You can’t open your mouth these days without being misrepresented by crazed media people with an agenda. If you are foolish enough to be interviewed by Sky, for example, be prepared to have your words taken down, rearranged and used as evidence against you.
See how the media aids and abets Chris Williamson here. The Sky reporter introduces her interview with fanatical MP Chris Williamson and opens with a leading question, which goes something like this:
“I would like to know your reaction to Margaret Hodge’s comments likening her treatment from the Labour Party to that of Nazi Germany”
See how Williamson grabs the baton and runs with it. He’s talking as if she’s actually compared her treatment at the hands of the Labour Party with Hitler’s policy of exterminating the entire Jewish race. Effecting indignation, he even accuses her of trivialising “the terrible horrors of the Holocaust”.
Did she do that? Biggest mistake - she spoke to the media. Given their ability to twist one’s words out of all recognition, speaking to the media is reckless in the current volatile climate. You won’t get any sympathy from anyone. Best plan - keep a dignified silence.
Nevertheless, she did speak. Here’s the gist of what she said:
“On the day I heard that they were to discipline me it made me think what did it feel like to be a Jew in Germany in the 30s.
Cos it felt almost as if they were ‘coming for me’[… ]
It’s that fear; it always reminds me of what my dad used to say to me as a child “You’ve got to keep a packed suitcase at the door, Margaret.”[…]
“my emotional response resonated with that feeling of fear”
Stephen Bush wrote something daring in the New Statesman. Risky! No-one will listen.
Everyone is getting very excited about something Margaret Hodge didn’t actually say.
It’s a shame, because what she actually said is worth understanding.
But there’s a problem: what is driving people’s anger on Twitter came not from the word of Hodge – but a tweet from Sky News, which ran the interview.
Sky, Channel 4, BBC. They’re in the driving seat, sad to say.