Is this the Blairite battle-plan?

160725 Labour badges

Paul Mason’s article on why the Blairites aren’t supporting Owen Smith makes a few chilling predictions for the future.

As a victim of unfounded allegations of anti-Semitism and, more recently misogyny, This Writer can certainly agree that these attacks are taking place, and that it doesn’t seem to matter that they do not stand up to argument.

One presumes the Blairites will rely on the weight of right-wing media support and the power of emotion to carry them through – because there’s no way of reasoning with them at all.

The fact that the Court of Appeal judges took seriously Labour HQ’s fears of “entryism”, when they OK-d the retrospective disenfrachisement of 130k Labour members, tells you where this is going.

The whole “violence, anti-semitism, misogyny and Trotskyism” scare is designed to end up as the small print of an Appeal Court — or Supreme Court — judgment, once Bagheot’s plan [outlined in The Economist] is put into action.

That, if you are mystified, is why they are pushing it so assiduously; why when one scare dies out they promote another, no matter how ludicrous or unfounded. And why — apart from the victim narrative — senior Blairite politicians are saying nothing political in public, appearing nowhere alongside Smith, and suppressing the very real criticisms they have in private of Owen’s dire hustings performance, and his Jeremy-Lite left socialism.

In all this, Smith and his backers have a choice to make. Are they going to be the willing accomplices of the real coup, which lies ahead?

His campaign is foundering… But it is having one tangible effect: to tank Labour in the polls. A whole new genre of polling has been invented designed to show that Labour voters prefer the Theresa May to Corbyn. Soon, on the basis of these polls, some obliging person in Labour HQ will draw up a list of seats Labour expects to lose in the next election. Then the list will be leaked.

The “bad polling narrative” is important for what the right is planning next. If we turn the Bagheot plan into a timeline it goes like this. On 22 August the voting starts. By 5 September when parliament returns for two weeks it will be clear Smith has no chance of winning. There is one final opportunity for Labour rebels to try and destroy Corbyn using parliamentary sabotage. We will see the same humiliation and bullying techniques they’ve deployed, from the back benches — with comrade Owen smiling his approval from beside the Speaker’s chair, never joining in of course, and “deploring intimidation”.

Once that fails, the next phase will begin just before the 24 September special conference. This will be the phase of splits, legal actions, High Court rulings and attempts at the physical seizure of the party’s assets. That’s what these ominous one-page websites of Saving Labour and Labour Tomorrow are preparations for.

It won’t be led by Owen Smith. Like Angela Eagle before him, he will be squeezed out like a tube of toothpaste and discarded.

[The Blairites] do not intend to be in the same party as Jeremy Corbyn’s 300,000+ supporters come Christmas and they are deeply relaxed about whether Owen Smith and his mates will come along for the ride.

Source: The sound of Blairite silence — Mosquito Ridge — Medium


Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


14 thoughts on “Is this the Blairite battle-plan?

  1. Phil Woodford

    Yes, I feel that Smith’s campaign has been nothing to write home about. I obviously support him over Corbyn and made a speech at my constituency nominations meeting, where we voted to back him over the court Jezster. I did make the point, however, that the real battle is not between two individuals, but between a party that is a joke protest movement and one which is serious about winning power. Smith’s Corbyn Lite policy agenda would never win an election, so I expect that either he or it will have to go in due course.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You’re right that one side is a joke protest movement and one is serious about winning power. Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign is utterly serious.
      Owen Smith – the joke – isn’t even funny.

    2. Barry Morgan

      So you would rather support a leader who feeds you nothing but lies and spin? Seriously??

      1. Phil Woodford

        Smith has followed a particular strategy, which I would never have recommended. Rather than counter Corbyn’s 1980s-style politics ideologically and expose them for the bankrupt sloganising that they are, he’s decided to appeal to ‘soft’ Jez supporters. He is going after the people who actually *like* Corbyn’s politics, but despair of the bloke’s incompetence. I think the result will be close, but is still fairly unpredictable. Let’s say Smith just prevails. In what way will he have taken the Labour Party forward? He’ll still be pursuing policies that are poison at the ballot box: huge borrowing and spending plans; ‘talks’ with ISIS; strengthening the power of the unions and other watered-down Corbyn policies. He’s probably worth a few extra points in the polls, just on the basis that he’s presentable and can make a coherent argument in an interview. He’s also more in tune with public sentiment on defence and nuclear weapons. But I struggle to see how he’d do any better than Red Ed Miliband in an election.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        You mean Corbyn’s 2016-style politics.
        I don’t think Owen Smith has much of a chance if he’s trying to show he’s more competent than Jeremy Corbyn. He’s not even capable of holding a decent-sized rally.
        Smith won’t prevail. Even if he did, the policies you mention would be ditched; he has no intention of carrying them through.
        He’s not worth any polling points at all; the public think he’s useless.
        He can’t make a coherent argument in an interview; he doesn’t have any coherent policies. He vacillates according to what he thinks people want to hear (a common New Labour/Blairite tactic that he has picked up).
        To win an election we need policies for the whole of the UK, not just for a few possible swing voters in Tory marginal, and we need those policies to be consistent with each other. Corbyn has those policies. Smith doesn’t, and nor do any of the other Labour MPs who rebelled along with him.

  2. mohandeer

    The article has given a rough outline of what will happen, the devil will be in the details. By the time the right wingers have finished the Labour Party will cease to exist.
    I do see a lot of Court action taking place in order to seize the Labour Party assets and a mass exodus of Labour Party support including Union members “opting out” of the Labour political fund. It won’t matter that much as long as they have the rich elites funding them. Unless we can get PR through Parliament, which can’t happen because the right wingers both sides of the aisle know it will end their reign, we will have to look to another party willing to pick up the Corbyn manifesto and economic strategy or all vote Green in 2020. Either way, neither the Tories nor the Labour party (without Corbyn and the right wingers) will succeed and the country is set to witness all kinds of collaborations/coalitions in order to secure a majority.
    I will not support a party who has within it’s ranks, parliamentarians who are totally dishonest, wholly lacking in any moral fibre, with no idea of the meaning of integrity and nothing but users and abusers.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Splitting for the Greens would be a terrible option. Corbyn’s Labour would still be the largest UK political party, even after the right-wingers in the PLP clear off.
      Better to stay with Labour and fight for every seat with a decent policy base and a large number of party members and supporters.

    2. jeffrey davies

      how can the right be labour when corbyn is true labour if they take it to court i really wonder why has most now corbyn is labour

  3. jeffrey davies

    friends hay oh dear oh dear It won’t be led by Owen Smith. Like Angela Eagle before him, he will be squeezed out like a tube of toothpaste and discarded. not giving his home town a chance to deselect the git

  4. Roy Beiley

    Why does Phil Woodford “obviously support Smith over Corbyn” after he is apparently underwhelmed by Smiths campaign? He is entitled to his view of things of course but he is obviously more comfortable with “status quo” politics than looking to see if there is a better alternative. A case of ‘if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it’ mentality. Only problem with that it is broke!

Comments are closed.