Labour supporter Eric Potts watched the Birmingham Labour hustings Thursday August 18 and has shared his opinion:
I wanted a little time to reflect before posting on last night's Hustings.
1. I thought Jeremy was, and looked, very tired. That's an observation, not a criticism. He has every right to be tired, given the punishing schedule he is having to maintain. It is a crime that he is being put through all this, especially as each session covers virtually the same ground and is, largely, a huge waste of time and resources. Even so, he still came across as the man to trust, the man who has given and will give everything for the good of humanity.
2. Owen Smith says lots of the right things, but this just makes him seem untrustworthy since he was saying virtually none of these things before the contest. His flash presentation and empty rhetoric will only win over those whose approach is as shallow as his to begin with.
3. Who does Owen think he is kidding on Brexit? Apart from a personal and unproven allegation against Jeremy - which Jeremy sensibly ignored - he pretends that he can reverse the referendum, or ignore it. No one is more passionately pro-EU than me; I desperately wish the result had been different. But it wasn't and we have no choice but to live with it. Owen pretends that he knows what's best for all those "stupid" people who voted for Brexit. In truth, he is treating them and democracy with contempt and that contempt will rebound on him.
4. Jeremy is attacked for not "being there" and speaking out on specific occasions. Now, this is an attack that might cause damage, and it needs to be dealt with. The simple truth is that, to Smith's and the media's chagrin, Jeremy is not and has no intention of acting Presidentially, of hogging all the limelight. He allows, instead, his Shadow Cabinet their own time in the sun, letting them speak out without always trying to draw all attention back to him. After all, it was Owen Smith who was Shadow Pensions Secretary: so if anyone was going to attack on IDS's resignation, it should have been Smith!
Jeremy will not play the media game. That is why they hate him. That is why we love him.
5. That said, there have been a number of occasions when Jeremy and the team's response could have been better and sharper, without selling the pass. We need his advisers to think on their feet more quickly, to understand how things are likely to play out in the media, and to help prepare a response which remains principled but which will deflect or at least minimise unfair criticism.
All that said, Jeremy still marches on to victory. I hope, too, that there are people already preparing for what happens then, working out how to bring more of the PLP on board, and how to respond if Paul Mason proves right and all this turns out to be just a skirmish before the real war begins.
All things Corbyn
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