Polly’s Undeclared Interest

Millionairess Polly Toynbee is on the rampage against public service cuts again this morning:

“Many will see their good faith rewarded with a kick in the teeth. The bullying rudeness and sheer nastiness of Eric Pickles, the chill callousness of Francis Maude and the evident relish with which most ministers flourish carving knives at public services advertise their contempt.”

Whilst managing to get a plug of her book into her column, strangely Polly didn’t feel it necessary to declare any conflict of interests in her special pleading. Given the obvious financial pain Toynbee will be feeling when her husband’s six-figure “loyal public service” non-job at the Audit Commission is scrapped, her readers really should be told about the undue influence this is clearly having on her writing. In the U.S. there would be serious ethical concerns raised about failing to declare such a direct interest. Just because you have three houses to support is no excuse for a drop in journalistic standards…



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