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Monday 24 August 2015

Dan Hodges - Guilty By Association

Last week, the Telegraph’s not at all celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges left his Twitter followers in no doubt: “Other thing that’s terrifying is it’s quite clear we’re currently only scratching the surface with Corbyn and his associates … I’m saying he provides a platform for extremists and shares platforms with extremists. Not implying, saying”. One could therefore reasonably expect him to condemn all such people.
He's a serious pundit. Allegedly

The problem here is that, were Hodges to be consistent in his condemnation, those thus condemned would have to include Himself Personally Now. Because, last February, he was a panellist on‘The Big Question: How Free Is Speech?’ A debate looking at the limits of Free Speech in the West, should freedom to insult Religion be allowed, while Freedom to criticise Western values be prohibited?”.

This event took place at Queen Mary University of London (just off the Mile End Road) and was co-hosted by CAGE, a group that has attracted the righteous ire of no less a paper than the Daily Mail. Now, here on Zelo Street the Mail merits a credibility rating of not unadjacent to zero. But Hodges is prepared to use the platform that paper provides, notably to slag off the Labour Party, of which he was a member at the time.
And there’s more: the speakers at the event where Hodges was on the panel - that would be those with whom he shared the platform - included Moazzam Begg, whom the Mail On Sunday has linked to ISIS, or whatever they’re called this week, and even the bloke whom the press have nicknamed “Jihadi John”. The Mail has passed severely adverse comment on CAGE for describing “Jihadi John” as a “beautiful person”.

Also on that panel was Hamza Tzortzis, who claimsI am not a member of Hizb ut Tahrir or any other political party, and I am not a ‘front’ for their work”, before conceding “However I have been associated with the Hizb ut Tahrir in the past”. H-u-T has not been banned in the UK, but two Prime Ministers have tried. And then, on that same panel, was Abdullah al Andalusi, who has also been called out for extremism by the press.
Indeed, it was Andrew “transcription error” Gilligan who revealed “By day, at heart of counter-terror policing. And by night, preacher of extremism … Government watchdog, which inspects police forces’ readiness for terrorism, employed preacher of extremismonly two months ago. Again, Gilligan merits instant scepticism here on Zelo Street, but it was in the Telegraph - to which Hodges contributes on a regular basis.

Would I have shared a platform with any or all of those individuals? Yes, and I have no criticism of Hodges for so doing. We get nowhere by refusing dialogue. But by the remarks he has made, in his attack on Jeremy Corbyn, he is guilty of appalling double standards. If he wants others to be judged by who they share a platform with, then he has to accept that this applies to him as well. And by his standards, he is a hypocrite.

Not that I expect Dan Hodges to accept that any time soon. He’s not up to it.


Anonymous said...

He's desperate, Dan.

Due thanks to Alan Bleasdale.

Anonymous said...

are you having a laugh? Dan Hodges spoke at the event with Islamic fundamentalists to challenge them, which he did, and wrote about it. Corbyn shares platforms with extremists because he supports them and wants to empower them.

Tim Fenton said...

"Supports them and wants to empower them". Who was it who was having a laugh?

In any case, this does not address the point made: Hodges talked quite clearly of guilt by association. He was associating.

Anonymous said...


You're wasting your time responding to that gimp @ 20:24.

He's probably from the same stable as "Jonathan." Or should that be "unstable"?

Alas, the perils of bloggers......