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Wednesday 24 September 2014

Dan Hodges Reaches Peak Whingeing

[Update at end of post]

Among the right-wing carping at Mil The Younger’s conference speech yesterday, that generated by those at the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs scored exceptionally high marks in the stampy tantrum stakes. Stephen Bush called it “funereal, permanently glum Janet Daley said it was “pretty dismal, Tim Stanley shouted “resign, and James Kirkup declared it to have been “flat.
Hodges supporting the Tories. No change there

Then came the Tel’s blues artiste Whingeing Dan Hodges, who has suffered for his art, and so now it’s your turn. “He had no interest in reaching out beyond his delegates. Instead he delivered a speech designed to move his party painlessly back into its comfort zone” carped the pundit who sulked out of Labour, crossed the floor, embraced Lynton Crosby and backed Bozza.

Sadly, this latest Hodges whingefest was a deliberate hatchet job, and cobbled together without research: where he lets the cat out of the bag is in slagging off Miliband’s talk of Englishness, which “evolved into a roll call of socialist martyrs. The marchers of Cable Street. The unions at Dagenham ... He seemed to be implying the only true Englishman are those carrying Labour Party membership cards”.

And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, whenever you look at accounts of the Dagenham machinists’ strike of 1968, there is no mention of the Labour Party except the intervention of then Employment Secretary Barbara Castle. Hodges cannot get his head round the idea that Trade Union membership might not mean they were Labour members, or even supporters.

Then we come to the Cable Street riots of 1936. These were joined not by the Labour Party, but the Independent Labour Party, which at the time had dis-affiliated from the mainstream party. Moreover, the leader of the anti-fascist forces ranged against Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts was Phil Piratin, a Communist, who was later elected Communist MP for Mile End.

This clear lack of accuracy just underscores that Hodges is not interested in the facts, but kicking Miliband, which has been his obsession more or less since the Labour leadership election. The reality – that, as Mike Smithson of Political Betting has observed, all Miliband’s proposals from that speech enjoy a plurality, if not a majority, of public support – can go hang.

Hodges could do worse than listen to Peter Oborne, who observedIt got panned by political commentators on social media. There is, however, no connection between the response of the chattering classes in London to Mr Miliband's speech and how it will be received in the country at large. Many of his proposals will be greeted with acclaim”. The voters, Dan, live in the real world, not your world.

He might as well join the Tories. He’s already voting for them, after all.

[UPDATE 1830 hours: following Hodges' latest bout of carping, which carried on his usual theme about Labour losing next year's General Election, Mike Smithson of Political Betting suggested he might like to increase the amount of his bet - currently standing at £100 - that the Tories would be the largest party afterwards.
After all, if Hodges is so sure, he might be expected to jump at the chance. Sadly, no man is of perfect courage, and he chickened out. That, folks, shows you the substance of his whinges at Miliband]


rob said...

"Dan Hodges Reaches Peak Whingeing "?

I'm sure with a General Election still a few months away he will have aspirations to achieve a few more peaks from the trough.

If the mountains won't come to Hodges, then he must surmount a few molehills more.

asquith said...

I can reveal that Dan Hodges has a hitherto unknown twin brother in America. Here's his appearance on American TV.