Twitter takes centrists to task over Smith sacking ‘outrage’

Centrists have been taking to social and mainstream media to express their shock and horror at Jeremy Corbyn’s sacking of (now former) Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Smith for public statements about a second Brexit referendum.

Some have gone as far as calling it a ‘Stalinist purge’, while backbencher Chukka Umunna called the sacking ‘extraordinary’ and the ‘usual suspects’ formed a queue to complain to any mainstream media who’d listen.

Of course, it’s neither. Corbyn ally Chris Williamson resigned from his front bench position after criticism over comments about council tax, an issue not within his remit as Fire Minister – even though he was discussing an issue local to his constituency.

The centrists were curiously quiet when a Corbyn ally left the front bench.

The response on social media suggests that the ‘moderate’ complaints have not gone down well. Some pointed out the norms of parliamentary protocol and behaviour:

chuka collec.png

Others drew attention to centrist silence when Williamson resigned – and the media’s silence on the obvious comparison:

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The fact of what a real ‘Stalinist purge’ looks like was not lost on many:


Many pointed to what they thought might be a reason for the comments and their timing:

smith localmotives

While the topic of Owen Smith’s Liverpool ice-cream embarrassment was quickly dug out by those who took a lighter but still barbed approach:

smith ice cream.png

Much merriment continues to be had by all. But for any hoping to regain relevance by kicking off a manufactured row, it hasn’t gone well.

As Novara’s Aaron Bastani pointed out, there’s a logical consequence to all this that the relevance-seekers won’t like:

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  1. Following Mr Corbyn’s immediate sacking of Owen Smith for getting out of line, as well as his sacking of front benchers who defied his three line whip on the triggering of Article 50, leave voters can be confident that Mr Corbyn is serious about delivering Brexit.

    It also demonstrates that, unlike Theresa May, Mr Corbyn is strong enough to deliver.

    Leave voters now know they can confidently lend Mr Corbyn their vote in all forthcoming elections safe in the knowledge that he is their best bet to make sure the referendum result is honoured.

  2. Great round-up, SB.

    For all their fabricated plausibility, wreckers almost always betray themselves by the one characteristic of their actions they can’t conceal: their *timing*.

    It was typically generous of Jeremy to offer Smith an important front bench role but I well remember Smith spearheading the right’s brazen – and failed – takedown of Jeremy.

    If Smith felt obliged to speak out on a matter of conscience, which is fair enough, he could have done so the week *after* the London council elections, and he knows it.

    We’re well rid.

  3. Is Hain taking lessons from Boris? ‘Stalinist Purge’ indeed? Smith deliberately defies front bench collective responsibility and surprise – he gets the sack. A “purge” of one in the same sense that every Labour Party internal election is now described as a “coup”.
    Poor old Pete it must have been his turn to come up with the faux outraged sound bite and this is the best he could do. I suspect that he actually couldn’t summon up sufficient enthusiasm for Smith’s rather clumsy stunt and was only able to blurt out this nonsense. How very embarrassing.
    By the way is Jeremy Corbyn a Stalinist or Trotskyite? I wish they would make their bloody minds up its getting terribly confusing.

  4. Smith’s some sugest is a moron?
    And some suggest Hain is perhaps is a middle class radical liberal?
    Perhaps they are both fighting for the 4 ‘freedoms’ of Neo-Liberal Capitalism?
    And even the majorities in their constituencies voted out!
    Just perhaps Little People (without an original idea in their heads) and for ‘crumbs for working people.’
    Left Wing Democratic Socialists should back Left Wing Democratic Socialists!

  5. I have contacted Mr Hain to explain that the dictionary definition of purge is “to get rid of people” not one person but he has failed to reply however it is interesting that the BBC are still carrying this as a lead story so it must be very important as we all understand that the BBC is an impartial national news provider.

  6. Owen Smith is claiming he has the support of most of the membership in relation to a second referendum. Apart from the fact that that would be totally irrelevant in the circumstances, as he should’ve been sticking to Labour policy anyway, as a front bencher, I am also wondering if Owen Smith’s outburst is a prelude to something else.

    Are the right-wing on yet another march to try and snatch the leadership? … with their candidate supporting a second referendum and claiming they have the support of the membership …

    Is Owen Smith just starting the platforming in preparation?

    Do they see this as a ‘divide and rule’ situation, against Jeremy Corbyn?

    Why don’t they just join the Tories and be done with it?

  7. Funny maybe my memory fails me but I could have sworn that the majority of Wales voted to LEAVE , thus should not Smith be representing those views and not his own personal hobby horse .
    The new friendlier listening politics of the right winger red Tories , don’t listen and don’t care , whatever the cost get JC .
    Again CLP at Ponty pse step forward and deselect this MP, he does not represent you or your members but the neoliberal Blairites . You can see the genuine effort JC made to heal the rifts , he put Smith in the cabinet for crying out loud ,,,,, BUT frankly with this sort of behaviour Smith has to be deselected . You deserve better than this x Pharma sales rep .

  8. These moaning neo-libs need to get out of the LP. There are two mainstream neo-liberal parties they could join. What’s keeping them?

  9. Peter Hain and his big spoon!
    You should be ashamed at your behaviour you right-wing bigot!
    Good riddance to right-wing rubbish.
    Owen Smith pushed to hard, so he got pushed back to where he belongs, on the sideline, with the rest of his ilke!
    What other bullshit will these hacks come out with when the Right in the Socialist Labour Party are “DESELECTED”, by us, “THE LABOUR MEMBERSHIP”?

  10. Ah, chuka umunna….who, quite literally, BEGGED grayling (then justice pisspot…sorry ‘secretary’) to make squatting in empty commercial premises a criminal offence.

    And so it came to pass that this happened…


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