The language used by Owen Smith to describe Labour leadership opponent Jeremy Corbyn fits the known traits of perpetrators of domestic violence, according to a Vox Political reader who survived 10 years of abuse.
The revelation came on the day Mr Smith announced a “zero tolerance approach to misogyny”.
Critics on Twitter were quick to point out that this is the same man who told Leanne Wood she gets invited onto the BBC’s Question Time because she is a woman (and no, I don’t need to write “allegedly” – it was caught on camera).
But This Blog’s reader – who has asked not to be named – had a more serious comment to make.
“I see [Owen Smith has] now declared zero tolerance on misogyny .
“Oh really !
“As a survivor of 10 years of domestic violence the statement he made was not only disgusting… but is offensive to those still enduring domestic violence.
“I was referred to ARCH North Staffs to help me deal with the affects of the long term domestic violence and I can tell you it certainly opened my eyes doing the 12 week course.
“In my opinion Smiffy fits the personality of one of the known traits of perpetrators of domestic violence – ‘The Headworker’.
“This is a perpetrator that psychologically grinds the recipient down with constant put downs, ie ‘you’re no good’, ‘it’s all your fault’, ‘look what you’ve done now you need to do xyz or I will do it because you’re not good enough’.
“‘I’m the only one that can do it’, ‘get out you’re useless’.”
Considering Mr Smith’s attitude to Jeremy Corbyn, this description certainly seems apt, don’t you think?
A new MP has apologised after he compared the UK government’s planned public spending cuts to domestic violence.
Owen Smith, the Labour MP for Pontypridd, wrote in an online article: “Surely, the Liberals will file for divorce as soon as the bruises start to show through the make-up?”
Women’s groups criticised him for using “a fairly tasteless analogy”.
Additional: Perfect examples (as far as I can tell) of the kind of language highlighted by This Blog’s reader appeared in an Independent article yesterday (Sunday).
In it, Owen Smith says of Jeremy Corbyn:
- That his political principles are “just hot air” because there is no real prospect of him leading the Labour Party into power.
- That Mr Corbyn was unelectable so there was “no point” to the Labour party at present.
- That the party needed to “get up off its knees” and start looking like a “credible” opposition [by ditching Mr Corbyn for him, presumably].
You can see that this is exactly the language of domestic abuse to which my reader was referring. If you can’t, try converting the sentences from references to Mr Corbyn and make them refer to ‘you’. As in:
“You’re full of hot air.”
“You’ll never get where you want to be.”
“There’s no point to you.”
“You bring down everybody around you.”
See? How would you feel if somebody in your household was saying that about you all the time?
In the article, Mr Smith said:
“Without winning elections, without Labour being a serious party of government again, then all the principles are just hot air.” Perhaps he hasn’t realised that Labour has won plenty of elections under Mr Corbyn’s leadership. As for Labour not being a “serious party of government” – isn’t that due to interference from Mr Smith and his supporters?
I have done a little research to see if Mr Corbyn has said anything similarly unkind about Owen Smith – and drawn a blank. The best I could find – in a BBC article in which Mr Smith was quoted as saying Mr Corbyn is “not a leader” was the following:
“Let’s have some charity towards people – not malice. I don’t do malice.”
What a shame that Mr Smith does.
Note: Some readers have raised concerns about this article so it seems worthwhile to clarify that none of the information above is intended to induce the reader into thinking that Mr Smith may be a domestic abuser. There is no evidence to suggest that he is.
But his choice of language – especially with regard to Jeremy Corbyn – “raised the red flag”, in the words of This Blog’s source. Once those concerns had been brought to this writer’s attention, it would have been remiss of me not to put them before you.
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