160818 Corbyn Smith hustings
It is easier to believe Jeremy Corbyn can win over Tory voters than it is to believe Owen Smith can, for one simple reason.

Mr Corbyn has policies that are intended to appeal to anyone, wherever they are in the UK.

Mr Smith would follow the narrow ‘New Labour’ tactic of trying to wheedle Tory voters away from them in marginal constituencies, with policies tailored for them that have no wider coherence.

It’s a difference that Billy Bragg explored in his recent Guardian article, on which This Writer commented earlier.

He wrote: “Barely a week goes by without one of the Labour rebels demanding that the party ‘get back to winning ways’, as if years of disconnection can be simply resolved by pulling the old levers that worked so well in the 20th century: triangulation not principle; decisions guided by focus groups not members; policies pitched solely to marginal swing seats rather than to the country as a whole and the party’s core supporters taken for granted.”

I added: “Corbyn is popular now precisely because he holds to his principles; he is a ‘signpost’, as Tony Benn famously described great politicians, rather than a ‘weathercock’ blowing in the wind like Owen Smith.

“He is handing greater power to the [Labour] membership – who he holds in high regard – and calculating policies for the good of the whole of the UK, rather than tiny pockets of marginal voters.”

Meanwhile, Owen Smith said Labour couldn’t win power under Mr Corbyn’s “ineffective” leadership.

His strategy is still name-calling, then.

Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he can reach out beyond his core supporters as his leadership rival said Labour was not on a “trajectory to win power”.

At a hustings event, he said his policies would win over “some people that have been tempted to vote Tory”.

Mr Corbyn said his message appeals “all across the piece, all across the country”.

“If you are poor and up against it in Milton Keynes, in Shrewsbury, or anywhere else you are poor and up against it, therefore the message we are putting forward about an economy that doesn’t accept the political choice of austerity, instead invests for all, I think is a very powerful one.”

He pledged to “win over people… by the policies we put forward”, such as decent housing and security at work, including “some people that have been tempted to vote Tory” in the past.

“But we also, I think, win an election by inspiring our own supporters, inspiring those that have supported other parties, but above all reach out to young people in our society, only 47% of whom voted in the last election to come on board with us and try and create that decent society.”

Source: Labour leadership: Corbyn and Smith clash on winning power – BBC News


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