Is Owen Smith continuing his Labour leadership challenge to HARM party democracy?

160810 Owen Smith give up plea

If This Writer can see it, so can everybody else: Here’s Wear Red’s plea to Owen Smith to give up his leadership challenge and let Labour go back to challenging Conservatives.

Have a little think about it.

After the court decision to let 130,000 new Labour Party members – most of whom are supporters of Jeremy Corbyn – vote in the leadership election in which he and Owen Smith are candidates, the result is almost universally considered a foregone conclusion.

Even if the appeal – that almost nobody in the Labour Party wants – goes in favour of the party’s NEC (we can only surmise that the decision to launch an appeal was made before the election that – this week – gave Corbyn supporters a majority on that committee), everybody still thinks Corbyn will be re-elected.

So why is Owen Smith refusing to concede?

Perhaps he has gone too far to back down. Withdrawing now may incure penalties for wasting the party’s time and money.

Or perhaps he is intentionally lengthening the moratorium on local Labour Party meetings, to ensure that nobody can pass certain motions – for example, calls for all MPs to undergo a mandatory reselection process, rather than simply being allowed to stand again until they are defeated or choose to retire.

Perhaps he is stalling for time to allow his allies – the so-called ‘moderebels’ who oppose Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – to devise a new scheme (although, let’s be honest, if they are reduced to claiming that the ‘Trots’ are behind Corbyn’s ascension, they’ve run out of ideas).

Most damning is the fact that, while Labour continues to undergo this lengthy and pointless leadership dispute, the Conservative Government is being allowed to go unchallenged – at a time when opposition is needed more than ever.

That’s not an indictment against Corbyn’s leadership – it’s a challenge to his detractors, to give up, go back to work, or clear out and make way for somebody who will.

What do you think is the reason?


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21 thoughts on “Is Owen Smith continuing his Labour leadership challenge to HARM party democracy?

  1. Sam Wallander

    I feel he must continue and face the disapprobation of the vote or be damned as a coward. We must prove for all time Jeremy’s mandate, and that means the vote must go ahead and these people literally crushed by the Democracy they so loathe.

  2. autismandate

    When Owen Smith came out of the Debate with Corbyn, I saw in his eyes and sensed that he knew it was all over. So what’s he do now. He’s going to think about his career. My guess is he’ll withdraw from the contest “to save the Labour Party” betting that’s the best way to get a position in Corbyn cabinet. The alternative is the wilderness. We all know what this boyo will choose.

  3. Tracie Wayling

    It’s getting very difficult to not come to any other conclusion at this point. I’m guessing Ed ‘I’d rather have a Tory government’ Miliband (his words, not mine) isn’t the only one to think that way.

    Their argument now is about the NEC having rights to set dates between members joining and members voting. They still have that right – but they MUST make it clear when people sign up to join – which they didn’t do!
    They broke contracts this time, they’ve simply been told they cannot ignore contracts both now or in the future. They simply need to make said contracts clearer to new members who join.

    I simply don’t believe they are that thick to not realise this, so can only conclude that their abhorrent behaviour (which appealing this and throwing members money down the drain would be; that many can ill afford in the first place) is 100% about cutting off their own noses to spite their faces, happy to destroy what exists rather than give in to democracy itself to try and save their own selfish careers, their own goals, their own greed, and their own deals in the long run.

    All they’re actually achieving is confirmation of the ever slipping masks and the very reasons ‘why’ people are supporting actual ‘democracy’ in the first place.

  4. plhepworth

    The Blairites latest shamefully unscrupulous and undemocratic proposal (by Watson reportedly), is to return to letting the PLP select the cabinet. To what depths will they stoop, and what will the general public think about the integrity of the party with this coming in top of the shambolic illegal attempt to disenfranchise a large slice of the leadership electorate?

    1. Paul Leonard Reed

      Hi its going to worse these people im not going to call them MPs Dereliction of duty There name.The BBC are like a rabbid dog they were disgraceful during the miners strike.I think they angling for a split because if everything is above board Jeremy will win by a landslide.And these dereliction of duties.Burning there bridges every day and the don’t care.

  5. Jeffrey Davies

    read the neath ferret hes got mates in neath on council and gov but they all sweet on each other going to din din together oh bother why do we get greedie ones like this ouch

  6. Zippi

    “give up, go back to work, or clear out and make way for somebody who will.” I couldn’t have put it better unless, of course, I have used those very words, in which case, I couldn’t have out it better!

  7. rockingbass

    I cant understand Smith and his allies ….Here we have Jeremy Corbyn touring the country like a true leader making fantastic speeches to the ordinary people in the street…..Times are a changing but it appears to me that is the last thing Smith and co want

  8. William Massey

    It has gone to far now, how could anyone trust the Blairite dissenters. The only way forward is a complete clean out. They must go, they have tried to destroy the democratic process to further there own ends. They have the audacity to think they are above the electorate. We must show them they are wrong.

  9. Hairyloon

    I don’t understand the idea behind the moratorium on meetings at all, but I understand people’s acceptance of it even less.
    It might be against party rules to ignore the ban and hold party meetings, but there is nothing to stop them holding public meetings as members of the public.

    It might be frightening to open the door of a closed ideology echo chamber, but really it is the only sensible thing to do.

  10. Jim Butler-Daulby

    The PLP sold out to “Progress”, which is nothing more than a lobby group. They do NOT want a Labour government in office anytime soon. They’re happy for them to remain in faux ‘opposition’ because it gives the illusion of democracy. To paraphrase Chomsky; “To kill democracy one only has to kill debate.” The best way to kill debate is to use the Blairite tool of “triangulation” which narrows down debate to a mere pinhead! As Peter Hitchens once stated on ‘Newsnight’, the Blairite cabinet ‘resigners’ should’ve just crossed the floor because Cameron occupied Blair’s position politically! Owen “normal” Smith is acting on behalf of his lobbyist friends and is doing his utmost to discredit the Labour Party because of the serious risk of winning the next election. He’s creating an enormous media storm in order to deter a greater surge in support for Labour as a viable alternative to the neoliberal agenda. The irony might well be that people could get more engaged as a result!

  11. Mr Graham. Warwick

    I think Owen Smith, together with those others who have worked against the will of the membership, should hang their heads in shame and resign from the party. The 171 PLP MP’s woild be easy enough to replace. Then Labour can get on with the business of opposing the Tories and going on to form a government at the next general election – Graham Warwick (Labour Member/Unite Member)

  12. Paul Davies

    I think he has an ego the size of a planet and can’t even begin to accept defeat. Even when he has been defeated it won’t be his fault and he will still think he should be leader. The process is good though because the duplicity of the rebel MPs has been revealed for all to see and it has given Jeremy a chance to do a pre-election tour of Britain to gain further support. We can now see where our problems lie and get on with the job of getting rid of the dead wood in the party so we can present a fully democratic party to the electorate founded on policies that will pull all normal people together to rebuild a just and inclusive society. (And no not far left or Trotskyite as the right wing, tax-dodging billionaire owned press would like you to be brainwashed into believing)

  13. richardhiglett

    Lets see the result and process through. Then if Corbyn wins he will start imposing far left candidates in regions as he looks to deselect those who dont agree. This is the end of the labour party, militant is pulling the strings and I doubt their poll rating will get above 25% for the next 5 years. A protest movement but not fit to govern……sad days if Corbyn drags the party back into a new winter of discontent. I think he is no different to Farage, he has tapped into a protest but its one thing to spout “the Good News”, its another to deliver it and in 32 years on the back benches, voting many times against his own party he isnt not a team player.

    1. richardhiglett

      and I’m not part of a right wing, tax-dodging billionaire owned press. I want a Labour party IN government delivering social justice. JC talks the talks but show not ability to walk the walk.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        What kind of Labour Party do you want, though? One that is run by the far right?
        That’s not Labour.

    2. Mike Sivier Post author

      Mr Corbyn won’t be imposing any “far-left” candidates – partly because his own political position means he doesn’t approve of them (he’s on the centre-left), partly because it won’t be him doing the selecting. The plan is to give constituencies the ability to deselect MPs/candidates whose behaviour is considered to be below the standard they expect or whose attitudes they – not he – consider unbefitting of the Labour Party.
      Labour’s poll rating has risen to 31 per cent, according to YouGov yesterday (August 11). Of course, it’s only a poll rating and there’s plenty of evidence that they can’t be trusted – but it’s the standard you applied. Considering recent events, it would suggest that Labour is seen to be more fit to govern every time Mr Corbyn’s opponents fail in an attempt to restrict democracy. Militant is most definitely not “pulling the strings” and there’s no evidence to suggest it is – especially as it no longer exists.

  14. Terry McInnes

    Yes he is, And I for one will never forgive him, All the MP’s that created this coup are so pathetic, to believe the membership would follow them like sheep. We have more brains than they think. and we are not impressed by self serving MP’s. We have been putting up with them for years. we now want MP’s that listen to their members. The NEC have done so much damage to themselves. I can’t wait for the Party Conference so the members can put them in their place, AND THAT IS SERVING THE MEMBERS NOT THEMSELVES OR THE TORIES.

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