Many supporters of Jeremy Corbyn consider Owen Smith’s claims to be the credible, electable candidate who can ‘unite the party’ to be laughable for a wide variety of reasons – not least the conviction that his ‘progressive credentials’ are the equivalent of a recently-minted fake passport, expediently produced to try to appeal to the party’s left and not remotely genuine.
As the leader of the Fire Brigades Union Matt Wrack said, a ‘damascene conversion to socialism’.
Yet another example of Smith’s readiness to claim things that just don’t match his real nature – and a particularly nauseating one – has emerged, this one concerning mental health.
Rightly, huge efforts have been made to de-stigmatise mental health issues – one in four people will suffer them at some point in their lifetime – so that people feel less afraid to talk about them. Rightly, the casual, abusive use of epithets relating to mental health are decried. Smith is more than ready to stake his claim, as reported by the Daily Mirror:
Sadly, it’s perfectly obvious that Smith’s supposed concern for people with mental health issues is something he puts on and takes off when it suits him, like a shabby garment. (Especially shabby when you consider that the ‘abolition’ of the Shadow Mental Health Minister position was actually forced by the staged resignations of the ‘chicken coup’ of which Smith is the poster boy.)
A recording has emerged of Smith talking at one of his ‘rallies’ (if you can call 50 or so people a rally), calling Jeremy Corbyn a ‘lunatic’:
The Labour party has threatened Corbyn supporters with suspension for anything they might consider abusive, or even ‘uncomradely’. Even the term ‘blairite’ has been proscribed and, ridiculously, rolling of eyes and tutting in meetings have been banned in some areas.
‘Lunatic’ is not only clearly abusive and uncomradely toward the leader of the Labour party and, by extension, to those who support him. It is also an extremely offensive and abusive term toward those suffering mental health difficulties.
One wit on Facebook, when challenged why he ‘instinctively distrusted Smith, responded ‘it saves time’.
He clearly has a point. But the evidence is overwhelming that Smith’s progressive credentials – including his so-called ‘commitment’ to improving the lot of those with are as real as Tony Blair’s contribution to world peace.