Yesterday saw the Conservatives strip off their sheep's clothing too, as George Osborne tore into the "unexploded tax bombshell" with gusto, merrily defending the aspirations of the wealthy.
You see, in Toynbee-land, only the wealthy have aspirations; those who are not so wealthy or even (whisper it) poor, do not—cannot—have aspirations.
But, surely, in this wonderful world of ours, is it not aspiration that drives people to better themselves? Surely aspirations are what we al need in order to drive ourselves through this life; are dreams of a better life—whether that is encompassed in wealth or otherwise—not why man has invented, and built and worked?
Are aspirations solely the province of the wealthy? Well, that is how Polly would have it, of course, for it is she who would strangle the dreams of the less well-off.
However, [Polly] attacked Murray’s argument and said that to tell children that they could achieve greatness was to fill their heads with fairy tale nonsense. Apparently we live in a society where only the very rich achieve greatness.
As a (relatively young) Conservative it is one of my core beliefs that individuals should aspire to better themselves, and society, through ambition and hard work. A world run by Toynbee would be a world where children are encouraged not to try, as “they’ll never make it in to the history book. That’s just where rich people end up.” Frightening stuff.
Yep. So, Polly says that only the rich should aspire to better things and then, of course, Polly can keep moaning about how only the rich are able to fulfill their dreams. Mind you, Polly would know.
At her recent talk in the Battersea Waterstones—flogging her latest books—one of the audience members (who looked like some early retired teacher and member of the Communists), advocated the idea that journalists should have a policy of describing those on £100,000 per year or more as "parasites", or some such.
Your humble Devil was delighted to chip in with, "but Polly couldn't do that: then she would have to describe herself as a parasite. Isn't that so, Polly?" Ms Toynbee nodded, a big grin on her face.
Aspirations are fine for the wealthy, aren't they?—they are not so fine for anyone else, apparently.
Nice one, Pol, you evil old baggage.
UPDATE: it seems that half-decent MP Douglas Carswell is not a fan either, as he titles his article, "Is Polly Toynbee mad?"
Well, Douglas, I suggest that you apply the Polly Conundrum...