GENUINE WORKING CLASS?
In January, Jeremy Corbyn’s dismissal of Maria Eagle, Pat McFadden and Michael Dugher from the Shadow Cabinet was met with a chorus of condemnation. Many critics echoed the views of Conor McGinn, a serving Labour whip, who claimed Dugher and McFadden were “authentic, working class, traditional Labour voices…..…If we aren't careful Labour will completely lose touch with the people we are supposed to represent.”
Perhaps it is me but in McFadden’s case - a man who did not emerge from the expenses scandal with a great deal of credit (1) - I am not sure how going to University, before starting out as a researcher for Donald Dewer and then working for Labour leader’s John Smith and Tony Blair before becoming an MP makes him authentic and working class. Dugher’s career has followed almost exactly the same pattern, University, a very brief spell as policy head in a trade union before becoming an MP.
Eagle also went to University and then became a solicitor before becoming an MP. She was another MP who failed to emerge from the expenses scandal with any credit.
Now all this might not be so bad if all three had not been an integral part of the most right wing Labour Government ever. A Government that really did lose touch with the people they are supposed to represent.