Labour are once again ahead in the polls, and like clockwork Margaret Hodge has emerged to badmouth her own party in the most extraordinary manner. In this article I’m going to look at just some of the desperately cynical, wantonly offensive, and downright dishonest nonsense she spewed in her interview with Sky News.
Muddying the water
Hodge said a lot of off-the-charts nonsense in her interview, but I’ve got to start with the most cynical and dangerous of her assertions. In an effort to have a stab at Jeremy Corbyn she claimed that there’s “a fine line between being pro-Palestinian, and being anti-Semitic”.
This is blatantly untrue. One involves having a bit of basic human decency and expressing solidarity towards the victims of decades of brutal Israeli repression. The other involves being a disgusting bigot who hates Jewish people for no reason other than that they’re Jews.
There is no “fine line” between decency and indecency, and this effort by Margaret Hodge to claim that there is, is nothing but a cynical effort to intimidate decent people out of expressing solidarity with the Palestinians for fear of being labelled a racist bigot for having done so.
Trivialising the Holocaust
After screaming vitriolic and defamatory abuse in Jeremy Corbyn’s face Margaret Hodge was subjected to a brief disciplinary procedure which involved the sending of a few letters, an meeting, and her getting let off scot free for an offence that would have seen any ordinary Labour Party member hoofed out of the party for good.
In a desperate attempt to present herself as the victim, Hodge actually compared this disciplinary process to the horror of fleeing Nazi Germany.
Just try to imagine the absolute tower of self-righteous delusion a person would have to be sitting upon in order to imagine that trivialising the horrors of the Holocaust in order to pose as the poor victim of a flawed softball disciplinary process that let her off scot free for an offence that would have had any normal person in a normal job rightly expecting the sack.
By trivialising the Holocaust in this way Hodge has demonstrated that she’s massively over-privileged and extremely disconnected from reality.
Let’s not forget that this is the same Labour Party that attempted to rig the 2nd Corbyn leadership election by purging thousands of left-wing members for “crimes” such as once retweeting a non-Labour MP, voting for a different political party long before they even joined Labour, and even liking the Foo Fighters too much!
Hodge was let off scot free for what would probably have seen any ordinary person like you or I sacked from our jobs, but she didn’t have a single word of criticism when thousands of ordinary people were being purged from the Labour Party for no reason other than they were likely to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in a leadership election!
Basically Hodge believes she should be allowed to do whatever she likes to bring the party into disrepute, because disciplinary processes, punishments, and expulsions are only for the little people.
In comparing Labour’s softball disciplinary procedure to the Holocaust in her victim-pleading rant Hodge has accidentally revealed her own hypocrisy.
The pro-Israeli lobby have long argued that it’s grotesque to compare stuff like the deliberate killing of scores of unarmed civilians (including medics, journalists, and children) in the vast open air prison camp of Gaza to Nazism or the Holocaust, even to the extent of smearing a Jewish Holocaust survivor as an anti-Semite just to have another crack at Corbyn.
But if comparing indisputable acts of brutality and repression to the actions of the Nazis is tasteless, then how on earth can it be considered reasonable to compare something as benign as an internal party political disciplinary process to the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust?
By claiming that Jeremy Corbyn has overseen an increase in anti-Semitism Hodge wasn’t just veering off into hyperbole, she was outright lying.
The evidence is absolutely clear that rates of anti-Semitism have fallen dramatically in the Labour ranks since Corbyn became leader.
The obvious explanation for this trend would seem to be that the massive influx of left-leaning socially liberal people into the Labour Party since 2015 has significantly diluted the pre-existing levels of anti-Semitism.
Let’s not forget that back in 2005 Labour’s top spin doctor Alistair Campbell masterminded grossly offensive poster campaign depicting a Jewish political rival as a pig and a Fagin character.
This was at a time when Hodge was an actual government minister, but somehow, she didn’t speak out about this grotesque anti-Semitism right at the heart of the Labour Party and use it to attack the party leadership.
Now that anti-Semitism rates have fallen dramatically under Corbyn, and nobody at the top of the party is doing anything remotely as bigoted as running an anti-Semitic poster campaign, now she’s persistently complaining about the issue?
Surely anyone with any sense at all can see that someone who turns a blind eye to the blatant anti-Semitism of her political allies can’t possibly be making a fuss over the issue in good faith when it comes to her political opponents?
Hodge attempts to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity by raising concerns about the “rise of populism” but completely gives the game away with her list of supposed populists.
She mentions Boris Johnson and Donald Trump first, with no negative description, but when it comes to Corbyn she says “the cult of Corbynism”, thus revealing she’s actually got more antipathy towards Corbyn’s democratic socialist agenda than Boris Johnson’s extreme-right ultranationalism, or the frightening and ideologically incoherent lunacy of Trumpism!
It’s no surprise that Hodge is such a vehement opponent of Corbynism given that she was the beneficiary of a £1.5 million tax-dodging scam via a Liechtenstein-based fund.
If anyone is likely to oppose Corbyn’s determination to clamp down on the tax-dodging of the mega-rich it’s someone who participates in that kind of thing.
Excuse me, who are the cultists?
In insultingly dismissing everyone who supports Jeremy Corbyn as a “cult”, Margaret Hodge is simply showing how out of touch she is with the wishes of the Labour Party membership.
People don’t support Corbyn because they see him as some kind of infallible idol but because he represents a genuine alternative to the hard-right neoliberal orthodoxy that has served the mega-rich and the political class do well over the last four decades at the expense of the rest of us.
the reality is that a lot of people are drawn to Corbyn because of his principles and policies (stuff like renationalising the railways, sticking up for workers, combating tax-dodging, stopping arms sales to despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia) but wish he was a bit better at forcing the point home.
Hodge really doesn’t seem to realise that the vast majority of British people have absolutely had it with self-serving political elites flogging off our national assets to their mates on the cheap, gutting our local communities, trashing our wages and working conditions, and imposing ruinous austerity dogma on the nation in order to make the poor and ordinary shoulder the entire cost of the bankers’ bailouts, lavishing handouts and tax breaks on corporations and the mega-rich, and fiddling their expenses all the while to maximise their own personal gains.
The reality is that it’s the Westminster establishment club and their lackeys in the mainstream media who are living in a cult, but because they have little or no concern for ordinary people.
They’re content in their cosy little ideological echo chamber full of reassurances that strict adherence to the orthodox neoliberal ideology is still an unquestionable article of faith, and that anyone who actually listens to what the little people want must be the mad, bad, dangerous, extremist with the cult following!
One of the most disturbing things about the interview is the complicity of the interviewer, who instead of actually questioning any of the dishonest, deluded, and borderline deranged nonsense Hodge was spouting, actually nodded along like it’s the received wisdom!
Maybe you could give the journalist a break for being too taken aback by the outlandishness of it to interject during Hodge’s extraordinary Holocaust hyperbole, but failing to point out the fact that she was outright lying about anti-Semitism having increased under Jeremy Corbyn is an extraordinary failure.
Isn’t it the least we can expect from journalists that they actually hold powerful establishment figures to account when they lie, rather than acting as their enablers and mouthpieces?