Jeremy Corbyn teaches shrill Owen Smith a lesson about Parliamentary put-downs

‘It makes my blood boil to see us so useless,’ Owen Smith said. Being who he is, he should be used to it... [Image: Sarah Lee for the Guardian].

‘It makes my blood boil to see us so useless,’ Owen Smith said. Being who he is, he should be used to it… [Image: Sarah Lee for the Guardian].


Jeremy Corbyn must have the patience of a saint to put up with the likes of Owen Smith constantly yapping around his ankles.

Today Mr Corbyn launched his campaign for re-election as Labour leader in statesmanlike, Beveridgesque fervour, telling us of the five modern societal ills – and what was Mr Smith doing?

He was biting at the Labour leader’s socks, trying to trip him up by whining about Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday.

The disconnect from reality is unnerving: Mr Smith wants us to believe Mr Corbyn was “taking lectures” from new prime minister Theresa May about “social justice and economic fairness”.

In fact, when Mrs May tried to talk back at the Opposition leader, he had an answer for her – every time.

When she criticised the Labour government of 1997-2010 for its house-building record, he responded: “That Labour Government put a decent homes standard in place in every part of this country.”

Then she responded to a question about racist remarks by new foreign secretary Boris Johnson by harping back to the housing issue and then discussing her own comments about people in minority ethnic groups receiving cold comfort from the criminal justice system.

Mr Corbyn’s response was equally cold, but more just than the system she had mentioned. “My question was actually about the language used by the Foreign Secretary,” he said, flagging up for all to see that the new prime minister had failed to provide an answer to what was only the third question she had faced.

She said: “He uses the language of austerity; I call it living within our means.”

He responded: “Austerity actually means people being poorer, services being cut and local facilities being closed.”

To a pre-rehearsed set-piece in which Mrs May compared him to “unscrupulous” bosses who do not listen to workers, demand some of them double their workload and exploit the rules for their own purposes, he skilfully turned the attack back on the Conservatives. He said:

“We are sent here to represent people. Many people in this country are struggling with low wages and insecure jobs. I know this is very funny for all the Conservative Members, but I do not suppose there are too many Conservative MPs who have to go to a food bank to supplement the food on their family’s table every week.”

Interrupted – I thought by somebody on the benches behind him – while discussing people who are worried about the future of their jobs, he said: “I am talking of the people who sent us here to serve them” – a barbed reminder to the backstabbers on his back benches that Labour is owned by party members, not MPs.

Perhaps this is what infuriated Mr Smith.

Not Mr Corbyn’s performance, which outclassed the novice prime minister at every stage – but the fact that the leader of his party had also been able to reprimand critics in his own party – effortlessly.

Mr Smith is having to work hard – and the strain is already starting to show.

Owen Smith said he was “furious” at Jeremy Corbyn’s performance against Theresa May at prime minister’s questions on Wednesday, claiming the Labour leader’s effort at the dispatch box was not good enough.

In an interview with the Guardian as Smith began his campaign for leadership of the party, he accused Corbyn of letting the new prime minister off too lightly at a time when the Conservatives had made cuts to public services and tax credits but were still trying to lecture Labour over social justice.

“I was more than frustrated: I was furious that we were sitting there with a Tory government that has imposed swingeing cuts on public services, on tax credits, on universal credit, that have smashed women and public sector workers the length and breadth of Britain, and we are taking lectures from them about social justice and economic fairness,” Smith said.

Source: Owen Smith ‘furious’ at Corbyn’s performance against Theresa May | Politics | The Guardian

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24 thoughts on “Jeremy Corbyn teaches shrill Owen Smith a lesson about Parliamentary put-downs

  1. Rusty

    Owen Smith couldn’t run this country so he can only run his mouth off about pm corbyn! Stretching the truth or and lies to backstab his way to power!!!

  2. tom

    Mr Smith is not good enough to polish Mr Corbyn’s shoes let alone critisising his leader publicly, what goes around comes around Mr Smith do remember the old proverb.

  3. Pjay Mac

    Smithy is a LIAR a weak Political lightweight who Voted for all the Tory cuts he is ranting about he followed the rest of the Blair Witch Clique and gave the Tories and Obersturmfuhrer Schmidt at. Gestapo Headquarters at the DWP Department carte blanche to Murder the Poor the Elderly the Unemployed and especially the Disabled, You and all the other Blair Faithful are Complicit with them in Murder Smith, you really are deluded and your Clique will abandon you when you Crash and Burn which is Your one and only Future it is Your Destiny to be HUMILIATED YOU UTTER FOOL

  4. Christine Cullen

    I note there is no reader comment facility on that particular Guardian article. They don’t dare!

  5. jeffrey davies

    just another blairite why doesnt he cross the floor he match their ties and ordour ouch

  6. Trevor Marron

    Of course the mainstream media only show the soundbites and are obsessed with PMQ performances. Watch the whole thing and Corbyn was actually the winner by a reasonable margin.

  7. Jackie Cairns

    Why is he worried about the injustice of taking the tax credits away and selling public services off,, He’s moaning about nothing being said; But if him and the rest was behind Jeremy instead of acting like kids taking sides after a fight in the play ground, We all might of got some were. “They” all done it to Labour the 172 spoilt brats, not Jeremy, He’s the only taking any notice of the members. Smith and his ilk only need us when there’s an election coming up and they want mugs doing there dirty work for them, Otherwise we are trots rabble or dogs. But hence we will remember what they done. Well didn’t do should i say.

  8. Rik

    I watched pmq wednesday I thought JC done pretty well considering the pressure he’s under, what with the Tories in front & some Rebels behind him. and then reading that Mrs May wiped the floor with him.
    She was like watching a reincarnation of Thatcher, even spoke like her too. ..eeeshhh
    Good Luck J.C.

  9. Andrew

    Well according to all the MSM pundits May triumphed yesterday. Nothing at all was reported of JC’s responses in any of the articles I read- no surprise there.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, indeed.
      But the exchange is actually broadcast on the BBC, and available to view afterwards on http://www.parliament.UK so perhaps it speaks volumes about most people that they can’t be bothered to see for themselves.

      1. Mrs C Nowell

        We watched it live on Parliament and thought JC did very well, in the circumstances. She (May) was always going to be a bit of an known quantity at being PM, but I loved that JC had a response for each of her comments. Not losing his temper, or raising his voice, when under intense pressure from backbenchers for more passion, is not what is needed. A calm, considered response is much more effective. As my gran used to say “he who shouts loudest and most often, will lose his voice quickest”. The Tories and backstabbers should remember that. A wise woman was my granny!!!

  10. casalealex

    Before becoming an MP Mr Smith worked as a journalist with the BBC and as a special advisor to Paul Murphy, when he was Welsh Secretary. and as a lobbyist for Pfizer an American global pharmaceutical corporation.

    Smith spoke with Wales Online and expressed his support for the private sector playing a supportive role in the NHS, private finance initiative (PFI) schemes, BUT has since described PFI schemes as a failure.

    In 2016, he stated that he would vote to renew Trident, saying: “I want a world without nuclear weapons altogether, but I don’t think we hasten that by divesting.” Smith did vote in favour of the government’s Trident renewal program motion on 18 July 2016, as did another 139 Labour MPs, in line with long-standing party policy on at-sea nuclear deterrent. Subsequently, the BBC defined his position as backing the “Trident nuclear weapons and nuclear energy … would be prepared to press the nuclear button.”

  11. Paul Arysen

    I liked Theresa May’s speech outside no. 10 when she took up the post of pm, and I looked forward to her first pmq. Alas, I cringed with embarrassment at her over-rehearsed bosses jibe at Jeremy Corbyn. She’s a ham actor at best, and at her best a serious politician – she should stick to what she’s good at.

    1. Besquipedalian

      ‘Smith’ being just about the most common name in the English Language, it is hardly surprising that this is reflected in all walks of society.
      But it is an anonymous sort of surname, which is convenient to hide behind.
      There are not many Corbyns around, however.(And thankfully, not too many Rees-Moggs either)

  12. Libby

    Wow who do think is delusional again? This is quite staggering that you can turn pmqs into a corbyn win. Maybe you should step back and see what the rest of the country thinks.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Maybe you should step forward and read the Hansard transcript.
      Maybe the rest of the country is basing its opinion on media distortion, but I don’t have to – and neither do you.
      Maybe it would be better if people tried thinking for themselves.

      1. Christine Cullen

        Excellent reply Mike. But it’s not just PMQs that get misquoted and distorted. Not 10 minutes ago I was watching on BBC News, a quite poisonous interview with Owen Smith imploring Corbyn to demand the end of austerity and some investment into the economy like it was a new idea straight out of his own brain. This was preceded by an interview with John McDonnell who had been making the point that we need an end to austerity and investment into the economy and that the majority of economists, the IMF, CBI etc. are all in agreement. Not a hint of the irony of the situation mentioned by the BBC news anchor.
        PMQs was a typical scenario of a Labour leader asking questions and a Tory leader not answering them and being personally abusive in the process. Nothing new there. Corbyn’s integrity in the process is always an example of how stick to the task and not join in with the yaboo politics the Tories are so fond of. Just because they are good at abuse and obfuscation, it does not mean that they win the point. Points for being shallow and insulting are not particularly impressive.

  13. rotzeichen

    It is clear from the latest tactics by Smith and the rest that they are not challenging Jeremy for the leadership of the party, but are doing their level best to do the Labour party as much political damage as they can, ready for the big split; when they create their so called moderate centre party, with rich backers and the addition of Tories who see their future lost in a Tory Party that is losing support in the population as a whole.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/09/labour-tory-mps-talk

    The blame game, saying Jeremy must stop all these so called actions by the membership, when in fact there is not one jot of proof that members are responsible, secondly they have legal redress to stop these people, why are there not criminal prosecutions so far?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/22/45-female-labour-mps-write-to-jeremy-corbyn-demanding-he-does-mo/

    I do believe that Len is on to something here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/len-mccluskey-some-posting-abuse-jeremy-corbyn-opponents-mi5-agents_uk_57922face4b0e3583c791e8e

  14. Linwren

    Nasty little man. Who trust such a man who stabs another in the back? Being a women I would judge his morals concerning female. He gets in I am out

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