It’s been a rough few months for the anti-Corbyn brigade. With the Labour leader ahead in the polls and the Conservatives twisting in the wind, they’ve not had much to get excited about. So in a moment of desperation, three Westminster hacks tried to whip up a fresh smear campaign against Corbyn at the weekend. But the results were not as they’d hoped.
Hodges used to describe himself as the Blairite cuckoo in the Labour nest. But by the 2017 general election, he finally switched his vote to Conservative. His political predictions are legendary. Who knew one man could be so wrong, so consistently?
People asking from my final prediction. Tory majority 110. There you go Jeremy Corbyn. Don't say I never do anything for you…
— (((Dan Hodges))) (@DPJHodges) June 7, 2017
But amid stiff competition, Hodges is at his worst with his faux concern on antisemitism. He has done much to associate Corbyn’s opposition to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine with hatred of Jewish people. But here’s how Hodges (not Jewish) responded to a Jewish blogger calling for him to stop using Judaism as a political football:
What a guy.
But there was fresh, self-inflicted shame for Hodges at the weekend.
Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell appeared on The Andrew Marr Show, and referred to the deaths at Grenfell Tower as ‘social murder’. Hodges went straight to Twitter:
John McDonnell has now invented an entirely new offence called "social murder".
— (((Dan Hodges))) (@DPJHodges) July 16, 2017
This “entirely new offence” is a term coined by leading philosopher, social scientist, and journalist Friedrich Engels back in 1845. Had Hodges read a book or two on political history, or done a quick Google search, he could have saved himself a whole lot of pain:
I didn't realise that John McDonnell was over 172 years old and called "Frederich Engels". Learn something new every day. https://t.co/JyL9VDk6Xf
— Stephen Bush (@stephenkb) July 16, 2017
Murdoch favourite Beth Rigby is a Sky News hack formerly of The Times. She also went for McDonnell over his remarks on Marr. But instead of accusing McDonnell of inventing an offence, she tried to argue that he had committed one:
MPs debate being subjected to shocking abuse. And days later, language like this still being used by 2nd most powerful man in Labour https://t.co/j5Wx2I1ADH
— Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) July 16, 2017
To Rigby, it is abuse to challenge a government for fostering conditions in which dozens of people burned to death in their homes. But she quickly found out how many people shared her contrived view:
This tweet manifests all the problems with 'abuse' debate. Anger at politicians who's decisions have led to death and misery is not abuse. > https://t.co/UBUno1A5dp
— Michael Walker (@michaeljswalker) July 16, 2017
One of a bizarre bunch of former British Trotskyists (that includes the likes of Nick Cohen), Aaronovitch cuts a strange figure. His advocacy for liberalism is consistently undermined by his staunchly neoliberal views on economic and foreign policy.
He got himself in hot water at the weekend by apparently forgetting the invasion of Iraq.
Over the weekend, the media granted former PM Tony Blair considerable space to denounce Jeremy Corbyn. Guardian commentator Owen Jones, meanwhile, argued that the media was giving Blair far too easy a ride. And that led to this exchange:
For heaven’s sake Owen. Blair did not ‘help kill hundreds of thousands of people’. Assad genuinely has.
— David Aaronovitch (@DAaronovitch) July 15, 2017
Sir John Chilcot, who led the Chilcot Inquiry into what happened in Iraq, recently accused Tony Blair of “not being straight” with the country. He said Blair based his decision to invade on “belief”, not “what the assessed intelligence said”. A decade later, nearly half a million people were dead, with numbers still rising. Experts have also argued that Western meddling in the region contributed to the rise of al-Qaeda and Daesh (Isil/Isis).
That none of this registers with Aaronovitch is exactly the black spot in his thinking that undermines his liberal protestations. There’s nothing liberal about smashing your way into a country to steal its natural resources, then forgetting the half million people killed in the process:
The Iraq War seems to have slipped a certain someone's mind… https://t.co/xcyEztFWyP
— Alan Matthews (@hazmatt72) July 16, 2017
Hodges, Rigby and Aaronovitch are desperate to be viewed as the adults in the room. The truth is, they are nothing more than ideologues and propagandists. And worse for them, they aren’t even terribly good at that.
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