Are these pointless documentaries about Momentum merely to distract us from Owen Smith?

Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith [Composite: openDemocracy].

Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith [Composite: openDemocracy].

Isn’t it strange that the BBC and Channel 4 have devoted time and energy to documentaries about Jeremy Corbyn-supporting group Momentum, revealing nothing interesting – while totally ignoring Owen Smith’s team?

I mention this merely because Mr Smith, who has tried to claim support for re-nationalising the NHS by saying he wants it fully publicly-funded “as much as possible” (which isn’t the same thing. It is fully publicly-funded now and the privateers are all over it) has stuffed his team with private health employees and lobbyists.

Not only that; he based his phone bank campaign at the headquarters of polling company Survation (101 Commercial Rd, London E1 1RD), “Survation” was apparently the password for his campaign’s secure phone bank server (not quite so secure after he posted it online), and I understand the company recruited the audience members for the Labour leadership hustings broadcast by Sky News.

[Image: Another Angry Voice.]

[Image: Another Angry Voice.]

Perhaps this is why Survation’s polling results have been so positive towards Mr Smith?

Finally there is the fascinating fact that BBC deputy political editor John Pienaar’s daughter is a member of the Smith team. Has that influenced the BBC’s coverage in any way? I don’t know – but it should raise concern.

[From the Guido Fawkes gossip blog.]

[From the Guido Fawkes gossip blog.]

The list of private health lobbyists who are also Smith team members was revealed on the openDemocracy website, along with a fascinating insight into the behaviour of his campaign manager – Heidi Alexander – while she was Shadow Health Secretary.

You may recall that Ms Alexander raised a hue and cry about interference in her brief by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. Here’s a different take on it:

Campaigners were disappointed to find little sign of a break with the past by Heidi Alexander. “I never saw Alexander show any evidence of enthusiasm for engaging with campaigners once she became shadow health spokesperson”, comments Dr John Lister, founding member of Keep Our NHS Public and umbrella group Health Campaigns Together.

Faced by Labour health team silence – with the honourable exception of Justin Madders – on both privatisation and the fantasising behind the planned cuts NHS campaigners organised amongst themselves to bring these plans to public attention. They approached Corbyn and McDonnell, and found them willing to engage with those outside the usual ‘business as usual’ interests.

But for Alexander, that was somehow evidence that the new Labour leadership was “inept” – as was Corbyn and McDonnell visiting junior doctors’ picket lines and supporting the NHS Bill designed by experts and campaigners to end the NHS market and restore comprehensive healthcare.

All of these actions were cited by Alexander as the supposed final straw that prompted her to become the first person to resign from Corbyn’s shadow cabinet in the post-Brexit ‘coup’. She has since become Smith’s campaign manager – joining pharma and private healthcare lobbyist John Lehal who was appointed operational head of Smith’s campaign, and former lobbyist for pharma firm AstraZeneca at Finsbury, Will Tanner, who was appointed Smith’s head of communications.

Source: Labour leadership, the NHS, and ‘honest politics’ | openDemocracy


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3 thoughts on “Are these pointless documentaries about Momentum merely to distract us from Owen Smith?

  1. jeffrey davies

    sn’t it strange that the BBC and Channel 4 have devoted time and energy to documentaries about Jeremy Corbyn-supporting group the workshy the unemployed you name it they made a show but the peasants are awakening from their dreams awaking to find that every were its bios yes yes bios against the peasants finding out we didnt loss any monies we didnt cause the fraud but they did but the peasants got to pay back whot was lost yes the peasants awaking i wonder will these fraudulent mps be brought to justice hmmmm jeff3

  2. Rusty

    Look very cosy in the smith camp! It’s just like
    benefit Britain on c5 “look at those poor people and hate them not the rich powerful one that caused all the problems in the first place!”sickening isn’t it!

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