Document:Margaret Hodge reflects on Jeremy Corbyn
Reflections with Peter Hennessy
PH On the Corbyn question, you and Ann Coffey were the ones who pushed the no confidence motion in the Parliamentary Labour Party. Now what drove you to do that, because you love your old party don't you? You're a natural loyalist in many ways.
MH Oh yes, I'm tribal.
PH So it must have been quite something for you to do that?
MH Well it was my experience of the 1980s. I know John McDonnell and Ken Livingstone. And I've known Jeremy Corbyn for 35 years when he first became the MP for Islington North and I was leader of Islington Council in local government. I know what they're about: they want the party to be a movement. They're interested in not reforming capitalism - as Ed Miliband was trying to do - but in overthrowing capitalism. And they put in a series of transitional demands until you get to an impossible opposition. So you know...
PH Regarded as an old Trotskyist ploy...
PH Would you agree with that?
MH Completely, and I wasn't going to have my party, I'm not going to allow my party which I believe is so important in being the political institution that will always promote equality. And I wasn't going to allow it to be taken over as a plaything for a whole load of Trots. And I'm clear that that's what they want to do. Actually it's very interesting because I welcome the young although it's not just young people who are joining the party. My very old friend voted for Jeremy Corbyn because we'd reached a very bad point in the development of the Labour Party. Blair and Brown never tolerated dissension and they never allowed debate. And that meant room to refresh our ideas was limited. So when we came to 2010 and we had a leadership contest, we had a lot of people who had held managerial jobs in the Labour government or had been political advisers to the people who had held those managerial jobs but had never really developed a value system particularly in the context of post the 2008 crash. And that was what let Corbyn through. And I can understand like in 1979 when we thought we'd been let down by Anthony Crosland and the party's over and the IMF, and all of that. So I could get that but to allow that debate to be dominated by a bunch of people who have no interest in really striving for a Labour government is unconscionable to me. I couldn't let it stand...