I’m not doing big blogging at the moment as I’m writing that bloody book, but here’s a bit of unsolicited advice for Owen Smith, in the context of his utterly misguided speech this morning. I’ve copied across from a Facebook comment I felt impelled to batter out…..

On Owen Smith’s big speech

Smith’s pitch here is startlingly misguided. If he really wants to win over the many Corbowaverers (like me), whose votes will win or lose this election, then absolutely NOT the way to do it is to rehash/summarize a set of pretty standard leftwing policies and pretend they are his own, because it’s pretty obvious that the Corbowaverers are going to:

a) think he is insincere; and

b) reflect that, given the choice between Corbynomics and Ersatz Corbynomics, they may as well have the former.

He’d be much better off talking up the shift to the left the Corbyn’s leadership has engendered, and then moving quickly towards a set of proposals for

i) increasing the effectiveness of opposition in the House; and

ii)increasing the effectiveness of the party’s social action across the country.

In terms of the former, he should be praising Corbyn for bringing a new style to political rhetoric, but setting out how he will optimise this new style by building a PLP team which integrates better with the party than it does at the moment (and linking here to how MP skillsets need to adapt).

In terms of the latter, he would be well advised to tackle the way Momentum has failed in its stated social action goals, because it has become almost exclusively focused on control of the party to the exclusion on looking outwards (even ‘defence of local services’ is used as a means to exert control).

As it is, just re-running last year’s contest, with policy commitments to members who’ve heard it all before, is just thick.

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