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Dugher Corbyn

For Evolve readers, the name Michael Dugher should be familiar. He’s a staunch ally of Tom Watson (and seemingly anyone else who isn’t the Labour Party’s twice-elected leader Jeremy Corbyn). Last year he was announced by Watson as heading the Labour Party’s inquiry into ‘fake news.’ Considering the Sun published fake news on Jeremy Corbyn (and then swiftly retracted it), Dugher (who has written hit pieces attacking Corbyn in that very paper) should already have a head start.

It isn’t his previous unfortunate remarks, however, that have drawn criticism, but his latest ones. His social media output over the last few days has been fascinating, if deeply unpleasant, reading.

Let’s start with the US missile attack on Syria and Corbyn’s allegedly slow response thereto (slow in Dugher’s opinion, anyway). In the world according to Dugher, Corbyn’s measured, reasoned remark was slow off the mark because:

Not surprisingly, this caused a certain backlash. Corbyn’s response was more likely to appear because he thought in terms of meaningful comment rather than the cheap soundbites so often favoured by Tony Blair and many of his followers. Trying to brush aside the criticism under the familiar pretext of it only being in jest Dugher responded with this pearl of wisdom:

Yes, because war is such an amusing subject to laugh and joke about while people die in large numbers, isn’t it? Especially from a safe distance when the fighting, bleeding and dying is safely left in the hands of others. How very droll. If any reader can see the inherent humour in the Syrian crisis, please send answers on a postcard.

Still on a roll, Dugher’s good day to resemble bad news didn’t stop there, either. When Corbyn supporters protested outside the union-busting New Statesman, a publication openly hostile to Corbyn (and seemingly to recognising the National Union of Journalists) he managed to make an offensive, unpleasant remark about the issue of mental health.

The implication seemed being that supporting or defending Corbyn is (or, in his opinion, should be) left to the clinically insane. He seemed blissfully unaware that it even might cause offence to anyone. It did cause offence to quite a lot of people (this writer included):

Referring to Corbyn’s staff, Dugher then managed to dig himself deeper. Conveying an open disrespect for both Corbyn and the people who work with him, he suggested that:

Precisely who Dugher thinks he is is somewhat confused. He purports to be a democratic socialist while actively, openly undermining and sneering at democratic socialists, one of whom is his own party leader. Corbyn was elected with a resounding vote from the membership amid much chicanery on the part of his opponents, then re-elected with an increased majority. Despite this, it appears Corbyn still isn’t somebody that Dugher feels he should pay any mind to, nor display even cosmetic respect for public consumption.

Ordinary rank-and-file Labour members suspended or even expelled for far less, might wish to make their feelings known to him and Iain McNicol. McNicol, it seems, is also a little tired of people attacking Labour staff:

The strange thing about McNicol’s remark was that Dugher seemed to agree with him while, on March 31, doing the exact opposite:

Should anyone wish to take issue with Dugher’s behaviour, they should do so politely. There is no intent to incite a hate campaign via social media or anywhere else. That way, nobody can be accused of bringing the Labour Party into disrepute.

After all, if Peter Mandelson can get away with it, Dugher probably has nothing to worry about…

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