British Blairite coupmonger Owen Smith’s posing as ‘leftist’ exposed

This video from Britain says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at biggest protest in UK history against Iraq war

On 15 February 2003, two million people on the streets of London, in the biggest process ever in UK history, said not in our name to the Iraq war. Jeremy Corbyn gave this speech to the huge rally in Hyde Park.

By Luke James in Britain:

Smith’s left stance exposed as bogus

Thursday 14th July 2016

Past interview reveals support for Iraq war and NHS sell-off

OWEN SMITH was outed as a political chameleon yesterday after he made a left-wing pitch for the Labour leadership — despite previously backing the Iraq war and private involvement in the NHS.

The Welsh MP has positioned himself on the soft left of the party and claimed to offer a “radical and credible” alternative to Jeremy Corbyn.

In an interview, he credited Mr Corbyn with making Labour an unequivocally anti-austerity party but said he was “not a leader who can lead us into an election and win for Labour.”

He also told BBC Radio 4 that he would have voted against the Iraq war if he had been an MP at the time, saying it was “clearly the wrong decision to go to war” and declaring that he was “opposed to it at the time.”

But that contradicted previous remarks he had made about the illegal invasion in an interview that was shared widely on social media yesterday.

When he was standing for Parliament in 2006, he said he did not know whether he would have voted in favour of the invasion.

“I thought at the time the tradition of the Labour Party and the tradition of left-wing engagement to remove dictators was a noble, valuable tradition and one that in south Wales, from the Spanish civil war onwards, we have recognised and played a part in,” he told the Western Mail.

Questions have also been raised over his history as a lobbyist for US pharmaceuticals privateer Pfizer, where he earned £80,000 a year as “head of government affairs” between 2005 and 2008.

Shadow Commons leader Paul Flynn said he “wasn’t too pleased by the fact that we had a drug-pusher as a candidate” when Mr Smith unsuccessfully contested the 2006 Blaenau Gwent by-election.

Mr Smith also told the Western Mail he was “fine” with private involvement in the NHS as long as it didn’t threaten its public-service ethos, saying health companies could bring “good ideas” and “valuable services”

And on the private finance initiative, he said: “I’m not someone, frankly, who gets terribly wound up about some of the ideological nuances.”

Mr Smith was also called out over his claims that he had not been involved in “any plot or coup against Jeremy Corbyn.”

“I refused to have any part in discussions, which have been destructive, from a small group of people on the right who, just like those on the left, it seems to me, are now prepared to let Labour split,” he said yesterday.

But Labour MP John Mann [a right-winger] wrote on Twitter: “I was approached six months ago to back Owen Smith to be Labour leader. I politely declined the offer.”

See also here.

Owen Smith backed big pharma over use of cheaper drugs by NHS in 2010: here.

LABOUR can only win if it stands united with working people and rejects division, Jeremy Corbyn warned in a rousing speech to trade unionists yesterday. In his first major speech since his knife-edge victory in securing an automatic place on the party’s impending leadership ballot, the Labour leader received three standing ovations as he launched an impassioned defence of his record: here.

Labour’s leadership election campaign has opened amid a barrage of dirty tricks and slanders by the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), using a pliant media as an echo chamber. The immediate aim is to denigrate incumbent leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in the hope of maximising the vote for challenger Owen Smith. But with little chance of a Smith victory, the campaign is ultimately designed to sanction whatever anti-democratic measures are taken to either sabotage the contest or to justify a split in the event of a Corbyn victory: here.

17 thoughts on “British Blairite coupmonger Owen Smith’s posing as ‘leftist’ exposed

  1. Friday 15th July 2016

    posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

    Candidates ‘should reflect members’ views’

    LABOUR’S largest affiliate swung behind the push for mandatory reselection of MPs yesterday, saying critics of Jeremy Corbyn were attempting to “destabilise” the party in a bid to ditch anti-austerity policies.

    Delegates at general union Unite’s policy conference resolved to support the approach in order “to ensure democratic accountability and the rights of party members to select candidates that reflect their views.”

    It will be received as a major boost ahead of a potential vote on mandatory reselection at Labour’s conference in September. A rule change proposal on the issue from South Shields Constituency Labour Party is due to be heard, but it could still be ruled out of order by conference organisers.

    Currently sitting MPs are only subject to a “trigger ballot,” where they automatically become the candidate unless a super-majority of branches in their constituency support a new selection.

    Proposing the Unite resolution in Brighton yesterday, London and eastern region delegate Kevin Parslow said: “The current trigger mechanism is difficult and weighted in favour of the incumbent.

    “We put ourselves up as reps and branch officers for election regularly.

    “I don’t think it’s unreasonable for MPs to put themselves up for reselection. They should be accountable to us, not Murdoch’s press … they are there because they’ve got the Labour Party name on the ballot paper.”

    Mike Hedges, another London delegate, said: “Four weeks ago I would have spoken against this motion but after the treachery of 172 MPs … we have no option.


  2. Friday 15th July 2015

    posted by Morning Star in Editorial

    BOTH Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership opponents have flaunted their contempt for democracy by backing a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

    This attitude is fully in line with EU practice whereby countries voting to oppose various treaties have been ordered to try again.

    Corbyn accepted the referendum decision immediately and urged its speedy implementation.

    In contrast, Owen Smith and Angela Eagle are so unhappy with the electorate wanting to leave that they are demanding another go.

    Both are equally unreconciled to last September’s decision by Labour Party members to elect Jeremy Corbyn, so they want another run at that too.

    They could simply have collected the requisite number of nominations, sent them to the general secretary and set the process in motion.

    But they chose to fall in line with a destructive plot hatched by former ministers to undermine the elected leader by a co-ordinated campaign of shadow cabinet resignations.

    These rolling walkouts were accompanied by juicy quotes for the Tory media about Corbyn’s alleged failure to tackle anti-semitism, toleration of intimidation, inability to show leadership and all-round uselessness.

    Their intention was to bully Corbyn out of his post and disenfranchise a quarter-million voters by restricting leadership nominations to MPs acceptable to New Labour clones.

    Defeated anti-Corbyn members on the party’s national executive committee (NEC) were miffed that he would not have to seek nominations from MPs and MEPs.

    So after Corbyn and a couple of his supporters had left Wednesday’s NEC meeting, they agreed to apply a January cut-off for Labour members’ eligibility to vote in the leadership election, despite this meaning the exclusion of 130,000 people and even though no such motion had been tabled on the meeting’s agenda.

    It’s difficult to argue with ITV News political editor Robert Peston’s observation that this “looks and smells like gerrymandering.”

    Last year’s £3 registered supporter fee was also raised to £25, applications for which are restricted to a three-day window. For some well-heeled people £25 is nothing, for the low-paid, unemployed and state pensioners, it’s a substantial sum.

    This situation worsened yesterday, with the decision that this six-month denial of voting rights will also affect trade unionists who have applied to be affiliated Labour members.

    Another anti-Corbyn New Labour benefactor will go to court to overturn the NEC decision that the leader should be on the ballot paper.

    At a time when Labour should be working out the negotiating positions it wants to see adopted following the Leave vote, we are witnessing a set-piece battle for the very existence of the party.

    Should Corbyn be defeated, we shall see a return to business as normal, with an arrogant parliamentary elite laying down the law, playing footsie with big business and treating trade unions and local activists with contempt.

    Whatever policy mood music permeates his challengers’ speeches, the principled anti-austerity line of Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell would not survive the leader’s defeat.

    No wonder the Unite policy conference in Brighton has overwhelmingly backed mandatory reselection of MPs to ensure democratic accountability in the party.

    There is more at stake than simply Corbyn’s job, but his victory second time around is essential in a battle for inner-party democracy and a politics that favours working people over corporate power.


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