With Labour’s popularity undimmed - the party has a 5% lead in the most recent poll by Survation, the pollster which got closest to the actual outcome of June’s General Election - times are hard for the press’ phalanx of leftie bashers, and especially the Mail on Sunday’s not even slightly celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges, who needs to be seen to be doing something moderately productive for his exorbitantly high salary.
He's desperate, Dan
So it came to pass that Desperate Dan brought forth his latest Meisterwerk for the MoS, under the title “'All the hopey, changey stuff can be junked': Corbyn's inner circle is now taking aim at Labour moderates”. It is? “'The Corbynites are really coming for us,' one Labour MP told me grimly. 'There's nothing to stop them”. Sounds serious.
“Another Labour MP put it more graphically. Or cinematically. 'The White Walkers have arrived,' he said - a reference to the rapacious undead army from Game Of Thrones”. Dan loves his undead references - who can forget his imploring Labour to “Kill Vampire Jezza”? Not that he’s inciting violence, you understand - only the rotten lefties do that.
Hodges' kinder, gentler punditry
But then Hodges gets too far ahead of himself and emerges from the experience with trousers well ablaze, and as so often with his recent outpourings, what trips him up is the claim that Labour has suddenly come over all anti-Semitic. One example from his column today illustrates the willingness to dispense with the facts in order to pull the smear.
“A graphic recent example of [Corbyn supporters’ tactics] occurred in Haringey, where a routine motion sponsored by the UN condemning anti-Semitism became the subject of a stormy protest in which one Jewish councillor was spat on, and others were shouted down and threatened with political retribution”. How many whoppers there?
This is totally untrue, which means ...
One, there was no UN sponsored motion. Two, the motion was not condemning anything. Three, no-one, and certainly not a Jewish councillor, was spat on. And four, the claim of others plural being threatened is not true, either.
So what is he talking about? The council was considering “a motion to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism”. And what happened? “Councillor Joe Goldberg said members from the pro-Jeremy Corbyn Momentum group threatened him for supporting the motion while other speakers were also shouted down at the meeting on Monday night”. One person reports he was threatened.
... there can be only one conclusion
Apart from that, Hodges is either exaggerating or flat-out lying. And that’s not good enough. But he wasn’t finished even then, claiming on Twitter that “Chris [Williamson] literally defended anti-Semitism and attacked those confronting it”. Two more whoppers there: Williamson did not defend anti-Semitism, and what he attacked was the knee-jerk deployment of anti-Semitism accusations as an attack device.
Which is more or less what Desperate Dan is doing in his MoS column. Still, keeps him out of mischief and the paycheques rolling in. Nothing new there, then.