The Polly Toynbee line is a deliberate headline grab – based on one borrowed metaphor. Clark argues that the desired image for Conservative policy is provided by Polly’s picture of society “as a caravan crossing the desert… If those furthest back fall too far behind, they cease to be part of the whole… Similarly, if the poorest people in this country fall too far behind those further up the income scale our society will pull apart.”
Tellingly the conclusion quotes Adam Smith, the father of free market ideology, not Polly the mother of social democracy. Quoting Polly approvingly reinforces the “Tories have changed” meme – which is their core message. The paper is published tomorrow.
UPDATE: At PMQs today a Labour backbencher fell for the triangulation ruse. Ironically Blair was cautious about endorsing Polly when asked should the Tories take her advice.