It’s too late Smith. The polls show you are way behind, the CLP’s have overwhelmingly nominated Corbyn up and down the country. The majority of trade Unions are behind Corbyn and the clear majority of new Labour members have joined because of and for Jeremy Corbyn. Andrea Leadsom stepped down from her leadership contest against Theresa May because May was so far ahead. That’s what happens during these contests. For some reason though, you just can’t concede the contest can you Mr.Smith?
In some ways you have to feel for Owen Smith. He must have felt that with the backing of the majoroity of his fellow MP’s and a few encouraging words from a few sporadic Labour members that he was heading for a victory where he would become an overnight hero. From nowhere the little known Pontypridd MP rose to power.. at least that’s what must have been floating around in his head.. even for a fleeting moment.
The very fact he has not conceded yet however is cause for concern in many respects, not because he might actually win but because you have to ask, is the result already ‘known‘? The sheer vitriol levelled at Corbyn has been immense and to think that wealthy donors have backed Smith’s campaign and shady bastards like Tony Blair and Peter Madelson have made their feelings known from the start is it possible the vote has already been rigged in Smith’s favour? Ok, with the huge lead that Corbyn has it is probably a conspiracy that will never come to fruition. Maybe though if their plans to purge thousands of Corbyn supporters and ban the rest had been immensely more successful than it has been (and they are certainly still trying) then maybe a rigged vote would be more possible.
As it is though, I am not now sure they even have a plan. The entire coup against Corbyn was ill judged and smacked of self entitlement from the those at the head of the coup and that’s one of the greatest mistakes they have made, believing that as MP’s their power is greater than that of the people. They would like you to think that the new members, sorry, ‘entryists’ and ‘trotskyists’ are not the electorate that in fact they are nothing but people to be sneered at and brushed aside as irrelevant. Well sad day for them because every member and the thousands that support Corbyn but are not members are indeed the electorate, likely the very same electorate that removed themselves from Labour under Tony Blair after eventually realising that Labour no longer represented the common man/woman and are now returning. Labour are pulling voters in and with each passing day are creating, under Jeremy Corbyn, policies that are stirring more and more people.
Perhaps the biggest lack of foresight by the coup plotters is not just the misjudgement of support for Corbyn and his policies but also how fed up the electorate are of the same old politics and politicians. They talk about Corbyn like he is separate from them, like he is different. He is. That’s the point. He is different and they are damned afraid.
On one final note it’s worth mentioning that the patronising calls for Corbyn supporters to behave with integrity and good grace and to condemn all bullying are nothing short of a public relations stunt for Smith. Bullying should always be condemned, but let’s face it, the PLP almost without exception are getting precisely what they deserve. There is a big difference between rebelling from the back benches or having disagreement behind closed doors to openly sabotaging your own parties chances, to sabotaging your leaders chances, because that’s exactly what has been going on and the electorate is not blind to it. We respect democracy but we vehemently oppose deliberate anti-democratic behaviour at the expense of the people. A large number of the PLP deserve to be castigated, not bullied, they deserve to be called out, not bullied and they deserve to be deselected or sacked, not bullied. Democracy is the single thing we have that separates us from dictatorships and if that is attacked then as far as I am concerned you can expect the full force of the very people that support you. Quite simply, if you want to tell a traitorous, anti democratic MP to fuck off, tell them to. When they try to claim you’re bullying them tell them to fuck off some more.