Deluded Corbyn’s Labour is in DENIAL, says former leadership candidate OWEN SMITH

What better illustration of this refusal to accept reality could there be than Jeremy Corbyn, squatting in the office of Leader of the Opposition, and trolling the entire country with his risible claim that Labour “won the argument”. Every day he remains Labour leader we lose a few more votes and a little more respect. Of course, no one who knows anything about Mr Corbyn should be surprised by his reaction. His brand of leftism has always been more comfortable in the hair-teeshirt of self-righteous defeat, emblazoned with its slogan of moral superiority.

Winning power to actually improve peoples’ lives comes second to their real objective of “winning the argument”, as only then do they imagine the population will be fully “woke” to the wisdom of their worldview.

That’s why they are determined to maintain their grip on the levers of the Labour Party, because Jeremy Corbyn and his hard-left clique truly believe that “one more heave” might be enough.

They believe that the “false consciousness” of working people who turned from Labour to the Conservatives or elsewhere will eventually fall away if only they shout long and loud enough through their megaphone.

So this defeat has to be explained away as only due to Brexit, or the right-wing press, or the biased BBC or with any other crackpot theory, so long as it doesn’t acknowledge the undeniable fact that Britain rejected not just Jeremy Corbyn, but Corbynism too.

They rejected it as backwards-looking, shilly-shallying on Brexit, uncosted on the economy and untrustworthy on security.

That rejection was predictable, indeed inevitable.

And unless our party recognises that reality and rediscovers our purpose as a movement to win power, not a debating society to win arguments, we will not be given the chance to serve the British people again in future. And we will not deserve to.

Corbynism has failed our party and our country and Labour now needs a leader that can rebuild trust and a programme that can rebuild our credibility as a party of government.

• Owen Smith was Labour MP for Pontypridd. He was Shadow Secretary of State for Wales (2010-2015), Work & Pensions (2015-2016) and Northern Ireland (2017-2018). He challenged Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership in 2016.

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