…my most constant hate-swipes on Comment is Free and in rightwing political blogs is for being middle class.
Guido frequently questions her judgment, but he has never accused her of being middle-class, for the simple reason she is not. Mary Louisa Toynbee is in fact part of the rarefied metropolitan media elite, she has a comfortable six-figure income and a villa in Italy to go with the London townhouse and house in the country. She is not middle-class by any stretch of the imagination.
Her income is not middle-class, it puts her in the top 1% of earners.
The great grand-daughter of the Earl of Carlisle was privately educated (Badminton), went to Oxford (St Annes) and on to the BBC. A classic metropolitan elite career path. 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.
She is perfectly entitled to point to the toffs on the Tory front-bench, but Guido is not going to let her pretend to be middle-class. She is the enemy of the aspirational middle-classes, the high priestess advocate of taxing them to pay for her social democratic utopia.
Polly says Guido is no good at writing about politics because he is unsympathetic to politicians. Perhaps, Polly, being over-sympathetic to a politician blinded you to his faults. Good to see you completely coming round to Guido’s point of view on the Prime Mentalist at last.
UPDATE : “Bogeyman” reminds us in the comments of Polly’s consistency and prescience:
St Polly of the Towering Intellect, 29 June 2007:
“But then, as they stepped into No 10 yesterday, here was as decent and clever a team of ministers as ever graced the cabinet table. Two Milibands, Ed Balls, Jackie Smith, Harriet Harman, Alan Johnson, Douglas Alexander, Peter Hain and Hilary Benn – with the likes of John Denham and Yvette Cooper in attendance – present a good front. It’s certainly the most genuinely united government in living memory.”
St Polly of the Towering Intellect, 6 September 2008:
“The smell of death around this government is so overpowering it seems to have anaesthetised them all. One bungle follows another and yet those about to die sit silently by… The ineptitude of Brown’s Downing Street worsens by the week. The shrinking band of those he trusts are now his old rottweilers, who shred what’s left of their leader’s reputation. This week when they mauled Alistair Darling for telling an obvious truth (his actual words much exaggerated in the reporting), they attacked one of Brown’s few truly loyal friends and a decent man. This is the sign of an inner cabal out of control… A cabinet of minnows and spineless backbenchers include many – perhaps most – who want Brown gone, but lack the nerve to act.”
For those who want to savour Littlejohn bitch-slapping Polly again, watch it again here.
The Fabians took the lesson of World War II and the centrally controlled state war machine’s victory and drew the wrong conclusion. They thought a centrally controlled economy and centrally planned health and education would triumph. Ignoring that it was the free market economy of the U.S.A. that was the arsenal of democracy which brought victory over the totalitarian and rigidly controlled Nazi war economy.
Higher investment in sports training has brought results. The money raised was raised without resort to taxation, did not end up in Whitehall or in the hands of state bureaucrats. John Major loved sport and it is his strictures that have produced the golden results. Higher spending on education and health will produce better results, but not productively if the spending is made in state controlled schools and hospitals. Blair realised that eventually, the Tories single best policy is to encourage Swedish-style “Free Schools“. That policy will do for aspirational parents what council house sales did for aspirational tenants – free them from the failing clutches of the state.
Richards’ tax and spend thinking would not result in gold standards, just more government waste.
UPDATE : John Major has just made the point on the Today show that the government has been diverting money away from sport towards New Labour’s pet projects.
It is also noticeable that as she gets older she has become an ever more promiscuous patron of politicians. The objects of her desire retain her affection for less time as she has become more impatient.
She first fell for David Owen’s good looks and silky social democratic ways and even stood for the SDP in the 80s before they fell apart. It took some time for her to get over that until she was then seduced, like so many others, by Tony Blair’s charm and third way. It was quite a while before she fell out of love with him and got so sniffy she told us to wear nose-pegs. She switched her affections and cosied up to Gordon, stroking his ego and boosting him in her columns, praising him as an intellectual colossus, master-strategist and political titan. Like so many woman before her, she was blinded to a man’s faults by her hopes for him.
That fling has now come to a bitter end and she has nothing but scorn for Gordon for deceiving her. Young Miliband has now set her 62 year-old heart a flutter with his “bold adrenaline shot of optimism“. Summer is here and love is in the air again. How long will her affection last this time?
Guido would like to apologise for calling “the Brown bottom“ and doubting Labour would lose Glasgow East. The SNP won a fantastic 22.5% swing against Labour in what was a rock solid safe seat. Gordon Brown remains in free fall…
John Mason(SNP): 11,277 votes (43%) Majority: 365
Margaret Curran(Labour): 10,912 (41.6%)
Davena Rankin (Conservative): 1,639 (6.3%)
Ian Robertson(Liberal Democrat): 915 (3.5%)