Step forward the Telegraph’s not at all celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges, who is clearly feeling less than secure at his current berth, and with good reason: the Tel is notorious at shedding writers, and in any case, the Hodges USP, that he has an inside track on the Labour Party, ran out of road years ago. He noted recently “@LordAshcroft has now taken to approvingly re-tweeting Tim Fenton in his own defence. Genuinely”.
So who is this titan of probity, principle and perception, who sits in judgment on others? As Cilla might have said, shall we have a look and find out? Let us consider Hodges’ assessment of Young Dave’s speech today, more hot air from a politician who has never been good on honesty and consistency. “David Cameron has basically closed the Labour party … This isn't a centrist speech. It's a centre-left speech”.
Disabled targeted, child tax credits cut, NHS attacked, “otherness” demonised, this is “centre-left”? He means it: “David Cameron is now the leader of the British left”. Compare Dave’s approach to the Saudis preparing to crucify - literally - a young man, with that of Jeremy Corbyn. Just how “left” is that? Hello Dan, you’re supposed to analyse this guff and check it against reality, not write a fanzine. But have another go.
“Manchester 2015 is the Tory party's Clause 4 moment”. He changed the Tories’ party constitution? “Actually, not the Tories Clause 4 moment. More like their Bad Godesberg moment”. The Tories are like the German SPD? They’re changing direction completely? Er, no they’re not. They’re coming out with an avalanche of PR guff that Real Proper Journalists (tm) should be sensible enough to see through.
“‘It's only words’ say the Left. Well, yes. That's what a speech is”. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. Inventing something you call “the left” just makes you look like an even bigger prat. And yes, it is just words, but you got suckered by it, Mr objective and formerly credible pundit. “Shadow Minister: ‘Think we might be in a bit of tight spot’”. You’re inventing again, Dan. Try keeping hold of reality.
Oh look out, it’s the G-word again: “Jeremy Corbyn says David Cameron is ‘rattled’. Genuinely”. Mr Paid Journalist missed the bin Laden smear, but details, eh? Try again. “I'm not going to join the Tories. But it may take me a while to come up with a coherent reason why”. So there’s no reason for the Tel to employ you, is there, Dan? Tell you what, ask your pal Tony Gallagher over at the Sun. I believe he’s got a pundit vacancy.