The language barrier: Owen Smith needs to wash his mouth out – or his mind

Owen Smith - a politician whose mouth may be compared to a can of worms.

Owen Smith – a politician whose mouth may be compared to a can of worms. And that’s being polite!

Can we all agree, now, that Owen Smith clearly has a deep-rooted problem and needs to modify his language drastically?

Some might suggest he is so offensive it might be best for him to withdraw from the Labour leadership race. Who wants somebody with these attitudes leading the UK’s largest political party?

The New Statesman had this to say about his aggressive wish to “smash” Theresa May “back on her heels”:

“When called out on his comments by Sky’s Sophy Ridge, Smith doubled down:

“They love a bit of rhetoric, don’t they? We need a bit more robust rhetoric in our politics, I’m very much in favour of that. You’ll be getting that from me, and I absolutely stand by those comments. It’s rhetoric, of course. I don’t literally want to smash Theresa May back, just to be clear. I’m not advocating violence in any way, shape or form.”

“Your mole dug around to see whether this is a common phrase, but all it could find was “set back on one’s heels”, which simply means to be shocked by something. Nothing to do with “smashing”, and anyway, Smith, or somebody on his team, should be aware that invoking May’s “heels” is lazy sexism at best, and calling on your party to “smash” a woman (particularly when you’ve been in trouble for comments about violence against women before – see below) is more than casual misogyny.”

That’s about the size of it. The Statesman lists three more examples, two of which have already been mentioned on This Blog:

The Labour MP for Pontypridd and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership rival has been accused of misogynist remarks. Again.


Wanting to “smash” Theresa May “back on her heels”

Arguing that misogyny in Labour didn’t exist before Jeremy Corbyn


Telling Leanne Wood she was only invited on TV because of her “gender”


Comparing the Lib Dems’ experience of coalition to domestic violence

Source: Four times Owen Smith has made sexist comments

For another viewpoint (which I won’t quote here, try Another Angry Woman‘s take on it, entitled Owen Smith is a misogynist masterpost.

The list of disclaimers on this one is worth the read on its own – and This Writer can certainly sympathise with anyone who says “dudes keep asking me for ‘evidence'”.


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2 thoughts on “The language barrier: Owen Smith needs to wash his mouth out – or his mind

  1. roybeiley

    Goody goody JC! Remind him that his own rhetoric is akin to intimidating. Has anyone else in the media or in the Blarite camp noticed it enough to complain? Ah no, silence rained and we all got wet.
    Motormouth Smith is the living proof of the old saying that “empty vessels make the most noise”! He looks like a puffed up cockerell who has downed too many cans of Red Bull.

  2. spirit

    I’ve only ever heard the phrase as to ‘rock someone back on their heels’ – certainly not ‘smash’. I’d never even considered the phrase as not being gender neutral; the roundness of the human heel, but the inherent instability if given a little push a brief instability. But to use ‘smash’ and apply it to someone well known for her particular taste in shoes/heels (where ‘rocking’ back would be all but impossible, in fact rather aggressive). I wonder if Smith was remotely prepared for all of this!

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