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.

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624 thoughts on “The Entirely Fake Owen Smith

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  • Andy Kerrigan

    Hello we are here to restore democracy

    Do not adjust your television sets
    We control the vertical
    We control the horizontal

    We control the…. n a r r a t i v e

    Conservative and Labour ARE different parties

    The largest labour membership for decades IS a sign of failure

    Brighton CLP was composed of thugs and lunatics and their support for Corbyn shows their terrorist leanings….They have been dealt with

    All other CLPS have been banned from meeting as free association inexorably leads to terrorism

    Someone’s window is someone else’s window if we say so and to say otherwise is intimidation

    130,000 people could potentially vote the wrong way…This is not democracy and we have stopped them.

    A surcharge of £25 separates genuine voters from the false…………..This IS democracy

    …………………………………………………

    “Excuse me……
    ………errr mr Benn
    ……….would you leave the tannoy alone…..

  • MD

    What a load of spurious nonsense. Smith worked for Pfizer, Pfizer donated to progress… How exactly does that mean smith supports progress directly? Also, so what anyway? Progress is a social democratic organisation. Has anyone bothered to actually read the exact words Smith said in regards to NHS contracting out? I’ve just concluded the left is ruined. Even people who I thought were sensible rational people have lost their minds. Trying to call Owen smith some kind of Tory of blairite is just ridiculous.

    You have become so enchanted by Corbyn (for reasons that totally evade me) you can’t see the woods from the trees.

    Smith is a social democrat. He’s in between pure socialism and the progressives. He’s more Labour than Eagle or Corbyn as he sits in that middle ground of the party (not to be confused with middle ground of politics).

    Whatever… Cornyn will win again and Labour will be destroyed in 2020.

  • Isaac O

    So he is part of the group that convinced Blair government to ban alternative medicine so big pharma could exploit the public better. How far will people sink to get public approval. He shouldn’t even be called a ‘red tory’ there is nothing red about him. he is nasty true blue exploitative like IDS and co.

  • Mike

    “People will notice, Owen. They really are not that stupid.”
    …. apart from the MPs who have endorsed his leadership challenge

  • Andrew Burridge

    It is clear that you have not the slightest clue what Direct Payments are.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Direct Payments as they currently exist are monies given directly to an individual by their local authority (such as a county council) so that they can fund their own social care. For example, they can choose to purchase domiciliary care services from a social care provider other than those recommended by or used by the local authority. The ostensible reason is to give people greater choice and flexibility in managing their own social care. There are considerable restrictions on how the money can be spent – you can’t just buy gin with it.

      There are two big problems with this. The first is that the person may not be in a position to manage the finances in that way. Most people with serious social care needs and their families have enough to do just looking after the person day to day without all this extra paperwork and having, for example, to deal with unsatisfactory service themselves rather than letting the local authority handle negotiations. That’s why it is at present totally optional – people do not have to take it up. That’s the first step, of course. Compulsory direct payments may well come later. The second problem is that alternative social care agencies may not be used by the council because they are too expensive. So the family may choose to use a more expensive care agency and top the payments up out of their own pockets, meaning of course more monies going into the pockets of private providers.

      Direct payments in the area of healthcare are proposed in a very similar way. The patient will be granted a personal health budget to spend as they wish, subject to strict controls.

      Why do you think Pfizer might be keen on this? I think they might be keen on it because they see a large and lucrative market in transferring public funds into their own pockets by providing private healthcare and getting their hands on these personal budgets. Furthermore, when you have started with one provider the tendency will be to stick with them, and there will be a lot of pressure for families to supplement the personal health care budget with extras. It loosens the idea of health care free at the point of delivery in favour of health care paid for by those with long pockets. It will first be offered as a voluntary arrangement until it becomes more and more the norm. First an opt in. Then an opt out. Then…well, you get the idea.

  • Mike Smith

    This is a very interesting piece. As you say, Owen Smith is not quite the Aneurin Bevan he would have us believe.

    • Jim

      I thought he batted away the attempted smear pretty effortlessly this morning when interviewed on R4.

      • michael norton

        Off Topic but of more importance than the Labour Party nonsense.
        France’s National Assembly votes to extend state of emergency in wake of Nice attack
        http://www.france24.com/en/20160720-france-national-assembly-votes-extend-state-emergency-wake-nice-attack

        France’s National Assembly voted in the early hours of Wednesday to extend the country’s state of emergency for six months following last week’s massacre in Nice.

        The state of emergency has been in place since the Paris attacks in November, and the extension would see the measures — which give the police extra powers to carry out searches and place people under house arrest — remain in place until the end of January 2017.

        It is the fourth time that parliament has proposed prolonging the state of emergency, and the move now needs to be approved by the Senate.

        President Francois Hollande had last Thursday announced a plan to lift the emergency secuirty measures, but changed tack hours later after a truck driver ploughed through a crowd at Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, killing 84 people in an attack later claimed by the Islamic State group.

      • Paul Browne

        Bringing up known facts about a candidates history is not an “attempted smear”. It’s just facts.

    • Stephen Tiller

      It’s a little known fact that Aneurin Bevan was actually very keen on brand positioning and, in his spare time, actually worked for many pharmaceutical companies when he wasn’t setting up the NHS.

  • michael norton

    Off Topic
    but quite important

    The United Kingdom is to relinquish its upcoming six-month presidency of the European Council as it prepares to leave the EU.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36841066
    BREXIT MEANS BREXIT

    Mrs May has decided that Britain should skip its turn in the light of the BREXIT vote in June’s referendum

    Mrs May told European Council President Donald Tusk – in her first conversation with him as PM – it was “the right thing to do given we will be very busy with negotiations to leave the EU”, a Downing Street spokesman said.

    UK unemployment rate falls to fresh 11 year low

  • Je

    Anyone who, as an adult, dials 999 to get an interview with a policeman has to be on the very bottom rung of the ladder as far as sense goes. The next Prime Minister? The man with the finger on the Trident button…?

  • Terry Kelly

    Smith’s murky past will do for him. The PLP and the rest of the Labour right wingers will cling on a while longer and the Tory press that they use to get their obnoxious stories will continue to try everything they can to damage him but their power is seriously on the wane. The vibrant and growing phenomena that is social media is leading the battle for information and Labour members as well as Labour voters are bypassing the Tory reactionary press in their droves and they are more and more forming their own opinions, this can only be a good thing for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party membership. There is no going back to the decadent self serving secret society of the old Blairite elite. “The times they are a changing”.

  • Ros Curwood

    Except Angela Eagle maybe, who has stepped down from her contest with Mr. Smith. Oh dear, Angela. How sad, NEC. Maybe its time to drop your prejudices and use a bit of rational thinking…there are a few quizzes on Facebook you could use.

  • David Robjant

    The unifying argument of the piece is that involvement in PR is ipso-facto proof of opposition to the aims and values of the Labour Party. That may move some, but is hardly watertight. Otherwise, in detail:

    “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.”

    Clear non-sequitar. Two clear non-sequitars. a) that “pitch himself” can only mean fake-up. b) that no one who has ever had a job in PR has any sincerely held political opinions.

    “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.”

    In, not of- and those were interviews supporting Labour party policy at the time, of which Smith has since been critical.

    “He also strongly supported Blair’s city academies.” Again, Murray is using the fact that Smith was not a rebel over official policy at a time outside any leadership contest as a proof that he is a blairite. This is a clear non-sequitar, and implies that political parties can *only* appoint leaders who are permanent rebels. Given that JC is pretty much the only permanent rebel in british politics, it is then derived that, in virtue of his having opposed the leadership at every point, he is the only natural leader. I do not find this argument convincing.

    “As chief lobbyist for Pfizer, Smith actively pushed for privatisation of NHS services.”

    The argument that Smith wanted to privatise the NHS because his company was in favour of private contracting *within* the NHS would imply, if seriously believed, that Gordon Brown wanted to privatise the NHS.

    “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.'”

    This was *Labour Party Policy* at the time- unwisely, Smith has since argued. Murray’s gloss:

    “Smith was promoting straight privatisation.”

    Is either bunkum, or an adaptation of the word “straight” to mean whatever he wants it to mean. In particular, Murray consistently blurs the difference between privatisation in and of the NHS- this unclarity is also strenuously pursued in use of the expression “NHS services”.

    “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.”

    A privatisation “of NHS services” would include contracting out loo paper supply. It’s not privatisation “of the NHS”- it is privatisation “in” the NHS. The angry tone of the piece assumes this difference is fundamentally trivial. Smith would now agree that privatisation “in” the NHS is also dangerous, but the implication that the difference of preposition is irrelevant is clearly false.

    “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.”

    The use of “no doubt” is somewhat like the use of “surely” in second class undergraduate essays. It’s probably true to say that *any* movement of personnel between business and politics is looked upon with suspicion by the public, but thats hardly grounds for the allegation that this movement in particular was “corrupt”, given the content that murray has given to “corrupt” in is careful ambiguities around privatisation.

    “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.”

    This is the repetition of the allegation that Pfizer were seeking the privatisation *of* the NHS- an allegation wholly unsubstantiated by Murray’s observation that their activities were in line with existing Labour Party policy.

    “Owen Smith is a strong supporter of Trident”

    No one is a strong supported of Nuclear weapons- this is merely the preferred insult among those in favour of *unilateral* disarmnament.

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

    This describes as “red tories” any Labour Party MP who followed the whip.

    I do not address the remainder as it is largely in that vein.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Wow. NEC-approved, I take it.

      But if I saw this in an undergraduate essay, I’d have to give it a C-

      thats hardly grounds for the allegation that this movement in particular was “corrupt”, given the content that murray has given to “corrupt” in is careful ambiguities around privatisation.

      Since we’re in nitpicking mode. And we are, aren’t we?

      Your man’s a trimmer. His old man’s a professional Welshman and academic: Smith’s implication that he is working-class is bogus. He thinks PFI is great. He worked for expenses-fiddling Paul Murphy, who certainly supported Iraq. He’s embedded, whether he likes it or not, in global pharma…not even UK pharma. He’ll say what he thinks the punters will swallow to get elected, and compromise with The Markets all the way to the next circuit of the revolving door and those lovely lucrative directorships. He, in other words, isn’t authentic. I very much doubt if Labour would get re-elected even if he were leading the party. The reason? The sounds of distress from the people whom Labour once represented, but no longer do, are muffled by the effect of the party hierarchy’s head being up its collective bum.

      No amount of grammar n*z*sm can conceal that fact.

      • David Robjant

        I think comment on the cogency of the argument presented is not rightly dismissed as ‘nit-picking’, and although I’m sure you mean it in the nicest possible way I don’t appreciate being personally smeared as my reward, particularly not in a way which implies the anti-corbyn corruption of a Labour Party institution (“NEC-approved”). No, I’m not part of any campaign here, and it would be both a kindness and a sign of sanity to treat me as an individual, and not put all opposition to JC down to dark forces.

        Authenticity. Important. Rachel Reeves is a rare case here, and I would like to have heard more from her. There’s a fundamental problem here because UK decline has weakened the trades union movement from which authentic voices could have been drawn, leaving us with professional politicians of various kinds- and Corbyn is certainly one of those. What he’s a professional politician **for** matters, of course, and I strongly agree with the theory that the way to reach lost labour voters was to have a leader who clearly represented the ideals of the Attlee government. That’s why I voted for JC.

        I did so with the reservation that his foreign policy positions, while some of them gave him clear appeal after Iraq, where hardly in accord with Attlee- and amount in many cases to refighting the cold war on the wrong side. But that’s all in the past, I thought, so I voted for JC on the basis that his domestic policy hints were the right ones- and that I could live with some FP oddities, such as embodied in the role of Seamus Milne. I’ve been taught a lesson, because the EU is both FP and DP, and it’s the most fundamental plank of UK domestic policy there is. Milne’s attitude to the EU, which is just the Putin propaganda attitude, played a very large role in influencing JC’s schedule and campaigns appearances. I don’t blame JC for the result, but his positioning on a matter of this highest matter national interest is just not forgivable.

        I’m not aware of Smith stating that he is working class. I suggest you look up the family backgrounds of those who served in the ’45 government.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I’m not aware of Smith stating that he is working class.

          Neither am I. I said ‘implication’ advisedly, knowing that anything else would be nitpicked. But here he is in October 2012 –

          “Only Labour can unite people ordinary working people in Wales, Scotland and England, too. We alone can do that because the Labour movement has always believed that we are stronger together.

          “We believed it 100 years ago in the Rhondda Valley, when my great grandfather, Dafydd Humphrey Owen, fought for better prices and wages in the Cambrian Combine strike and the riots that followed it.”

          Bugger never lived in Rhondda. And he couldn’t get out of Barry fast enough…

          http://order-order.com/2016/07/18/working-class-barry-boy-owen-smith-lived-huge-surrey-mansion/

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Oh, and, regardless of their background, the class of ’45 still had Clause 4 (drafted 1918, intact) as a basis for their policies:

            http://www.labourcounts.com/oldclausefour.htm

            Not some trite and insincere waffle about equality which will have to be glossed over every time a CEO gives himself another million. Pffft.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Yes, Ba’al. There seem to be a number of defenders of Smith suddenly presenting on here for no apparent reason – four or five at last count.

      Almost as if they are following some kind of script.

      Obviously this blog is regarded as an important resource to knock down.

      • David Robjant

        That’s an absolutely horrendous comment. I’m *me*, and i’m allowed to have my own opinions. It’s bizarre to put down all contrary opinion to a conspiracy, and I would add that Murray can expect to have readers of a variety of views on the leadership because, on other topics, he makes well argued points.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          Maybe. Pro-Eagle, pro-Smith, and anti-Corbyn activity for the past month or so has been marked by well co-ordinated smear and falsehood, as I am sure you are perfectly well aware. (Remember John Mann’s tweet? Is he one of these paranoid conspiracy theorists too?) Therefore, there is nothing bizarre about a degree of suspicion and scepticism, particularly since I have never seen you comment before. So what makes this topic suddenly so special?

          If I am doing you personally an injustice, that is unfortunate. But I can assure you that there is nothing bizarre about what I think.

          • David Robjant

            I think you mean, nothing uncommon or unprovoked. Not quite the same as nothing bizarre. I certainly find it bizarre, and dangerous, that I only have to express an opinion to be treated as part of a dastardly conspiracy.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Calm your mind, Mr Robjant: I mean you no harm, and I am not dangerous.

            I’ll ask you again. You just told the forum that “on other topics”, Murray “makes well-argued points”. Have you ever commented on these well argued points on this forum before? I do not remember ever seeing your name before, and I do pay quite close attention. If not, what makes this particular topic so important to you that you are moved to write an extraordinarily detailed refutation of Murray’s comments?

            I will leave it to the forum to decide whether or not that is an unreasonable question.

          • David Robjant

            Now you are combining the patronising concession that I might be an individual with lengthy fallacious argument to the opposite effect. *of course* the leadership of the Labour Party in a moment of national crisis is sufficiently important to provoke comment. Contrary to the smearing style of argument practiced in the peice and your comment, here’s Smith’s voting record : https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24797/owen_smith/pontypridd/divisions?policy=6677

            I’m sure there are reasons to prefer X to Y, but presenting all opposition in the PLP as “red Tories” and using sophistry to present smith (and by implication Gordon Brown) as pursuing the privatisation of the NHS- this is just not a cogent or decent way to pursue that argument . In my opinion. I’ve no idea what the NEC thinks, and I gather this isn’t directly one of the matters they are charged with deciding.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            I’ll ask you again. Have you ever commented on this forum before?

      • Andrew McDonnell

        Like David Robjant, I’ve never commented on this thread before. I came here as someone posted it on my wall. I have been a Labour party member since 2010, voting for both Miliband and Corbyn. I regret the latter now, that is a reasonable position is it not?

        This paranoia that anyone with an opposing view is somehow a plant is deeply disturbing, and this cult of Corbyn is what has turned me off the man. Please just stop and think rationally then think some more. We’re all on the same side of the political divide and rubbishing opposing views is myopic and potentially dangerous. You don’t persuade when your eyes start swivelling.

        I’m not sold on Smith yet, but I’ll tell you something, as a floating voter you are pushing me towards him.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          How do you know David Robjant has never commented on here before? He has not said so yet.

          • David Robjant

            Ah, so he’s a plant as well. Perhaps that makes to two of us a shrubbery, whispering behind the roses before launching our co-ordinated assault on the comment pages of https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/ . Because there must surely be nothing more politically decisive for paid shills to get up to. Alternatively, we are both of us ordinary persons provoked into comment by the stark staring obvious prominence of the issue. Either way, your insulting and mad line of ad hominem response effectively deflects any actual content in our statements, which, in your responses, is entirely ignored.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Haven’t seen an answer yet, so I am happy to ask again. Have you ever commented on this forum before?

        • Natasha

          I will vote for Corbyn ONLY because I trust him. Nothing else, except that he wants to open a National Investment Bank which will render sociopathic private bank whore careerist politicians impotent.

        • Joe

          “I’m not sold on Smith yet, but I’ll tell you something, as a floating voter you are pushing me towards him.”

          This is just beneath contempt. You will allow your vote to be decided by a little spat on the Internet?

          By the way, I agree with you that opinions should be respected and not just dismissed due to some kind of ‘conspiracy’. But allowing your feelings about how you’ve been treated on the Internet to affect your vote is just pathetic.

      • Adrian B

        Do note that Facebook is referring people to this piece as a “People also shared” item under a New Stateman article on Smith’s unelectability. So, to those seeing first time commentators – like me – as being inherently suspicious, I’d expect more such activity as Murray article gets more appreciation. If anything, debate shows engagement with the argument so it’s a success metric of sorts.

    • Adrian B

      Thanks for that comment, David. I work in PR, quietly writing web copy and press releases about bits of software and telling people that there’s a new washing machine or set of headphones that they might like. It’s a whole long way from Alaistair Campbell spin doctoring and the vast majority of the industry are engaged in relatively mundane activities of this ilk. Very little is about manipulation of perceptions or selling but equally about transparency: If a company needs to be open to media they need a team to pick up the phone. If a company needs to create content on their website for customers or shareholder they need people to do this work. That’s all part of the job of PR people. All of these tasks involve being a quick study on a wide range of issues in order to effectively communicate to a wide range of people, ideally diplomatically. Core competencies in politics, I suspect.

      Further PR people have to be news junkies. It’s hard to be intelligent and a news junky and not be absorbed by politics, so there’s probably a huge overlap between politically engaged people and PR people – a fact I’ve seen born out by my time in various agencies.

      Ultimately dismissing Smith on the basis of having a job in PR seems as crass as dismissing a politician for only ever working in politics.

      I’m personally more inclined to Corbyn and as such would subscribe to his ethos of mature reasoned argument based on debates. Keep on taking on Smith’s politics and do keep investigating for evidence of his real – not suspected – stance on the NHS. However, there’s really no need to smear those with a career in corporate comms along the way.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I don’t think the discussion is about Smith being in PR – though the ubiquity of PR people in government, particularly unelected ones making and spinning policy for Blair, is another wondeful field for exploration. The problem with Smith is who he’s been working for – big global corporates – and what sort of PR he’s been doing – which was lobbying for those corporates. He’s in the same politico-commercial bubble as Blair, and he cannot be trusted to oppose the dictatorship of the globalisers.

        I’ll spare you my thoughts on PR and marketing as valid occupations for human beings.

    • Daniel Howell

      Your robust defence of Owen Smith is disingenuous,I wouldn’t trust an ex-Pfizer PR man with my NHS.

      • David Robjant

        I am quite possibly mistaken- I certainly do not have an infallible record of political intuition. But if you call me “disengenuous” simply because I say that Murray’s arguments do not add up in the way stated, then I think this is dangerous. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a liar.

    • Jon Fanning

      “A privatisation “of NHS services” would include contracting out loo paper supply. It’s not privatisation “of the NHS”- it is privatisation “in” the NHS. The angry tone of the piece assumes this difference is fundamentally trivial. Smith would now agree that privatisation “in” the NHS is also dangerous, but the implication that the difference of preposition is irrelevant is clearly false.”

      Unfortunately it actually means services like cancer screening, various medical procedures such as MRIs etc… Attempting to suggest is it about contracting out supplies is ridiculous. I won’t bother dismantling the rest, this single weakness pretty much dissolves your argument. I suspect the rest is simply fog of war, lots of words to hide how fundamentally weak your central premise is. Smith is Corporate labour to his very core, of course he can change his mind, Craig Murray was a member of the British establishment but has given his mea culpa, if Owen Smith now wants to denounce Pfizer and admit his error he can be a soft left candidate, but he is off course not doing so, proving he remains solid in his previously expressed beliefs.

    • Moira john

      Thank you for this. It made me re read the original piece and is very fair comment on the validity of Craig murray’s partisan view.

  • Pat

    Thanks Craig,

    As usual it’s the same underhanded PR spin. It was obvious to me that the Blairites would only put forward a candidate who would reflect a “red Tory” corporate agenda, but I hadn’t had time to research his background.

    You have now made that job unnecessary as I trust your judgment absolutely. I hope you’ve recovered from the viscous treatment you received at the hands New Labour.
    Kind regards.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I am appalled to see that Guido Fawkes agrees with Craig on this one. With embellishments:

    http://order-order.com/2016/07/13/241581/

    Smith’s nickname when he worked as a corporate lobbyist at Pfizer was “Oily Smith” because everyone was wise to his habit of telling people what he thought they wanted to hear.

    Fits.

  • Michael Arnott

    We have to find away checking the credentials of all those wishing to join the party and become a member of the shadow cabinet their roll in government carries too much responsibility to have such people in power, we need to know the detail of their life at there inception a CV if you like something tangeable that can be verify and have them sign to say that it is true, so that if discovered in a lie they can be sumararly expeld from the party, Owen Smith should never have come any ware near the position he is now in, this is something that needs immediate investigation in order to prevent such things happening again. Politics is a serious business only those who are prepaired to give their lives to the real job of creating a better world for those they serve if they find themselves unable or unwilling to work under these conditions the should resign with immediate affect.

  • John Caven

    This man is a FRAUD, he does not represent the Labour party that I have supported for 40 yrs.

  • Lesley Agathangelou

    Let’s make sure everyone knows and doesn’t forget
    No more Tony Blairs please
    Good name ‘ Smith’ for a phoney fake?

  • Norma Swarbrick

    The results of your research which is highly commendable is heart stopping. Quickly parachuted into the leadership election to replace Angela Eagle is highly suspicious, but I have come to expect this kind of machination from the PLPs and their satanic backers. It is terryifying how the public is deceived. I have have given your link during innumerable threads. Came back to day for a re read and to thank you for all your efforts to keep people informed.

  • maldwyn thomas

    Owen Smith.
    Will not defeat Corbyn he;s a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing A “B”liar Rite.
    He didn’t have enough courage to make the first Challenge. He left that to the stronger sex .
    where’s Hilary Benn in all this. He stirs up the trouble then goes into hiding.

  • michael norton

    You’re having a lauf

    Mr Clegg stood down as Lib Dem leader after the party lost 49 out of its 57 MPs at the 2015 general election.
    So they’ve got 8 left.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36841921
    LibDems are obsessed about the E.U.
    They don’t want to leave.

    Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is making a return to front-line politics as the Lib Dem EU spokesman.

  • alan whitham

    Thanks for the info . I suspected as much when I heard Smith was once a big pharma lobbyist . Why don’t these characters resign their seats and join the tory party , it’s these closet tories who are splitting the labour party , not Jeremy Corbyn . Come on Jeremy , I believe the people know an honest politician when they see one .

  • Dave Taylor

    Hi Craig,
    Great stuff on the phony Owen Smith.
    I met you and bought your book several years ago when you did a talk in Ilminster, Somerset. Remember ? I mean Ilminster, not me !
    Can I get the “Fake Owen Smith ….” on pdf as I want to pass it on to loads of people and I am not a facebook or twitter person ?
    Hope you can help.
    Best regards,
    Dave Taylor

  • Ian Fairbairn

    Interesting read as always Craig (comments too).

    For me it is simple. Forget PR man, corporate man etc… (interesting and helpful in forming a full picture of the man as it is).

    Judge him by his deeds and if you do so you should condemn.

    He accepted a seat in Jeremy’s shadow cabinet – a privilege, trust and duty that many Labour people would give their hearts and souls to do justice to.

    What did this man then do. He plotted his possible route to the leadership six months before the ChickenCoup – John Mann reports he was sounded out on this: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/17/owen-smith-ed-miliband-labour-crisis

    He joined the coup rather than staying in his privileged post to serve his party, labour voters in the country and the disadvantaged that rely on a robust opposition to the tories. He displayed contempt for them and for democracy.

    If he was principled he could have simply challenged Corbyn. Instead he took part in the sordid non constitutional coup because he and the other plotters hoped it would work. It failed.

    And this anti-democratic coup-plotter thinks he should lead my party. No thanks.

    • Ian Fairbairn

      An interesting take on Owen Smith’s brand of socialism here:

      http://savinglabour.me.uk/writings-owen-smith

      As Craig writes “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.” Pretty accurate in my view.

  • glenn_uk

    [ I’d originally put this in the wrong thread ]
    —–

    Owen Smith bleats “It’s not much of an employer that says, you know, work for me and work harder or I’m going to sack you all – which is effectively what he’s doing today,” Mr Smith told the BBC

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36859550

    That’s funny – it’s EXACTLY what an employer is likely to say in my experience!

    Smith whines on : “He just wants to control the Labour Party.”

    A leader wants to control the party? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Guido Fawkes (crosses self as required by mod waving axe) entirely concurs with Craig on Owen Smith, as it happens. And Owen not only worked for Pfizer, he’s hired another ex-Pfizer lobbyist to run his leadership campaign. Triple Ropivocaines ™ all round, eh?

    Owen Smith has hired a leading corporate lobbyist who works for Pfizer to run his leadership campaign, Guido can reveal. John Lehal is the smoothie MD of lobbying firm Insight Consulting, and boasts among his clients Big Pharma giants Pfizer, Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Lehal’s dealings sparked controversy when he was signed up to run Andy Burnham’s doomed leadership bid last year. Smith used to spin for Pfizer himself and has been dogged by his links to lobbyists over the last week, so it’s a stunning judgment call for him to be using another Pfizer lobbyist who loves Tony Blair…

    http://order-order.com/ @22/7/16, 1.30 pm

    • Resident Dissident

      If Craig and Guido don’t like him that is pretty much a recommendation in my book. Perhaps we should remember that because lobbyists like lawyers and Foreign Office diplomats are actually paid to lobby for their employees and they don’t necessarily agree with the line that they push.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I think you mean employers. And you are saying that being paid to do something makes it ethical? That Overton Window sure is accelerating.

  • Mick McNulty

    Something has changed with my Labour Party application. Yesterday the £25 on hold for them was moved out of “payments pending” and back into my account. I first noticed an extra £25 in the balance then checked to see that the Labour Party was no longer in the “payments pending” – meaning surely the Labour Party had declined it? Otherwise the money would have stayed pending?

    I’ve just now checked what’s in there and the Labour Party has now taken the £25. That’s the first time money has gone back into the account from “pending” and then taken back out again. The only other time money went from pending and back into my account was when I somehow pressed three times to pay my Council Tax. The excess moved back into my account and was never claimed.

    I seriously wonder if my commenting on Craig’s blog has anything to do with this? I haven’t mentioned it elsewhere because I don’t do Facebook, Twitter etc. So either Lloyds Bank has made some mistake which they have never made before, or I had been rejected by Labour for being a lefty Corbyn-supporter (which I stated), but then for some reason they changed their mind and accepted me. If that’s the case then Craig has got quite some power.

  • Alastair

    I have previously posted .
    Who Owns’ Smith – Pfizers set to stunning. Its politics Jeromy but not as we know it.

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