If I had to sum up the state of the Labour leadership campaign in one word it would be ‘tedium’. Jeremy Corbyn has used the opportunity to set out his manifesto for Labour and Owen Smith has said he’ll do all the same things but while knocking women back off their heels and stuffing fist sized hard sweets in their mouths to shut them up; all the while giving a cheeky wink to a female reporter and telling her his inside leg measurement. For all Smith’s bantz, his actual campaign has become a tedious recycling of its own diminishing returns; dominated by attacks on Corbyn and Corbyn’s supporters.
On social media, Smith’s campaign has apparently taken to recycling photos of their operations room from different angles and pretending that they are from different support locations around the country. Large venues booked for Smith rallies have been cancelled and replaced by more compact venues in an attempt to disguise the modest support that Smith attracts. Fake accounts that were setup on social media to support Smith were quickly exposed due to their cut’n’paste postings. In a stage managed BBC live debate, a stunt whereby undecided voters were given the opportunity to cross the floor to which candidate had won them over backfired when the undecided voters crossed to Corbyn. Whether that was out of concern over Smith’s proposals to start negotiating with ISIS is not recorded.
Once Corbyn’s opponents decided they could start using Labour party rules to exclude existing and potential Labour members from voting by trawling through their social media accounts, social media became full of inflammatory and provocative comments from accounts with few followers and fewer posts, presumably to try and incite people to exclude themselves by responding. When this tactic didn’t work for sufficient numbers a broader interpretation of Labour’s rules was employed to find excuses to exclude potential Corbyn voters. And on and on ad nauseum.
There are still three weeks to go of voting. Three more weeks of the tedium. At a time of potentially momentous change for this country the spotlight is on whatever dross squeaks out of Team Smith and a leadership election that no one wanted in Labour, not even the anti Corbyn people, and no one outside of Labour cares about.
Welcome to British politics.
The people who should hope, more than anyone, that Smith loses the voting are those who oppose Jeremy Corbyn. The people behind Smith’s campaign have been utterly useless and have absolutely failed to either present a credible candidate, a credible campaign, or a credible alternative. Personally, I do not believe that Corbyn’s leadership have all the answers for Labour but, from the showing from Smith and his campaign, I worry that no one else in Labour can fill in the blanks either. If your campaign becomes reliant on excluding voters to win a vote, if that’s your ‘best strategy’, then you’ve already lost.
If there are MPs in the PLP who still have doubts about Corbyn’s ability to lead Labour to a general election victory then you need to look at those people who have utterly failed, not only in the past few months but, since last September and before. They are serial losers, not winners, and you need to find better people from within your own circles.