Michael Dugher v Owen Jones

Michael Dugher shot straight back at Owen Jones after the Corbynista commentator criticised the former Labour MP for swearing on Twitter. Jones accused Dugher of “online abuse” – somewhat ironic since the discussion was about Jones’s Angela Smith pile-on.

Owen was triggered:

Dugher speaking for most Labour MPs there…

Dugher on Corbyn in WW2

Michael Dugher on how Corbyn would have responded to Hitler:

“Suspect Jeremy in 1939 would have argued that the League of Nations needed more time to investigate “alleged” German aggression in Poland and called for the violence “on all sides” to cease.”

Dugher v Skwawkbox

When Corbynista “trolling fake news nob head” Skwawkbox asked UK Music boss Michael Dugher why he was at the Brit Awards, the former Labour MP responded in characteristic fashion:

Sadly the volume of sweary anonymous quotes from Labour MPs has plummeted since Dugher left Westminster…

Dugher Unleashed

Guido has long had a grudging respect for Michael Dugher’s straight-talking approach to politics. Out of Westminster and unleashed, he’s letting Corbynistas know what he really thinks:

Some good points, well made…

Owen Campaign’s Strategic Divide

OWEN-DILEMMA

Owen Smith is particularly desperate to try and win Wales and shore up his vote on home turf to avoid personal humiliation. When it comes to events and phone banking his campaign is very Welsh-centric – he’s focusing on South Wales disproportionately. Make that a hell of a lot of effort for a small part of the electorate.

In the latest of many South Wales campaign events Owen made a “keynote” speech in Rhondda yesterday to a handful of people – he just can’t break out of the Valleys. If you look at his campaign pictures (see below) from the event they are all tight on him because the crowd was so small.

oily-close

Truth is he’s not liked much in Wales. Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones has been silent and no Welsh minister has backed him. His own Pontypridd Assembly Member and Welsh Government Counsel General, Mick Antoniw, is backing Corbyn. Former Pontypridd AM and Welsh environment minister Jane Davidson, who knew Owen and worked with him closely when he was first elected, is also backing Corbyn and tweeting Owen attacks. Reportedly the only CLP in Wales to nominate him was fixed

In private the campaign knows it has lost and fears it may lose by over 60% to 40%. His campaign manager Dugher is said to be arguing for a strategy shift to a tough bare-knuckled fight, hitting Corbyn hard, perhaps having learnt his lesson from managing Andy Burnham’s disastrous soft-left leadership campaign. The whole idea of projecting Smith as a “competent Corbynista” has been disastrous from the off because nobody believed thechildishly transparent lie. Owen Smith does not however want to tack to the centre and tell the membership hard-truths, because he needs to “protect my brand” for the future. Oh boyo…

Could this dilemma within the campaign explain the vitriol of that Dan Hodges polemic on Sunday against spineless, incoherent, incompetent Owen? Hodges is close to Dugher…

UPDATE: A source gets in touch to clarify that initially Dugher was for all the full-on lefty campaign because he thought that’s where he/Andy screwed up last time, “If Andy had been more left-wing Jeremy wouldn’t have had space to emerge. Problem is it’s the right strategy for twelve months ago. Doesn’t work now Corbyn is out of the bottle which they now accept.”

Labour At War Already

It is all (finally) starting to kick off as Labour rapidly descends into internecine war over the slotting of Michael Dugher. Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop has gone after Ken:

And so has his colleague Graham Jones:

Jones and Momentum chief Jon Lansman are meanwhile having a right old barney:

Fiiiiiiiight!

UPDATE: Top Corbyn ally Cat Smith and moderate standard-bearer Chris Leslie trade blows on the Daily Politics:

Dugher Sacked

Dugher out:

This will go down like a cup of cold sick.

Watson breaks cover:

“Michael Dugher is a rare politician – a talented working class MP who hasn’t lost his strong Yorkshire roots. Politicians with his ability and commitment can make a difference in any role. Labour’s loss in the shadow cabinet will be compensated by Michael’s free thought on the backbenches.”

Dugher’s old friend Andy Burnham ain’t impressed:

“We face a big challenge in winning back the trust of our traditional supporters in the North and the Midlands and Michael is one of the authentic voices who can do that. I thank him for all the support he has given me and wish him well. He has served Labour with distinction and can leave the frontbench with his head held high.”

Developing…

UPDATE: Full list of Shadow Cabinet members who have publicly spoken out in support of Dugher since his sacking: Tom Watson, Andy Burnham, Lucy Powell, Vernon Coaker, Jon Ashworth, Lisa Nandy, Luciana Berger, Chris Bryant and Ian Murray.

UPDATE II: It appears Michael Dugher has updated his twitter biography in the wake of losing his Shadow Cabinet job. It now states: “Sacked by Jeremy Corbyn for too much straight talking, honest politics”Well at least he’s still got his sense of humour…

dugher

UPDATE III:

Michael Dugher has elaborated on his sacking. Speaking to Kay Burley he stated that he was “frustrated and angry” at the “trashing of people’s reputations” by “people in the employment of Jeremy [Corbyn]”. He went on to summarise: “I took a position to speak out, and I paid the price for it”.

Michael Dugher on “Stop the War” Commies

Michael Dugher says…

“What you’ve got to remember about a lot of these people in Stop the War is that they think the wrong people won the cold war … Communism in a modern setting doesn’t have a lot of appeal to me.”

A Day in the Life of Michael Dugher

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Just Yesterday, Beatles fan Michael Dugher had the arts crying Help! when he claimed that the DCMS budget was about to be cut by 30%. Yet Something was up with this Helter Skelter warning that galleries and museums would be “decimated“. Now we can all Come Together to laugh at him as the real terms cut is confirmed at just 5%. We Can Work It Out to be one sixth of what was feared. How will he Get Back his reputation after this?

UPDATE: Dugher responds:

Bugg Off: Dugher’s Late Night Soho Gig Cut Short

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‘Lightning Bolt’ singer-songwriter Jake Bugg treated MPs to an impromptu performance in parliament as part of the BBC’s LetItBeeb campaign against cuts to music services. Afterwards Bugg wound up going for a “quick pint” with Shadow Culture Secretary Michael Dugher. Hours later, the pair were in a Soho bar where Jake decided to get his guitar out for a quick song. The manager of the establishment however had other ideas, walking briskly over to tell Jake to put it away. Dugher remonstrated with him that this was a platinum selling artist performing a free gig. “Alright, one song but that’s it,” replied the manager. Clearly not a fan…

Labour ‘Catastrophic’ On Israel

Sound stuff from Michael Dugher today on Israel, describing Labour’s stance as catastrophic:

“I think that either through neglect or, frankly, in some instances incompetence, we mishandled our relationship with the Jewish community.”

Our attitude to Israel and the Middle East is really important to the Jewish community.”

A thumping 69% of Jewish voters backed Cameron according to polling.

Dugher blames Miliband completely, especially for Labour’s “unnecessary and divisive” position on Palestian statehood, saying it was “straw that broke the camel’s back with many people in the Jewish community. I knew exactly what would happen and I regretted that very profoundly”.

Guido is not sure the Shadow Transport Secretary is going to have much luck with his preferred new leader though…

Dugher Defeated: Labour’s War on Motorists Back On

“Labour car war is over- New transport chief’s vow to help road users” screamed the Mirror late last year. The then new Shadow Transport Secretary Michael Dugher promised: “to stop demonising motorists and start championing them as it declared its war on drivers was over… he admitted drivers have for too long been seen as a “cash cow” for governments who cream cash off them with fuel taxes and penalties.”

Fast forward four months and Labour’s manifesto promises to scrap two of the most vital road upgrades in the country, to freeze rail fares for just one year:

“The cost, of just over £200 million, will be fully funded by switching spending within the existing transport budget from delaying road projects on the A27 and A358 for which the economic case is still uncertain.”

The A27 is one of the busiest trunk roads in the UK, a vital connection to Portsmouth. Anyone heading toward the West-Country will know the A303/A358 corridor is a mess. It seems Labour have all but given up on the South…

Dugher Shouldn’t Back-Pedal on Cycling Row

Michael Dugher is gearing up for a fight with the self-appointed spokes-people of the cycling lobby this morning. Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary has upset Twitter’s  light-jumpers by coming down on the side of hard-working motorists:

“We’re sat in the middle of Westminster. So many of the politicians and the journalists and the civil servants, we all work in central London. Their personal experience of the transport network is not representative of the rest of the country… The vast majority of people, their daily journey is by road. Given that most people spend most of their time travelling by road, I’ve felt for a long, long time – and this is a criticism of all governments – that politicians spend most of their time talking to the minority of people who don’t… Most people have a car, and use their car a lot. They’re not ‘motorists’. They’re people who have a car.”

Finally Labour is upsetting the right people. The critics are all torque anyway…

Labour’s Shadow Rail Minister Privatises Christmas

Shadow Transport Secretary Michael Dugher seems to be the last person left in Westminster, press releasing this morning about Tory transport hypocrisy: “Yet again, this Tory-led government has been shown to be all talk and no action.” When it comes to hypocrisy he might want to have a word with his own team though…

Shadow Rail Minister Lilian Greenwood has spent the year banging on about privatisation and slagging off the private rail operators, telling the Commons she wants to renationalise:

“I would accept that we were perhaps too accepting of the overall franchising model…With all the inter-city franchises expiring in the next Parliament, we are right to look again at the best way to structure the railways to deliver real value for passengers and taxpayers. My message to the Government is clear: “Call off the privatisation, get the Department in order, and make sure that essential investments in our inter-city lines are kept on track.”

That didn’t stop Comrade Lilian accepting a nice healthy bung from privatised rail this festive season though. She’s got East Midland Trains to sponsor her Christmas cards:

“All talk and no action…”

Miliband and Malky Mackay Arm in Arm

Former Cardiff manager Malky MacKay has been splashed across the Mail today after racist and homophobic text messages sent during his time at the club cost him the top job at Crystal Palace. Texts about ‘fkn chinkeys’, ‘gay snakes’ and ‘fat Jews’ are under investigation by the FA. Which makes it all a little bit awkward for his friends and supporters.

Guido does not imagine Michael Dugher will be inviting MacKay to the Strangers Bar again in a hurry.

Nor will Ed Miliband be embracing him and posing for photos as he did in May 2013…

UPDATE:

"The Dugher Doctrine"

The Reagan Doctrine rolled back communism across the world, now we have what LabourList has – with a straight face – dubbed the “Dugher Doctrine”, which presumably consists of polluting Twitter with North Korean-style synchronised tweeting.

Miliband attack dog Michael Dugher is in charge of sorting out Labour’s social media strategy, or “transforming the party for the digital age”. The competition is weak, he will have to go some way to do worse than the Tories’ current standard of hashtags and videos. Though the first signs of the “Dugher Doctrine” are hardly encouraging either. As much as Labour talk about how many people their online campaigning has reached, Guido does not really think preaching to the converted while annoying everybody else is a well thought out strategy. If they think getting MPs to obediently tweet a slogan simultaneously will win an election, go ahead, tweet. Seal Team, engage…

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Quote of the Day

Change UK MP Joan Ryan tells Change UK’s South West ‘rally’:

“Can everyone look at their hands please?”

*everyone holds out their hands in front them*

“That’s it, it’s there, the future is in your hands.”

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