Dan Hodges is a symbol of all that is wrong with the left….
‘We are the left’ says Dan Hodges on LabourList, ‘we stop Nazi’s marching, we don’t campaign for it’
Many people will raise an eyebrow and Hodges claim to have leftist credentials here. Reading many of the things he writes on the New Statesman, it truly boggles the mind to imagine him even clenching his fist to the Internationale, but, be that as it may, he still stands in this article as a flag-carrier for all the flaws of the left. He says it is the left that stops the EDL marching. Theresa May, I am sure, has been accused of many things, but I would imagine ‘being the left’ or even left-wing has never been amoung them.
Dan, of course, has totally missed the point. Saying the EDL march should not have been banned by the state is not the same thing as actively campaigning for it. He is deliberately misrepresenting the position of those people who support community self-organisation as opposed to state action. I could write plenty of fine words in riposte to Mr Hodges, but instead of that I will merely point the readers to the heroic actions of RMT workers in Liverpool, who stopped the EDL assembling, as proof-positive that the far-right can be stopped without fawning and pathetic letters to a Conservative Home Secretary.
However, I will say that Hodges, like the rest of the left, has totally lost the essence of what left-wing politics should be about. We should not be about appeals to ‘strong government’, we should be about making the people stronger, by organising them and awakening them to their own potential to control their lives. At the heart of this dispute is a schism between the stinking corpse of the established left, which is lost to progressive politics, which has failed to change society so many times we have lost count and the rest of the left which remembers what it is that makes left-wing politics progressive. They remember that what makes it so is that we see the governance of our society, the shape of a better future society as being one where people have ever greater control over their destinies, where they are the architects of the future. Dan Hodges doesn’t want that, he doesn’t want a society where people control their own lives and their own communities, he wants a Conservative Home Secretary to do it for him, he wants the smack of firm government because ultimately he doesn’t trust people to run their lives in the way the left should. He is a remnant of a shattered and broken past, a place where the left lost fight after fight and a present where people turn more to the far-right than the left because they simply don’t see the left having any vision of a better future. He is everything the left needs to cast aside if it wants to rehabilitate itself as a progressive force in society, the only decent place for the politics of Hodges, and the established left, is the dustbin of history which ultimately is where it belongs.