Margaret Hodge: Enoch in drag

May 24, 2007 at 2:56 pm (Anti-Racism, Jim D, labour party, politics)

Margaret Hodge may or may not be a racist. But she sure does a good impression of one. Having boosted the prospects of the BNP in her Barking consituency at the last general election, she now states that “even if we were vastly to increase the amount of social housing available, we would still need to ration what will always be a limited resource” (a strange argument that she noticeably fails to explain – surely it depends upon exactly how “vastly” the stock of social housing was increased?), and then goes on to state that “the legitimate sense of entitlement felt by the indigenous family overrides the legitimate need demonstrated by the new migrants”.

Hodge raises some important issues, but the charge against her -as with Enoch Powell and the “rivers foaming with much blood” speech- is that she is surely intelligent enough to realise that the way she raised the issues, and the language she has used, will inevitably legitimise racism and give aid and comfort to fascists.

This woman is unfit to be in government (she’s presently Industry Minister) or even to be a Labour MP.

John Cruddas, MP for nearby Dagenham, gave Hodge a well-deserved rebuke and put out a welcome call for more council housing. For one brief moment I even considered the possibility that he might just be worth voting for as Deputy Leader…

The best response so far, however, has been from the brilliant Catherine in today’s Graun:

“Not for the first time, Hodge raises a subject that must seem of crucial importance to a large number of unhappily housed, forgotten-feeling families, only to do it so ineptly that their concerns, as represented by her, can readily be dismissed as racist and illegitimate by people whose principal contact with immigrants is leering at Polish girls in Starbucks. And, not for the first time, Hodge gets herself compared with Enoch. It is beginning to look careless”.


  1. tim said,

    Sorry to go OT but anyone who thought JohnGame couldnt get any more laughable should have a look here.

    The SOAS “teacher” wrote

    Hence the famous meeting between Moshe Dayan and Nasser after Nasser was captured. Moshe Dayan said to Nasser, ‘you fought very bravely’ implying a contrast with other units. Nasser is said to have responded ‘I am increasingly aware that the main enemy is in Cairo rather then in Tel Aviv’.

  2. Jules said,

    Thought this might amuse you Jim

    Two reports.

    Report from Socialist Worker, 20 May 2006:

    Lee Waker is a Barking & Dagenham Labour councillor in Village ward.
    Lee and his brother Phil won their seats, but the third councillor
    elected was from the BNP. Lee spoke to Socialist Worker about the
    elections, and the steps now needed to resist the BNP.

    “I put much of the blame on government minister Margaret Hodge,” he
    said. “She played into the BNP’s hands. The BNP has been quite
    dormant in this ward since the October 2004 by-election. We had been
    doing patient and painstaking work, explaining that the BNP’s myths
    about Africans getting grants to move into the area and similar lies
    were wrong. I really felt we were winning people over. And then
    Hodge mouthed off and said essentially what the BNP were saying
    about ‘white people’s resentment’ in a different way. Hodge said
    that people ‘see black and ethnic minority communities moving in and
    they are angry’.”


    Cf. Report from Barking & Dagenham Post, 19 February 2007:

    Mr Galloway stood before 100 people at a meeting on Thursday and
    said: “White working class people who are angry about their position
    in life have transferred that onto black people and other
    minorities. Once upon a time they had good wages, good quality
    council housing, and good public services. But now there’s a huge
    housing problem in Barking and Dagenham, with too many people living
    in run-down council houses, and thousands on the waiting list. When
    that happens and suddenly a number of foreigners appear on the same
    street, the consequences are not surprising.”

  3. voltaires_priest said,

    John Cruddas, MP for nearby Dagenham, gave Hodge a well-deserved rebuke

    So did Alan Johnson. Not thinking of voting for him too, I trust?

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