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Michael Dugher - Shadow cabinet reshuffle

The ‘revenge reshuffle’ that the media have created over the past few weeks has come to fruition after one of the longest reshuffles in modern politics. With Jeremy Corbyn instigating his ‘hard-left’, ‘ideologically driven coup’ of the shadow cabinet through the guise of a ‘kinder’ and more ‘inclusive’ politics, Jeremy Corbyn has shown his true colours. Colours that are all Red.

One one hand, Corbyn has gotten rid of people who intentionally smear and abuse his leadership, and moved others into roles that will assure much less disagreement from his frontbench, whilst keeping others who do share differing opinions on policy, like Hilary Benn. What a Stalinist dictator this man is!

Stalin definitely allowed people who disagreed with him to stay in his party and even take up his ‘top posts’.

What we have seen in the past days is a collective attack on Corbyn by the right-wing press, the right-wing Tory party, and many of the right-wing members of the PLP who are so very wrongly dubbed as ‘moderates’ within Labour. An attack that is being used by all the groups named above as a way of deepening the rifts within the Labour party, in an attempt to discredit the leader.

The events of the New Year reshuffle that Corbyn went through with have been blown out of all proportions by the Bitterites who are still angry that Corbyn is the leader of the party they once resided over. But really, the reshuffle was very, very minor. With only a few people being relinquished of their positions on the frontbench and others being moved around. If we really look at what Corbyn did do, and not what the media tells us he wanted to do, this was quite a successful reshuffle.

Michael Dugher was the first shadow minister to be fired by the leadership and from the reaction that this decision got on twitter, you would have thought he had died. Corbyn’s own ministers were using words like ‘tragic’ and ‘a huge loss’ to describe the sacking of a man so content on widening rifts between the PLP and their leader. Personally, I take the view that if the Bitterites squeal and publicly go against decisions the way they did with this, it must be a good idea, and one that will allow the cabinet to speak as a collective voice against the Tories who are being allowed by these Bitterites to remain unaccountable for their governance whilst they focus their fire on Corbyn. Dugher’s dismissal seemed more like a funeral than the relinquishment of a pretty insignificant role in the party.

The media was all over this story, planning Corbyn’s decisions for him, saying he wanted to bring in his left-wing friends to ‘purge’ the so-called ‘moderates’ from the Shadow cabinet. However, they were wrong. Jeremy Corbyn instead used this reshuffle as a way of making sure that people are not being allowed to take a cabinet position under Corbyn and then proceed to smear, divide and sow dissent among the party.

Instead, Corbyn moved around his cabinet with people who essentially agreed with him in their respective fields, but not one ‘hard-left’ MP has been brought in, only people who would be classed as ‘moderate’ in a politics in which the centre has shifted to the right drastically. Corbyn therefore is showing he does not have an agenda to deepen divides within his party, but he wishes to build bridges for the inclusion of them within the ‘kinder politics’. Out of the past few days, what we have seen is the real people who have an agenda to create chasms within Labour, the Bitterites.

You would have thought that these Bitterites, who say the party should be fully focused on opposing the Tories, would at least try to get on with their leader, for the good of not only the party, but the county. They say that the reshuffle stops people from focusing fire on the Tories, and instead, they say Corbyn is deliberately causing rifts within the party by moving his frontbench around, something he has the right to do as leader of the party.

However the Bitterites miss the point. If they are so desperate to oppose the Tories, why are they wasting their voice on complaining about the reshuffle? It is their fault that they are personally not focusing on the Tories and have chosen to oppose Corbyn, it is their fault that they decide to write articles against their leader, instead of against the Tory agenda.

Jeremy Corbyn seems to be the only one who is actually effectively opposing the government because at the same time that Corbyn is coordinating a reshuffle, he was also attending a rally over extortionate rail fares (a favorite topic of the electorate up and down the country). The Bitterites will find any excuse to reclaim their party through putting their leader into disrepute with lies and deceit.

The Labour Party’s unity is the problem now. The Bitterites say that they need to focus on the divisions in the Tory party and taking advantage of their weakness, which is very true. But then it is the Bitterites who write articles, who go on interviews and who are continuously trying to undermine Corbyn’s leadership.

Jeremy Corbyn has proven that his reshuffle was nothing like the ‘revenge’ that the press were hoping for, nor was it a coup for his left-wing friends to take the front bench. Instead, Corbyn is desperately trying to stop the infighting that is being roused within the PLP, and he is trying to make sure that the shadow cabinet speak with one voice over every matter they are presented with. Tony Blair did the same, Brown did the same, and so has Cameron, but the media’s bias against the leader of the opposition is out in all its glory, and anything Corbyn does, it must be wrong.

If the Bitterites really want to oppose the government, the why do they give them so much ammunition to discredit the leader and in turn, discredit Labour? If they rely wanted to get rid of the Tories from government, Corbyn is their only option, the members will continue to vote him in whatever the PLP say. Therefore, if they don’t get behind Corbyn, then they are intentionally allowing for a Tory victory in 2020.

But maybe this is what they want, to discredit the left, and occupy the Labour party once more, yet again getting rid of the values Labour once stood for and failing millions of working people.

Labour is a broad church, but not a religious sect where the Bitterites hold the sway on the party like it did before. Corbyn’s reshuffle is an attempt to bring this broad church together in a real strong opposition, with the frontbench speaking with one voice. The hypocrisy of the Bitterites is something that needs to be addressed. They create dissent, they abuse their leader, and they try to destroy his credibility.

Yet when people look in on the Labour party and see the great chasm that the party has become, the Bitterites blame it all on the leadership and use it for their personal, ideological advancement. The Bitterites claim to want to oppose the Tories, yet they are stopping their party from being one of effective opposition, and are creating great divides within the party.

The dissent is obvious, but the Bitterites remain strong. In order to get anywhere, these rebels need to start opposing the other side, instead of their own. IF they don’t start doing this, we will be condemned to another 5 years of Tory rule.