Friday, October 29, 2010

Finally An A-Polly-Gee

In a rare move for the belligerent and hyperactive columnist, Polly Toynbee this morning apologised for the inflammatory language that Guido highlighted the other day, when she compared a slight tweak in government benefits policy to the slaughter of six million Jews. On her “final solution” comment she said:

“Yes, it was over the top, a slip of the pen, made worse by the fact that it was put in the headline. I regret it.”

Savour the moment, Guido doesn’t imagine we will get another half-apology any time soon…

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cuts Causing Commentariat to Exit Reality-Based Community

Polly Toynbee is taking the end of welfare-for-life badly, it has clearly pushed her over the edge, she spitefully told a fellow Guardian journalist recently that her breast cancer was exacerbated, deservedly, because she had worked for the Murdoch press.

Yesterday she claimed “the Tories have a final solution for the poor”. Yes, Polly thinks capping benefits at £26,000 a year is comparable to the genocide of 6 million Jews.

Polly has finally lost it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Polly Spins for Hubby Again

Polly is pushing her warped logic to the maximum in her column today suggesting that just because one department spends more money on boxes of paper, Whitehall needs more quangos to regulate costs and other such daft ideas. Quoting the National Audit Office, the Tuscan-typer is clearly still scathing about the scrapping if the Audit Commission and the subsequent loss of her husband’s job as their spinner.

Despite attacking Philip Green’s wife in the rant, yet again Polly feels no need to declare an interest that she is continuing to fight her husband’s lost battle. She does however manage to squeeze his name in eventually – in a plug for their new co-authored book at the bottom of the article.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Polly Husband’s Poking of Pickles Perilous

David Walker, the not-quite-breadwinner of the Toynbee household and outgoing spinner for the Audit Commission, has written a politically fuelled diatribe against the scrapping of his non-job by Eric Pickles. Guido has mentioned before that Mrs Walker has expressed concern in the Guardian, but Walker’s piece for Public Finance is particularly scathing. Was the article jointly penned , like their upcoming book?

Guido’s ears in DCLG, while taking a break from admiring their new £15,000 £250 portrait of the Queen, suggested the piece was not befitting the code of behaviour expected of a civil servant.

Walker is contracted for the last two years of the Audit Commission, but at this rate he might be retiring to Tuscany sooner than he thinks…

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

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…

Friday, August 20, 2010

Polly’s Fears Strike Home

Polly writes movingly today of the fear that is stalking the Guardian reading public sector parasitical classes:

“…Cameron and Osborne have been most successful is in frightening people, not in itself a useful economic tool… However, fear can be useful politically. Cameron’s government has skilfully created a hate campaign directed at the public sector. The release by Eric Pickles this week of all the spending data from his department and its quangos was admirable openness – but mainly a crafty assault on everything spent by public servants… Cameron has performed a political conjuring trick of some brilliance in diverting voters’ wrath from the gamblers of high finance to public servants’ excess.

Tragic isn’t it? The truth and openness about public servants’ excesses. Enough to fill any decent Guardian reader with fear…

Polly personally knows the meaning of that fear, having to scrape by on her six-figure Guardian salary supplemented only by media appearance fees and royalties from her book Unjust Rewards, co-authored with her husband David Walker a former Guardian journalist, which attacked the rich and inequality.

He is (for now) the axed Audit Commission’s six-figure salaried Managing Director of Communications and Public Reporting, basically an upmarket spinner. With a household joint-income in the top 1% and some ten times the national average, her husband’s looming unemployment must put her in fear for their multi-million pound property portfolio – the £2.4m London townhouse, the villa in Tuscany, not forgetting the holiday home in upmarket Lewes, Sussex. Thank god Polly and David no longer have to worry about their Amy’s private school fees. How will they cope?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Crowd Sourced Gossip : We Are All Watching Them Now

Guido is very much enjoying the growth of @eyespymp – in just a couple of days it has garnered nearly 1500 followers and is starting to bear more fruit than even its predecessor. Guido hears that some MPs are up in arms about invasion of their privacy and that hacks are chortling away. Though people are often too quick to dismiss her, Nadine was the first to clock that the Lobby might not be laughing for long: “The hacks are going to realise that @eyespymp may yet bite them on the bum!And indeed the penny is starting to drop.

Yvettte Cooper was outed earlier lunching with Polly Toynbee in the Atrium restaurant on Millbank. Whatever tit-bit she was trying to plant in tomorrow’s Guardian has had its source well and truly blown. Former hack-pack totty turned yummy-mummy Gaby Hinsliff* has had a moment of enlightenment:wow. @eyespymp is going to make it hard for lobby journalists to protect sources. start looking for more obscure lunch venues.” Lazy hacks might have to actually trundle even further than Shepherd’s at this rate.

*Is it just Guido that thinks Gaby might be missing the cut and thrust of Westminster life? She is tweeting away all day and he has seen her byline more times since she went to live a life of domestic rural bliss than when she was working for the Observer. Poor Mr Hinsliff must be close to a “it’s Twitter or me” moment.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The High Pay “Problem”

David Aaronovitch suggests, not completely seriously, that perhaps it would be better to just publish people’s tax returns publicly rather than having a High Pay Quango to regulate banker’s bonuses.  As Aaronovitch says, it would be fun.

It will also destroy any semblance of privacy.  If private individuals have made money in the private sector why does anyone apart from their paymasters – the shareholders – have a right to know what they are being paid?

On the other hand everyone in the public sector and in public life should be transparent with their paymasters – the public.  So BBC mandarins, Newsnight presenters, civil servants and politicians should reveal how much of our money they are trousering, down to the last penny.  We are the paymasters.

It seems eminently sensible that members of parliament should, as in America, publish their tax returns. It would be nice to know how Mandelson in less than a decade has gone from being broke and tearful in his Hartlepool constituency with “water pouring down the walls”, to being able to afford a £2.4 million mansion off Regent’s Park for cash. He did this during a decade in which he was a selfless public servant.  Multi-millionaire John Prescott’s tax returns would be similarly interesting.  Alan Duncan is wailing that he might be a millionaire, but he isn’t rich, show us the truth Dunky and we will understand.

Polly Toynbee, the multi-millionairess toff and three-house-owning, Tuscan redistributionist friend of the down-trodden,  made the same demand some time back, namely for everyone to have their tax return in the public domain.  Guido emailed her to ask how much she made, she demanded to know details of Guido’s tax return first.  Guido gave the figure, she declined to reciprocate.  She did later reveal she was getting by on a mere £117,000 basic before book advances, royalties and appearance fees.  Barely enough to maintain her three residences.

So Aaronovitch, here is a chance for you to lead by example: how much did you make last year?

*Well not Guido in the case of the BBC, he refuses to pay the telly tax.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Polly is Rabidly Pro-Politics

Polly is moaning again: “The blogosphere could have been a source for better information, but purveys even more rabid anti-politics bile.” Guilty as charged.

Of course it could equally be said that Polly is rabidly pro-politics.  Which of us is right?  Polly with her frothing  at the mouth endorsements of one social democratic politician after another, or Guido, warning against believing the promises of politicians?

Since the days of David Owen she has seen her hopes dashed by one social democrat after another promising her a good time and big government spending.  You would have thought that she would have learnt by now, they all fail to deliver in the end and to expect more from politics is to delude yourself.  This is not cynical nihilism, this is the age-old reality of politics.

Polly has singled Guido out in the past, saying that he couldn’t write about politics well because he has no sympathy for politicians.  If Polly looks at the polls she will see that none of the voters have any sympathy for politicians. Which of us really, truly understands politics: Polly with her over-the-top endorsements and flattery of politicians, or Guido with his anti-political cynicism. Who is rabidly unrealistic?

See also : The Class Contradictions of Polly, For the Love of an Older Woman and a philosophy of life that is anti-politics.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Candid Polly’s Contradictions

Polly has written an article on ‘candour’ today

Osborne’s plans will be set out “in due course”, he says, but watch out: “Some savings will only become apparent when we have the chance to look at the books in government.” So we won’t know until after an election – and that’s not honest. There is nothing hidden in government books. It’s all in the Treasury’s red book.

Got that?  When the Shadow Chancellor says he needs to have a look at the books once he is in government, he isn’t being honest because he need only look in the government’s openly published Treasury red book.  Polly has caught Osborne out!

A few paragraphs down she writes

The red book’s own predications are usually wrong.

Errrm…

N.B. Want to see Richard Littlejohn’s classic bitch-slap of Polly again? The video is here.


Seen Elsewhere

From the IRA to Windsor Castle | WSJ
Coulson: Everything You Need to Know in 6 Seconds | MediaGuido
Mo Ansar’s Silence | Adrian Hilton
Gove Loses WWI Battle | Conservative Woman
5 Reasons Labour Likely to Win General Election | Sunny Hundal
Dave Surrounded By Topless Women | Sun
UN Loony says Britain Most Sexist Country | Sun
Farage is a Good Reason to Leave the EU | Dan Hannan
UKIP Blocked Expenses Questions | Times
NHS Showdown Coming | Paul Goodman
Sons of Brown | Telegraph


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Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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