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Dan Hodges doesn’t want Ken to win, and won’t vote for him

Yesterday, asking the question “does Progress want Ken to win?“, I confess I missed something. I did take a holiday in August. 10 days. Missed both the riots, and, it turns out, an interesting piece Dan Hodges wrote for the New Statesman. In it he reveals that, in his view, “neither Boris Johnson nor Ken Livingstone are fit to lead London.” All he cares about, it seems, is that neither of them become Mayor again:

I don’t care about the politics. I don’t care if Labour wins in London, or if the Tories get a good hiding. All I care about now is that Londoners win in London.I’ll vote Tory. I’ll vote Green. I’ll vote independent. I still hope and pray I’ll be able to vote Labour. But I’m not helping place my city back into the hands of a clapped out revolutionary or an Etonian comic.”

Did Progress know this when they commissioned Dan to cover the London election? Perhaps they too were on holiday.

Not that Dan is exactly consistent about what’s wrong with Ken. Back in August, Ken and Boris were both “characters, political entertainers, colorful personalities who leap out from the parade of the bland“. But, back then, we needed “serious leadership, not symbolic or colorful leadership“. Leading London, you see, ” is not a game. Nor is it the prize awarded to the winner of a game of Celebrity Political Big Brother.” Now, things are different. We need “that X-factor, ‘charisma’,” which Ken apparently no longer has.

We’d venture that what Progress needs is a serious political commentator rather than a political entertainer, whose headlines and catchphrases are designed to leap out from the parade of the bland.

And a bit more backing for Ken, eh Progress?

5 Comments

  1. Steve O'Driscoll says:

    Jon, you’re actually mistaken: the article was penned this year, August 2011, by which time Ken had been the official Labour candidate for almost a year and Oona King was but a footnote in Ken’s long political history.

    The insinuation of ‘I still hope and pray’ was that Ken might no longer be the candidate by the time of the election.

    But given that he is and was the candidate, Dan is actively campaigning against the official Labour candidate, and promoting the Tories and the Greens. Surely this is what the Progress lot complained about when Labour councillors in Tower Hamlets backed Lutfur Rahman against the official candidate.

    Surely this is enough to throw Hodges out of the party that he clearly despises.

    1. Jon Lansman says:

      Quite right Steve on Oona, I stand corrected. As does the article. I removed the incorrect note which read: (Ed: at that point Ken was being challenged by Oona King)

  2. Alex Braithwaite (@labour52rose) says:

    I am so in agreement with you Steve. I am tired and fed up to the back teeth with Dan Hodges and his constant attention seeking and obvious disapproval of Labour. Why is he a spokesperson for a party he clearly has no love for. Someone needs to state clearly that he does not represent the party or the majority of its members. The small portion he does represent may well want to consider looking elsewhere for a party that best suits them. They are becoming a total bore.

  3. Chris says:

    Ken Livingstone, of course, is a moderate social democrat, but for some on the New Labour right that obviously makes him some sort of spartacist. I guess the one plus side to this is that it reveals quite clearly the ideological landscape of our country. Centrism equals Thatcherism.

  4. Marie says:

    @Jon “Dan is actively campaigning against the official Labour candidate, and promoting the Tories and the Greens. Surely this is what the Progress lot complained about when Labour councillors in Tower Hamlets backed Lutfur Rahman against the official candidate.” you mean just as Ken himself was actively campaigning AGAINST the official Labour party candidate in Tower Hamlets, and wasn’t thrown out of the party?

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