David Thompson
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July 18, 2007

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The Thin Man

"a gargantuan appetite for everything"

surely this is an absolute requirement for someone wanting to run one of the worlds biggest financial centres?

Does Polly not think that Cuddly Ken must have just as much ambition? Otherwise why would he have run as Mayor?

Or does she not mind ambition as long as it is wrapped in politics that she happens to agree with.

This is a typical holier than thou move from lefty air-heads, who pretend that thirst for power is somehow absent from leftist politics.

David

Dear Polly’s grip on reality is somewhat tenuous. For instance, there’s something positively surreal about Toynbee calling anyone “a toff.” She is, after all, a rather grand woman herself - born into a privileged, quasi-aristocratic family, descended from the 9th Earl of Carlisle, privately educated, with a second home in Tuscany, a well-into-six-figure income, etc.

As DK says over at Devil’s Kitchen,

“You are more of a toff than Boris; the difference is that you rail against your class, attempting to stop anyone having the privileges that you had, whilst acting in precisely the same way that you always have. You revolting woman.”

Before adding,

“She could just shut the fuck up, stop writing and hang herself in shame.”

http://devilskitchen.me.uk/2007/07/polly-on-boris-hes-no-viking-warrior.html

AntiCitizenOne

Polly Toynbee is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handicapper_General

Dr.Dawg

We have this kind of conversation over in Canada all the time. "Vote NDP? But you own a house!" kind of nonsense.

Does everyone on the Left have to take a vow of poverty before we are considered non-hypocritical? Does that mean that those of modest means who vote Tory are equally hypocritical?

David

Dr Dawg,

You’re rather missing the point. It isn’t a matter of how rich she is per se, though that does have some indirect bearing on many issues she addresses. Toynbee is a fierce (and factually unreliable) critic of many things she herself has benefited from, and from which her children benefit as a result of her choices. She’s saying others should do one thing in order to be righteous, while doing something very different herself. She’s willing to deny to others the choices she’s enjoyed and which her children enjoy (for instance in education) and is, in effect, pulling up the ladder behind her.

Given Toynbee’s ancestry and the inconsistency of her reasoning and behaviour, one might wonder if much of her political vehemence is related not to analysis but to personal issues and a concern for how she seems.

AntiCitizenOne

Polly "Moon-Glampers" Toynbee is having a LAFS

Leftism
As
Fashion
Statement

TDK

"You are more of a toff than Boris; the difference is that you rail against your class, attempting to stop anyone having the privileges that you had, whilst acting in precisely the same way that you always have."

I have to say that in my experience, she's a fairly typical "toff". At university, the most dedicated Marxists were invariably Public School Types. Public school Conservatives were often Patrician in outlook. They shared the idea that "they" knew better than the plebs and would rule them benevolently. In that regard Toynbee follows in the tradition of the loathsome Webers; the latter were prepared to defend the Soviet Union even when they saw the evidence of famine and murder with their own eyes.

I don't think this is a fashion statement. She believes in what she writes.

David

TDK,

Wouldn’t that make her wildly inconsistent, delusional and… well, malign?

IanCroydon

"Does everyone on the Left have to take a vow of poverty before we are considered non-hypocritical?"

Well, if taking "a vow of poverty" means:

* not sending your kids to be privately educated
* not earning a six figure salary for doing relatively little work
* owning only one residential property, or at least residential property in only one country, at a time
* not "quilting the earth in a tea-cosy of CO2" to visit aforementioned second residential property in second country

I suppose, yes, that would be considered a non-hypocritical approach.

TDK

"Wouldn’t that make her wildly inconsistent, delusional and… well, malign?"

This says it better than me:

http://freebornjohn.blogspot.com/2006/11/unconscionable-cruelty-of-polly-t.html

David

TDK,

Thanks for that. It’s good to hear someone making the (strangely unregistered) point that Toynbee’s egalitarian urges are not only authoritarian and narcissistic, but also appallingly cruel - not least to those whose interests she claims to have at heart.

Mary Jackson

Boris Johnson, peace be upon him, is fun. Underneath that absurd blond mop is a powerful mind.

Recently he campaigned successfully to retain Ancient History A-level. Red Ken would probably replace it with Islamophobia Studies.

Polly Toynbee is indeed a hypocrite. I agree with TDK that some of the most vociferous Marxists are ex public school types. In fact, when I was at university, you could tell who was a communist - the ones with the most expensive stereos.

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