Moon Of Liberty Editorial Opinion
THE OWEN SMITH DILEMMA
The Labour Party is now facing a dilemma. They resigned on mass, forced a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn, and have ended up with a leadership challenger who policy wise is not that far away from the man himself. Owen Smith wants to re-introduce the 50% tax rate that loses the treasury money, wants to spend, spend spend on this that and everything just like Corbyn. His 20 point policy plan released today beings with a chilling promise to concentrate on ‘equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity.’ He also want to reverse all the corporation and inheritance tax cuts promised as well as a new ‘wealth tax’ on the top 1% of earners.
This is not the policy platform of a moderate, the problem for Labour moderates now is that having gone through the whole process of fighting for the right for the chance to remove Corbyn, they now have to pretend Smith is a moderate. This will be fueled by Corbyn’s supporters who will laughably claim Smith is a Blairite as a tactic to try and win the election, or worse, some of them may actually believe it.
So what if Smith wins? There is clearly no way he can win a General election any more than Corbyn can. Smith is further left than Ed Miliband, possibly considerably so. His appeal will still be far too narrow. Yet that election defeat for Smith will be depicted by Corbyn’s supporters as a defeat for the ‘moderates.’ simply through anger that Corbyn was removed. If Smith becomes leader and loses a General Election the Unions, Momentum and Corbyn’s other supporters will revel with glee in a ‘we told you so’ attitude which could move Labour into hard left territory for much longer than if they just let Corbyn crash and burn and then hope to regroup afterwards. Real Labour moderates have a huge dilemma, the consequences of an Owen Smith win could be even worse than Corbyn hanging on. This is not what the coup intended, but it is what it has got.