By Robin Pesto
As of yesterday, the campaigning should all be over. The hustings, the debates, the ambiguously busy train rides, the media roller coaster, the lawsuits upon lawsuits as to who is eligible to vote, it should all be done. The Labour Party leadership contest has been a heated one, at times. The potential future of the party is at stake if Corbyn wins and still cannot unite the MPs behind him. So today we take a look at where both candidates stand.
The biggest difference between Corbyn and Smith is one is definitely older than the other. At 332, Corbyn is not the sprightliest, however his vegan diet, regular bicycling and stubborn urge to produce a socialist utopia before he dies keep him looking, and feeling young. Smith, at only 11 and a half, maybe lacks the experience of the elder statesman. Add to that the fact that nobody really knew who he was before this whole thing, and the fact that he can’t go anywhere without his cuddly dog ‘Scuffles’ and it could be a disaster of a campaign.
Then there are their approaches to Trident. Corbyn is fundamentally opposed, but not averse to building the submarines anyway to help the British shipbuilding industry, but then never using them. This is odd, but it would not be the first time the government funded a huge infrastructure project for little more than vanity in ideals, see HS2, The Garden Bridge, Millennium Dome, the 2012 Olympics, Tony Blair’s reputation and Alastair Campbell who is a cyborg made by Blair and Brown to be ruthlessly mediawhorey. Smith, however, believes that the greatest way to achieve nuclear disarmament is to build submarines capable of launching nuclear weapons, and then put nuclear weapons in them with the intent to launch them. The irony of this was, sadly, lost on Smith who is basically just pandering to a crowd of braying jingoists who think a big boomy thing is like the latest Nike trainers of geopolitics – if you don’t got them, you nobody.
Economically both Smith and Corbyn have similar views. It’s just one person presents them with a swarthy air, smarmy grin and a nice suit and one person presents them looking like a scruffy granddad. I don’t know about you, but I trust scruffy granddads to not suck up to corporations, brown-nose bankers and take crap from globalists a lot more than I trust a clean-shaven man in a nice suit to do so. One is presenting the argument looking like he means it, the other is presenting it looking like he’s trying to pull the support of the other guy. -1 image points for Smith for trying to present socialism whilst looking like a corporatist wanker.
Then there are the unions. Now, previously Corbyn was very much the league leader in this regard – but a few own-goals later and Smith is back in the running. With large unions such as the ‘General Union of Discontent’ (GUD) the ‘Traffic and Transport Workers Union of Surrey’ (TTWUS) the ‘Fish and Chip shop Owners, Turnip Farmers and Glaziers Union’ (FCSOTFGU) and the ‘Combined Union of Non-specified Traders’ (CUNT) all coming out in open support of Smith. That does mean, however, that Corbyn retains the support of the ‘Worldwide Union for Fisheries and Underwear Manufacturers’ (WUFUM), ‘Spoonbenders, Wishy Thinkers, Alternative Healers and Bus Drivers Union’ (SWTAHBDU) and ‘First Union of Chefs, Knitters and Usurers’ (FUCKU). It makes this the most even split area of the vote.
The membership is the biggest area of contention. You see, the party membership voted overwhelmingly for Corbyn in the first place and the belief is that they will do so again. Given how the party and MPs said last time that they would respect this decision, and then set about Corbyn with sharpened knives, one must be sceptical about their saying this again. The membership swelled to support Corbyn, suggesting the people Labour want don’t care about Labour, whilst the people who do care about Labour, Labour don’t want. It makes the situation a bit strange. However, Corbyn won the popular vote last time, and will likely do so again.
The media have no love lost for Corbyn, a man who has at times seemed very reluctant to engage them, making him look a bit like an elusive troll who dwells under a bridge on Fleet Street. Meanwhile Smith has a slightly smoother image and a better relationship with the press. This will sadly probably mean Smith gets a few votes based on this alone, because people trust newspapers for some reason, despite the fact that they do stuff like suck up to politicians, bribe public officials, print lies, and hack the phones of dead teenagers. However, those who are tired of the tricks of the press will fall Corbyn’s way.
So who will the winner be? Well we shall find out in good time. I could not possibly decided because the campaign to oust Corbyn has been so virulent one can never rule out legal challenges and allegations of corruption and fixing the result. With the ‘purge’ of staunch Labour supporters who all seem to fall on Corbyn’s side, this is an argument that may linger on.
But at least we know where they stand.