Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Class Contradictions of Polly

Polly is whining again about the verbal kicking she gets after almost every column:

…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.

N.B. See also this for an example of Polly’s consistency, prescience and judgement over Gordon Brown. This “rightwing blog” must have got under her skin…

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Polly : Get Rid of Brown or the Labour Party Will Die

Once he was Polly’s “towering intellect” and the greatest politician of our time. A year later and now Unseating Gordon Brown may be Labour’s last chance.

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.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Harsh Headline

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gold Medal for John Major, Nil Points for Richards

Steve Richards is supplanting Polly Toynbee as Guido’s favourite comedy commentator. Today he has a piece not quite as good as his genius three word summary of Brown in four words. Nor is it up there with his only stupid people will vote for Boris. Whereas Guido can guess and probably even write a Polly column, Richards is so much funnier than Polly, his ideological eccentricities are unpredictable.Today he makes the claim that Britain’s gold medal tally at the Olympics proves that we need higher government spending. Does it?

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.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Don’t Know About Guardian Polling

Fresh from underestimating how much their editor makes (the paper reported Alan Rusbridger making £143,000 less than £544,000 the annual report stated) they have just reported the polling intentions of 101% of the population.

Ladies and gentlemen, the ever reliable Grauniad…

Saturday, August 2, 2008

For the Love of an Older Woman

Polly is the most influential member of the commentariat according to the punditocracy, so it is worth noting that she has transferred her affections to Miliband with a public declaration of adoration.

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 hisbold adrenaline shot of optimism. Summer is here and love is in the air again. How long will her affection last this time?

Friday, July 25, 2008

An Apology

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%)

Gordon has no mandate, he is the most hated PM in polling history, dragging Labour to electoral destruction. Gordon goes to Coventry today, he really needs either to go to the country or his own party needs to change leader. Guido knows not a single Labour supporter who wants Brown to remain in charge, plenty of Tories however want Brown to lead Labour to annihilation.

UPDATE : Pundits last night showed their worth again:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Flip-Flop Punditry

It seems like only yesterday that the pundits were collectively predicting Labour would lose. Guido was sceptical.

Today, according to Andrew Rawnsley and “Britain’s most authoritative survey of inside political opinion”, they think Labour will win. The punditry, more fickle than a teenage girl…

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gove Column Collapses

Guido analysed Michael Gove’s swotty psychology last year.* He has another typically modest piece in The Times this morning Here are My Four Columns of Wisdom.

Guido didn’t get beyond the first line before laughing:

There may be more than a billion books in the Library of Congress but there are only seven basic plots.

Guido has read that there are in literature Seven Types of Ambiguity (though William Empson never met Mrs Fawkes). However the former incredible “billion books” claim prompted a quick check of the Library of Congress website, revealing that there are in fact a mere 32 million books on the shelves. Not such a wise column after all…

*See I Might Be Ugly, But I’m Smart.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pink ‘Un Euromania is Unhinged

Like many in the City, Guido reads the FT for the markets section and the excellent arts section. The political commentary however is often woeful – it is like the Indy in pink. This morning the leader castigates Cameron for a lack of hard policy positions. Fair enough. It also has this barking Europhile non-sequitur:

Mr Cameron has rightly said he wants to tackle global challenges, such as climate change and migration. To succeed, he must work closely with the European Union. This will be difficult if he is also pandering to the eurosceptic right of his party by pledging to pull out of the EU’s main centre-right grouping.

What difference does it make to global warming if the Euro-Tories agree their line with the French centre-right party or the Czech centre-right party? Mad.

Rupert Murdoch has bought the Wall Street Journal, if the European edition of the WSJ sources more editorial content locally, many in the City will switch, since the FT has already become the preferred journal of record for the Brussels bureaucracy, the WSJ could become the preferred reading of the Square Mile and the business community, which is overwhelmingly wary of Brussels. The FT’s centrist establishment tone alienates more readers than it pleases, many of whom feel they have to read the paper on sufferance. Somehow Guido doubts Murdoch’s WSJ will be Europhile…

UPDATE : ConservativeHome reminds us that Dan Hannan described the FT as the Eurocrats paper.


Seen Elsewhere

BBC: It Was Guido Wot Won It | MediaGuido
Nick Robinson’s Britain First Selfie | Metro
Dyson: Leave German Dominated EU, Join EFTA |
How UKIP Won Rochester | Seb Payne
Labour’s Islington Problem | Harry Phibbs
Ed Lost More Than a By-Election | Labour Uncut
Labour the Biggest Losers in Rochester | Speccie
Thornberry a Gift to Farage | Nick Wood
Is Left Finally Turning Against EU? | Dan Hannan
Labour Votes Going Green | Guardian
UKIP Winning Class War | Tim Stanley


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Ralph Miliband on the English…

“The Englishman is a rabid nationalist. They are perhaps the most nationalist people in the world.”



Left on Left says:

The lefties are attacking because the panellist is a millionaire and lives in a London home worth upwards of two million. Someone had best tell them he’s called Ed Miliband.


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