So, last night we saw yet another Leadership Debate, with Corbyn and Smith facing off on BBC ONE. And with only a couple of weeks left of voting it certainly showed the strengths and weaknesses of the two candidates. One of the big arguments against Jeremy is that he can't debate. However he more than proved his ability to handle himself under pressure. Owen Smith on the other hand was caught out numerous times, such as when he claimed he never said he would want to sit around a table with Islamic State, a claim then shot down by David Dimbleby quoting him saying he would negotiate.
As a Corbyn voter, obviously I was always going to support him, and personally, I felt that Owen Smith showed himself to be incredibly undignified with some low blows, such as his disgusting and disrespectful comments about how Jeremy doesn't want to stop Anti Semitism and for his ridiculous comments about the extrhttps://blogger.huffingtonpost.com/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&blog_id=3#emely well written Chakrabarti Report, which even Jewish people called him out on via twitter. Smith claiming to be the best option to unite the party, and his claims that Jeremy is unpopular with the Jewish community, appear to be unfounded.
In fairness, I feel the need to point out, I do not agree with Jeremy on everything. I believe that Trident should be kept or replaced with an adequate solution, not scrapped altogether as it is our Nuclear deterrent. This was Smith's opportunity to impress me when the topic came up tonight, and he failed to deliver.
I also have to admit I was hugely disappointed by the booing in the audience, both from Corbynites and Smith supporters, however both sides have good arguments as to why they boo. With Corbyn supporters, we are all upset by the way he has been treated and the efforts of the PLP to force him out. For Smith supporters, many of them are frustrated by the booing against Owen and therefore attempt to counteract this.
But it has to be said, booing is wrong. While my attempts to justify the boos may seem ridiculous, everything has a reason. But I am firmly against the booing. It goes completely against the Labour Party values, and shows the true problems we have in this party at the moment. At times, the bullying and booing has left me furious and has tested my fierce loyalty to Labour.
Owen Smith deserves our respect for trying to become elected as Labour Leader, and for having the guts to go against a hugely popular and fiercely protected Leader, but in this debate he handled himself in a hugely undignified manner, even refusing to have any part in the Shadow Cabinet should Jeremy win. As a passionate audience member pointed out, Owen went on about how he was purely Labour and 'Labour at heart', and yet anyone with the Labour party purely at heart would serve under any Leader, with the aim of creating a better country. He is elected to represent the party, not his own views, and even his own constituency are mostly for Corbyn. What does that say about him?
Overall, it was a hugely insightful debate and I welcome your views in the comments section and on my twitter. I believe Jeremy handled himself incredibly well, and came across in the way any potential Labour Leader should. This is the man I believe will lead us to victory, and Owen Smith has angered me with his offensive remarks tonight.