Why can’t Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith simply shut up about Jeremy Corbyn and try talking about his own beliefs and policies?
For a start – as This Blog has already discussed – he seems determined to discuss Mr Corbyn in an offensive way. This time we were told Mr Corbyn “doesn’t really understand” British people’s sense of national identity. That’s an attempt to belittle Mr Corbyn; to demean him.
Then there’s the question of how one best supports the British national identity.
For example, we know that Jeremy Corbyn thinks UK utility companies should be owned by UK people, instead of being sold off to foreign companies and nationalised industries.
Mr Corbyn thinks companies that make a profit in the UK should pay tax on all of those profits – in the UK.
And UK steel companies should benefit from UK-based contracts.
What’s Mr Smith’s response to these patriotic and principled positions?
Here is a handy checklist of Mr Corbyn’s patriotic beliefs, including the above with a few more added in. Feel free to copy the image and post it anywhere you think appropriate.
Owen Smith said Jeremy Corbyn “doesn’t really understand” patriotism or national identity, tonight.
He suggested the Labour leader doesn’t get that many Scottish, Welsh and English people have a “strong sense of…where they’re from.”
Mr Smith, who is campaigning to unseat Mr Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party , said Mr Corbyn has a more “metropolitan” sense, which doesn’t tally with the Labour tradition.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Mr Smith said he and Mr Corbyn had a “different position” on patriotism.
He explained: “Well, I think Jeremy doesn’t really understand sometimes, the way in which people have a very strong, perhaps socially conservative – conservative with a small c – sense of place. Sense of where they’re from. I’m not sure I’ve heard him talking much about Scotland and identity, or Wales and identity or indeed about England and identity.
“I suspect that Jeremy’s got a rather more metropolitan sense of that, and that’s not one I think that is central to the Labour tradition.”
Asked if he was saying Mr Corbyn was unpatriotic, he said: “I’m saying that it’s not something that is core to his set of beliefs. I think he’s got a set of liberal perspectives and left perspectives on things and nationhood and nationalism and patriotism aren’t really part of his makeup.”
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