Friday, May 25, 2007

Extraordinary criticism by fellow Cabinet Ministers of Margaret Hodge

I feel somewhat vindicated. Oh, alright then, I feel completely vindicated.

Last Sunday I criticised Margaret Hodge's article on housing, particularly her use of language used by the BNP - specifically the word "indigenous".

I then spent much of the week responding to hostile comments about this, including several remarkably convoluted arguments.

Well, now Madame Hodge has faced fierce criticism for her remarks from her own cabinet colleagues - Peter Hain and Alan Johnson. It is not often that you get Cabinet Ministers criticising another one like this. I cannot remember when it last happened. In fact, I'll stick my neck out and say that it hasn't happened in modern politics - since, say, 1945. (I'd welcome comments on this from those with better memories than mine). It is extraordinary.

Johnson accused Hodge of "using the language of the BNP". He said:

There is no evidence whatsoever that immigrants are causing a problem with social housing....My problem is with that is that's the kind of language of the BNP and it's grist to the mill of the BNP.

Neighbouring MP Jon Cruddas has also weighed into the debate:

Housing is allocated according to need and it is disingenuous for Margaret Hodge to suggest otherwise.The problem is lack of housing supply and it's a shame she wasn't so vocal in the campaign for the building of more council housing.


  1. It's a bit late in the day, but it makes more sense to post my comment at your previous post (

  2. Sorry for the double-post.

    First, I must thank you for allowing me to offer my opinion on your pages, especially if I was one of those whom you think made 'remarkably convoluted arguments' in the other thread. As it goes, I think the 'convolutions' - as by-products of political 'principle' - will be yours and Frank's. Jim Kalb has written best about the inevitable problems of your principles being followed through Paul, for example here:

    Moving on, if the word 'indigenous' is the language of the BNP, and only the language of the BNP and similar types, it merely goes to show to what extent our culture has been subverted by PC.

    The best option ought to be to reclaim the word for wide usage, but true to form, it is you Paul – a professed liberal – who proves incapable of accepting a common approach for all peoples. It seems race-replacement for white nations is inherent in any 'non-discriminatory' formula which liberals, both right and left, find politically acceptable, while race-consciousness and attendant homelands for non-white peoples are acceptable, even encouraged.

    Re the DLLP candidates' comments, if it's true that '[T]here is no evidence whatsoever that immigrants are causing a problem with social housing' then there is *no truth whatsoever* to the government's admission that net population increases are due to immigration, or to the claim of this Labour apparatchik that immigrants are among those 'scrap[ping] for the remaining available housing stock'.

    Or in the notion that social housing and other limited social-services are more in demand among the lowly-paid and unemployed – perhaps as a result of mass immigration as Polly Toynbee claims.

    On Question Time last night, Alan Johnson admitted as much when he smiled and nodded after Bob Crow insisted that Allison Pearson's concerns about mass immigration and its pressure on housing and other services could ONLY be answered by large-scale house, hospital, and school-building schemes - "BUILD HOUSES" shouted Crow, "well... OK" squeeked Pearson, and nod-nod-smile went Johnson!

    Not only must we accept our dispossession, we must pay for it!