The Entirely Fake Owen Smith 624


Even the mainstream media feel compelled to drop hints that Owen Smith is not what he is being promoted as. The Guardian’s words yesterday were unintentionally revealing;

the former shadow work and pensions secretary plans to pitch himself as the soft-left option

Note “to pitch himself”. For PR professional Smith, political stance is nothing to do with personal belief, it is to do with brand positioning. On Channel 4 News last night, an incredulous Michael Crick pointed out that the “soft left” Smith had previously given interviews supporting PFI and privatisation in the health service. He also strongly supported Blair’s city academies.

As chief lobbyist for Pfizer, Smith actively pushed for privatisation of NHS services. This is not something Pfizer did very openly, and you have to search the evidence carefully. Footnotes often tell you what is really happening, as in this press release in which Owen Smith says of a Pfizer funded “focus group” study:

We believe that choice is a good thing and that patients and healthcare professionals should be at the heart of developing the agenda.

You have to look at the footnotes to see what kind of choice Owen Smith is actually talking about. Note to Editors 3 includes

“The focus groups also explored areas of choice that do not yet exist in the UK – most specifically the use of direct payments and the ability to choose to go directly to a specialist without first having to see the GP.”

Well, at least it is clear – direct payments from the public to doctors replacing current NHS services. Smith was promoting straight privatisation. As Head of Policy and Government Relations for Pfizer, Owen Smith was also directly involved in Pfizer’s funding of Blairite right wing entryist group Progress. Pfizer gave Progress £53,000. Progress has actively pursued the agenda of PFI and privatisation of NHS services.

Owen Smith went to Pfizer from a Labour Party job, while Labour were in government, and there is no doubt that his hiring was an example of the corrupt relationship between New Labour and big business which is why the Blairites are so hated by the public. It is also beyond any argument that if Pfizer had any doubts about Owen Smith’s willingness to promote the Big Pharma and NHS Privatisation agenda, they would never have hired him.

Owen Smith is a strong supporter of Trident and assiduously courts the arms industry. He is a regular at defence industry events.

Perhaps most crucially of all, Owen Smith joined his fellow Red Tories in abstaining on the Tory welfare benefit cuts.

I do not doubt Owen Smith’s expertise in brand positioning. I expect that there are indeed a large number of Labour Party members who might vote for a left wing alternative to Corbyn. But I also suspect that Smith has adopted the PR man’s typical contempt for the public, who are not as stupid as he seems to think. There is no evidence whatsoever that Smith is a left winger. There is every evidence that he is another New Labour unprincipled and immoral careerist, adopting a left wing pose that he thinks will win him votes.

People will notice, Owen. They really are not that stupid.

Liked this article? Share using the links below. Then View Latest Posts


624 thoughts on “The Entirely Fake Owen Smith

1 5 6 7
  • Derek Ferguson

    Why must you morons spend your sorry lives just digging for dirt? Let’s have a campaign based on current performance, policies and openness… By digging dirt on those you see as competition, shows your lack of confidence in the candidate you support…

    • Jim

      I hope your comment is directed at the blog host as much as anyone else – have you noticed the title of this thread? Add in attempted smears of Jo Cox’s husband the day after she was murdered. Repeated unbelievable smears against the McCann’s. It’s pathological stuff. The fans lap it up here, they’re insatiable.

      • michael norton

        Labour leadership: MP ‘unresigns’ from Corbyn team

        Blimey that sounds the sort of malarky that Saint Nige would get up to.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36886157
        Sarah Champion, the MP for Rotherham, has retracted her resignation as shadow minister for preventing child abuse and domestic violence.

        Ms Champion is on an overseas trip but her office confirmed that she had “retaken” her old job.

        The BBC’s Norman Smith said it was an “extraordinary development”.

      • Thievery

        It’s a safer bet looking into things with healthy scepticism rather than believing the party line

    • Jc4pm

      ‘Current performance policies, openness’!!! I am one of the older generation who once naively believed Government was there to serve the people of the country, all people. Digging for dirt?! Truth is thatnowadays you merely need to lift a single eyelid to see the corruption, control and £. You rarely find a pot of morality.

      Digging for dirt! Do you honestly not understand the importance of being able to believe Those being considered for post? If one applies for any job, does the interview panel not expect to be able to trust the cv of the appointees? What occurs if the company discovers the appointee has lied, has a poor employment or criminal record? They DONT merit the job!

      When corruption facilitates exchanges of votes to facilitate the Seat of a dictatorship with the worst human rights record, at the UN table, how is that allowed to happen? When we discover a Government Committee fails to come together even once since the Syria crisis to investigate the morality of selling arms to A country who then go on to bomb innocents in another, and when those involved in the sale refuse to take any moral responsibility for having sold those weapons. How does that happen? When innocent people are so desperate they will climb into little ‘boats’ with their families, risk almost certain death, to escape war on THEM in Libya, Syria, Iraq and the Governments responsible for helping it happening ignore them floundering in the sea, stigmatise them IF they reach dry land, label them and turn the host country against them and their plight as though they are vermin, the perpetrators! How does that happen? What kind of world do we want in the 21st century? By digging for dirt we begin to fully comprehend what it is a few are after!

      Only by digging for dirt do we learn what corrupt, dirty and blood stained hands some members of our Government, donors and politicians have. Only by digging for dirt do we become aware that true democratic process is being denied to the people of the U.K. We are lied to, misled and point of fact, beginning to suffer our own fate at their greedy, self rewarding out of control hands. These are the individuals we have relied on NOT to abuse their positions, not to be corrupted by back handers from corporate Donors, not to use their positions to line theirs, their family and friend’s own pockets. Representing your country is something that should be a calling, a position of trust, integrity, morality!! It is not a career that is supposed to facilitate the building if a super sized nest egg ready for that early retirement from ‘service’!! In the old days one was rewarded at retirement for good service, we don’t get that, our pension pots are already spent BUT a few believe in their entitlement throughout and beyond service!!

      Personally, I want to know how and why any single member of Government is permitted to lie, to mislead or to act on the behalf of a minority. Apparently we live in a democracy, apparently it is my right to expect fair play, fair representation, honest politics. NOT a chimps tea party in the House of Commons followed by a bit of closed door shady dealings in the afternoon. This is OUR country, all of us, and our representatives are allowing it to become a dealing room for the corporate monied.

      I want to know so that I can concentrate my efforts on supporting those who DO work on behalf of the whole. By digging for dirt we come to understand there are less and less of those. If there’s no dirt to find….

      I was always taught that if you need to cheat to win then you have not won at all!

    • Garry

      This isn’t “digging dirt”, it’s looking into how a person stands on the future of the NHS, a man who could be in the running for PM. That fact he lobbied for parts of the NHS to be privatised is EXTREMELY important to report so that people know this was his stance!

    • Graeme Braisby

      “Current policies and openness” it’s in the digging as you put it that the real Owen Smith is revealed, he can position himself as he likes, but actions speak louder than words.
      He’s telling the people who he wants to vote for him, that he’s radical left too, that he’s for a fully funded NHS, and that is what we want from a party leader.
      But his own voting record shows he’s actually right of centre, far right.
      So! Should we take him at his word. Or has this leopard not changed his spots?.

  • Mick McNulty

    For those interested in Labour Party developments I have just received confirmation (Tuesday midday) that my registration to the Labour Party for a vote has been accepted after checking the electoral register. It states that any uncalled for speech on any social media or blog can disqualify a member from voting, and that both men standing are limited to a certain number of e-mails, mail shots etc; and that the e-mails and paper ballots will be sent out at the end of August. I shan’t rely on an e-mail vote and shall send mine in by recorded delivery.

    • Margaret Martin

      I asked in a couple of my groups what is the best safest way to vote this was the NEC election and I was told there is a pain electronic trace if you vote online and that the Electoral commission are overseeing the election but I have to admit my trust in the plp and NEC is zero

  • Liz Geear

    Someone has described this man as ‘refreshing’. Lost touch with the Party membership though.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I read on Twitter that Owen Smith scuttled back to his car and drove off when a former striking miner had a few questions for him after his speech at Orgreave.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Please sign and share. Thank you.

    https://www.change.org/p/owen-smith-mp-owen-smith-mp-stop-your-cynical-exploitation-of-the-miners-strike

    “Now that Owen Smith MP has decided to run for the leadership of the Labour Party, he is very concerned to emphasise his political affiliations with the miners’ strike.

    “Coming from a mining town I know we need an urgent independent Hillsborough style inquiry to secure Orgreave justice”, he tweeted on 20th July 2016.

    “I grew up in South Wales during the miners’ strike. That’s when I came alive politically” he wrote to me and other members and supporters of the Labour Party on 26th July 2016.

    The media report his call for a full public enquiry into the 1984 “Battle of Orgreave” at Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Park today.

    Jeremy Corbyn among many other MPs signed an Early Day Motion on 15th June 2015 calling for a public enquiry into the policing of Orgreave and the miner’s strike. Where was Owen Smith?

    Jeremy Corbyn among many other cross-party MPs signed a letter to the Home Secretary in May 2016 calling for a public enquiry into Orgreave. Where was Owen Smith?

    Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign has never received support from Owen Smith MP before today.

    So much for Smith’s political awareness and concern for truth and justice for the striking miners and their families.

    Smith’s attempt to exploit one of the most tragic and memorable events of Labour and working class history for his immediate political purposes is sickening and contemptible. Stop it now.”

  • Lynda

    I don’t believe Owen Smith is a credible alternative to Jeremy Corbyn as his past and his voting record makes him totally unacceptable. Yet another Blairite. Now Angela Eagle would have been very acceptable. A strong woman with fire in her belly. So what was the REAL reason she stepped down. Not her choice maybe?

    • michael norton

      Angela Eagle is lucky people don’t go round to the gaff she lives in
      to throw a few bricks.

      • Dave Jones

        She lied that she resigned as a result of Hilary Benn’s (self orchestarted) sacking, 2 days before this happened a website “angelaforleader” was set up.

  • Ian

    Given how often this is shared, should you not now – in the name of honesty – add the factual corrections that have been supplied?

  • Steve Walker

    Working as a community nurse in mental health I found Direct Payments and Personal Budgets to be a disaster. The paperwork burden for the staff and the patient was overwhelmingly complicated, the computerised point systems and FACS system were close to computerised garbage and this meant that many people did not get what they needed. Where previously the patients got a service from the NHS, these systems were closed down to create the budget, with the carrot of personalised ’empowerment’ promised. But the reality was far from the case. Usually the payments only lasted a year and then you were back to square one of a beurocratic nightmare. Even where you had a proven need, often councils did not have the money. The patient was expected to operate an independent bank account for the payments, act as employer and keep accounts – something that was beyond many. Even when you did get money for a particular service, you then had to find a private provider to provide that service, no easy task. Many people with mental health problems simply did not know what was available and where to source it (nor did the staff). In the rare cases where a service was provided, then there was no way of monitoring the effectiveness of the service as it was no longer in house to the NHS. Communication with these services was sparse and even non existent and there was no accountability or value for money auditing.
    An utter mess through and through – far from empowerment for the many this was a denial of service.

  • Theresa

    Hi Craig
    I would be interested in your comments regarding this blog:
    https://talesfromthesouthbank.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/the-plot-against-jeremy-corbyn/
    As I have an interest in level playing field science (http://earthopensource.org/2013/05/19/former-monsanto-employee-put-in-charge-of-gmo-papers-at-journal/), I was interested to read about Smith’s involvement with Pfizer.
    Powerbase and Think Tank Watch have information about Owen Smith and Pfizer.
    Pfizer has links with Monsanto (wiki).
    Investigation and accuracy are important at this time for many many reasons including possibly rushed Parliamentary Inquires (Trade Deals, Brexit…future of Science…..).
    Sense about Science* are mentioned here https://think-left.org/2011/08/15/the-pfink-tank-pharmaceutical-industry%E2%80%99s-role-in-promoting-laissez-faire-capitalism/, this was written in 2011 but the link has several references which may be of interest.
    Yes I think we have problems with Owen Smith, we also have an academic crisis and much much more.
    * http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Sense_about_Science
    Read more here:http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Scientific_Alliance
    There will be many who would be interested to know more about Owen Smith’s links with Pfizer.
    Question is, what are we going to do?

  • Linda Ward

    Owen Smith could easily get a job with the conservatives as he is clearly one of them. Its a case of (as the North American Indians say) white man speaks with forked tongue. Dream on Mr Smith, you will never head the REAL Labour party as you dont fit the job description!

  • Linda Ward

    Dream on Mr Smith, you will never head the REAL Labour party as you dont fit the job description!

  • Julia Eynon

    Could you please ask OWEN SMITH about Pfizer, and the town of Kano, Nigeria. Please read Daniel Howden (African correspondent)for The Independent, Sunday April 2009. Owen Smith was BBC journalist for 10 years(1992), including radio 4.(as a journalist he cannot claim ignorance about the events in Kano.).
    Owen Smith became head of Policy and Government relations for Viagra-Pfizer in 2005,(salary 80 thousands).
    Please watch the film “The Constant Gardener”

  • David Flynn

    He is a despicable chameleon like opportunist who should stand aside to let a real socialist lead the Party, Jeremy CorbynMP.

    • michael norton

      Despicable Chameleon Owen Smith
      vows to take the United Kingdom
      back in to the European Empire ( that is probably what Tony Blair has asked him to spout)

  • david Latimer

    The multi-national global corporations and their elitist gofors in ‘New Labour’ are petrified of socialism and will do absolutely anything to rid Labour of Jeremy Corbyn and will stoop to any level to prevent principles and democracy ruining the Labour Elite’s agenda.
    We need more people like Corbyn – what a pity other socialists like Tony Benn and Bob Crow are no longer with us to help stop the ‘Champagne Fascists’ taking over Labour.

  • richardhiglett

    hmmm, no context to the decisions Owen Smith made…..JC can appear as the new shining washing power of the left but he has no experience of making decisions, well he has and in the time as leader he has alienated vitually everyone MP in the party. YES they are all wrong and JC is right….??!!! 32 years on back benches, voting on numerous times against his own party, but expects unity. Labour cant appeal to the electorate with a think tank spouting ideology over and over but offering little in terms of tangible, deliverable, appealing policy to the electorate. JC and the Good News is happy to bask in a honey moon of popularity, as the far left pull the strings, but when will it understand it must ‘go to work?’ Corbyn, a one man Winter of Discontent….happy to be proved wrong but still waiting, how long into his leadership……………….? puts Tin Hat on in expectation of the Corbynista’s

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Jeremy Corbyn has not alienated forty or so of his MPs. Are they all wrong? Those happen to be the ones who are generally speaking on the left wing of the party, which suggests that the split in the PLP is not about competence, but about ideology.

      Owen Smith participated in an attempted coup against Jeremy Corbyn, trying to get him to resign without a fresh leadership election, which suggests that he is not at all trustworthy.

      There are two points for you to deal with which hopefully do not require a tin hat.

    • David Andrew

      Corbyn is appealing to the electorate and why there has been a massive surge in membership, the MPs who resigned don’t seem to want that. Unfortunately when you have MPs that don’t agree with it’s constituents they have a way of having their seats reselected, that’s how entryism is supposed to work

    • Paul Barbara

      richardhiglett, you’re so ‘last week’. We all know that tin foil hats are ‘out’, and portable Faraday cages are the rage….

  • Becky Cohen

    Owen Smith I find a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde. One minute he can be saying something bold and intelligent like he did about transgender people a few weeks’ ago; the next minute he’s talking like the embarrassingly wannabe trendy teacher you knew as a teenager who picks up the wrong end of street slang and talks about ‘smashing’ (i.e. having sexual intercourse with) his prime ministerial opponent; then he’s banging on about inviting psychopathic killers like IS as dinner party guests of NuLab…wonder if they too will be discerning enough to use the correct knife to stab the working classes in the back?;)

  • Roger Andrew

    Smith is a self- serving little Toad who will say anything to try and preserve his profitable life-style. He is as much a Socialist, as I am a Morrocan belly dancer!
    He is a liar and attempting to cheat and mislead the electorate!. Ask yourself why his whole stance on everything has ‘Changed’ to that which underpins Jeremy’s popularity. He was opposed to everything that Jeremy espoused, but pretends to have made a total Volte- Face.
    Smith is a liar and a cheat – Do not trust him. EVER!

  • Lorna

    I am not a Labour supporter but I do feel JC has all the values I would want to see in a Prime Leader for the UK – he is honest has integrity and is not swayed by power and influence it seems.

    From what I can see perhaps the PLP feels threatened because he cannot be manipulated or bought – that means their positions might be compromised.
    Personally don’t you see that has been the reason why so many people don’t trust some MP’s because once in Westminster – the power, the money or something else binds their eyes and they forget in a world of Wonderland. Back in the real world people are actually suffering. A good society lifts those at the bottom up – not just a step but many.?

  • Cuthbert

    Owen Smith , another fake and opportunist who is in someone’s pocket, I wonder who ????
    Either way he will NOT be representing the people of Wales who voted to Brexit.
    What a selfish t**t !

    • michael norton

      Despicable Chameleon Owen Smith
      vows to take the United Kingdom
      back in to the European Empire ( that is probably what Tony Blair has asked him to spout)
      Tony Blair is still going on about BREXIT how awful it is and how it is reversible, funny that is also the view of Owen Smith

      are they in touch with each other,
      is one the creature of the other?

  • Ian

    I see this nonsense is still doing the rounds. Almost all the ‘facts’ in it are not true.
    Virtually every single ‘fact’ in it in in fact totally untrue. Since it’s the source of umpteen memes, probably worth fact checking.

    1. He was not chief lobbyist for Pfizer, he was UK Head of Policy and Government Relations. He never ever, not once in that office pushed for privatisation. Or at any point in his entire career.

    2. If you check the actual link about his supposed comment you will find it has nothing to say about privatisation. It’s a comment on a study, commissioned before he started there, which showed patients would like more choice in accessing NHS health services.

    http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/…/public-supportive-moves…

    His entire comment on the study was: “Owen Smith of Pfizer UK commented: ‘We believe that choice is a good thing and that patients and healthcare professionals should be at the heart of developing the agenda. This report allows us to hear views from the sharp end. It identifies some important themes around the need to invest in quality and access to care, particularly for patients with long-term conditions. We will be delighted if these findings help to move the debate forward’”

    This apparently is him trying to have the NHS privatised.

    3. Pfizer did not give £53k to Progress, It was just over £40k and that was over ten years ago, before Smith even joined the company. He had nothing to do with it. You can check the donations at Progresses’ publicly published donations accounts online or via the Electoral Commission’s records.

    4. He did abstain from the Welfare Bill. As was party policy and at the direction of Harman as Leader and acting under whip.
    He argued AGAINST that policy in Shadow Cabinet, but was obliged by Collective Responsibility to go along with it.
    He voted AGAINST it on the crucial third reading and actually LED the debate against it as Shadow Minister for DWP

  • carly marx

    free trips to Lenin’s tomb and put the Berlin wall back up strikes strikes strike until tea machine fixed vote for old labour.so so good with the publics money.

  • Timothy Springle

    just as i thought owen smith a politcal opportunist a red tory , don,t believe a word he says he would privatise the national health service at the first opportunity he,s a liar and only say,s what he think would win him votes,he,s spineless’

  • christina gooda

    I think you are dead right, and the public are never as stupid as they think. Owen has been brought in to detract popularity from Corbin.

1 5 6 7

Comments are closed.