NOW that the ‘Eagle’ has refused to fly as pledged, she has handed the baton, although just 25 votes behind and with votes still being counted, to Owen Smith to lead the campaign to remove Corbyn as Labour Party leader.
It says something for just how much the Labour Party old guard has discredited itself that none of those who daily assault Corbyn as a loser, such as the members of the Kinnock clan, or Hilary Benn, or Margaret Hodge or Harriet Harman dared to stand in this election since they are tainted with their support for the invasion of Iraq, and Blair’s four other wars, their support for an invasion of Syria, their support for the marketisation of the NHS, their support for the Private Finance Initiative, and countless other Blair-Brown attacks on the working class.
It is they who are grossly unpopular and isolated, not Corbyn – masses of people are paying £25 to join the Labour Party to give him support. In fact, Angela Eagle does not even have the support of her own constituency Labour Party, while both she and the other leaders of Labour’s right wing are the toast of the town as far as the Tories are concerned.
With Eagle gone, Corbyn’s challenger is now Owen Smith, supposedly an entirely different political challenge since he was not an MP before or during the Iraq war, and throughout the period of the Blair governments. He presents himself as someone who has a lot of policies in common with Corbyn, His only consideration is that Corbyn is just not a leader, he is a congenital loser, and must go, since Corbyn and his personality are the only things that are stopping Labour winning elections and the general election.
To make removal more palatable, the worthy Smith is willing to create a special post for Corbyn, President, where he can do no harm, but enjoy some reflected glory from the success that Smith anticipates, if only the leader will go.
In fact, the truth is the exact opposite. Under Corbyn the Labour Party has won hundreds of thousands of new members, has won back London for Labour, has won both parliamentary by-elections and council elections from Bristol nationwide.
The problem is that Labour’s right wing fear that, with enormous changes taking place throughout the world and in the country after the massive upset of the Brexit mutiny, a left Labour government could be elected that would be forced by the working class to challenge capitalism and open up the way for the organisation of the socialist revolution.
Since Benn and Co dare not stand themselves, they have sent along Smith, an MP since 2010, who pledges that he loves Corbyn, agrees with most of his policies but will not rest until he is reduced to a figurehead.
In fact, Smith is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or, if you prefer, a snake in the grass. He is a right winger, now sailing under a false flag that he is a 50% Corbynista. The truth is that Smith is on record as supporting the Iraq war.
In an interview with the Western Mail, on 10 May 2006, on Iraq, Smith said: ‘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.’
Yet, Smith claims he was against the Iraq war. When Smith worked as a corporate lobbyist at Pfizer he supported NHS privatisation saying: ‘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.’
He welcomed the PFI and now stands for a second referendum to reverse the June 23 vote, a decision that would place the British parliament and the working class on the opposite side of the barricades!
Snake in the grass Smith must be seen off in the leadership election. Then Labour must demand a general election and launch a great campaign to achieve it, deselecting all those Labour MPs who want to defect to form a new party with the Tories. This is the way forward, boldly towards a workers government and socialism.