“Oily Smith” Was a Blairite Hawk

oily+smith

Owen Smith is hoodwinking people on the left of the Labour Party into believing he is one of their own. Nothing could be further from the truth. 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.   Here are some of the things he has said in the past…

In an interview with the Western Mail, 10 May 2006, on Iraq, Smith said:

“We are making significant inroads in improving what is happening in Iraq. I thought at the time the tradition of the Labour Party and the tradition of left-wing engagement to remove dictators was a noble, valuable tradition, and one that in South Wales, from the Spanish Civil War onwards, we have recognised and played a part in.”

Yet today Smith claimed he was against the Iraq war:

He supported NHS privatisation:

“Where they can bring good ideas, where they can bring valuable services that the NHS is not able to deliver, and where they can work alongside but subservient to the NHS and without diminishing in any respect the public service ethos of the NHS, then I think that’s fine. I think if their involvement means in any way, shape or form the break up of the NHS, then I’m not a fan of it, but I don’t think it does.”

And even welcomed PFI:

We’ve had PFI in Wales, we’ve had a hospital built down in Baglan through PFI. If PFI works, then let’s do it. What people want to see are more hospitals, better services. City academies in certain parts of inner city Britain, where schools were failing, where children were not being well served, have made great inroads. I’m not someone, frankly, who gets terribly wound up about some of the ideological nuances that get read into some of these things, and I think sometimes they are totally overblown.”

Last year Owen Smith accepted the need for austerity:

“I don’t think it’s realistic to say that they [public spending cuts] are wholly unnecessary. There is a very serious point that we don’t know what would happen to a government that failed to tackle its debts in the long run.”

He went further in the Sunday Express, writing of the deficit that the Labour Party had “…. to acknowledge that when people asked the question, “Did we spend too much?” it wasn’t enough to simply say, “No.” There was a debate to be had, a record to defend and some failings to acknowledge. And our refusal to take that head-on, to ’fess up to shortcomings, was a key reason why people baulked at putting us back in charge.”

“Oily” Smith’s Blairite past is something that will make the now overwhelmingly left-wing membership uncomfortable…




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