I see Margaret Hodge is hamming it up for the cameras like the world's worst soap actress, and journalists are pretending to believe a word she says. It's like the summer of 2018 all over again, albeit without the sunny weather.

Frankly, anyone who believed that Hodge was sincere in any of her claims that summer should atone for their gullibility by wearing clown make-up in public for a full year. Every part of her protracted temper tantrum was planned out on a grid with her factional allies.
You can be quite certain that no British journalists actually took her ravings seriously, although they found it expedient to pretend otherwise. It was a display of cynicism and bad faith with few parallels in modern times—a stomach-churning performance.
Even Hodge's critics often forget the timing of her outburst—shortly after Boris Johnson resigned from May's cabinet in protest at her Brexit plan. The Tories seemed to be tearing themselves apart, so a distraction was urgently needed, and Hodge obliged.

Hodge pretended to believe she thought Jeremy Corbyn was an antisemite because Labour's NEC wanted to make some sensible alterations to the IHRA definition. *The man who wrote that definition* says it's not fit for purpose as a disciplinary code.

The British media devoted an entire summer to this controversy, months away from the Brexit deadline, while categorically refusing to discuss the merits of the IHRA definition or even to inform their audience that it had critics other than Jeremy Corbyn.

The people who have presented Hodge as a saintly anti-racist champion are well aware that even Alan Johnson, a proud Blairite, accused her of aping the BNP's rhetoric against immigration. Nobody believes a word of this guff.


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More from @DanFinn95

17 May
Latest Long Reads podcast is up now, with Paul Buhle talking about the life and work of C. L. R. James (and a few clips from James himself talking about cricket, Haiti, Marxism and more):

Great interview with James by Studs Terkel from 1970 here:

And another between James and Edward Thompson here:

Read 4 tweets
12 May
This article is worth reading, not because it has any positive merits, but because it condenses the sheer malevolence of Blair’s role in public life. No constructive ideas, just a remorseless drive to smash and wreck any progressive political force on behalf of his paymasters. 1/
Labour under Corbyn bucked this trend, increasing its vote share by 10% in 2017. Its 2019 performance was still vastly better than recent elections for the SPD, which averaged nearly 41% of the vote from 1994 to 2005, or the PS, which won the presidency as recently as 2012. 2/ Image
Blair can acknowledge the difficulties now Corbyn has been ousted. But he implies the SPD lost support for being too radical after serving in government with the main conservative party for 12 of the last 16 years. He won’t even mention the name “Renzi” when it comes to Italy. 3/ Image
Read 20 tweets
2 May
There's a steady trickle of these unverifiable anecdotes before the Hartlepool by-election has even happened, getting their excuses in early, but no discussion of what this "breach of trust" actually was—and certainly no mention of Labour's change of line on Brexit after 2017.
Hartlepool voted 70% Leave in 2016. The following year, Labour pledged to accept the referendum result and increased its vote by 17%, two years into Corbyn's leadership. When Labour promised a second referendum in 2019, its vote dropped by 15%.

Lewis Goodall looked at the impact of Labour's change of line on Brexit in an excellent article the week before the 2019 election that accurately predicted what would happen on polling day. You can't talk about "trust" without acknowledging this.

Read 5 tweets
31 Mar
He's right, of course. But I can't help recall that Sanghera signed an open letter telling people not to vote for Labour because of alleged concerns about antisemitism in 2019. It said nothing at all about the racism of Johnson or the Tories, and several Tories signed it.
The implicit but unmistakable message of this letter was: a vote for Johnson is morally permissible in a way that a vote for Corbyn is not. No wonder the likes of Tony Parsons, Frederick Forsyth and indefatigable Saudi apologist Ghanem Nuseibeh signed it.

The hypocrisy was breathtaking: the signatories demanded to know "which other community's concerns are disposable", while giving a green light to the party of Windrush and the "hostile environment". Tellingly, the only other factor they could think of was Brexit.
Read 4 tweets
11 Mar
I came across this piece for the first time the other day, from the height of pre-election madness in 2019, and it's quite a good summary of the sheer dross that passes for commentary on world affairs in the British media—always geared towards having a pop at the left. 1/
The claims of "serious irregularities" and "clear manipulation" from the OAS were complete bunk, as was clear at the time, not merely in hindsight. 2/

Within days of this article appearing, the coup regime had massacred those protesting against the ousting of Morales by the Bolivian army. But hey, don't call it a coup guys: that "doesn't cut it." 3/

Read 7 tweets
17 Feb
This is a very good and depressing piece, and really drives home the point that Uber isn't so much a company as a latter-day version of the Pinkertons, lavishly subsidized by venture capital through its multi-billion losses to smash up workers' rights.

With opponents like these, who needs friends?

"Despite signing the bill [to regulate Uber], Newsom was still trying to negotiate an agreement that would ultimately shield them from it."
Another would-be foe: “The goal of the matter is for everyone to walk away equally unhappy”—the centrist credo really, how inspiring! Can't imagine how Uber has been able to roll over the opposition to its schemes like a tank.
Read 10 tweets

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