Labour MP mocked for 'Nazi Germany' comparison
Dame Margaret Hodge has been ridiculed after likening a Labour Party disciplinary investigation into her conduct to the persecution faced by Jews in Nazi Germany.
Speaking to Sky News, the MP for Barking and former Labour minister told how she felt when she learned of the investigation, initiated after she allegedly launched a foul-mouthed attack on leader Jeremy Corbyn - an accusation she denied. The investigation was later dropped.
"On the day that I heard that they were going to discipline me and possibly suspend me, it felt almost like, I kept thinking what did it feel like to be a Jew in Germany in the Thirties?
"Because it felt almost as if they were coming for me. It's rather difficult to define, but there's that fear, and it reminded me of what my Dad used to say. My Dad came out of Germany, so he had to leave Germany, he went to Egypt," she said.
"When I heard about the disciplinary action, my emotional response resonated with that feeling of fear that clearly was at the heart of what my father felt when he came to Britain."
Some Twitter users accused her of trivialising the Holocaust – itself an act of anti-Semitism. Others mocked her with their own comparisons using the hashtag #HodgeComparisons.
When I lost my watch the other day, I suddenly knew exactly the sense of despair my great grandmother felt when her house was bombed during the war and she lost everything#HodgeComparisonshttps://t.co/UObDiEXToM— Chelley Ryan 😉 #RJCOB (@chelleryn99) August 16, 2018
#HodgeComparisons I couldn't work out my phone password and realised how a bomb disposal man must feel ... only two more attempts ...— Mutley (@nooouch) August 16, 2018
I caught a 10 minute nap today and when I woke up I thought 'that is exactly how the Skripals would have felt'. #HodgeComparisons— The tweeter formerly known as... #NHSLove 💙 (@absolute_INTJ) August 16, 2018
It wasn't until I parked too close to the car next to me at Asda, and couldn't open my door, that I felt how Nelson Mandela would have felt during his 27 year incarceration.#HodgeComparisons#labour#LabourAntisemitism#BBCswitchoff— nope (@MRpsychology_) August 16, 2018
Yesterday I was having a picnic in the park, I went for a walk and got lost in the child's playground area and it was at that moment I knew exactly how those poor girls at Hanging Rock must have felt.#HodgeComparisons— RedRobin 🌹 #JC9 (@BlogRedRobin) August 16, 2018
I accidentally nicked my neck shaving this morning and now I know exactly how Anne Boleyn felt when she had her head chopped off. #HodgeComparisons— Hajo Meyer's Violin (@WarmongerHodges) August 16, 2018
A bulb just blew, and as I fumbled in the dark I knew exactly what it was like to have your eyes plucked out as part of some hideous medieval torture.#HodgeComparisons— Chelley Ryan 😉 #RJCOB (@chelleryn99) August 16, 2018
Others didn't find it quite so funny.
To draw a comparison between Nazi Germany's persecution of the Jews and a Labour party disciplinary investigation is not only extraordinarily preposterous but, worse, is extraordinarily offensive to the memory of one of the most appalling chapters in human history. #Hodge— Dr Marcus Papadopoulos (@DrMarcusP) August 16, 2018
I want to make something absolutely clear. The main group of people hurt by Margaret Hodges comments is not Corbyn supporters, but Jewish people. Comparing her disciplinary to suffering under Nazi Germany completely undermines the fight against Anti-Semitism. #HodgeComparisons— Jack, fighting for Socialism 🌹 (@JacketPotato97) August 16, 2018
Margeret Hodges is comparing her (now dropped) trivial disciplinary hearing, for publicly abusing her party leader, to the Holocaust.— Ian Prowse (@IanProwse) August 17, 2018
That's just profoundly offensive to those who suffered during that darkest period of all human history isn't it?#Hodge
Dame Margaret, who has been a vocal critic of Mr Corbyn's handling of anti-Semitism in the party, said that the saga had left her with a "feeling of fear".
She urged the Labour leadership to adopt, without amendments, the IHRA's definition of anti-Semitism, which many claim prohibits legitimate criticism of Israel.
'The only way Jeremy Corbyn can put this issue to bed is to prove everybody wrong and take the action we are all urging him to take. That is he should adopt the internationally agreed definition of anti-semitism in full.— Margaret Hodge (@margarethodge) August 13, 2018
The party is reported to be preparing the ground for a compromise.