Owen Smith Is Now the Way Forward

20/07/2016 11:14 | Updated 20 July 2016
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

Sitting in bed listening to Baba O'Riley I really find the lyric "teenage wasteland" most apt for the current political outlook, because it will be us teenagers who are going to have to deal with the wasteland that this country is being turned into.

Britain out of the EU, an un-elected PM, Boris as foreign secretary and the pound falling faster than my bank account. Oh, and of course, the Labour party deciding to re-visit the mess of the 80's in some weird nostalgic throwback.

After the long winded and frankly quite exhausting coup by the more centrist wing of the party, Angela Eagle finally decided to trigger a leadership contest; a contest she has now pulled out of. Now, I thought it to be bad timing for a leadership contest as it seemed an opportune time to challenge the broken Tories as an united Labour party. However, we have it so let's at least do it properly. And doing it properly means voting for Owen Smith.

Jeremy Corbyn, a 67-year-old pacifist vegetarian last year became the new face for progressive left-wing politics and his principled views quickly became music to many young people ears. One of the those young people, being me. I did my bit, attended a few meetings, got a selfie with him and put a badge on my bag. I never knew politics could be so easy because like that he was elected as leader with a 59.5% majority. However, nine months later, we have transitioned into a protest party and not a great parliamentary force, something we need to be to hold this Tory government to account.

So as I said, now we have this leadership election let's do something worthwhile with it. Owen Smith is too a progressive left wing principled candidate, however, he has policies to back his principles up and to turn the Labour party back into a parliamentary force. Unfortunately, Jeremy has struggled to do this, having shown he is not up to the task of leadership. He has not managed to keep the Labour party focused on opposing the Tories but instead let faction politics dominate Labour discourse. He also struggled to make the positive case for Europe, allowing a swathe of traditional Labour voters to vote out based on false facts about immigration being detrimental. Finally, he has lost support of the majority of the parliamentary Labour party, meaning he can never make Labour a parliamentary force for the people in this country who really need it to be.

In contrast, Owen Smith has the majority support of the parliamentary Labour party and has already set out clear alternative plans to the Tories. He has already pledged a 'New Deal' style investment of £200bn into the economy to help grow our country out of deficit. He also showed clear plans following the Chilcot Inquiry, stating he would introduce a law allowing parliament to veto any decision on war. This, and the country-wide popular plan of renationalising the railways already shows a clear, thought out, pragmatic alternative to this Tory government.

In a country where complete political turmoil is a daily occurrence, we need a strong Labour party for those who voices struggled to be heard. We especially need the Labour party together. Therefore, I am voting for Owen Smith and hope everyone else does so we keep an united, strong, pragmatic Labour party for those who need it the most.