‘Headworker’ Owen Smith ‘resembles domestic violence perpetrator’

Owen Smith launching his attack on misogyny. Twitter critics were quick to point out that he mentioned no concrete action at all, despite Jeremy Corbyn having been criticised for the same over his plan to end workplace discrimination. And then there was, "Why are you doing that stupid legs apart stance that the Tories do?" (To which the answer seems to be, because he is keen to join the Lynton Crosby school of style.

Owen Smith launching his attack on misogyny. Twitter critics were quick to point out that he mentioned no concrete action at all, despite Jeremy Corbyn having been criticised for the same over his plan to end workplace discrimination.
And then there was, “Why are you doing that stupid legs apart stance that the Tories do?” (To which the answer seems to be, because he is keen to join the Lynton Crosby school of style).

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.

She wrote:

“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”.

Source: MP Owen Smith sorry for domestic violence comment – BBC News

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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82 thoughts on “‘Headworker’ Owen Smith ‘resembles domestic violence perpetrator’

  1. Roy Beiley

    The more he postures and acts like a jumped up little t**d, he is becoming increasingly less like a Leader than Angela Eagle. Who on earth devised the strategy which was designed to propel Smith into a credible candidate to go head to head with JC? Even some of the mutineers must be wondering by now just how this Mr Nobody Smith has jeopardised any chance of defeating JC.

  2. Robin T Riley

    Seems like a domestic abuser?
    I’m not exactly his biggest fan, but this is a step too far.
    Just gives ammunition to those accusing Corbyn supporters of bullying.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Think what you just wrote, please.
      This is an article about a man who uses bullying language to intimidate people – if you don’t believe the evidence in the article, read the piece about how he tried to intimidate me, and succeeded in intimidating somebody else.
      And you want to accuse me of bullying him?
      The evidence is there for all to see; could you at least try to consider it in a reasonable manner before falling back on a knee-jerk reaction?

      1. Robin T Riley

        I didn’t accuse you of bullying him. But some anti-corbyn people will likely accuse you of it.
        There’s plenty to criticise about smith without having to get personal.
        But then on the other hand, accusations are probably going to keep coming regardless…

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        “Just gives ammunition to those accusing Corbyn supporters of bullying.”
        Sorry if I misconstrued but that’s how I read the comment.
        And, forgive me, but Owen Smith has been getting personal – that is the point. The only way to address it is to point it out.

    2. Karl Greenall

      The fundamental issue over the question of Corbyn supporters and bullying, is that no evidence has been offered to back up all, and I repeat, all of the assertions made. However, when we go over the situation that the Labour party is in, then we see that the whole strategy of the anti- Corbyn forces is founded on the two principle s of bullying and dissemination of blatant lies.

  3. jeffrey davies

    bully bully bully yet hes allowed to get away with it strange nay thers another 172 bullies residing in this party yet corbyn holds out the olive branch he be better off beating them with it ouch untill that day

  4. David Woods

    How they can believe anyone will vote Labour with the damage they are causing!

    They can’t even agree on who leads them, how will they ever agree on policy – they will tear the country apart!

    If my labour candidate stands against him how can I vote for someone who holds democracy in such contempt!

  5. Mark (@RedSimmo)

    This article is a disgusting smear. Take it down if you have a shred of decency. Anonymous source used to generate a headline saying he resembles a domestic abuser? Ludicrous.

    “none of the information above is intended to induce the reader into thinking that Mr Smith may be a domestic abuser” …apart from EVERYTHING above including the headline.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      See my responses to other comments and try thinking about what’s being said.
      Oh, and of course my source wants to maintain anonymity – this is a person who suffered domestic abuse for 10 long years, for crying out loud.
      The last thing that person wants is the unwanted attention of Owen Smith and people like you, and if you read your comment again, even you should be able to understand the reason.

      1. frankiedy

        “and of course my source wants to maintain anonymity ” Then find one that doesn’t. How about an expert, rather than someone who went through a 12 week course?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You think someone who went through 10 years of abuse isn’t an expert?
        She is unhappy that people who haven’t experienced it think they know better than her.

      3. Colin wiles

        This article should be removed. Delete it. It’s a nasty smear based on an anonymous respondent.

      4. frankiedy

        “You think someone who went through 10 years of abuse isn’t an expert?” Of course they’re bloody not. They’re an abuse victim with the bias that comes with that, not a trained expert.

      5. Mike Sivier Post author

        This is, of course, a disgusting smear against victims of domestic abuse. I know such people personally and it is quite clear that you don’t have the first clue about this subject.

        I was going to delete your comment with all the other hate-filled spite you’ve been pouring into my inbox but then I thought…

        I’ll just leave this here, so everybody can see exactly the kind of dangerous ignorance you’re peddling.

  6. defytheeconomy

    1- you spent 5 years whitewashing consensus on benefit cuts and protecting labour during that time. You used to use a technique called gaslighting when people knew it was Labour policy too. THAT is part of the profile of a domestic abuser. THis is a baseless smear designed to stick. Personality cults are very odd, if they are narcissistic personality cults, which Corbyn’s is, all accusations are admissions. Every last one. This is despicable but nothing more than we have come to expect from you. You abused people on benefits for knowing Labour policy and now employ abusive and lying techniques to copy Blair. Its a disgrace., This is a new low.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You’re saying I abused people on benefits?
      I spent years trying to get the Tories to admit their system was killing people, and succeeded, and you say I abuse people on benefits.
      Meanwhile the man you’re defending said Labour would not challenge the assessment system that’s causing the deaths of disabled people because he said it would upset the right-wing press.
      That, friend, is abusing people on benefits.
      And your defence of it is the disgrace.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Is it? Are you suggesting his reference to domestic violence in 2010 wasn’t repulsive? That his comment to Leanne Wood wasn’t intended to belittle her? That he doesn’t use similar language when discussing Jeremy Corbyn? That his apology for that 2010 comment wasn’t insincere, in the light of his later behaviour?
      Stroll on.

      1. defytheeconomy

        I am saying you spent five years attacking anyone who discussed that it was Labour policy too. While equality was rolled back for working class women. And now you are engaged in mimicking blairite media techniques and exploiting domestic abuse to debase political debate.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        I have acknowledged that it was Labour policy. Are you simply making the assertion to get people thinking what you want?
        That would be a Tory technique!
        Anyway, you need to go back and read the article again as I’ve added a little more to it. The Independent has obligingly published an article chock-full of the kind of language I think my reader meant.
        After reading it, you might want to revise your position.

      3. Tubby Isaacs

        That’s it? He used a domestic violence metaphor and said Leanne Wood was on TV because she was a woman and attacked Jeremy Corbyn?

        That’s it?

        Want me to go through your last 6 years of output? Who knows what I could pick out, link together?

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        No – because you clearly intend to do me harm so your results would be biased.
        Also you misrepresent the article (which fortunately everybody can read for themselves).

      5. frankiedy

        “Are you suggesting his reference to domestic violence in 2010 wasn’t repulsive?” Compared to you saying he looks like a wife beater? No.

      6. Mike Sivier Post author

        I didn’t say he looks like a wife beater, though. Read the article. There are many kinds of domestic abuse.

  7. defytheeconomy

    Gaslighting is about maintaining your own identity at the expense of other people. Blocking out reality and demanding they change their perception. Its why you did it to benefit claimants and why you arenow engaged in this behaviour. Emulation of the worst aspects of dishonest journalism, Worse than The Sun.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Why? Do you have an argument that is worth reading or is this the best you can manage?

  8. Brois Johnson

    An unnamed by well-qualified source told me:

    “In my opinion Mike Sivier fits the personality of one of the known traits of perpetrators of rape – ‘The Sly Accuser’.

    This is a perpetrator that attacks the self-image of his victim with invented third-person smears on their character, i.e. ‘person X says you fit the profile of a domestic abuser’.

    They use a constant stream of such degradation, always in the form of reported comments by a third party, never stated in the first person, in order to soften up their victim and reduce their resistance to their upcoming rape attempt.”

    Note: it seems worthwhile to clarify that none of the information above is intended to induce the reader into thinking that Mike Sivier may be a domestic abuser. There is no evidence to suggest that he is.

    But his choice of language – especially with regard to Owen Smith – “raised the red flag”, in the words of my 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.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I don’t blame you for coming up with this. I’ve said many times that, if a news story uses quotes from an anonymous source, they’re likely to be fake. Tit for tat, right?
      My anonymous source isn’t fake, though – and she makes a perfectly valid point, as demonstrated with the Independent article.
      For your claim to work, of course, you would need to show that the behaviour you claim to see is consistent across all the nearly-7,000 articles I’ve written.
      That’ll be a job of work for you!
      I’ll look forward to the result.

      1. Boris Johnson

        Your anonymous source is indeed fake, until such time as they out themselves in order to put their claims, and their reasoning, up for critical examination by experts in the field.

        If they’re not willing to do that, then you’re just an ethics-free blogger smearing somebody based on the most pathetic fig leaf of an excuse that I’ve ever seen.

        You’re so partisan that you don’t seem to realise what a serious allegation you’ve made based on no supporting evidence. Yes that’s right: the ramblings of an anonymous commenter, if he or she actually exists, do not constitute evidence to justify your smear.

        Owen Smith should haul you into court and do you for defamation. I hope he gets your house, and the rest.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        A good journalist always protects his source – so your first paragraph is out of order.
        Your second paragraph is your opinion and, mean though it is, there’s nothing I can do about it.
        Your third is curious. I’ve made an assertion and put up evidence to support it. If Owen Smith wants to do something about it, his best course is to stop using this kind of language.

  9. Laura 444

    I voted for Jeremy last time but I’m having serious doubts about doing so again because of this kind of tactic – the kind of hyperbolic smear the MSM are accused of (rightly). I have always agreed with Corbyn politically but I don’t like what his campaign has become and this type of smearing rather than discussion of serious political issues is not going to win people over, quite the reverse. Sorry.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      This isn’t a hyperbolic smear. If you want one of those, look to Mr Smith’s campaign.
      The reason it isn’t is that it is supported with evidence – something Mr Smith’s supporters lack.
      Isn’t it interesting that you can tolerate his behaviour and that of his supporters – you’re perfectly fine with what his campaign has become – but, when somebody points out issues with him, you have to try to attack and accuse that person – usually of exactly the same behaviour you’re trying to defend!
      No, I don’t accept your criticism.

      1. frankiedy

        Where’s the evidence? Someone you know “reccons” he seems like an abuser? How about getting an actual expert in if you’re actually going to try and get this to be anything other than a pathetic smear?

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Someone I know who endured 10 years of this kind of abuse, yes.
        I reckon she might know what she’s on about.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Why? Do you have an argument that is worth reading or is this the best you can manage?

      1. will

        If you can’t see why people are calling you out on this utterly banal bit of scribbling, then it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

        Not from someone who, only recently told us:

        That may seem a harsh verdict, especially with regard to Ms Debbonaire’s story which relies on her treatment for cancer – but the overarching strategy of the so-called Labour ‘coup’ has been manipulative from the start and I would not be surprised if the intention was to use her illness to play on people’s feelings.

        Nice one Mike. Real nice…

      2. defytheeconomy

        You never once acknowledged the significance of political consesus and attacked people who knew what it meant. And as for ‘tory techniques’. I thought smear lie and a willingness to do anything for your political identity and to hurt anyone WAS a tory technique. Good luck to you Mike. I dont know how you sleep at night. delusions must help.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        I’m not trying to hurt anyone. I’m trying to prevent it. Think on that.

  10. julesbee2014

    The reaction of your reader is rooted in her own undoubtedly awful experience, for which one should have compassion. When one has experienced trauma, it is not surprising that one experiences resonances and triggers outside the immediate situation. You are responsible for your choice to propagate her views. Domestic abuse happens, in the main, behind closed doors and is to do with one party manipulating and bullying the other, eroding their sense of self. It is, by its nature, often unwitnessed. Political debate, in the main, happens in the public sphere and is subject to critical scrutiny. Politics is a tough arena, and its proponents choose both whether or not they wish to engage in it, and how they want to play it. Judgements will be drawn by those observing it. Victims of domestic violence do not have the luxury of that choice. You cannot disassociate yourself from the possible consequences of this blog by your glib disclaimer at the end of this article. Not all who come across this on social media will understand the difference between exhibiting traits that characterise a domestic abuser, and being one. Perhaps your conscience is clear on this point. That says something about your conscience.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Considering Mr Smith’s public behaviour since this comment was written, perhaps you’d like to retract it – or at least modify it?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, this is not a Momentum proxy site. I’m not even a member.

      This is probably a good time to let people know: Having just come back from taking Mrs Mike to a hospital appointment, I see my Twitter feed full of self-righteous (and ill-informed) indignation at this article – and also a large number of comments here. I think some nasty people have been attracted to this site but we’ll have to do our best to put up with them until they lose interest or realise they are batting for the wrong side.

  11. TheColossis

    Wow. Obviously the articles author has an agenda. There is a hell of a lot of conjecture, misquoting and out of context words here. All to twist a quite normal political discourse into something sinister.
    It quite obviously WAS your intent to plant a negative seed in the mind of the reader. To hide the insinuation behind the words of a ‘reader’ is just to add ‘fucking cowardly’ to the list of traits that make you scum.
    I don’t know much about Owen Smith and have no dog in this race, but this article amounts to character assassination at best, libellous voter manipulation at middle.
    I would place money on the author showing many traits of one of the categories of abuser themselves.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, I didn’t have an agenda. I’m no fan of Owen Smith, certainly, but I’m not going out of my way to attack him either.
      I’m sure you won’t agree but I can’t help that.
      Relentlessly attacking an opponent on a personal level is not “quite normal political discourse”.
      There are no misquotes, and his words aren’t taken out of context.
      My intention was to flag up the nature of Mr Smith’s words. Perhaps he did not realise what they resemble? Hopefully now he does. Hopefully he will alter course as a result (although I doubt it).
      I’m not hiding anything behind the words of a ‘reader’. You write in that way, as though you don’t believe she exists, but I wouldn’t have written the article without her drawing my attention to the subject matter.
      No, there is no character assassination; no there is no libel.
      If I do show abusive traits, I wouldn’t rely on you to point them out.

  12. Laura 444

    It wasn’t so much criticism as me pointing out that the piece falls into the category of blogging/journalism/tweeting/memes putting people off voting for Corbyn (in my circle of friends at least – but looking at social media, I think also the wider world). The ‘evidence’ you cite (ie the view of a victim of domestic abuse who refers to Smith as Smiffy) isn’t evidence that would pass muster in the essays I mark nor a court of law. It’s even weaker than the ‘evidence’ that the Mail provided for Ralph Miliband being ‘the man who hated Britain’ – a smear that we were all, rightly, appalled by and which now seems subtle compared to your piece here. The clip of Owen Smith speaking to Leanne Wood certainly makes him look foolish but not a lot more can be gleaned from it as it’s in such an unnatural context and he is clearly nervous himself. I’m not a supporter of Smith. I know too little about him so far. I WAS a supporter of Corbyn. I’m being dissuaded from voting for Jeremy again because of these sorts of tactics. I don’t have an axe to grind or a point to ram home. I’m just telling you that this isn’t going to win anyone over to your side. You can think about that or just keep on keeping on 🙂

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      So do you think my reader should have just shut up and stayed quiet, and I should have done the same?
      I can’t do that if someone raises a serious concern.
      The evidence you’re discussing isn’t intended to be up to legal standard because nobody is being accused of anything – other than using language that is offensively similar to that of a DV abuser.
      The solution is simple: Owen Smith needs to modify his comments.

      1. Laura 444

        May I politely suggest that it’s you who need to modify your comments Mike? Or, for your own sake, delete them. You are indeed accusing Smith of something: being the ‘kind of person’ who commits domestic violence. And I’m sorry about Mrs Mike and the hospital but it’s irrelevant to the backlash you’re experiencing. You’ve taken the time to post something inflammatory and downright nasty and now people are responding. You and others who post this kind of thing are driving people into the ‘arms’ of Owen Smith rather than turning them against him which is your intent. I despair at this kind of tactic. It is turning people off Corbyn and away from Labour. Can you not see the damage you are doing? Can you not play fair and talk about policy? Corbyn’s fans provide no end of criticism of dirty tricks by the PLP but this kind of slander reaches a new low. If you want to win people over, you need to be more of a Michelle Obama and less of a Donald Trump in your style of campaigning.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You ask me to discuss policy, and that’s fine – but may I remind you that there’s only one reason we have been discussing people in a personal way – because that is what Owen Smith chose to do?
        Are his comments about Mr Corbyn’s ability to lead an election not baseless smears?
        I repeat: There is no defamation in my piece. Mr Smith’s behaviour clearly marks him out.
        Perhaps you should be writing that last sentence to Mr Smith?
        Look at his behaviour over the past month or so. It’s psychological warfare! That is what you are trying to justify. It is abusive behaviour, designed to undermine Mr Corbyn’s confidence and public confidence in him, and it seems to me that my reader has correctly identified it.
        I have yet to see a single scrap of solid evidence against the article’s argument. Nobody can explain why they think it is wrong.

  13. Tubby Isaacs

    Take this down, for God’s sake.

    You will bring all Corbyn supporters into disrepute. (I am not one, btw)

    The bit where you make Smith’s insults to Corbyn (who is Leader of the Opposition and thus powerful) into insults v a powerless victim of domestic abuse…. well. It’s like The Sun psychoanalysing Tony Benn or something.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Wait a second… I make Smith’s insults to Corbyn into insults v a powerless victim of DV?
      Where did I do that?
      Can’t find it in the article. I think you’re reading more into this than there is.
      I’m glad you agree that Smith has been insulting Corbyn. Do you think that is statesmanlike behaviour?

  14. Peter Shaw (@PCSoblahdeehell)

    Agree 100%. The nasty undermining tactics of this blog are like the worst of cybervigilante slurs, and indeed resemble L Crosby’s ugly strategy of “flinging a dead cat on the table” http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2013/11/24/the-dead-cat-strategy-how-the-tories-hope-to-win-the-next-el

    The vilest insinuations, cobbled together without responsibility, beneath contempt.

    I too voted for JC last time, in hope of a fresh, far-sighted & unprejudiced restart to opposition & a practical desire for government.

    What has developed under ivory-tower Corbyn, and the wranglers McDonnell, Milne, Schneider and the others is the very opposite of that: narrow-vision, narrow-minded, venom-dripping power jealousy with no thought to practical impact.

    So certainly not again.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Of course I disagree with this comment.
      How is it a ‘dead cat’ strategy?

  15. tubbyisaacs

    Couple of my comments that were awaiting moderation have disappeared. Not sure if that’s the site or you.

    You’re making yourself look ridiculous in your Owen Smith animus. I’ve looked at your previous with him.

    I think Labour benefits policy under Byrne and Reeves was poor, even allowing for Reeves being egregiously misreprented over that “tougher than IDS” story. I don’t think their timidity on the WCA (which I scored zero on twice, and overturned twice on appeal) even did them any electoral favours.

    But I don’t think that means Smith’s a “bully” for saying you’d hear from his solicitor. It’s a huge leap from what he’s reported as saying to saying “it’s important for disabled people to continue to die” for Labour to win the election. The policy was to “rework”, under Kate Green, who had professional knowledge. It would be better to scrap and put GPs in charge, but mass carnage of disabled people doesn’t necessarily follow from reworking the WCA, to say the least.

    Can’t you see the difference between this and reporting what he said? I can see why Smith was upset with you. That he didn’t sue doesn’t vindicate your story at all.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No it wasn’t a huge leap. Disabled people had been dying and are continuing to die under the current system.
      Disability representatives wanted it scrapped and replaced with a system that understood the problems being faced by the claimant, and their needs, rather than trying to fit them into a tick-box assessment. This is all in the previous articles so you’ll have seen it.
      Later that year I managed to force the government to publish disability-related death figures which went some way towards corroborating my comments.
      By refusing to take a stand against the then-current system, and proposing something that – for all we knew – might be just a cosmetic retweaking, he was asking disabled people to do exactly as I said. In my opinion.

  16. Isaac Zohar

    An article like this simply damages your cause and turns people off Corbyn. Highly counterproductive.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      What would you have me do, when somebody with personal knowledge of such matters brings a case like this to me?
      I can’t ignore it – the evidence is there in the public, clear for all to see, if they know what it is they’re looking at.
      My reader wanted to ensure that people do know.

      1. Isaac Zohar

        Unless you have conclusive proof that Smith himself is an abuser then you should take the article down.You can see the number comments here which fundamentally disagree with this tactic and if you had any common sense, you would not only delete this post but issue an unequivocal apology.

        I honestly think that Corbyn’s supporters have taken leave of their senses and won’t rest until they’ve destroyed the Labour Party. And then, of course, blame everyone else for the outcome.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        I don’t need conclusive proof that Mr Smith is an abuser – that’s not what the article says. You are misrepresenting it.
        Now, why on Earth would you want to do that, I wonder?
        Yes, there have been a number of commenters who disagree with the article having been published. Hundreds of times as many people have read it without comment.
        Blaming other people for one’s actions is a tactic of the Labour rebels and Mr Smith, as you know perfectly well.

  17. Sarah

    What a shameful article.
    Red flag to what? Some pre-crime?
    You’re not helping your position with this drivel; quite opposite.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      A red flag regarding this man’s character, I thought.
      I mean, only last Tuesday he was complaining about abuse between members of the Labour Party – but he’s happy to use the language of the abuser himself.
      And it is abusive language. For example: How would you like it if someone told you that you couldn’t do your job properly – when you knew many problems had been caused by him and his allies? As I understand it, that’s typical behaviour of the character type we’re discussing.

  18. Lynn Dye

    As an appreciative reader for some years now, Mike, I can clearly claim that your journalism has been second to none. Even on this occasion, you have raised valid points in my opinion, and I admire your need to share points another reader has made, and also to keep her anonymity. How can anyone know more than someone who has suffered such abuse over a long term?

    You also added this proviso:
    “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.”

    I wonder if all your contributors on this page read that fact?

  19. Laura 444

    “I have yet to see a single scrap of solid evidence against the article’s argument. Nobody can explain why they think it is wrong.”. There is no need for evidence that it isn’t true. A negative cannot be proven. He isn’t a domestic abuser as far as we know. How do you suggest he proves that? As for why it’s wrong, among many other reasons, as previously mentioned, these kinds of remarks are putting people off voting for Corbyn and off the Labour Party as a whole. How do you think this looks to those outside the party, the floating voters? Labour is at 11% below the Tories in the polls at present. Do you think this kind of piece is going to increase the poll ratings?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You’re right – he isn’t a domestic abuser as far as we know.
      He does, however, use the language of domestic abuse against Mr Corbyn.
      That is what the article was saying.
      That is what the article demonstrated.
      That is why nobody can show that the article is wrong; the proof of what he was doing is right there in front of you.
      You say the article is putting people off voting for Corbyn – can you even prove that? No. Owen Smith is haemorrhaging support.
      As for Labour’s position in the polls – the party was level-pegging with the Conservatives before the leadership challenge began on June 26, so blame for the loss of support there clearly lies with those responsible for the attempted coup and the leadership election that has arisen from it – again, Owen Smith and those in the PLP who support him.
      This article won’t make any demonstrable difference to the polls.
      It is important, though, to point out behaviour like this wherever we find it.
      Considering his record, does anybody in their right mind want a man like Owen Smith leading the Labour Party?

  20. Michelle McKay

    I as a former victim of domestic abuse recognise the point you are trying to make, but as a Corbyn supporter I feel it is unhelpful to tarnish Owen Smith in this way. This is the kind of tactic I would expect of Donald Trump; he has dragged politics into the gutter and made people think it is okay to put negative thoughts into peoples’ heads and then qualify it , but you cant unthink something so the danmage is done. Im sure Jeremy would not approve. Please take it down, as it does not represent him or us.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s not a tactic.
      It’s not intended to represent anybody.
      It is an observation, based on available fact.
      I won’t be taking it down just because a reader doesn’t like it.
      Besides, there is an increasing body of evidence to support the article’s point, that Mr Smith uses language in a very sinister way.

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