Margaret Hodge is a typical example of why the Labour party is going to the wall and losing all its ideals in favour of cheap tabloid soundbites. Writing in the Observer yesterday she said in essence that ‘indigenous’ Britons should have preference over housing compared to migrants. This means we move away from a policy based according to need, to one based according to people’s race or nationality (let’s face it NI contributions mean nothing).
There are two reasons why such a policy is now inevitable: (a) providing housing to asylum seekers is constantly used by the BNP for their own electoral campaigning and is a big source of resentment; (b) Labour has invested so little in new housing stock that such shortages and the vicious fight over them are inevitable. But here lie clues as to why Margaret Hodge is such a disgrace to the Labour party.
In an article for CIF last year I said this:
Let’s take Margaret Hodge’s pitiful outburst on Sunday. Among other things, she said: “They can’t get a home for their children; they see black and ethnic minority communities moving in and they are angry.”
I thought that was amusing. Last year the BNP started circulating leaflets in Margaret Hodge’s area with spurious claims that Africans were being paid Â£50,000 to move into the area. Sitting on a huge majority at the time, Labour did very little to counter these claims and was accused of ignoring working-class concerns by its own constituents. A few months later when the BNP failed to get anywhere in a local byelection, Hodge said: “It is a great result. The people of Barking have resoundingly rejected the BNP’s message of hatred and division.” Now she has clearly changed her tune.
The same applies to the East End, as we pointed out on PP a few weeks ago. The narrative that whites were ignored in favour of Bangladeshi immigrants who got housing without any fuss does not provide the whole picture.
In other words Margaret Hodge cannot muster up the courage to confront BNP lies about housing being allocated to migrants or asylum seekers. Instead she is happy to change a policy that, in all likelihood is unlikely to make much difference. The BNP are not going to stop spreading lies tomorrow and neither are housing shortages going to stop people from blaming asylum seekers for New Labour incompetence. But are there any Labour politicians willing to openly challenge the BNP and the Daily Hate tabloid agenda with the real picture? Apart from Jon Cruddas and John Denham I can’t think of anyone. It’s a sad state of affairs and Margaret Hodge only confirms her unsuitability as a Labour politician.
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Filed in: Party politics,Race politics