David Thompson
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May 26, 2015

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sH2

From high atop those resonating columns,

Thanks for the mental image.

David

I was hoping to convey her self-imagined grandeur.

ACTOldFart

Polly Toynbee, supported by Julia Hobsbawm? Marx was sort-of right. It's history writing, rather than history itself, that repeats itself - the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.

sackcloth and ashes

'left-wing people are more intelligent and just generally better people'

Says the harridan who dropped out of Oxford (after somehow getting in with only one A Level), and who wrote a spiteful attack on Auberon Waugh after his death, illustrated with a cartoon of said writer being flushed down the toilet.

David

As we’ve seen many times, Polly is much more troubled by what you earn and keep than by what she earns and keeps. Which, given her six-figure Guardian income, plus appearance fees, royalties and property portfolio, is quite a feat. But this is someone who thinks that voting for the state to confiscate even more of other people’s earnings is an act of altruism, and, conveniently, an excuse for not using her own considerable resources to help those she deems deserving. Again, another feat. And if a well-heeled person bangs on, week after week, about how terrible unequal incomes are and how something must be done urgently, and then says she won’t do anything to help directly until the state forces everyone else, this isn’t a resounding affirmation of her professed morality.

In that respect, she’s not unlike quite a few middle-class lefties, only more so.

svh

Toynbee made a number of further claims regarding economic inequality and expanded waistlines, each of which proved to be either misleading or untrue.

God, I miss the Daily Ablution.

David

God, I miss the Daily Ablution.

So say we all. More than any other, Scott’s was the blog that inspired me to start this thing. Many. Moons. Ago.

R. Sherman

Link between obesity and governmental food assistance in the U.S. (NYT)

Many moons ago, I worked in grocery during college. Based on my observations, perhaps one in twenty food stamp customers used their allotment for healthy foods. The rest bought all manner of junk and from appearances were certainly not starving.

Interestingly, about that time, the worthies concluded that low income pregnant women and mothers of young children were not using their food stamps properly. Thus a new government program was instituted: "WIC" (Women, Infants & Children) which provided vouchers for milk, beans, rice, fresh fruit and vegetables. N.B. there was no thought about eliminating things like potato chips and pretzels from approved food stamp purchases. Instead, the taxpayers wound up funding a new program to make sure recipients got what they should have been buying in the first place with the taxpayers' money.

David

Instead, the taxpayers wound up funding a new program to make sure recipients got what they should have been buying in the first place with the taxpayers’ money.

Ah, but if only they could confiscate, say, 50% of our earnings, for ten or so generations, and put cameras everywhere and implant lots of electrodes for remote scolding, they could finally, eventually, fix the underclass.

And then maybe, just maybe, the voices would stop.

David

It’s worth noting that although Polly struggles with simple arithmetic and is reliably wrong on matters of basic fact, this has had little if any impact on her career or her standing among editors at our state broadcaster. Her niche is one in which being repeatedly wrong – ludicrously wrong – has no real consequences. It costs her nothing. And so she never has to apologise, never has to learn. Now imagine if, say, plumbers or structural engineers enjoyed a similar immunity. Buildings would be collapsing on a weekly basis and every other home in Britain would be flooded as I type.

R. Sherman

. . . they could finally, eventually, fix the underclass.

Quite. I recall a conversation with a young, socialist European acquaintance when I complained that food stamps were used to purchase, among other things, "Frosted Double Sugar Bomb" breakfast cereal instead of generic corn flakes or the oatmeal which I ate every morning on my college budget. Said the socialist, "It would be unfair to deprive the poor children of the snooty breakfast food when their friends at school had parents who could afford it."

It's not about feeding the poor; it's not about health. It's about punishing people who've had the temerity not to be on the government dole.

Dom

Toynbee was called a blogger a "pendent", and the blogger proudly quoted that on his masthead. Wasn't it Worstall?

David

Wasn’t it Worstall?

Yes.

sackcloth and ashes

She also had a public sense of humour failure on 'The Sunday Politics', as shown here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NOerIRqwz8

pst314

"It is inequality and disrespect that makes people fat."

Yon Toynbee has that lean and hungry look. Such women are dangerous.

Joan

It is inequality and disrespect that makes people fat.

Also crisps.

dicentra

Good news: @GodfreyElfwick is back and in fine form.

Life makes sense again.

David

Heh.

Tedunderhill2

"chunkier readers should note that waiting for a socialist revolution probably isn’t the best way to lose those extra pounds"

Oh I don't know, Polly could point to the success of the DPRK weight loss program.

Hal

. . . they could finally, eventually, fix the underclass.

Will never happen.

As P.T. Barnum was alleged to have said, There's a hipster born every minute, and as the Christian New Testament notes, For the hipster will be among you always.

randian

Every time I see her name I think of the Ray Bradbury story.

sackcloth and ashes

Another Pollyana gem here, getting quite a monstering in the comments:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/26/queens-speech-miliband

'Classwarrier 13m ago

A very useful historical document which could be the first of a long series on losing Labour manifestos - 2010, 1992, 1987, 1983, 1979 etc.

Obviously there is no point in looking at the manifestos of 1997, 2001 and 2005.

Winning is so last decade.'


'exsanddancer 15m ago

Lord Falconer? I don't recall anyone voting for him in his gilded path from public school to Cambridge. No he never bothered to submit himself to the votes of the great unwashed, preferring the lordship his old mucker Tone bunged him back in the day.

So he writes the bills eh? Good to hear!

One small problem Poll, my old friend:

Your lot lost by a landslide so all of their sixth form rubbish policies are landfill now.

But no doubt that wont stop "lord" Falconer's dreams of glory will it Poll?'


'Impossibleblobby 23m ago

I can't say I'm happy that the Tories won, but this seems pretty pathetic'.


'Chris Davison 1h ago

"A poor campaign, not bad policies, lost Miliband the election."

Overlooking the obvious again, Polly. The two are not mutually exclusive.
labour's problems started with both of these concepts and added them to an uncharismatic "leader". fail on three levels.

Labour lost - Get over it. If the next five years will be so bad, then start finding some policies that real people like and support, not just what appeals to the chatterocracy and the political classes and drives normal people to distraction (or worse, UKIP).'


'TheMarxOfProgress 5h ago

Well, we're all idiots, aren't we? When it's put like this I really have to wonder quite why I didn't vote Labour.

It definitely wasn't because the party doesn't sufficiently resemble an out-of-touch metropolitan elite telling the proles how they should live. Definitely not that.'

The original Mr. X

"She's the sort of woman who lives for others. You can tell the others by their hunted expression." -- C. S. Lewis.

BritInMontreal

Hal @ 18.24 which Ray Bradbury story? Also, even on her Wikipaedia page a few years ago, she was called "the Guardian's resident madwoman", but it got deleted.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

She sounds like one of Dickens' nightmare women--persecuting the poor and annoying everybody else.

mojo

Was it the Aesthetics that sat on columns? The Asiatics? No, that can't be right.

Better ask Polly.

sackcloth and ashes

'She sounds like one of Dickens' nightmare women--persecuting the poor and annoying everybody else'.

If you've read 'Porterhouse Blue', she's basically Lady Mary, the wife of Sir Godber Evans.

The likeness is uncanny.

Hal

Hal @ 18.24 which Ray Bradbury story?

Actually, the post of Every time I see her name I think of the Ray Bradbury story. wasn't me and was instead randian | May 26, 2015 at 18:29 . . .

My thought was to note the differences between patricians who fix plumbing, plan and execute and troubleshoot actually working budgets, draw up and pass actually workable legislation, and other assorted actually useful actions, vs peons who merely demand to be the center of attention, openly lie on every occasion, and stamp their little feet when greeted with reality.

---Why yes, today I am indeed having to figure out how I and two or three functioning coworkers can manage to do assorted babysitting, or ideally, get the hell out and get to a functioning working environment, does it show?

mojo

via Roger Kimball:

“Surrounded by Disturbing Art.”

I was triggered at the Frick.
Those alarming Veroneses
may appeal to certain crazies;
I felt terrified and sick.
I was triggered at the Met.
“Los Caprichos” are disgusting
with their cheating and their lusting,
and those Schieles at the Neue
are at least as bad as Goya.
I was triggered at the Guggenheim,
the Whitney and the New.
I left MoMA in a coma
and I think that I might sue.
We need signs that give a sense of
what you’ll find in a museum:
“Works of art may be offensive.
Are you sure you want to see ’em?”

by Jeffrey Kindley

dcardno

Regarding "the Ray Bradbury story" try:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Toynbee_Convector

The reference is to Poppa

Cheers,

Dean

David

and those Schieles at the Neue
are at least as bad as Goya.

Bravo.

Tim Worstall

It was indeed Worstall but it was pendant. A story which is in the bookette of curse.

For she called me something valuable, a jewel possibly, an object one keeps near the heart. Or, of course, something close to a tit.

Kevin B

We need signs that give a sense of
what you’ll find in a museum:
“Works of art may be offensive.
Are you sure you want to see ’em?”

I feel sure that the signs are already being made. After all, an "Australian opera company bans 'Carmen' for smoking"

Crazed Weevil

"Polly tells her readers that obesity isn’t chiefly a matter of inactivity and overeating but instead has a more pernicious cause, i.e., a lack of socialism"

Well she isn't exactly wrong here...after all socialism is extremely good at starving millions of people to death for no good reason and that would surely solve the obesity epidemic.

prm

It’s worth noting that although Polly struggles with simple arithmetic and is reliably wrong on matters of basic fact, this has had little if any impact on her career or her standing among editors at our state broadcaster. Her niche is one in which being repeatedly wrong – ludicrously wrong – has no real consequences. It costs her nothing. And so she never has to apologise, never has to learn. Now imagine if, say, plumbers or structural engineers enjoyed a similar immunity. Buildings would be collapsing on a weekly basis and every other home in Britain would be flooded as I type.

I wrote myself a little essay which talked about this, of which below is an excerpt:

It is safe to say that the lower animals have a close fit with reality. By which I mean that they represent it to themselves,­ by whatever mechanisms they have,­ fairly. If by some fluke a hopeful monster had emerged with the ability to pretend that reality is other than it is chances are it would quickly be removed from the gene pool. The point is that, with regard to reality, an individual misrepresenting it to themselves is at a disadvantage. If you pretend there is food when there is not, you would starve. If you pretend you are desirable and you are not, you don't mate. As Ayn Rand put it: 'You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.' And no doubt the same is true, more or less, for early hominids. But as soon as you get recognisable minds, and intentions, you get much more complex representations, and you can influence those representations, and misrepresent, and you can cheat ­- yourself as much as others. And there is no longer any need to suppose that the representation an individual has of reality necessarily accurately represents reality. As the NLP mantra goes ­ 'The map is not the territory'. The important point to note here is that, in the West, many have now reached a position where, to all intents and purposes, there is no disadvantage to having a wrong map.
Thus you may read a commenter ignorant about economics, but their being hopelessly wrong does not mean they'll starve. Given the tendency of people to go where their ideas are mirrored, you will more than likely be among friends, so your mating potential is unlikely to suffer either. The point is that you can be wrong about practically everything, and it doesn't matter in any serious sense. Nothing bad will happen to you personally as a consequence.

Because it is no longer a matter of life and death that one accurately represents reality, you have removed a restraint from one’s own self-representation. If it makes more sense to the individual to live in and through a wrong understanding of the world, and this happens at no obvious cost, or even accrues benefits, it is perfectly natural and understandable that that is what will happen.
This notion of ideas having (or not having) consequences may suggest a way of viewing certain hypocrisies: those who talk about forcing comprehensive education and reducing carbon footprints, who then promptly send their children to the best schools and then fly to their second homes abroad as for example with the commenter Polly Toynbee, or decrying private health and then sending your child to a private hospital under an assumed name as with the MP Barbara Castle. Because wrong ideas have no personal consequences when put forward as commentary or policy it matters not that they are ignorant and wrong. However, when it comes to reality, to real decisions and real desires about oneself and ones clan, all these purported beliefs about reality go out of the window, reality intrudes, people do what they have always done to provide the best for those closest to them. They are perfectly aware - when there are consequences, when it matters to them - that you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.

Tim Newman

Ah, the Daily Ablution. Missed still, a decade on.

abacab

Labour campaign 2020: "You know we called you all stupid after the last election? Well, about that. Can we forget about it please? Pretty please? Can we not let that affect your judgement this time around? Clean slate, eh?"

the wolf

I take it as a sign of the success of capitalism that one of the problems of the poorest among us is obesity. That's unprecedented in history. Toynbee is correct that socialism would rectify that problem; food scarcity will do that, after all.

Theophrastus

"Ah, the Daily Ablution. Missed still, a decade on."

Indeed, Tim. Come back, Scott, all is forgiven.

wtp

It appears (to this Yank anyways) that Ms. Polly T. is simply carrying on a long tradition of impervious elitism. This from Wiki concerning her grandfather, the eponymous convector himself:


He is best known for his 12-volume A Study of History (1934–61), through which he

...examined the rise and fall of 26 civilizations in the course of human history, and he concluded that they rose by responding successfully to challenges under the leadership of creative minorities composed of elite leaders
...
Meeting with Adolf Hitler
While on a visit in Berlin in 1936 to address the Nazi Law Society, Toynbee was invited to have a private interview with Adolf Hitler, at Hitler's request. Hitler emphasized his limited expansionist aim of building a greater German nation, and his desire for British understanding and cooperation. Toynbee believed that Hitler was sincere and endorsed Hitler's message in a confidential memorandum for the British prime minister and foreign secretary.

Russia
Toynbee was troubled by the Russian Revolution, for he saw Russia as a non-Western society and the revolution as a threat to Western society. However in 1952 he argued that the Soviet Union had been a victim of Western aggression. He portrayed the Cold War as a religious competition that pitted a Marxist materialist heresy against the West's spiritual Christian heritage—a heritage that had already been foolishly rejected by a secularized West. A heated debate ensued; an editorial in the London Times promptly attacked Toynbee for treating communism as a "spiritual force."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee

So grandpa was a twofer symp for both the Nazis and Soviets. Quite an accomplishment. He even made the cover of Time magazine. He was, like, real smart. I'm not a religious man but when I do pray, I pray to God Almighty to save us from the "smart" people. It seems it's the least He could do for us.

David

I pray to God Almighty to save us from the “smart” people.

Amen.

rabbit

The quality of opinion writing of most Guardian columnists is abysmal. The Guardian is considered one of the most influential news outlets in Britain, and yet most articles -- even allowing for political leanings -- barely deserve publication in the student newspaper of a mediocre liberal arts college.

Add to this the overt Marxism of some their opinion writers and the LSD-inspired environmentalism of Monbiot and it becomes farcical.

Theophrastus

"The Guardian is considered one of the most influential news outlets in Britain..."

Only by the BBC. And social workers, media femiloons and some students. Circulation of the paper is just 140, 000 - and falling.

RY

Re the quality of writing in the Guardian:

'Tea is a national disgrace - a relic of our colonial past'

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/27/tea-national-disgrace-beverage-british

I don't think it's hyperbole to say that doing the tea run in the office is one of the worst punishments that can be inflicted on a human being.

RY

Apologies, the link in that comment doesn't seem to be working.

The article is well worth looking up, though.
It's truly terrible.

David

Link fixed.

RY

Thank you, David.

james

@RY
The article is well worth looking up, though

No. A thousand times, NO!

It's truly terrible.

Yes.

Literally so.

And not in a "it is so bad it is good" way.

It is just a woefully poor rant, with a bit of boilerplate Guardianista "relic of colonialism" verbiage appended.

David Gillies

I like to think of the dreadful harridan as Mrs. Pollybee, like the old baggage from Bleak House, obsessed with the plight of the benighted natives of Borrioboola-Gha and blind to any notion of charity beginning at home. Her apparent earnestness is divorced from whether her warmed-over paternalistic idiocy has any practical application to the world. Indeed, one suspects that that is half the point.

abacab

That is Peak Grauniad, right there. Brewed to perfection.

David

It’s truly terrible.

As several people point out in the comments, it’s a feeble, overplayed joke and says more about the writer than the subject. But it ticks the boxes for a first-time Guardian column – it disdains with an air of snobbery something that lots of people like, there’s a token reference to colonialism, thereby signalling the author’s political conformity, and it has almost zero informational content about the ostensible subject. It’s jokey but unfunny and not terribly informed. He’ll fit right in.

RY

David, yes.

RY

Sorry about that. That was the start of a comment, not supposed to be posted till written in full.

What I was going to say was, that you summed it up perfectly.

says more about the writer than the subject.

And says more about the editorial line of the paper than the writer.

David

David, yes.

The author, Joel Golby, seems amused by the reaction to his debut. Which is to say, a near-unanimous trashing. Naturally, he chooses not to defend his article or engage with any of his critics. It’s like a postmodern trolling of his own readership. First, you write a weak and sneery article; then readers say it’s a weak and sneery article; and then you applaud yourself for having prompted readers to say you’ve written a weak and sneery article.

Journalism, that fine and noble trade.

RY

Above all else, it's the sneering that gets me.
Just to be full of the desire to sneer at so many people.
It never fails to astonish me.

How does one become like that?

David

It’s an odd phenomenon, this need to ‘problematize’ popular activities, thereby signalling one’s self-imagined superiority. For instance, when Laurie Penny declared her dislike of competitive sports, it wasn’t enough to say, “I’m not interested in competitive sports.” Which would be a fair, if unremarkable, statement – such that no-one would care one way or the other. And so she had to frame it as if there were something politically improper about competitive sports, all of them, and something wrong with the people who enjoy them. And so her lack of interest becomes, in her mind, a virtue, something to be applauded. Sort of, “I have decided not to like competitive sports (or be any good at them) for high-minded, political reasons. Because I’m so thoughtful and see what others don’t.”

Of course her posturing backfired, as it often does, and Laurie was forced to backpedal and squirm, and then claim that she was being “attacked” “viciously” with a “barrage of hate” for her views on tennis. Apparently she mustn’t be mocked for desperately signalling her leftist credentials at every opportunity, and for viewing everything in life through a narrow and tedious filter of leftist presumption. And for letting us know, constantly, just how non-conformist she is.

Jonathan

Left Wing activists engage in a calm and reasoned debate with one of their opponents. Just kidding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jqrnqqk9tSU

ac1

How does one become like that?
Dunning Kruger.

Bluntnose

I can't believe nobody has linked to the legendary 'you started it' moment with Polly and Richard Littlejohn. I am not equipped to do it, but it should be seen.

David

I can’t believe nobody has linked to the legendary ‘you started it’ moment with Polly and Richard Littlejohn

This one here?

By the way, Bluntnose, your comments keep getting snagged in the spam filter. Not sure why. If it happens again, email me and I’ll shake them loose.

Watcher In The Dark

"It is inequality and disrespect that makes people fat"

As I am very much not equal to lefty-luvvies at the Graun or indeed anyone in the upper reaches of the Liebore party and I don't respect any of them (and likewise they don't respect me) I expect I should be as fat as an overblown blimp by now. The fact I am not must mean there is something wrong here.

David

The fact I am not must mean there is something wrong here.

I’m nowhere near as well-off as Ms Toynbee and I’m sure she’d disapprove of me, quite severely, and yet I too am graceful and svelte, like a ninja gazelle. Or an injured gazelle, as The Other Half puts it.

Watcher In The Dark

Abacad said: 'Labour campaign 2020: "You know we called you all stupid after the last election? Well, about that. Can we forget about it please? Pretty please? Can we not let that affect your judgement this time around? Clean slate, eh?"'

I would summarise this as being: "We have nobly forgiven ourselves. Haven't you yet?"

RY

seeking to improve onscreen diversity

'The BBC is seeking a potential new weather presenter who does not need to have any qualifications - but does need to be disabled.'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/bbc/11635180/Wanted-by-the-BBC-a-new-weather-presenter-who-must-be-disabled.html

ac1

Militant Whitewash at BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32913465

David

Militant Whitewash at BBC

Dr Peter North claims, disingenuously, that Militant were harshly treated, before saying, again disingenuously, “My view is that political parties that have a variety of attitudes within them are more democratic and healthy.” Which carefully ignores the totalitarian premise of the group in question – the overthrow of parliamentary democracy and the creation of a Marxoid dictatorship - and its plans to prevent a “variety of attitudes” once sufficient power had been seized.

Mags

and its plans to prevent a “variety of attitudes” once sufficient power had been seized.

But we've so much to learn from totalitarian nutjobs. :-)

wtp

who does not need to have any qualifications - but does need to be disabled.'

Hmm...granted it's a somewhat obvious question though quite gauche. Honestly asking for a friend who's real curious as to how disabled? I, I mean he, went to the BBC website and downloaded the attachment but it doesn't specify. I, uh we, presume dyslexia is an insufficient disability, but perhaps a speech impediment? Missing part of a finger? To which knuckle? Or how many fingers? Would a missing thumb count more than a finger? Is there a disability that goes too far? ALS should be OK since, you know, Stephen Hawking. Who would turn him down? Though surely being in a persistent vegetative state is a bit much. Perhaps given the reaction at the BBC to y'alls latest election results, perhaps simply being a Tory would suffice. But that's just crazy talk.

ac1

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2565164?utm_content=bufferea13e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Statue of man and woman taking is sexist to those witch-finders of sexism in homoeopathic quantities.

David

Statue of man and woman talking is sexist

You’d think the umbrage-takers, being so clever, might consider that a sculptor sometimes positions figures for aesthetic effect (or structural stability) rather than to bolster the All-Powerful Yet Invisible Patriarchal Nexus.

Hal

Honestly asking for a friend who's real curious as to how disabled?

Slightly at a tangent, I'm reminded of a scene in A Taxing Woman's Return. One set of characters are Yakuza, the sorts of fellows who slice off fingers one joint at a time as a form of apology. One such is trying to pressure someone into moving out of an apartment. He sticks out a hand and announces to the apartment dweller that if the apartment dweller agrees to move, that the Yakuza will give him This number of thousands of yen. The apartment dweller looks intrigued, and reaching out to the hand, starts counting.

One, two, three, four, four and a half.

Quint&Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK

Brewed up a nice pot of evil colonialism and...wait, what were we talking about again?

sackcloth and ashes

''My view is that political parties that have a variety of attitudes within them are more democratic and healthy''.

The Labour Party's own constitution bars membership of another political party (such as 'Militant'), and also states that backing another political party in an election is grounds for expulsion. Granted, the rules have been less than rigorously applied in recent years (see Ken Livingston, for example), but they're there in black and white.

Jimmy

Once we examine tea, once we put that central tenet of British culture under the microscope...

Hahahaha.

Hahaha.

Execrable.

I wonder what the equivalent poo-pooing would be for us Kiwis. Perhaps Afghan biscuits, because racism. Or something.

ACTOldFart

And of course if you take your tea with a nice slice of toast liberally smeared with pre-2002 Robertson's marmalade - oh! oh my God! oh, the humanity!!

David Gillies

wtp, the speech impediment idea has already been done. Victor Lewis-Smith pranked the BBC pretending to be someone with Tourette's applying for a job as a continuity announcer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwYuwV0XlyU

abacab

I was winding myself up at a bout of conspicuous compassion for those on benefits, those who hit the 24k benefits cap, recent immigrants and so on by some public school Christian leftists yesterday (shame there's not the same "compassion" for the working poor). It reminded me, heathen scum that I am, of a bible passage from my dim and distant youth of enforced High CoE-ism. So I updated Luke 18:10-14 for our times:

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Guardianista, and the other a white van man.

11 The Guardianista stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, tax avoiders, insufficiently socially-just, sexists, or even as this white van man.

12 I eat vegetarian twice in the week, I gladly pay my taxes. I read the Grauniad. I vote Labour.

13 And the white van man, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a #WorkingClassTory.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Rich Rostrom

Ms. Toynbee wrote "disruptive 16-year-old boys” should be taken out of class to spend a term being taught the finer points of dance...

I wonder how that would square with Oakland CA public schools' new policy of no suspensions for "willful defiance", i.e. swearing/yelling at teachers, refusing direct orders, texting, and storming out of class. The policy was adopted because the old policy had racial "disparate impact". I suspect Ms. Toynbee's policy would too. And her head would explode.

WTP

Ah, Mr. Rostrum, I think you are confused by the use of the language by people like PT. The phrase "disruptive 16-year-old boys" in PT's mind is the full noun itself. All 16-year-old-boys are disruptive by their very nature. By punishing all you are discriminating by sex, not behavior. The behavior being endemic to the sex, discrimination against that sex being permitted and even encouraged, is all A-OK.

David

Today’s Toynbeeism: “Ed Miliband’s policies will be popular with voters. They just don’t know it yet.

Microbillionaire

Well, there is one form of inequality that makes people fat: eating more than others. But I don't think that's what Polly had in mind.

Connor

Latest Polly Toynbee correction:

"This article was amended to change the deficit percentage figure from 80% to 5%"

https://twitter.com/thomasknox/status/609140917346410497

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