Ipsos Mori has said recently that Jeremy Corbyn received a “record low number of mentions this year”. This low number of mentions is in contrast to those of previous leaders Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, indicating that Corbyn is in some seriously hot water at the moment. The road along the way of Labour’s leadership battle has been littered with cheap digs and underhanded attempts at unhorsing the other candidate. But how is the Corbyn versus Smith battle really progressing?
The Labour Party is in disarray: the Executive Board seems to want to combat its own leader. The majority of the party’s MPs do not support Corbyn, and the media takes no prisoners in their coverage of him. Yet Corbyn’s opponent, Owen Smith, seems to merely mimic the policies of the current leader. It seems to go without saying that Corbyn is not media-trained, nor has he made any progress in becoming so over the last year. Owen Smith with his background in pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, seems to have had some media training and it appears he is emerging as the more desirable candidate for the majority of Labour’s MPs.
Smith’s and Corbyn’s policies are effectively the same, except for some divergence in places. As such, it is baffling that so many Labour MPs are so pious in their preference of Smith. What is it about Smith that they prefer? Well, his media-savvy personality is definitely a contributing factor, but if Corbyn has been labelled a ‘Trot’ by the Blairite Labour Party, surely Owen Smith must fall into the same bracket? Owen Smith has a background that is rather distant from trade union influence. Consequently, the emerging unionphobic element of the Labour party seem to prefer someone who has very little connections to unions and their influence.
Their homogeneity indicates just how vacuous the whole Labour leadership race has been thus far
Both are liberal pro-union candidates who you could only pass a rolling paper between. Corbyn has the merit of being a Militant-style Old Labour member who has more experience than Smith with both unions and the Labour Party generally. In fact, their homogeneity indicates just how vacuous the whole Labour leadership race has been thus far. Corbyn has no wish to compromise any aspect of his beliefs. He’s running the same rhetoric that he has been for pretty much the last thirty years. He has not learned in the slightest what the modern world demands in place of old style socialism. Smith, on the other hand, is a typical Tony Blair-style candidate in that he is more easily marketable and espouses what are essential key Labour principles. Smith also seems to be the kind of person that people think could debate Theresa May and win but, in reality, his style is likely to be rendered just as obsolete as Corbyn’s.
Labour’s leadership race has degenerated into a two horse race of the worst nature: a scrappy, uninteresting one. If anything, the leadership race so far has achieved nothing but causing mass disinterest in a party which was already struggling to maintain relevancy. The Tories now have a strong and united majority and it seems that now, more than ever, there exists no proper opposition to challenge them. The Labour leadership race is, quite simply, sabotaging the party’s future chances at retaking power from
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