Who to vote for: Corbyn or Smith? – Answers from the debate in Cardiff.

My report on the Labour Leadership Debate in Cardiff:

Passions were running very high in the audience for this debate.

This was particularly apparent when Smith stated he was scared the Party would split and that disunity would lead to electoral failure, which to the many Corbyn supporters in the room, seemed hugely hypocritical, as to them, he was one of the main causes of the disunity.

On the whole, Corbyn seemed more passionate than Smith. There is absolutely no doubting his genuine commitment to the cause and to the socialist program he proposes.

However, although Corbyn had passion, Smith was slicker in his presentation.

Much of the time, their ideas were very similar- except on Trident! On Trident; although Smith put forward a decent argument, Corbyn’s knowledge, understanding and passion seemed to clearly win this round, on which Smith conceded that they would just have to agree to disagree.

Because of the similarity of most of their ideas, it is obvious to see that Corbyn has already achieved his main original aim- of bringing socialist ideas back to the forefront of the Party’s manifesto.

In fact, it would be true to say that Smith is entirely a child of Corbyn’s leadership, as, due to all the new members that Corbyn has attracted, Smith has no choice but to put across a similarly left-wing program, without which he has no chance of winning over Corbyn’s supporters, or of retaining their support as members, if he wins this contest.

So, in this, we can already judge Corbyn a success.

As for the debate; who had more success?

Corbyn had a greater number of supporters, so he naturally received more applause.

However, Smith had a surprisingly large number of supporters on his side too, who reacted equally passionately to his points.

At times, it was difficult to see any difference between what they were saying, as they were both very much against austerity and very much in favour of government investment.

However, there was one key difference between them; although Corbyn was more passionate, Smith was the more effective speaker.

Smith was more eloquent and persuasive.

Whilst Corbyn discussed the need for investment, Smith put it into very clear, specific, concrete terms- laying out exactly where investment would go and where the money would come from. This made him sound much more prepared, much more professional and to be honest, much more Prime-Ministerial than Corbyn.

Because of this, I have to reluctantly concede, that although I am totally disgusted with the disloyalty and Machiavellian manoeuvring within the Party that has led to this contest, on tonight’s showing, Owen Smith is more effective at conveying his ideas than Corbyn.

Let me make it clear; I love everything that Corbyn stands for. I love the fact that he has massively increased the size of the membership and I really love the fact that he has made the Labour Party return to its socialist roots.

However, although his passion and his genuine commitment to true Labour values has attracted many thousands of new members to the Party, I don’t believe that he has what it takes to persuade sceptical swing voters to vote Labour. I don’t believe that he has what it takes to persuade voters that they should trust Labour with the economy.

On tonight’s showing, I have to reluctantly concede; that Owen Smith would be much more effective at persuading the average man or woman in the street that they should trust Labour with the economy and that massive borrowing- to fuel massive investment, is more prudent than continued austerity under the Tories.

Owen Smith is a more effective speaker, so he would be more able to communicate his ideas and persuade voters to trust him and vote for him. But, on top of this, he also just looks and sounds much more like a potential Prime Minister than Corbyn. Although Corbyn supporters would argue (and I would agree) that this is a very superficial reason for supporting Smith, it is unfortunately one of the main reasons why he would be more successful than Corbyn. Although we might like to think of ourselves as logical, rational creatures; the recent Brexit vote made it very clear that this is not the case. Many voters vote on instinct, intuition, or just first impressions. The impression that Smith gives is overall, more impressive and professional than the impression one gets of Corbyn.

Obviously, this is all just based on what I have seen in tonight’s debate. Things may change throughout the course of the contest- this is just my first impression.

However, as we know, first impressions count- first impressions last.

I voted for Corbyn in the previous leadership election, but tonight, Owen Smith made a greater impression on me than Corbyn. If he can persuade me that he is a better choice than Corbyn, then I believe he has a much greater chance of persuading the electorate to vote Labour.

On tonight’s showing, I have to reluctantly concede; that Labour would have more chance of winning the next election with Owen Smith as leader, rather than Jeremy Corbyn.

Brian Back




How we should think about Panorama’s attack on Corbyn

How should we think about Panorama’s attack on Corbyn? (For a video presentation of this article, click here: http://bit.ly/1OzzmFU)

I was absolutely disgusted by the BBC on Monday, because of the Panorama programme’s biased hatchet-job on Jeremy Corbyn. However, now that I have calmed down, whilst I am still disgusted by the corruption on display, in this establishment-backed smear story, I can now see the bright side.

The BBC’s Panorama attack on Corbyn shows that he is not unelectable.

That they should stage this hatchet-job, tabloid-style, smear-story attack on him, shows that he is actually a huge threat. It shows that the establishment are running scared, because someone is daring to challenge the status quo.

They are scared that a genuine left-wing politician may soon be leader of the Labour Party.

This would mean that for the first time in many years, left-wing ideas will become mainstream and accepted.

This would mean that first time in many years, the public will hear that there is an alternative to the unjust, unfair, and unequal society that the Tories have created- a real, viable, and much better alternative.

This would mean that for the first time in many years, the majority of the population will have a political leader and a political party that is really on their side.

This would mean that for the first time in many years, the majority of the population will have a political leader and a political party that is representing them and fighting to make life better for them.

This will mean that for the first time in many years, we will have a Labour Party to be proud of.

This will mean that for the first time in many years, there is hope.
Now, I am a big fan of Liz Kendall, and I have come to respect Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham, but the truth is; that whilst they are talented politicians, they are all only really offering incremental change, whilst doing ‘business, pretty much as usual’.

If they offered any chance of the real change we all desire, there would have been Panorama-style attacks on them. As there were no attacks, this shows that they are no real threat to the establishment and the status quo. This means that they don’t offer us enough of what we really want.

The attack was on Corbyn, because he is the only threat to the establishment.

This means that Corbyn is the only one who is offering us what we all desire; what we all joined the Labour Party for: Corbyn offers a real step change- a huge change for the better, and a huge challenge to the corrupt elites who enrich themselves, whilst impoverishing the rest of the nation.

Corbyn offers the hope and the promise of a much better, fairer and far more pleasant society- the kind of society we have all dreamed of and longed for, but never thought would actually materialise.
So, this is why you must vote Corbyn:
for all those suffering under the bedroom tax
for all those forced to rely on food banks
for all those hit by unjust and arbitrary benefit sanctions
for all those struggling to pay the bills
for all those struggling to afford housing
for all those in insecure zero-hours contracts

for all those workers in terrible conditions, who will not be allowed to strike to protect and improve their jobs and lives

for all those denied access to justice, due to cuts in legal aid

for all those forcibly moved hundreds of miles away from their families and neighbours, due to housing benefit cuts
for all those who are homeless
for all those families whose relatives died after being declared fit for work
for all those who have no hope or opportunities
for all those suffering in communities torn apart by by poverty, and the resulting crime, violence, drug and alcohol addiction

for all the good, decent people you know, who deserve a better life, in a better country- your family, your relatives, your friends, and your neighbours

for your community, your town, your city and your country

for all of us whose lives and country are being ruined by the Tories

For the only chance we have of creating a fair, just, more equal, and altogether better society,

Please, vote for Jeremy Corbyn to be the leader of the Labour Party.

Brian Back