The guy in the picture is the Blairite political strategist John McTernan. Few people know who he is because he has operated in the unelected shadows for his entire political career, but his influence in Labour Party politics has been huge.
The reason nobody who gives a damn about the Labour Party should ever listen to a word McTernan says again is that he was the chief political adviser to Jim Murphy as he oversaw not just the biggest humiliation in the history of the Labour Party, but the most spectacular electoral collapse in British electoral history.
Back in 2014 the Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy put on a staggering display of hubris, bragging that Labour wouldn't lose a single seat in Scotland. Murphy and McTernan then decided to push a ultra-Blairite, ultra-Unionist campaign at a Labour Party membership who were already livid at Scottish Labour for taking them for granted for decades and then very publicly french kissing the Tories during the independence debate.
In a wonderfully ironic way Jim Murphy was right, the 2015 General Election saw Labour lose 40 of their 41 Westminster seats in a single night of carnage which meant that Labour did indeed not lose a single seat in Scotland; the single seat of Edinburgh South!
After involvement in a debacle like that one would have thought that McTernan would be ridiculed and shunned as demonstrably one of the worst political advisers in history, but the mainstream media continue to laud him as if he's some kind of wise all-knowing sage of Labour Party politics.
Who on earth would take political advice from a political adviser who oversaw the most humiliating electoral wipe-out in the history of British politics?It seems a tad strange that a political adviser with his fingerprints all over the biggest electoral meltdown in British political history is still getting loads of airtime and column inches from mainstream media sources , all of which conveniently forget to mention his role in the complete annihilation of the traditional Labour heartlands in Scotland.
However this mainstream media fawning over McTernan only seems a tad strange until you realise that he is savagely and offensively opposed to Jeremy Corbyn. The fact McTernan's agenda and the extraordinarily biased mainstream media agenda against Jeremy Corbyn are in alignment is enough to make them overlook the fact that he's a such a hopelessly discredited expert that he should be treated as a laughing stock, not some kind of oracle.
Some of McTernan's "insights" on Jeremy Corbyn include calling Labour MPs who support him "morons", accusing people who support Corbyn's policies of suffering "psychological emotional spasms", calling for a coup Corbyn's leadership before he was even elected, calling for a coup a month after he was elected, vociferously supporting the self-serving coup-plotters when they finally launched their shockingly ill-timed coup at a moment of national crisis, and then backing Owen Smith's belated leadership challenge when the inept "Chicken Coup" failed.
It's absolutely clear that McTernan is part of the entitled Blairite club who have no real interest in or insight into the huge increase in Labour Party membership since Jeremy Corbyn became party leader. All he has are insults and displays of utter contempt for the democratic decision of hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members. As far as McTernan is concerned he's the expert (despite managing to lose the whole of Scotland in one go!) and anyone who disagrees with him is a moron.
Why would anyone listen to a guy whose judgement is so poor that they supported a myopic internal party coup at a time of national crisis and whose "analyses" are stuffed full of insults, smears and anti-democratic sentiments?McTernan is a classic example of a red Tory. He proclaims himself to be a socialist yet he supports all kinds of conservative ideology that is fundamentally incompatible with socialism. What kind of socialist would write articles for the Murdoch propaganda empire and the Daily Torygraph declaring stuff like "Tax avoidance is an expression of basic British freedoms" and "Pirvatisation: what is it good for? Everything"?
A pro-privatisation, tax-dodger apologist who proclaims himself to be a socialist! Who in their right mind would take political advice from a contradiction in terms like that?
Aside from praising privatisation and making excuses for tax-dodging McTernan has also supported the destruction of British libraries caused by the Tories' savage local government funding cuts, opposed the Living Wage, demanded a 3rd invasion of Iraq, opposed renationalisation of the railways, and encouraged the Scottish Labour Party to print leaflets saying: "Muggers. Sex offenders. Burglars. Vote SNP".
Who on earth would take advice from a guy who supports the Tory destruction of local services, wants to invade Iraq again and thinks that filthy Lynton Crosbyesque smear campaigns are a way to beat a party that is absolutely hammering his own into the ground on policy, trustworthiness, delivery and electability?
As far as Owen Smith is concerned, if he had any sense at all he'd tell McTernan where to go.
Smith is going to have a hard enough campaign to unseat Jeremy Corbyn given that the Labour party membership has more than doubled since Corbyn burst onto the scene last summer, without receiving the political kiss of death from the guy who managed the incredible feat of eradicating the once fiercely loyal Scottish Labour heartlands in a single electoral campaign.
Another Angry Voice is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.