Owen Smith’s “Threat” To Theresa May Reveals The Arrogance Of The Left

Anyone can choose their words poorly under pressure. But the modern Left have made a habit of jumping on the verbal slips of other people and ruthlessly, cynically exploiting them for political gain using the weaponised language of identity politics. So forgive us for being less than sympathetic when one of their own makes the same mistake

In the ongoing, unwatchable carnival of stupidity that is the second Labour leadership contest in the space of a year, this week’s news coverage has been dominated by challenger Owen Smith’s poor choice of words when he spoke about his desire to take the fight to Theresa May and the conservatives.

From the Guardian:

Labour leadership contender Owen Smith has been forced to apologise after saying he wanted to “smash” Theresa May “back on her heels”, during a major speech to outline his policy ideas.

Smith said he wanted to “smash austerity” and pledged a raft of new measures including scrapping the Department for Work and Pensions in favour of a Department for Labour, plans to make zero-hours contracts unlawful and to end the public sector pay freeze during his speech in South Yorkshire.

Those announcements, pitched to the party’s left, were overshadowed by criticism of his choice of language. Arguing that Labour should be going after the prime minister’s policies harder, he said: “It pained me that we didn’t have the strength and the power and the vitality to smash her back on her heels. These are our values, these are our people, this is our language that they are seeking to steal.”

Smith initially defended the comments as robust political language, but a spokesman said later the remarks were “off-script and, on reflection, it was an inappropriate choice of phrase and he apologises for using it”.

A spokesman for the campaign of the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said: “We need to be careful of the language we use during this contest as many members, including many female Labour MPs, have said they feel intimidated by aggressive language.”

One can feel for Owen Smith. Clearly he has absolutely no desire to walk around the despatch box, cross the floor and physically punch Theresa May in the face, knocking her off her heels. In fact, the Left has a loud and angry tradition of wanting to “smash” anything and everything it happens to find objectionable, be it austerity, racism, sexism or Tory rule, without necessarily wanting to physically do so. It is fairly understandable how such language might therefore have crept in to a speech by this inexperienced leadership contender.

And yet. And yet…

One cannot help taking a small measure of satisfaction from watching somebody from the Party of Identity Politics – a vicious political clan who think nothing of smearing and ruining other peoples’ reputations with allegations of racism, sexism or any other “ism” they can think of when doing so offers them some slight political advantage – come a cropper by falling victim to the very same culture which their actions promoted.

Nobody seriously thinks that Owen smith wants to literally smash Theresa May and knock her off her feet, heels or no heels (in fact it was the heels reference that is actually the slightly more “sexist”, if one must call it that, rather than the threat of violence). But modern Leftist politicians like Owen Smith often end up self-detonating, and deservedly so, after stepping on one of the very same linguistic or cultural land mines that they love to lay across our language and political discourse. And if you make it unacceptable to say enough things, eventually you will trip over your own rules and find yourself convicted of accidentally infringing one of those very same edicts.

If any Tory MP spoke of smashing, say, Liz Kendall back in her heels, you can bet that Kendall would be touring the news studios that very evening, faux-earnestly warning of the violent misogynistic rhetoric being used by mainstream conservatives. But when one of their own does the same thing, as Comrade Smith did with his unfortunate remarks about Theresa May, nobody utters a peep. And while it certainly became a news story, Conservative MPs were not queuing up to make political capital out of the event, let alone those Labour MPs who fancy themselves champions of women.

Smith is too important to centrist Labour’s flimsy plot to prematurely terminate the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn to be brought down by his own violent rhetoric, you see. Besides, everyone knows that Labour are the good guys and that any racist, sexist or anti-Semitic remarks uttered by one of their own must simply be well-intentioned jokes taken out of context by people with sinister motives.

One would hope that Smith’s brush with political danger might force some kind of rethink within the party as to whether weaponising identity politics and making the English language a veritable landmine of things you can’t say / imagery you can’t adopt is really the best way to go. But of course there will be no such rethink. The next time a hapless Conservative MP talks about crushing the enemy or “targeting” Labour MPs, some weepy party apparatchik will be wheeled out to sob to the media about how terribly threatened and triggered they feel. Labour simply stands to gain too much from weaponised identity politics to consider giving it up, even as it poisons our politics and chills our public discourse.

But let us be magnanimous and take heart that Owen Smith does not seem to have suffered unduly from his amateurish speechwriting error. There are many reasons why Smith does not deserve to win the Labour leadership contest – starting with the fact that his 20-point policy pledge seems to be a condensed version of Labour’s disastrous 1983 “longest suicide note in history” manifesto, while the man himself seems to be nothing other than a younger version of Jeremy Corbyn minus the adoring fans.

We all know, those of us with brains and consciences, that Owen Smith does not harbour secret fantasies of karate kicking Theresa May across the floor of the House of Commons. It was an awkward turn of phrase, not a Freudian slip revealing deep-rooted male chauvinism.

And though Owen Smith’s party will never in a million years extend to us the same courtesy and benefit of the doubt, let’s stop talking about this pointless distraction and move on to matters of substance.


Owen Smith - Labour Party Leadership Coup

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If Supranational Government Is Necessary For Peace And Cooperation, When Will The Vatican State Join The EU?

Vatican Flag - EU European Parliament - Strasbourg - Pope Francis

If you love the EU so much…

Yesterday, this blog took to task the motley crew of Christian bishops and other assorted British faith leaders who signed their names to an insufferably glib and ignorant letter imploring the British people to vote to remain in the European Union in the 23 June referendum.

But the Archbishop Cranmer blog has now gone one better, and published a satirical spoof article reporting that the bishops had actually called for Pope Francis to commit the Vatican State to joining the EU – the joke being that the bishops would never dream of insisting that the Vatican surrender sovereignty to Brussels but are perfectly happy to demand that Britain does the same.

From Archbishop Cranmer:

Religious leaders from the UK’s main faith communities – including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams – have joined forces to urge Pope Francis to commit the Vatican State to joining the EU, saying membership is vital to preserving peace, fighting poverty and tackling the migration crisis.

In a letter in the Observer, 37 leading figures from across the faiths say that they hope the Pope will reflect on whether joining the international institutions charged with delivering these goals might contribute to a fairer, cleaner and safer world.


The letter is obviously not endorsed by any Roman Catholic leaders, but is signed by Anglican archbishops and bishops, Church of Scotland academics, reverend professors, deans, distinguished rabbis and imams, ecumenical coordinators, baronesses and peers, leaders of Sikh and Hindu faith communities, and Global Leader Steve Chalke MBE.

The ‘Stronger In’ campaign have today dispatched comedian Eddie Izzard to tour the Vatican State in an attempt to get the Curia to pray for Pope Francis, that he might incline his ear toward justice, peace and righteousness, and commit the Vatican to immediate EU accession negotiations. “It makes sense,” said Mr Izzard, “to have the Pope of Rome subscribe to the Treaty of Rome.” He added: “We know the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic leaders and laity support membership of the EU because of the opportunities it presents to work, to study and to travel to Lourdes. I share their positive view of Europe, and I think Pope Francis ought to, too.”

And who can argue with this faultless logic? If we accept the Remainers’ fatuous assertion that Britain must remain in the European Union because only by being subordinate to a supranational government based in Brussels can we work pragmatically with out neighbours to solve problems which transcend national borders, then why should this not apply equally to the Vatican?

In fact, why should it not apply especially to the Vatican, being both an extraordinarily rich state and a hugely influential one, often bypassing other national governments to lay a claim on the hearts, minds and souls of people in countries all over the world? Given the Vatican State’s unique advantages in this regard, surely (according to Remainer logic) it is practically criminal for the Pope to stubbornly hold out, clinging to anachronistic national pride and refusing to be subsumed into the greater European whole.

And yet nobody makes this argument. The Vatican is left to go about its business as a sovereign state unmolested – quite rightly. But the fact that the European Union’s Christian cheerleaders would rather not afford Britain similar freedom is yet more proof of the inconsistency and subjective nature of their case.

As this blog recently remarked:

Britain is and will always remain part of a “bigger whole” whether we remain in the European Union or not. The European Union is a political construct, and a very recent and unproven one at that. It is not interchangeable with the continent of Europe, and it has no democratic legitimacy when it arrogantly claims to speak and act on behalf of the many diverse European peoples. There is a positive case for Brexit based on leaving euro-parochialism behind and engaging more fully in the world, and pro-EU Christians participating in the debate should at least acknowledge this fact rather than arguing against the two-dimensional cartoon Ukipper they hold in their minds.

But this is the very low standard of debate we have sadly come to see from those who claim to represent the Christian perspective. At its core, their argument amounts to little more than “the EU is about friendship and peace and cooperation, and Jesus was in favour of all those things, so what’s not to like?”

[..] Seriously – boil down most of the [Christian pro-EU arguments] and they amount to little more than that. You’ll hear endless variations on the theme that because we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, somehow it naturally follows that we should be united under the same supranational political umbrella – though curiously the Church of England never wastes its time clamouring for Asian countries to merge together, or for Canada, Mexico and the United States to institute a shared parliament.

So, about that rigorous, intellectual, Christian case for the European Union – where is it?

We are still waiting.


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Cecil The Lion’s Death Marks Open Season For Cheap Virtue-Signalling

Cecil The Lion beamed onto Empire State Building


The killing of Cecil the lion has been a virtue-signaller’s dream, a golden opportunity for people to flaunt their enlightened and compassionate credentials without doing any of the hard work required to stop it from happening again

Riding home on the night bus this weekend, Jeremy Corbyn-style, I found myself sitting behind a young couple sharing a convivial meal of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Between chicken wings and mouthfuls of fries, one of them opined to the other about how terrible it was that a human being could do anything so beastly as murder Cecil the Lion, an innocent animal.

“It’s awful, the man who did it should be shot” wailed the companion, as a piece of popcorn chicken slipped from his greasy fingers, rolled past me down the aisle and pinballed down the stairs to the lower deck. Casually imagining the execution of a man for the inhumane treatment of an animal, while devouring the factory farm-raised contents of a KFC bargain bucket. Sure, okay.

Now, I have no time for people who jet off to Africa to shoot unsuspecting endangered animals in order to mount their heads on a wall. It’s not real hunting, for a start, in reality being much closer to shooting fish in a barrel. Quite what such people are compensating for, I won’t begin to speculate. And of course it is sad when any great and noble creature like a lion is unnaturally killed, especially a creature known and loved by so many tourists and safari enthusiasts from around the world.

But some of us are starting to lose perspective over Cecil the lion, and could perhaps do with a quick reality-check. Take the people who decided to beam Cecil the lion’s face onto the side of the Empire State Building in New York:

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