Born-again-socialist Owen Smith gave an interview to the Telegraph in 2006 in which he said he had no areas of difference with Tony Blair. Smith told the paper he opposed the Iraq War, despite previously praising it, but then claimed he agreed with Blair on everything else. Here is the excerpt from the interview:
Would he describe himself as a socialist?
“I am a democratic socialist, yes.”
And Mr Blair, is he a socialist?
Mr Smith, 36, believes the Law movement is no more than a political spasm. “Their campaign is about the past and reminding people about the past. We are looking to the future.” Trying not to sound like a New Labour clone, Mr Smith dips his toe in a puddle of controversy. “The invasion of Iraq was a mistake,” he offers. “The world would have been a safer place if we hadn’t done it.”
Any other areas of difference with Mr Blair?
“No, I don’t think so.”
On Iraq, he had previously praised the war to his local paper and refused to say he would’ve voted against. So the truth is he agreed with Blair on everything. He’s now shamelessly claiming to be Corbynista-lite to win votes, but this is why Labour types who know Smith describe him as “more Blairite than Blair”…