Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Facts are Sacred: Guardian Grovel For Polly, Again

The Guardian have been forced into a humiliating climb down and apology to former Sun man Richard Caseby, yet again, after Polly went off on one about the new Director of Comms at DWP:

The following correction was published on 15 April 2014: A Comment article about the treatment of disabled people by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stated: “Forget civil service factual information: Duncan Smith has just hired a Murdoch managing editor from the Sun and Sunday Times as DWP communications director. Perhaps he helps hone Duncan Smith’s terminological inexactitudes.” We are happy to accept that Richard Caseby, the strategic director of communications at the DWP, carries out his duties in a thoroughly honest, diligent and professional manner. He was not hired by Iain Duncan Smith, the secretary of state for work and pensions, but works as a civil servant. We apologise for any misunderstanding. In addition, the writer of the article said that “PIP replaces the disability living allowance” (DLA). To clarify: DLA is still available for children up to the age of 16.”

If you can’t trust the Guardian or the Mirror, who can you trust these days?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Polly Blames Headline Writer For Baby P Smear

Polly Toynbee is blaming her Guardian headline writer for her smear of the year contender this morning.

“many commenting here have not bothered to read my article carefully (or at all), and the headline (which I didn’t write, and which is more provocative than the print Guardian) I didn’t write.”

Of course that hasn’t stopped her from tweeting the very same headline. This excuse didn’t wash for Geoffery Levy. For some reason the same privilege wasn’t afforded to the Mail…

Guardian’s Bid for Smear of the Year

Polly Toynbee, or her Guardian sub, has found the culprit responsible for the deaths of young children at their hands of their parents: the Tories of course! Apparently Baby P and Hamzah Khan’s deaths can be blamed on “Tory vandalism”, Michael Gove to be specific. Just the one problem. Aside from Polly ignoring the role of you know, the parents, or even social workers, teachers and doctors, both Baby P and Hamzah Khan died under a Labour government. And this from a paper that moralises about rival’s ethics.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Polly’s Singapore Spin Unravels

Taking Polly Toynbee’s increasingly fact-free rants with a pinch of salt is generally good advice, but there is a difference between her standard spin and a complete falsehood. In a typical Gove-bashing piece for the Guardian today Polly asserts:

“Gove, calling for payment by results, cited Singapore’s high-achieving school system, “where expectations are higher”. What he didn’t say is that Singapore, like top performer Finland, is one of the most equal of developed nations. As his government drives up inequality, his schools face an ever tougher task compensating for the society they inhabit.”

Only Singapore isn’t one of the most equal developed nations. In fact, it is one of the most unequal. The country is currently dealing with one of the most severe income gaps in the world, indeed it has one of the highest Gini coefficients – the standard measure used to gauge inequality – of developed countries. But why let the facts get in the way of your see-through agenda, eh Polly?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Polly’s Conspiracy Theory

You can always rely on Polly Toynbee to spectacularly miss the point:

rennard-logo“Their distrust may be justified here, as this byelection follows a familiarly vicious pattern, the air thick with dirty tricks. Where did the Lord Rennard sleaze reprise from 2009 suddenly come from, and why now in the final runup to election day? Blasted across every front page, Nick Clegg’s fumbling response hasn’t helped, but it doesn’t take an expert political nose to suspect this stinks.”

She then goes on to play down the claims against Rennard as “less than criminal” – despite the police being called in – and compares the story to “Tory tricks directed at UKIP”. Perhaps she should read what Cathy Newman has to say on why she ran the story now. This is about the women who are victims of sexual harassment being able to hold a sex pest to account, and the lies being told by people who tried to stop their story coming out:

Polly’s diversion tactics are one in the eye for the sisterhood.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Joke Candidate: John O’Farrell Tipped to Fight Eastleigh

jof-on-hignfy

Ed MIliband says he wants more working class people and people with an armed forces background to stand for parliament, so the Eastleigh by-election is the first opportunity for Labour to choose someone from that kind of background. Yet Labour heavyweights seem to be swinging behind John O’Farrell, who is about as much of a Labour luvvie as you can get. O’Farrell first appeared on the West End stage when he was 10 years old, writes novels and does comedy for the BBC. He wrote a book with the title Things Can Only Get Better: Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter, 1979-1997.

The man who reputedly invented the grey John Major spitting image character also wrote the jokes for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He seems serious about standing, he has stood unsuccessfully for Labour before in 2001. The Labour glitterati are backing him and he has already started campaigning in the constituency. Polly Toynbee has publicly endorsed his candidature and says she will work for his election. “Up the workers!”

Friday, August 17, 2012

Unions Funding Labour’s Left-Wing Dream Team

Militant Unite boss Len McCluskey is continuing his drive to take over the Labour Party by setting up a pressure group to rival Blairite faction Progress. According to the Guardian, the subtly-named Class will aim to “remind Labour of their working roots“. The new think tank’s members read like a left-wing dream team, with Paul Kenny of the GMB and Mark Serwotka’s PCS providing the funding and Seamus Milne, Jack Dromey, Owen Jones and Polly Tonybee sitting on the advisory panel. Sounds more like a union for the 1% to Guido…

The prolier than thou ethos of “class” is to articulate “an alternative that will resonate with working people”. Which must be why they are advised by the Guardian’s Winchester educated Stalinist Seamus Milne and by the three home-owning, multi-millionairess great granddaughter of the Earl of Carlisle. Polly Toynbee was also privately educated (Badminton), went to Oxford (St Annes) and on to the BBC. Toynbee is the daughter of the literary critic Philip Toynbee and grand-daughter of the famous historian Arnold J. Toynbee, his uncle was the philanthropist and economic historian Arnold Toynbee after whom Toynbee Hall is named. She was born into three generations of metropolitan elitists…

The downtrodden workers on minimum wage should be grateful that the likes of GMB’s Paul Kenny on £114,000, the PCS’s Mark Serwotka on £113,354 and not forgetting Len McCluskey on £149,312 are leading the charge for equality. Class act indeed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Two Faces of Polly Toynbee

A fantastic spot by the acceptable face of the left over at Though Cowards Flinch. Polly Toynbee might be off on her summer holidays soon, but that hasn’t stopped her from penning one last Olympic-sized rant for the Guardian. The subject of her ire this time is G4S outsourcing:

No one can prove the value or cost of most outsourcing. What Thatcher began and Labour continued is an epidemic of evidence-free, faith-based policymaking. Politicians have been seized by a conviction that private is always better. With no public service for fair comparison, the weary old mantras of “monolithic”, “sluggish” public services go unchallenged.”

Pretty strong stuff. The only problem is that three years ago poor old Polly said almost exactly the opposite:

“There is no doubt that putting some services out to tender has vastly improved certain standards over the years, broken the power of vested interests and brought in competition that has sharpened up results.”

Even worse, she was writing for the in-house magazine of outsourcers Serco. Fighting a noble crusade against outsourcing from her Italian poolside paid for by outsourcer’s cash. Surely the end of credibility is in sight for Polly?

UPDATE: Further reading leaves Guido flabbergasted to welcome Polly to his side of the barricades on the privatisation of the NHS:

“Just look at how hospital consultants’ waiting lists plummeted when a few Independent Treatment Centres were set up nearby. Suddenly, long waiting lists for hip and cataract operations fell because patients had a choice … a little gingering up round the edges has an electrifying effect on sleepy outfits. Often, private provision makes sense where small units need to buy in some expertise or back-office work they can’t develop themselves. Some things have always been private – GPs, for example, the most-loved part of the National Health Service.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Polly Toynbee: “Workfare Really Works”

In February 1997 the “Commentator of the Year” was musing in the Indy:

Latest figures for Project Work, the Government’s pilot workfare scheme, suggest colossal fraud or deliberate idleness on a scale no one predicted.

Nearly a decade and half later and you have to pinch yourself while reading back Polly Toynbee’s article “The Tories were right: workfare really works”:

Since April, 6,800 people unemployed for over two years have been through schemes in Hull and the Medway. First they have 13 weeks’ intensive Job Search with a dedicated worker chivvying and harrying them to apply for jobs as never before. (One of many embarrassing questions for the Government is, why never before? Answer: cheese-paring on staff, the unemployed never even had to sign on in person.) Next they face 13 weeks of compulsory work for “voluntary” organisations for an extra pounds 10 a week. Either the carrot (help to find a job) or the stick (the threat of compulsory work) has led to an astonishing number signing off and no longer drawing benefit – nearly half of them.

After looking at some individual case studies, Toynbee concludes that it “made a difference.” We may disagree on the minor details, but Guido is very happy that Polly backs the principles behind the scheme…

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Polly Toynbee Calls in the Doctor

Last week’s Private Eye called the  blog of one Dr Eoin Clarke “obscure” and noted “many of Clarke’s musings turned out to be idiotic,” before concluding:

“Not even Eoin Clarke’s would claim his writings are essential reading, but his blog appears to be one of the few places on the interweb to give Ed Miliband a sympathetic hearing – so perhaps that’s why he reads it.”

Well it looks like the good doctor has found another reader. In her column this morning Polly Toynbee takes fear mongering about the NHS to new levels, and she has damning sources to back her up:

“If leaks to Dr Eoin Clarke’s website prove correct, the main risk is of costs becoming unaffordable as private companies siphon off profits and GP commissioners lack the expertise to control costs.”

Always keen to help out, Guido went over to the site, but could not find any evidence of any leaks. No quotes, no documentation, nothing. Here is what Clarke said, and Polly thinks justifies the high standards set by her Guardian colleagues:

“I am told that the reason for this is that the report contains a very serious warning about the long term damage the bill will do to the NHS. “

Polly is publishing on the basis of second-hand, un-sourced “leaks” from a website already widely derided for spouting nonsense. What would Lord Justice Leveson say!


Seen Elsewhere

How to Defect | Telegraph
Carswell Defection Will Dismay Thoughtful Tories | ConservativeHome
Carswell: Darling of the Tories, Labour and Now UKIP | Speccie
Where is the Love? | Tom Watson
Tory Eurosceptics Weakened | Speccie
Thacker Played Down Scandal | Times
How Clegg Lost the Women of Britain | Sophy Ridge
Multiculturalism: At What Price? | Allison Pearson
Labour Failed Those Victims | Labour Uncut
We Cannot Ignore the Race Issue Here | Dan Hodges
74 MPs Who Back Stop Mills Motion | Speccie


VOTER-RECALL
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Former Rotheram MP Denis MacShane concedes…

“I think there was a culture of not wanting to rock the multicultural community boat if I may put it like that… Perhaps yes, as a true Guardian reader, and liberal leftie, I suppose I didn’t want to raise that too hard.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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