Meet Dobir Miah. He’s a British Muslim, of Bangladeshi heritage, a Labour Party member and past Council candidate, and is also CEO of Rochdale Council of Mosques. Given the town’s significant Muslim population, many of whom can trace their roots back to Bangladesh, one might think that the local MP would be ready and willing to address Miah’s concerns, especially if they were addressed to that MP.
But that thought would be misplaced, not least because Miah’s MP is the (still) nominally Labour Simon Danczuk, who gives the impression he would very much like to be let back in to the party from which he has been suspended ever since he was caught “sexting” a 17-year-old girl back in December last year. On the basis of Danczuk’s response to Dobir Miah, Labour may not be so keen to have him back.
After observing Danczuk once again pontificating on Bangladesh’s internal politics, Miah asked “I think @SimonDanczuk is far too worried about #Bangladesh these days than his #Rochdale constituency! Wonder why?” It’s a fair question, given the MP’s pronouncements - and recent visit to the country. What was his explanation?
It was hardly a model of diplomatic nuance: “You focus on your own constituency of Heywood & Middleton where you continually fail to win a council seat mate”. Miah was undaunted and gave Danczuk nothing more than a little ribbing in return: “You seem to be taking a leaf out of your ex wife/employee in picking on issues related to Heywood & Middleton”. That would be Kazza’s recent Twitter outburst.
Would Sir care to think twice and maybe be a little more diplomatic towards his constituent? Sadly, he would not: “You’re obsessed! You ought to get yourself a life” he snapped back. Was it really Danczuk in charge of his Twitter feed? Had he left Kazza to work it? Whatever, it was not a good look. Miah tried again. “you’re avoiding the question as to why you’re so bothered about a foreign country’s issues but not Rochdale's issues”.
Quite so. And all the while, this exchange was tagging the Manchester Evening News newsdesk, so they would be able to keep tabs on one of their best sources for foot-in-mouth and other own goal incidents. There was still, though, a chance for Danczuk to redeem himself. All would depend on his reply. What was it to be? “Have you nothing better to do than troll me?” he moaned, and thus sold the pass.
Simon Danczuk, or whoever is working his Twitter account, is behaving as if being civil to those in the Labour Party no longer matters. Worse, he’s deliberately insulted the CEO of Rochdale Council of Mosques - after all that time he spent cultivating the Bangladeshi community in the town. Where does he think his support will come from if he insults large parts of his electorate and the party to which he claims to be loyal?
I said it wasn’t going to be a good week for Simon Danczuk. Now he has confirmed it.