Dame Margaret Hodge is an unhinged hypocrite and a disgrace to the Labour Party. Hodge is a classic example of a neoliberal Blairite shill who uses politics purely for personal gain.
Hodge was chair of the Public Accounts Committee from 2010-15 where she could be constantly found to be grandstanding over tax evasion, all the while engaging in and profiting from such schemes herself.
In March of 2015, she attacked Lichtenstein as “one of the most secretive jurisdictions” with “the least protection anywhere in the world against money laundering”. This was after she had profited from a scheme known as the Lichtenstein Disclosure Facility in 2011.
“Mrs Hodge is not the first and will not be the last politician to say one thing and do another. But the sheer grubbiness of her brand of hypocrisy leaves a stench that makes others look almost admirable.”
– Stephen Pollard
Hodge was a beneficiary of the closure of a trust based in Lichtenstein, personally making £1.5 million. This trust held shares in Stemcor. In 2012 it was revealed that the Hodge family company was paying just 0.01% tax on £2.1 billion of business generated in the U.K.
Stemcor is a steel trading company set up by her father, Hans Oppenheimer, in apartheid South Africa. Hodge was given 96,000 shares.
Hodge claims that she and her sisters protested the company’s practices of profit from exploitation in a letter to their father in 1973, though there is no record of this and Hodge is unable to produce a copy of the letter (FOI requests have been made), going on to claim her father took no heed of this plea. She can’t have been too concerned as she chose not to sell the shares she held in her own name and continued to profit from the apartheid.
She further claimed that all profits she derived from the South African business between 1973-1994 were given to a charity. Strangely, Hodge has no recollection of the charities to which she donated her apartheid profits for a period of over 20 years and can’t explain how she determined what part of her dividends were made up of profits from South Africa and the profits from other jurisdictions.
You can begin to see why she and Jeremy Corbyn were so opposed and why she would do anything to stop Corbyn becoming PM.
Margaret Hodge personally put forward over 200 complaints of antisemitism, only twenty instances concerned Labour members – the rest of Hodge’s examples concerned people who had no link to the Labour Party whatsoever.
Hodge is herself subject of a formal antisemitism complaint by an Orthodox Jewish Labour member.
It is not just Corbyn’s opposition to the apartheid she profited from, his opposition to the crooked tax practices she profited from and Corbyn’s long standing solidarity with the Palestinian cause that infuriates Hodge, it goes further than that.
Hodge has always despised Corbyn and has shown a rabid level of hatred, going as far as screaming into Corbyn’s face calling him “a fucking racist” and an “antisemite” for daring to question the contentious IHRA definition of antisemitism.
Norman Finkelstein provided the perfect response to Hodges hysterics.
In 1987, Corbyn successfully campaigned to stop property developers taking over a Jewish cemetery. Hodge was leader of Islington Council at the time and it was under her leadership that the council approved “destroying the gravestones and digging-up and reburying the bodies” to build for-profit properties.
Corbyn once again left Hodge seething when he trounced her in a debate over Clause IV in 1995. Of the hundred or so people present, only two voted in favour of Hodge, and one of them was Stephen Twigg (now Hodge’s researcher).
There is also the much darker side of Hodge…
She was in charge during the Islington child care home abuse scandal where hundreds of children’s files mysteriously disappeared. Allegations against prolific paedophile, Bernie Bain (the former head of the children’s home), were ignored by Hodge. Had Hodge acted, countless numbers of children over three continents could have been saved from horrific abuse.
Hodge was alerted to an investigation and her first action was to complain to the Chairman of the BBC. In the letter she attacked a victim of abuse as an ‘extremely disturbed person’. Hodge went on to be Minister of State for Children in Tony Blair’s government.
Through her whole career Margaret hodge has profited from exploitation and protected the powerful and their interests whilst greatly failing her constituents. There is a reason that people like Hodge have to get elected in ‘safe’ seats, specifically selected for the otherwise unelectable.