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Saturday, 9 January 2016

Dan Hodges - Wrong On Dugher

It has not been a good week for the Pundit Establishment, with an inordinate amount of time being expended on a very limited shadow cabinet reshuffle on which so many of them called it badly wrong. And no-one embodies the failure better than the Telegraph’s not at all celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges, who has claimed to know the inside story of Michael Dugher’s sacking, only to get it dreadfully wrong.
He's desperate, Dan

Even the headline of Hodges’ piece, “Tom Watson's power is waning - and soon he's going to have to choose where his loyalties lie”, is at the very least questionable. But it is on Dugher where he really sells the pass: the MP “was a well respected and well liked member of the shadow cabinet, who had a reputation for being one of Labour’s most effective anti-Tory ‘attack dogs’”. Two things here.
Michael Dugher

Being an “attack dog” does not equal shadow cabinet competence. And Dugher was, as I’ve already told, regarded as useless, ineffective on subjects like Leveson 1 and 2, the BBC Charter Review and the threatened sell-off of Channel 4. But back to Hodges: “he was also viewed by many colleagues as being ‘untouchable’ because he enjoyed the patronage of Tom Watson - one of his closest friends - and Andy Burnham”.
Tom Watson

Then we see just how clueless Hodges can be: of Watson’s absence on holiday, he notes “‘It’s all got a whiff of John Major’s toothache’ one [Labour MP] said to me – a reference to the dental emergency that allowed Major to avoid signing Margaret Thatcher’s nomination papers during the Tory putsch of 1990”. That, Dan, was an enormous hint that you were being given - a hint that you missed totally.
Andy Burnham

Andy Burnham, too, tried his best to let Hodges know that he was barking up the wrong tree, at one point Tweeting to him “You don't half talk rubbish sometimes”. But Hodges was too clever by half, sniggering “So I'm wrong. You are resigning then”. No Dan, he wasn’t resigning. He was never going to resign. You just don’t get it.
Someone can't take the hint

Dugher was given a respectful send-off by Watson and many others. That does not mean they had wanted him to remain in the shadow cabinet. It means they did not want to see him humiliated by a move that was seen as inevitable. Many of them, as Hodges rightly tells, go back a long way together. That is all.

Also missed completely by Hodges was the perception that Dugher was too close to the Murdoch press. That matters when he was supposed to be following up on Leveson 1, and urging the start of Leveson 2. It matters when he was meant to hold the Government to account on BBC Charter renewal. And we now know it was more than perception.
Look where he went running to

That is because Dugher has gone running to - where else - the Murdoch press, making some most creative allegations in today’s Times, such as “Corbyn keeps bad company, most are out of their depth” (says MP who was, er, out of his depth shadowing the DCMS), and claiming that Ken Livingstone is “running the Labour leadership”.

And Dan Hodges doesn’t know why Watson and Burnham would not fight harder for Michael Dugher. One can only wonder what else he doesn’t know, while assuming he does. But then, the Tel’s coverage of Labour ceased to be useful many years ago.

7 comments:

Gweedo Fawkes said...

Just woke up after Christmas.
What year is it? I think I put too much Chablis in my cornflakes or I are a bad pie.

What's all this talk of Car crashes and assassination?

That stuff makes us nervous. Those lot at Sun HQ are bricking it.

R. Murdoch said...

STFU you odious p***k.

What a mess you are making.

Somebody get me a bedpan.

I just pray nobody here knows who I am!

Jonathan Wilson said...

His twatter profile "MP for Barnsley East. Sacked by Jeremy Corbyn for too much straight talking, honest politics."

What is he, 12?

If that's his level of maturity, standing, and ability, its just as well Corbyn got shot of him.

Anonymous said...

Hodges, Dugher and Murdoch. A trashy puppet show, with the OzYank with his hands up both of their arses, working them.

Their desperation gets funnier by the day. It won't be long before they choke on their own poison. Bring 'em on I say, bring 'em on.

Those three are among the best arguments for supporting Corbyn. Whatever they're against must be decent.

Ms Murphy said...

Has anyone seen my husband?

Oh, and my car?

R. Murdoch said...

Somebody get me a bedpan!

I'll pay £300,000 if you don't show it to anyone else!

Mr Ex Mirror said...

I'm warning you about your little hardrive smasher.

He's going to hang us all.

He's unstable and will do anything to boost his ego.