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Owen Smith on Newsnight - so utterly awful, I consider switching from Corbyn

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 26 July 2016

I was told that someone called Mr Smith, who no-one had heard of until a couple of weeks ago but now wants to lead the Labour party, was being interviewed on Newsnight and so tuned in. I sat in amazement wandering for a couple of minutes what a drab little man who looked like an accountant from a small provincial town was doing there. Even for an accountant he was terribly dull and as he droned on about double entry book-keeping and how he was generating new business for the practice at the rotary club I fell asleep. I woke up to find that the tedious little man was still droning on and was in fact Owen Smith MP.

He was asked about immigration and suggested that Labour was not connecting to the working classes in not recognising that it was not always beneficial. So would he limit it? Er... three times he declined to answer that one instead bashing the Tories for abolishing some ministerial post or other. That was Owen trying to reach out to smelly working class voters but not quite wanting to actually talk their language. Owen would rather eat guacamole with his Guardian reading pals.

Owen and his middle class mates who, like him, got cushy white collar jobs, thanks to family connections, post University and who have never suffered poverty, might think that the working class will swallow his nonsense on immigration but they are wrong. You could see through his pathetic pretence of sharing the concerns of the sans culottes when he clearly did not, a mile off. On this matter he is just a transparent little fraud.

So what about Trident? Corbyn was wrong in the 1980s but is right now that it is a waste of money but Smith was wrong in the 1980s in backing CND and is doubling up now in being wrong again now in wanting to spunk £205 billion on a new system. He told the interviewer that recent events in France and Germany show how much more dangerous the world is which is why we need Trident. Why? The interviewer let him off the hook there but how exactly does having nuclear missiles deter a chap with an axe on a German train?

Then it was onto patriotism. Apparently Smith thinks Jeremy Corbyn is not really patriotic. In justifying this claim he used the words "liberal and left" in a negative sense. Sod Theresa May with her affirmative action policies promoting idiots like Amber Rudd because she is female, make Owen Smith leader of the Tories, he was starting to sound like a real Conservative. Patriotism is of course the last refuge of the scoundrel and smearing Corbyn for not being a patriot makes Smith the scoundrel's scoundrel.

Actually that is a bit harsh as it implies that Smith has a real game plan. The reality is that he is all over the shop. Back in 2008 when he said he agreed with Tony Blair on everything, Smith was advocating private sector involvement in the NHS. Now he wants no private sector involvement in the NHS. It is not the flip flop that is painful but that Smith now denies that he ever held views which he was well documented as holding back in the day.

After what seemed like an eternity the interview drew to a close. Smith had been shown up as a flip flopper, as a man who was dishonest about his past views, a man with no vision and a man who landed the silliest smears on Corbyn. But above all he was just boring. My initial analogy was perhaps unfair...on accountants who get their kicks at the rotary club. Smith cannot help the way he looks, his nasal drone or the way he waffles on drearily. But that is how he comes across and he really did send me to sleep.

At this point, I would like to apologise to Angela Eagle for suggesting that she was the one Labour MP who might lead the People's Party to an even greater humiliation than that which it faces under Comrade Corbyn. I take that back. Owen Smith is so utterly boring and so transparently fraudulent in his attempts to "connect" with the great unwashed that he will truly trainwreck the party once and for all.

So bad was Smith that I am sorely tempted to switch my allegiance from the bearded loon to the little fraud to ensure electoral devastation for Labour. But as one who craves some excitement in life I fear that four years of soporific Smith would be far less entertaining than four more years of Jezza. And so pro tem I have to remain a loyal party member, standing shoulder to shoulder with Comrade Corbyn, marching towards an electoral precipice

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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