Ah well, obviously I wasn't a goodboy this year as Santa failed to deliver her head on a silver salver. Never mind, Polly herself has brought me a belated Christmas present: a column summing up all of her stupid fucking ideas in one succint package. What more could your humble Devil ask for, as he gears up for another year of ripping into the cognoscenti? So, shall we take a look at The Wisdom of Polly Toynbee?
New year resolutions may be wildly unrealistic, trying to be nicer, thinner, kinder, fitter, more generous, more patient and every other good thing.
Which is why I don't make New Year's resolutions. Well, other than promising to rip into you with even more bile and spite, you stupid woman.
But even if experience knows that resolutions are bound to be broken within days, if not hours, that's no reason not to contemplate doing better. So the same is true of politics.
Actually, Polly, you are absolutely correct; New Year's resolutions are exactly like politics: everyone talks about doing good things and improving the world, and then they absolutely fail to deliver. Yup, that sums up politicians pretty well, I'd say.
How about you making a resolution never to lay finger to keyboard ever again? No chance, I suppose...?
Next year will bring regime change at the top. In this low season for an administration that sometimes seems lost in a fog of government, drained of purpose by daily drudgery, here are some optimistic but not wildly unrealistic resolutions it might at least consider:
That's right, chaps: here comes the Polly Toynbee manifesto; the biggest pile of shit this side of Shit Mountain (probably somewhere in Wales).
- Start with acts of contrition for past political sins committed by all parties.
What the fuck? What kind of shitty imposition is this? I would get deeply offended if someone apologised on my behalf for something that they felt I had done wrong; in the same way, I get deeply pissed off when Tony Blair apologises, on my behalf, for slavery. The idea of that grinning cunt, or any of his idiot apparatchiks, apologising for all political mistakes over the course of... well... forever would piss everyone off no end. Especially since NuLabour's record is, let's face it, hardly "whiter than white".
And what is this silly cow's prescription of how this should be done? Well, with it coming from Polly, you might be expecting some piece of illiberal bollocks which would vastly increase the politicians' power and decrease their accountability. And you would not be disappointed...
Bring in state financing of parties, with a strict cap on all spending over the electoral cycle and a ban on all money-raising except from fixed individual membership subscriptions. Give each voter the power to allocate their share of party funds by ticking a box on the ballot paper to stop a carve-up by the main parties, a good incentive to parties to get every vote out even in the safest seats.
Or, to put it another way, entrench the money supply of the main parties, making them less accountable to the voters and party members. Extract money from the population by blackmail and ensure absolutely that the parties no longer need to respond to their citizens or supporters.
For fuck's sake, Pol, state-funding hasn't made German (remember Helmut Kohl's resignation?) or French ("vote for the crook not the Nazi") politics any less corrupt, has it? You stupid bitch.
- Encourage citizens to vote with a bonus off their council tax;
Oh that's a fucking great idea, that one, Pol. Gosh, where shall I start? First, as a punishment for not voting, tax payers will have their local services restricted: in fact, the more that you vote, the less money the council gets and the more restricted the services become.
Further, as a punishment for people not voting for the national politicians, the local council gets fucked over; the more people vote, the less money they get (not necessarily a bad thing, but you get the drift) and, of course, budgeting becomes problematic since the council cannot estimate how many people will vote.
And does this discount kick in in election years only? Or does it apply for every year? Will we see electoral fraud increase with financial incentives being offered? Has Polly thought about this for more than two minutes? God, she's a fucking idiot.
if they still won't turn out, make voting compulsory.
Which is, of course, the mark of a free society.
Politicians should understand that the reason that people are not voting is because they feel utterly unengaged with politics and politicians. This is important, a feedback loop for our MPs and their attendant parties. That the politicians ignore this fact is abysmal but only to be expected; and, the more that they ignore the apathy of voters, the less connected with the political process they feel.
Make it more enticing with the alternative vote, letting voters put their choices in 1, 2 ,3 order, choosing small parties closer to their views, while still using their second choice to keep out the party they most fear.
Ah, the Single Transferable Vote system, joyously open to fraud! Or is she proposing something similar to the Scottish party list system? It isn't entirely clear, is it? I'm sure that Polly is absolutely clear on what she wants, eh?
As it keeps the link between MP and constituency, it can be done for the next election while reforming the Lords.
What? Is this non-sequitur week in the Toynbee household? Oh, no, it's what she always does: slipping in some little nugget that doesn't follow from the previous comment, in the hope that no one will notice. God, she's a devious, underhanded piece of shit.
If any party fears losing out under the alternative vote, let it support full proportional representation.
And we'll end up with hung Parliaments all the time; not a situation I favour.
- Prove British democracy is not in hock to press barons, despite the humiliating courting of these political thugs. Restore the laws limiting media ownership by any one magnate, abolished by Margaret Thatcher to let Rupert Murdoch acquire his empire, so that he now owns over 40% of the press plus ever more dominant Sky.
Well, let's go and visit Factchecking Pollyana for a little perspective on this.
Thanks to my goof over circulation and readership, we've seen the results for both; News International has 32% of circulation and 36% of readership. Note, by the way, that these figures are for most of the national dailies and Sundays. They exclude the local press.
Let's face it, Murdoch does control a lot of the media but he does not control it all. After all, I am sure that Murdoch would not tolerate Polly's fucking crappy ramblings.
Come to think of it, let Murdoch own all of it...
- Fix the BBC's future with a legal guarantee of at least inflation-proof rises in the licence fee, free of political intervention in perpetuity.
Riiiight, Pol. And how, exactly, will that work? One of the key points of our Parliament is that no government can be irrevocably bound by the legislation of a previous government; this means that, as long as the BBC is funded by taxation, it can never be free of political interference.
(Tessa Jowell should resign in protest if she fails to secure the BBC steady state funding as a bare minimum.)
We should be so fucking lucky, frankly; the chances of that lying whore resigning are next to zero.
The licence fee is a bargain.
Well, it may be; but I wouldn't mind having the option of paying frankly. Why shouldn't I be able to chose whether or not I have to pay the fucking TV tax. Given the option, I would probably pay for the Beeb (probably) but I don't see why I should be forced to fund it through extortion.
- Turn the Low Pay Commission into the Pay Commission, with a duty to recommend not just the minimum wage rate but to comment on the dysfunctions and dislocations caused by out-of-control pay at the top, now fracturing middle pay rates, inflating house prices, raising interest rates and harming all.
In the name of fuck, Polly; won't you sit down and think about what you write, just for five minutes? It is none of the government's fucking business what the directors of private fucking companies are paid. Fuck you, you stupid bitch. The fucking government bollocks up everything that it touches; do not, in the name of god, encourage them to further arse up—beyond the crap that is the tax system—private companies.
It should comment too on migration and its effect on pay rates.
You stupid fucking cow, it can comment as long as it likes on immigration; it can do fuck al about it. The majority of our mmigration policy is not controlled by our parliament, it is controlled by the European Union and whether Polly's quango thinks that EU immigrants (and let's face it, it is the Eastern European peoples that she is talking about) are depressing wages or not makes absolutely stuff all difference that this country can do absolutely fuck all and less than nothing about it.
- Create a standing tax commission to expose who pays what and how fat cats squeeze through loopholes.
In that case, Pol, one assumes that you will denounce your big, Norse warrior and insist that The Gobblin' King start simplifying taxes immediately—thus closing the loopholes that are a consequence of the further complexities introduced by the Cyclopean bastard—and investigate a Flat Tax and general transparency in the system with all alacrity.
Ha! Fat chance of Polly making any such fucking connection.
Get tough on tax exiles: cut the time they can spend here tax-free while stashing their cash in Jersey or Monaco, losing the Treasury escalating sums as the UK turns tax haven itself.
That's right, and lose all of their skills and economic investment; nice one, Polly, you fucking chimp. Still, at least that will bring us nearer to the situation enjoyed by the Nordic countries of which you are so fond.
Bring a top tax band at £100,000 as an opportunity tax, earmarked to pay for new life chances for left-behind children.
Oh, go fuck yourself, Toynbee. Seriously, when has any tax ever been earmarked or "ring-fenced" and actually spent where intended? Never, absolutely never.
And what is this cock about "left-behind children"? Who is going to disburse this money; who is going to look after these children, Pol? Will it be your beloved state, the ones who ensure that if children in care are not being ritually buggered by those employed to look after them, they are, at least, failing their exams. When will you learn, you cretinous fucktard?
Make Every Child Matters a reality, with Sure Start a genuine universal guarantee that every child gets wrap-around help from well-qualified professionals to rescue all at risk. Labour's great idea, 10 years on, is still often only a half-fulfilled promise.
Great one; we al look forward to the new Never Never Land which will be the result of children raised in Polly's State Podding HutchesTM. Oh happy fucking day!
- Cut crime at a stroke: let clinics prescribe enough heroin to addicts daily to stop them mugging, stealing and turning to prostitution to support a habit. Lives can be stabilised on regular heroin and that is also the best hope of getting chaotic addicts into rehab.
Ah, so I am to pay for the lifestyle choices of others, am I? Oh goody! And what about "addicts" of other drugs, Pol? Am I to be limited in the number of beers that I can have so that an alcoholic may be given their free booze? Can we not give nicotine addicts free cigarettes?
Legalise drugs and legalise brothels and let's have an end to this fucking about.
- Begin again on foreign policy and, as Chirac departs, turn back to the EU.
Why, Polly? The EU costs us money, my dulcet darling; that money could be going to treat your beloved backward children, or treating people on the NHS, or any of your other bonnet-bees, my dear girl.
Europe is the world's best hope on climate change, the only grouping of nations with the power and intent to tackle it.
Really. So Europe is not a total fucking irrelevence, then? It isn't, as the EU's own numbers suggest, doomed to represent only 10% of the world's GDP then? It's inward-looking isolationist policies do not make it a pointess and tedious distraction for the big economies of the world then?
Make carbon trading work, invite in the rest of the world, and create and donate clean technologies to China and India.
Carbon trading will not work in any way; the system will not work and the reduction of carbon emissions will have precisely piss all effect on climate change.
It may have escaped your notice, Pol, for we all know that you are utterly blind to the good done by private companies, seeing only the limp efforts made by the state, but the best efforts towards escaping the burning of fossil fuels is being made by the US/Australia/Malaysia combine; in Britain, it is private companies which are leading the way in viable renewable technologies.
Why donate clean technologies to India and China (and most of these technologies are not "ours" to donate: they belong to the companies that developed them)? These countries are becoming richer by the day; why not sell them the technologies?
- Give the climate change bill teeth. The public is ready to change its habits, but is waiting for strong leadership to say what everyone knows must be done.
Wow, Polly has defined some new English terms! Since when did "strong leadership" mean "blackmail people through legislation and financial penalties and the threat of incarceration"; because that's what you mean, isnt it, when you say "give the climate change bill teeth"?
- Merger and acquisition mania is back in the City with renewed ferocity. Boasts about "inward investment" to Britain are often just a sign on the borders saying Britain for Sale, in ways that amaze other countries. Water, gas, airports and other essentials are up for grabs to asset-strippers who borrow to tear companies apart regardless of anything but vast profits for the fixers.
But... but... a little while ago, you thought that all this inward investment was a good thing, Pol.
Strange; on 13 October she thought it was good news:the latest UN figures for inward investment show that last year the UK attracted more inward investment than any other country. It was twice as high as America's, growing by 183% last year. Meanwhile, the OECD ranks the UK as one of the most attractive places for foreign direct investment. The World Bank rates the UK top of the EU for best business conditions.
Here is more good news for the CBI to stick in its pipe
But no, Polly does not mind contradicting herself continually, as we have seen ad nauseam. Anyway, what can we do about all this
Time to cap City kickbacks that are the only reason for many of the most destructive deals.
More government regulation of private companies: what a fucking surprise...
- Grasp David Cameron's suggestion that, alongside measuring GDP, there should be a general wellbeing index. Hard cash is the tangible proof of a government's success, yet money is only the means to greater political ends. Without measuring who is spending it on what, crude GDP reveals little about the state of a nation. For decades there have been reliable measures of relative national happiness: countries with least inequality are the happiest. (Yes, the Nordics come top.)
Erm, not quite, Polly.
According to the World Bank's World Development Indicators 2002 (handily reproduced at the indispensable NationMaster website), the country where the richest quintile accounted for the lowest share of national income was Slovakia, with 31.4% (source). Their net happiness score (i.e. the proportion of people who say they are happy less the proportion who say they are unhappy) was a pretty miserable 4% -- 45th of 50 countries listed (source).
The next most equal country was Belarus, with the richest 20% getting 33.3% of national income. Their happiness score was actually -8%! The third most equal country, Hungary, had the richest quintile with 34.4% of national income and a happiness score of a slightly more respectable 46%.
Cameron never considered the full implications, but moving the index upwards would require a radical shift in priorities to alleviate the worst suffering of the depressed and mentally ill, of neglected children or old people needing kinder care.
Because government do it so fucking well, what we really ought to do is give the government more money to piss up the wall.
If he really wants governments to be judged by a felicific calculus, then letting a billionaire acquire another £1m would score virtually nil.
Yes. And. So. What? Are politicians about to have their own Felicific Targets to meet and if they don't then... Oh, fuck, absolutely fucking nothing happens, eh?
The loudest voices of the most powerful would no longer command the best of everything, since getting their way would do nothing for the wellbeing index.
That's right, they will simply use their money to buy things as they do now. Suits me. Polly will sit there banging on about her "felicific calculus" (do you mean "calculator" by the way, Pol, or are you seriously trying to find dx over dy?) while the rest of us get on with the demanding task of earning more money.
New year's resolutions are only good intentions.
How nice if they were a little more than that, eh?
But it is better to have them than not even to try.
Is it? From the point of view of confidence, is it good to promise something and then not deliver? If you promised me, Polly, that you were going to go home tonight and slit your wrists in a warm bath and then I saw you two days later, I would be fucking disappointed, frankly. And it would not fill me with confidence in your promises, Pol.
I really do not think that we need politicians making more promises that they have no intention of keeping; I don't think that that is going to do wonders for that voter turnout that you were so concerned about, will it, Pol?
After 10 years, Labour is too stuck in the daily grind of limited possibilities, forgetting how to imagine what might be if only it dared, if only it had the nerve. The above are not that difficult, and more could be added; implementing just a few would shift the can't-do gloom Labour has fallen into and change the grey spirit of the times.
After 10 years, NuLabour is about to implode under the weight of its own corruption and hypocrisy. NuLabour made promises 10 years ago which they have still not delivered on; what the fuck is the point of making yet more promises that they cannot keep.
Other than giving me a giggle as their failures become ever more apparent and Polly's dismay becomes ever more palpable.
I hate you, Polly, you useless sack of shit; I hate you because you continue to advocate the further extension of the power of the state, and these fuckers need no encouragement. Not only are you wrong-headed, stupid, inconsistent, ignorant and mendacious, but you are also the justification that our scummy government use to justify their continued erosion of our ancient rights and freedoms.
Still, I thought that I'd join in this particular conceit, and outline my new year's resolution suggestions for Polly. So, here we go, Pol; here's what I'd like to se you do in the new year, my love.
- Stop writing this drivel.
- Fuck off.
- You cunt.
I know that there'll little hope of you keeping to these resolutions, Polly; so here's a new year's message for you, to welcome you into the new year.
Fuck you, Toynbee, you cunting baggage; fuck you right in the ear.
UPDATE: there's a very fine and rather more temperate fisking from Strange Stuff: well worth a read since he adddresses, in detail, some of the bits that I was a little sketchy on.