“What holds you back in the Labour Party isn’t being female, or poor, or black. It’s not knowing the right person” tells supposed Labour loyalist Dan Hodges in his latest offering to the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs, a subject that appears new to his oeuvre. Why would he be fussed about what one needs to get on in the Labour Party? After all, he’s not exactly enamoured of its current leadership.
Not Dan's favourite Labour leader ...
But he is sure that the Party’s commitment to making its candidate list reflect the country at large means that Mil The Younger would not get through the door. By this singular logic, he concludes that there is more to becoming a candidate than just satisfying the diversity ideal (the thought that any party will also have to take a number of those who are motivated enough to do the job does not enter).
And he is quick to point out that not all of his fellow Labour members are of high enough principle to embrace the concept of equality, claiming that Trade Union leadership is a male preserve. This manages to miss the inconvenient fact that the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has just appointed its first female General Secretary, Frances O’Grady. Ah well, minor omission, eh?
... and the real reason he's going nowhere
But Hodges sticks to his task, describing the kinds of people who will stand for Labour come the next General Election, those who he claims work in the private offices of the current leadership or shadow cabinet, or in the Trade Union movement, or in centre-left think tanks, or in local Government. And he includes journalists and bloggers who are uncritical of that leadership.
So now it starts to come clear what Hodges is driving at. He has been an activist member of the party, but has not worked in any of those favoured positions – at least not recently – and has developed a habit of rubbishing the Miliband leadership. So he is not thus favoured. But why would this concern him – unless he had set his sights on becoming an MP and had been rejected?
Methinks Dan doth protest too much. And he can complain all he likes, but this will get him precisely nowhere. After all, he campaigned very publicly against the Labour candidate in the London Mayoral Election and was snapped embracing Tory campaign chief Lynton Crosby after the result. His clear support for Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was, moreover, utterly devoid of principle.
Voting for Bozza was, as we’ve seen since that election, a vote not against cronyism, but for it. Backing Johnson because of Ken Livingstone’s supposed difficulties with Jewish voters was to support a man who happily employed Taki for years. The idea that a Johnson mayoralty would stop waste ignores all the vanity projects. And then there have been all the broken promises.
It was a most unwise move. And no party will forget that kind of “loyalty”, Dan.