Owen Smith, the incompetent competence candidate, has struck again today.
Here’s his latest campaign slogan:
Yes, that’s right – his unifying statement is based on a declaration that he isn’t currently proud of Britain.
That’s Britain 2016, which just won second place in the Olympics. Britain 2016, with the highest employment rate on record. Britain 2016, a beacon of democracy – an open, free and tolerant society of a type which is all too rare in the modern world. Britain 2016, which continues to contribute remarkable innovations in science and art to the annals of human achievement, just as it always has. That’s the nation Smith claims to want to lead – and yet he isn’t proud of it.
What’s worse is this isn’t some one-off slip of the tongue, it appears to be a pet saying of his. Here he is back in 2012 declaring that the Cardiff South and Penarth by-election proved that voters want “a country we can be proud of once more” (in reality that contest turned out to be a poor predictor of the 2015 General Election).
Perhaps he wagers that this line of miserablism will appeal to the Labour membership, at least some of whom have form for believing that patriotism is unpleasant or even racist. If so, then he is bringing a pea-shooter to an artillery duel: Corbyn has spent decades demonstrating his lack of pride not only in this country but in the entirety of Western civilisation.
Even if Smith did win, how does he imagine this message would come across to the wider electorate? Unsurprisingly, people don’t take kindly to being told by politicians that their country is rubbish.