Labour MP Michael Dugher is not exactly what you’d call ‘a class act’. He writes for the worst end of the right-wing rags, has a short fuse, doesn’t respond well to ‘inconvenient’ facts and resorts to abuse at the drop of a hat, at least on social media:
In spite – or because – of these and other shortcomings, Dugher was appointed by deputy leader Tom Watson as his ‘fake news czar’, even though it’s far from clear that Watson had the authority to set up his own inquiry into fake news. It was quickly apparent that Dugher was going to give the main source of fake news – the mainstream media (MSM) a free pass and focus his attention on alternative sources of ‘inconvenient’ news, such as the Canary.
If irony hadn’t already died with his appointment, it would be gasping a last breath now, though, because the man heading Watson’s ‘fake news inquiry’ – yes you guessed it – has been peddling fake news.
Yet again, his target is Jeremy Corbyn. Last autumn, Dugher shared Saving Labour‘s completely fictitious claim that Jeremy Corbyn attended the funeral of Fidel Castro, attempting, laughably, to turn it into an antisemitism smear.
This time he’s sharing an article by Total Politics.
Dugher tweeted a contemptuous take on a Corbyn photoshoot on the pitch at Luton Town FC to promote the launch of Labour’s £10 minimum wage policy:
Dugher is attempting a dig at the competence of Corbyn and McDonnell, claiming that they didn’t think through the location selected for the photo opportunity – because there’s a football supporter’s flag in the background with ‘dangerous’ and a wheelie-bin. There’s a similar scene in The Thick of It, so Dugher’s tweet doesn’t even have the virtue of originality.
And it certainly doesn’t have the virtue of any truth.
Here’s the actual photo set-up from a couple of slightly different angles:
As you can see, no sign of a wheelie bin, nor of any fans’ flags.
The Total Politics photographer did, however, wander round to the side to capture a photo when the group of subjects were clearly not posing for a photograph:
Corbyn and the gentlemen in ties are not looking at the camera, nor is McDonnell, who is standing off to the side. If anything, it looks like they’ve just entered the stadium and haven’t walked to the position near the players’ tunnel that had been selected for the shoot.
In other words, this is not an incompetent photoshoot, it’s mischief by the photographer – at best, since he was clearly looking to tout that picture as it ended up the main and only image in Total Politics‘ article.
That makes Dugher’s application of the image outright fake news. Which ought to result in Dugher’s immediate resignation from the ridiculous inquiry he’s heading.
But it won’t, because that’s not the world we’re living in any more.
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