. As MP for Pontypridd Owen knows only too well the UKIP threat that is flourishing in our Labour heartlands.

Owen Smith won’t lose another Scotland on his watch!

And let’s exam his pedigree. He is from socialist South Wales, provincial not metro-centric. His father Dai is a chronicler of the struggle of the Welsh miners and biographer of Aneurin Bevin. Former MP for Aberavon, Hywel Francis (son of a Communist miner’s leader) was a mentor in Owen’s early political career.

Kim Howells, former Labour minister and ‘84 strike activisit says of Owen "He's always been intelligent, courageous, and he needs that now because this is going to be a battle for Labour's future”. Owen truly is a product of Labour’s left. He wants a socialist party in government.

Owen has experience beyond politics. His time as a Radio 4 journalist gives him a valuable insight into how to communicate our message to the electorate. He knows how pharmaceutical companies can be brought to deliver free quality health care under the leadership of a strong NHS.

What is the point of socialist dreams that will never become government policy under the present leadership? He will be able to make the ambitions of a socialist party relevant to the lives of the general public and therefore electable.

Owen will not just preach to our army of members, he seeks to create the millions of Labour voters we need.

Both Angela Eagle and Jeremy Corbyn recognise Owen’s motivation is the future of our party. They both respect his mandate.

For a united Labour Party championing socialist policies with a realistic chance of helping those in need, vote for Owen Smith.                                                                http://www.owen2016.com/news



Rob Whyman


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commented 2016-07-31 16:17:02 +0100
Poor old smiffy isn’t get a sympathetic hearing on the whole. Nobody likes him much, except the media!

commented 2016-07-30 17:23:13 +0100
So you think he should be trimming, dodging and weaving, in order to please the media?
The media are supposed to comment on events – not control them for their own purposes – a low point being Kuenssburgs choreographed resignation on screen.
“Media toxic” is a virtue in the current climate; the media have outdone themselves in hostility and have lost credibility across the board – a lot of people no longer believe anything they say.
Including even the soft left Guardian/Observer – today we have Hadley Freeman – a fashion writer! – ranting quite fiercely against Corbyn. As far as I can recall she has never ranted before about the tories or anything political.
It takes a strong leader to hold steady under so much fire!
Compare/contrast Blair flying half way around the world to ingratiate himself with Murdoch. If Murdoch is on our side we have failed – we want Murdoch to be hostile, we don’t need him.
Corbyn is obviously electable (it’s not enough to merely repeat the negative mantra) and is a force for change – Smith’s own programme would have been utterly ridiculed if Corbyn hadn’t already done the ground work. Corbyn is highly electable and shifting things to the left, in spite of the 172 traitors.
commented 2016-07-30 15:00:59 +0100
A leader of the Labour Party in 2016 who is media “indifferent”, brilliant. Corbin goes even further by being media toxic!
Although I did read in today’s media that our ‘media indifferent’ leader believes Labour would win a snap election. His lines are priceless.
Sad though that the current leadership are happy for the party to wither and die rather than make it electable and a force for change. Any party members who want a Labour government should vote for Owen Smith.
commented 2016-07-29 19:40:29 +0100
Smith keeps them interested by adopting Corbyn/Mcdonnell policies. He is “positioning himself as a radical” (his own terminology) by following their example. Smart move – good that Corbyn has so shifted “the Overton Window” to make this possible.
We need a leader who is independent and media indifferent. The media thinks they call the tune but one of Corbyn’s greatest strengths is in disappointing and annoying them. Do we really want to be governed by the media? Of course not – we need a strong leader like Corbyn who doesn’t feel that he has to duck and dive – or pay court to Murdoch!
Corbyn (and all of us) have been left with a stupid fiasco created by Cameron, Gove, Johnson, Farage, from which they have bailed out, reneging on their obligations and commitments. Nobody needs to feel bound by this – though the motivation of the brexiters cannot be ignored and must be considered, but another referendum is obviously not the answer.
commented 2016-07-29 17:37:39 +0100
Or will they if we have a new leader who knows how to keep them interested. It’s all very well to say ‘take us as you find us’ to the media, but when their reaction is either to ignore or vilify Labour we just end up preaching to the converted – as now. We need a leader who is media savvy, however distasteful that may sound, it is surely a stark reality in these modern times.
I was asking Phil if you feel it’s a good idea to push for another EU vote or a verdict sealed by an election? From what you heared on the doorsteps during the campaign.
commented 2016-07-28 22:11:48 +0100
I agree with much of what Smith says about the referendum result, Rob, but I would still think far more highly of him if he’d been making these arguments when he was on the front bench. I have to take issue with you over the polls; we were neck and neck with the Tories in most polls (2% ahead in some) until the last weekend in June. It is only since half the front bench resigned that we have slumped in the polls. Smith is getting media coverage because of the split in the parties; when this is over (whoever wins), the mainstream media will go back to ignoring our policies.
commented 2016-07-28 15:05:53 +0100

There were articles today asking Smith to agree that Corbyn should be on the ballot. Then an article stating that he agreed and was prepared to nominate Corbyn but could not speak for other MP’s nor wished to influence them. How nice of the man. However the judgement states that the parties were made aware of the judgement at 9.00am. Smith presumably knew this when he made his statement. He should have made it a week ago.
How typical of Mr Smith, whose character we are coming to know little by little!
commented 2016-07-28 08:19:47 +0100
Isn’t that also Smith’s aim Phil? He does not want to preach to the converted and lead a movement, but talk to the nation beyond. We only need to read the results of two recent polls to see how few people have been and are listening to Labour’s front bench. Owen has secured more coverage and publicity on these key issues in a week than the current leadership in a year.
His points on the referendum are interesting don’t you think. From your view as our campaign organiser on Europe do you think Owen is doing the right thing to make such a definite statement of support? I find it hopeful.
commented 2016-07-27 23:08:26 +0100
I know very little about Owen Smith beyond what I have heard and read over the last couple of weeks. Many of the things he says seem sensible, but I am unable to square a desire to strengthen the party with a decision to step down from the front bench at a time when we should be putting maximum pressure on the Tories. In his speech earlier today, he put forward some good ideas but the points regarding employment rights would have been far more effective made in parliament from the Labour front bench instead of made in a fairly small room to a gathering of Labour members.
commented 2016-07-26 19:19:27 +0100
Smiffy and “the progressive case against freedom of movement” – how about “the progressive case for slavery?”
commented 2016-07-26 17:04:56 +0100
Smith scraping even deeper. He can’t have much further to go!!

“Smith, …..previously made what he calls the “progressive case against freedom of movement,”

commented 2016-07-26 09:01:23 +0100
Smith desperately scraping the bottom of the barrel again!

His campaign is a bit tatty it has to be said – not least his publicity material, which in general has the tone of a junior copywriter – probably more used to selling sofas or double glazing, rather than politicians!

Who is paying for the PR work?
commented 2016-07-25 08:29:46 +0100
Come on Smith, get them organised; let’s see some part unity, show us what a real leader could do!

“Every single Labour heavyweight could offer to serve on the front bench, perform well in parliament – the arena where they are strong, and become assertive in the shadow cabinet by sheer force of experience and political talent. These are figures shaped by ministerial experience, the highs of victory, the trauma of defeat.”

commented 2016-07-24 18:54:51 +0100
commented 2016-07-23 02:58:57 +0100
Google “Corbyn” and you will find a heightened level of press attacks.
It’s beginning to look like another PR choreographed campaign; this time it’s smear and innuendo instead of resignations.
They are scraping the barrel looking for grievances. I’m surprised they’ve kicked it off so soon as there are two months to go, but I guess the pressure is aimed at Corbyn himself, to get him to drop out rather than winning the leadership election.
commented 2016-07-22 22:57:34 +0100
It’s the 172 who have become an outsider pressure group, lead by Smith. They are sitting on their hands whilst Corbyn’s small team is doing all the work – and doing it quite well.
“Those who want to affect change and improve people’s lives” seem to be voting for Corbyn in a big way! Hard to see our radical Citizen Smith getting much support from the membership – he’s blown it already.
commented 2016-07-22 22:10:17 +0100
I don’t think you are are subject to the same editing rights as I am. Just adjusting to the ‘new politics’ we’ve been promised. So will comment when I know how the ‘open’ discussion works and am content my blog was not accepted as a tokenistic acknowledgement of the opposition to JC to create the illusion of debate. I will continue to call for Momentum and Progress to be disbanded as they are pressure groups within a parliamentary party which seeks representation. We want Labour to be a force in politics and a government passing meaningful legislation not an extra-parliamentary pressure group. Those who want to affect change and improve people’s lives will vote for Owen Smith, other people might be content to wear a Momentum t shirt.
commented 2016-07-22 20:51:03 +0100
I didn’t see the post, I was in the queue at the chippy. So I haven’t taken offence, yet!

Using a PR lobbyist is often a flag that the client doesn’t know his armpit from his elbow. The catch is that the PR people are in the same boat, but neither they nor their clients know this. Catch 22!

We see the results – a clumsy campaign, a failed coup, attempts to subvert the democratic process, and finally a resort to a democratic challenge, but supported by black propaganda, lies and insults.

Smiffy kicked off a bit soon – we see what sort of campaign he will run and he has now lost the moral high ground for the duration.

I shouldn’t be giving Smiffy these helpful hints but given enough rope he’d hang himself anyway!
commented 2016-07-22 17:37:54 +0100
I have to say that although I can see why you may have thought some of the cheeky comments of my last post breached these rules, displaying the points you have will infer that I have been aggressive, trolling etc. I have not. A quick removal of the post followed by an email to me would be far more conducive to the continuation of the debate.
Of course Ro, I support your judgements and apologise if I have unintentionally caused offence, but it would be exactly that, unintentional.
commented 2016-07-22 17:29:24 +0100
Dear Rob

Please note the rules:
1. Be polite & courteous to everyone.
2. Be civil. No personal attacks.
5. No spam. No personal disrespectful comments. No trolling.

I have deleted your last post as it does not comply with the above rules.

I will send an e mail next time – apologies RM


RM CLP Secretary
commented 2016-07-22 15:42:16 +0100
He’s not stepping aside because we (a large majority of the party) don’t want him to. It’s called DEMOCRACY and he has a duty to follow through on this.
How could you challenge Corbyn’s legitimacy? This is a new one – nobody has disputed that we voted for him legitimately, fairly and openly. Or is this being worked on as a current project?
commented 2016-07-22 15:24:22 +0100
Brilliant support for you view comes from Len McClusky’s latest claim that some Corbyn supporters in the party are in fact secret agents working for the security service. So, taking that into account, who actually works alongside Jeremy Corbyn and supports him? Seemingly very few. Ands that’s why the party is in turmoil and that’s why if he had an ounce of the decency he claims he would have stepped aside.
But of course I’m a droid working for Tony Blair in an underground bunker financed by Rupert Murdoch on the dark side of the moon. I mean, I must be because I have publicly challenged Corbyn’s legitimacy, it’s obviously nothing to do with his poor record as a leader! keep the conspiracy theories coming, they get better all of the time.
commented 2016-07-22 15:23:35 +0100
It must be dispiriting for the anti Corbyn faction to see that their man has already run out of interesting (let alone honest) things to say on day 2 of his campaign! It doesn’t bode well!!
commented 2016-07-22 14:16:19 +0100
Dirty tricks kicking in today! Surprise surprise!
Smith making childish comments about Corbyn “bullying”, comparing him to Ashworth (Sports Direct) and stuff about antisemitism.
Anybody with half a brain knows these things are nonsense. The more Corbyn refuses to rise to the bait the more he is respected, whether it’s coming from Smiffy, the PLP, Teresa May or the hee-hawing tory donkeys at PMQ.
It’d be extremely difficult anyway – he’d have to study the Sun, Telegraph, Mail for hours every day. More sensible to ignore them entirely.
Smith is struggling of course – his strings are being pulled by PR people and they haven’t much of a case to make for him – any old lies and hot-air will have to do!
The worrying thing is that there will be a massive “dead cat on the table” manouevre as the election nears. Be prepared, they are working on it as we speak and they never sleep!!
commented 2016-07-22 07:42:47 +0100
PS (again!) “Labour is failing dismally as an opposition” except of course for the consistent and dogged performance of Corbyn and his little band, unsupported by the treacherous PLP
commented 2016-07-22 07:38:03 +0100
The PR machine purrs along smoothly, trying to make up for lost ground, having failed to oust Corbyn undemocratically, by choreographed force.

But it’s too late. They should have had an alternative credible leader from the start, not be attempting to construct one from thin air, whilst in retreat!

Let’s give him a chance.
It’s two months to the election and in the meantime Labour is failing dismally as an opposition. Smith could demonstrate his commitment to unity, democracy and his shared values with Corbyn, by calling a truce, getting the PLP behind Corbyn now, and fighting the tories instead of each other.

Then we can all decide who we prefer when this enforced election takes place.

Come on Smith, show us what you are made of! Actions speak louder than words – let’s see you unifying the party and fighting the tories – you’ve got two months!

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