‘Owen Smith has just banged the final nail in his campaign’s coffin’

Remember a few weeks ago when readers (mostly of the Daily Mail, if I recall correctly) animatedly condemned me for this?

They had to back down after Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith was involved in this.

Now… this:

160823 Owen Smith lunatic

[Hint: The “lunatic” in question would be Jeremy Corbyn, the current leader of the Labour Party, who Mr Smith would replace if he wins the current leadership election.]

As somebody who has lived and worked alongside people with mental health issues all my life, and who has spent the last few years writing about the obstacles placed before many of them by a system that politicians like Mr Smith endorse, I’m not sure I have words strong enough to describe my opinion of this, or this man.

Fortunately, I don’t need them.

Here’s Matt Turner: “Doesn’t matter what side you’re on, mental health slurs shouldn’t be acceptable.” He’s the moderate among the Tweets I’ve picked up so far.

‘Steven’ knew abusive language when he saw it, and decided to see how Mr Smith would like some of his own treatment: “As a person with mental health issues myself, I find Owen Smith to be a low-life lickspittle of a politician. Vile.”

Marko Burrows took it personally: “I’m afraid he is insulting me, and I want a personal apology Mr. SMITH.”

Isobel Waby had it about right when she pointed out: “Think Owen Smith ought to look in the mirror and ask who was the so called *lunatic* it certainly is NOT Corbyn. Don’t insult mental health.”

Thanks to Scott Nelson for the headline, by the way.

At a time when, as ‘EB’ puts it, “As a society, we’re happier to give Disabled ppl the resources to die than the resources to live”, this comment – from a serial user of abusive, demeaning language – must mark the end of the journey for Owen Smith.


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20 thoughts on “‘Owen Smith has just banged the final nail in his campaign’s coffin’

  1. joanna

    From a part of your linked article where someone apologises for saying the government is committing domestic violence.

    I beg to differ! This government is committing Economic Abuse, on a Massive scale, which is a big part of domestic violence!!!

  2. joanna

    Most of the comments from your linked article “head-worker” has totally sickened me! As a victim of every abuse tactic going when I was a child I cannot comprehend how many nasty people there are around!

    Thank you Mike for your comments, but I fear, you might achieve more talking to a brick wall.

    Someone who Has been through abuse Is more of an expert than someone who has lived a charmed life.

    You can’t learn despair from a book, nor can you learn how painful hunger is from a book, and You can’t learn how to try to deal with guilt, self-loathing, suicide attempts ( which you keep silent about, because you fear being locked up) all of this after the act of rape.
    I do not wish that to happen to anyone, but I do not trust counselors who claim to know how I feel!!

  3. tom

    When we have nothing to say and know you are defeated, the only thing left is using abusive words to respond. Mr Smith is showing how desperate he is in this campaign he can’t get hundred people to come to listen to his verbal diarrhea.
    I’ll say it again after the election, he will be pleased to knock at pfizer door for his job back.

  4. John

    I suppose, coming from an MP, I shouldn’t be at all surprised that a comment like this has been made!
    It smacks of desperation to me!
    But at the same time, what on earth was he thinking?
    I guess he must have been in cloud cuckoo land to make a comment like that, and NOT realise the meaning behind it.
    Unless of course, he knows he’s not going to win (but is putting a brave face on it), and thought, what the heck (because he DID know what he was doing?).

  5. Rachel

    I’ve made a formal complaint. The NEC has said that abuse by members must be investigated and I challenged them to do just that. I suspect that they will conclude that he a. wasn’t referring to Corbyn by name, b. didn’t mean it as a slur on those who have mental health problems, c. is genuinely a very nice, honest guy…

  6. Karl Greenall

    I read this amazing post just before Owen Smith received the full Humphrey treatment on Today, this morning. The man is inconsistent, to say the least. I just wonder what was said to him to encourage him to stand against a popular leader. One could hear the pure delight in John Humphrey’s voice as Owen struggled to prise himself from the ropes of his own making. It was one gaff after another. After, breakfast, for me, has never tasted so good!

  7. John

    You might wish to be more careful with your tweet quotations in future Mike?

    The chap you’ve quoted, quotes “with me, you won’t have some lunatic in charge of the Labour Party”

    However from a youtube video:

    “and what you won’t get from me is some, you know, lunatic at the top of the Labour Party”

    I know you might argue that they both mean/infer the same thing (and they do), so my apologies for being pedantic, but given your usual forensic style of journalism/blogging, I thought you might of spotted this one!

    (Unless there is another video somewhere, where he does say this?)

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They meanthe same, and the Tweet I quoted was an initial reaction from someone who was probably surprised and shocked at what he’d just heard.
      It was widely quoted by others and when the video evidence came out, it was agreed that the Tweet corroborated.
      My article was written as/before the corroborative evidence came out, too.

      1. Zippi

        To me, the youtube quotation is worse.. It demonstrates flippancy, lack of clear thought, or consideration of his language. If he wants to lead a party in government, he needs to be statesmanlike and like the Queen, be aware of everything that he says and the implications thereof, i.e. good judgement. There is no excuse for somebody in his position to be making such comments. If he wants to make a case against Jeremy Corbyn, he should start by making the case FOR himself however, he needs to have forensic precision, like a lawyer and speak eloquently, not with the language of the gutter press.

  8. Dave Evans

    Perhaps it is just me but I don’t really find lunatic offensive in the slightest and I’ve struggled with mental health issues my entire adult life.

  9. mohandeer

    I don’t think Mr. Owens has understood much in the last few months. If JC wins, we, the people will be in charge of the party, that is after all, what JC has advocate throughout his campaign(s).

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