We’ve been expecting you Mr Smith


Well, knock me down with a feather. Owen Smith has announced he will challenge for Labour leader – what is it with all the pre-announcements anyway?

He said Corbyn was a good man and been proved right about many things including strongly opposing austerity, but that Labour needed a “radical” and credible leader.

So it seems he’s positioning himself on the left of Angela Eagle (not hard really) so I’ve had a quick look at his voting record – yes my browser does seem to be setting to TheyWorkForYou as a home screen.

To be honest looking at the voting records there’s not much difference between the 3 apart from with regard to military interventions.

Jeremy Corbyn Angela Eagle Owen Smith
Use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas Against For Mix
Iraq War Against For
Investigation into Iraq War For Against
Replacing Trident with new system Against For For

Lower taxes on fuel for motor vehicles

Against Against Mix

Terminally ill people to be given assistance to end their life

Against For For

Higher taxes on banks

Against Against Mix

Reducing the rate of corporation tax

For Against Against

Measures to reduce tax avoidance

Mix Mix Against

Stronger tax incentives for companies to invest in assets

Mix Mix Against

University tuition fees

Against For Against

transparent Parliament

For Against

Stricter asylum system

Against For Against

Mass retention of information about communications

Against For For

ID cards

Against For

Greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas

Mix Against Mix

So I’m presuming Owen Smith is hoping to win by force of his personality. It appears his attitude to certain disability right activists leaves much to be desired.

In the past he has worked as a BBC journalist, was both a radio and television producer for 10 years, including on Radio 4’s today programme and BBC Wales Dragon’s Eye. Following that he joined the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industry for five years becoming Head of Policy and Government Relations for Pfizer, where he worked as a lobbyist before becoming an MP in 2010.

Already Twitter has been digging into his past and found this article from 2006 where he comments as follows:

The Iraq War

We are making significant inroads in improving what is happening in Iraq.

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 didn’t know whether he would have voted against the war, as the previous MP Llew Smith did.

The involvement of the private sector in the NHS

Where they can bring good ideas, where they can bring valuable services that the NHS is not able to deliver, and where they can work alongside but subservient to the NHS and without diminishing in any respect the public service ethos of the NHS, then I think that’s fine. I think if their involvement means in any way, shape or form the break up of the NHS, then I’m not a fan of it, but I don’t think it does.

On PFI (Private Finance Initiative) schemes, etc

We’ve had PFI in Wales, we’ve had a hospital built down in Baglan through PFI. If PFI works, then let’s do it. What people want to see are more hospitals, better services.

City academies in certain parts of inner city Britain, where schools were failing, where children were not being well served, have made great inroads.

I’m not someone, frankly, who gets terribly wound up about some of the ideological nuances that get read into some of these things, and I think sometimes they are totally overblown.

He was also one 40 MPs on the guest list for a £250-a-head gathering at the Hilton hotel on Park Lane organised by trade organisation ADS, according to information provided by activist group Campaign Against Arms Trade (Caat).  Among the arms companies hosting MPs were Cobham, Raytheon, Thales, BAE Systems and MBDA. These companies have export and business interests in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, Israel, Taiwan and Bahrain.

Less radical than he may want us to think.

FINALLY and because I don’t want to do a 3rd post today

It looks like there was another item snuck in during the Labour NEC; it appears that “all normal party meetings at CLP & branch level shall be suspended” only meeting for nominations or campaign planning.

Wow, just wow.


One thought on “We’ve been expecting you Mr Smith

  1. Don’t know if you spotted it but, after Corbyn & two of his allies/supporters left there was another motion passed, namely that only those members who joined prior to 12th January this year were eligible to vote.

    This disenfranchises people who have joined since, around 130,000 members. So advocating democracy on the one hand, whilst the other quietly subverts it.


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