Win for Corbyn – what now for Smith and Labour
So Jeremy Corbyn has won the Labour leadership contest for the second time in a year by a significant majority.
Having started out last year as the man from nowhere , the rank outsider to become leader, he has gathered a huge personal support that has become cult like in its single minded drive to elect him. The vast majority of elected MPs have no faith in him, and his ratings amongst the general public have been falling.
Many of his supporters talk of a return to old Labour values, and that would indeed be welcome, because their current values would have their founders turning in their graves. Yet that cannot be combined with a return to old fashioned thinking – nonsense talk such as Corbyn's idea to reopen the mines. Corbyn lives in a dream world and seems unable or unwilling to accept reality. His party cannot lead us forward, in or out of the EU.
Meanwhile Pontypridd MP Owen Smith will have to paste the fake smile back on and return with his bruised ego to his constituency where maybe he could invest some time and energy – something he certainly has not done much of recently. This was a contest he was never likely to win, but it has shown his naked ambition for power.
So what next for him? Well of course if the boundary changes go ahead he could find himself in a selection battle. His Pontypridd constituency is destined to be cut in two – and he lives in the Llantrisant ward which, should the changes go ahead, will be part of the Rhondda and Llantrisant constituency which Chris Bryant will also , presumably, be seeking selection for. It is likely that Ann Clwyd will stand down in the Cynon, so he could look at the Cynon and Pontypridd seat, but last time out the Cynon seat was designated as an all women shortlist. Interesting times ahead.
As for the Labour party as a whole, this election has been acrimonious to put it mildly, and there has been much talk of potential splits – indeed Owen said on several occasions that if Corbyn won the party would split, although he also insisted he would remain a Labour man. The whole shambles raises massive questions as to what the Labour party is about. How can you believe a Labour person on your doorstep seeking your vote who quotes a Labour manifesto and pledges that you know they may not believe, they just want your vote.
Nobody knows what Labour is any more, what they stand for and what they aim to achieve. One thing is for sure, locally they have demonstrated time and again that they don't represent the views and values of the people they are elected to serve