I felt sorry for the Conservative Party, when it got in trouble for appointing Toby Young to a body advising universities. How could they have known he was unsuitable, or might be thought of as ‘sexist’ in some way? Apart from comments such as “Check out the baps on that” and “perfect knockers for an 18-year-old”, on a regular basis over a period of several years, he barely talked about women’s bodies. It goes to show, it’s always the ones you least expect isn’t it?
In any case, these comments were made in private, to close friends such as everyone with access to Twitter or a newspaper. And Toby has pointed out they were said in the past, so it’s not fair to judge him now on things he said back when we had different values, in 2016.
During the week in which he was under scrutiny, he deleted 46,000 tweets from his Twitter account, and this illustrates how ridiculous the complaints against him are. Who of us hasn’t, in our youthful forties, made the occasional 46,000 public comments that we might regret later. We’re getting to a point where no one dare say anything.
One of his articles complained about the disruption caused by the politically correct practice of installing wheelchair ramps in schools, and you can see his point, they are a major nuisance. They may make life easier for wheelchair users, but to cater for them, the silent majority who quietly walk without making a fuss, now have to walk down a three inch slope that would have been a step, just to accommodate the disabled. There might be a step as well, but that might be over there, and now I’ve got to suffer the inconvenience, of walking five or six steps over there, should I prefer a step to a ramp, and the sort of person prepared to point out the injustice of this is who we need in charge of educating kids.
I became fascinated by Toby Young when he wrote a review of the film ‘I, Daniel Blake’, about a builder trying to claim disability benefit after a heart attack. The difficulties the builder faced in the film “didn’t ring true”, he said, because although he didn’t know anyone who claimed disability benefit, “none of the characters gambled or smoked.”
And it is generally accepted, the person who knows most about something is the one who’s never experienced it. There should be a television show called ‘Toby Rings True’, and he can tell Usain Bolt what it’s like to break sprinting records. If Bolt says ‘it not like that’, Toby can correct him, saying ‘no it is because your story doesn’t ring true’.
Then he can tell Stephen Hawking what it’s like to study stars and finish by complaining ‘Now there’s a ramp in this studio because of you’.
I was honoured to be the subject of one of Toby’s irritation, when he complained that I’m on the BBC, despite “Supporting regimes that killed 110 million people.”
It might seem picky on my part, but I asked if he had any evidence for this, or whether it was alright to accuse anyone of anything you like, in which case it’s also a disgrace he’s on the BBC, seeing as he supported an attempted invasion of earth by the Daleks.
It’s fairly serious, to accuse someone of supporting the murder of 110 million people. It’s not just saying someone supported the murder of 105 million people, which can be easily brushed off.
So I asked him what he meant by this, but he hasn’t said. Maybe it’s taking so long because he’s writing out all their names.
Or maybe if it rings true that someone supports genocide, that’s enough, and to ask for details is political correctness gone mad.
I suppose he’s attributing to me all the deaths that took place in countries calling themselves communist, which is fair enough.
The only point in my defence is I always opposed and campaigned against the Soviet Union, and Communist China, and described their regimes as amongst the most ruthless dictatorships ever, but it would be easy to interpret that as support.
But how was he to know that? He hasn’t got time to check on Google whether someone did or didn’t support the murder of 110 million people before saying they did.
Because for Toby, facts don’t really matter, the main thing is to state things, and checking whether they’re right is over-rated. This is what makes him ideal to influence schools and universities. Then instead of being restricted, as they are currently, to teaching things assumed to be vaguely accurate, they will be free to teach stuff like ‘a fridge is a kind of aeroplane’ and ‘The Second World War started because Hitler wanted to marry Judi Dench but she wouldn’t let him’.
Maybe the main issue with Toby Young is how someone like that attains any influence. Possibly it’s because we’re in a time when posh stupidity is seen as refreshing maverick thinking.
You can shout the most ignorant abuse, made up statistics, wild accusations easy to disprove, but if you’re connected to the Spectator magazine and the Foreign Secretary, and use a few long words, you’ll be invited onto news programmes and placed on government boards.
There should be an app for drunk blokes who yell in parks, that translates their gibberish into posh maverick language, so instead of screaming ‘SEE him he’s a MURDERER he killed MILLIONS but we’re NOT ALLOWED to say because of the RAMPS it’s the fault of the RAMPS for the WHEELCHAIRS oy LOVELY tits darling’, it comes out as a Toby Young article, and alcoholics would be on Newsnight and on the board of the Bank of England.
But now we’ve been robbed of Toby’s expertise, such as when he set up a free school that collapsed, and became a Labour supporter to vote for Corbyn, as this would guarantee a huge majority for the Tories.
So he should be given more jobs. He could narrate wildlife documentaries, insisting ‘that lion hasn’t got a chance in a fight with a wildebeeste’, and commentate on the snooker ‘The winner was the one with the white gloves who kept saying the score’.
But his real talent is not just to be taken seriously by the establishment in spite of being devoid of any idea about anything, or the apparent ability to look anything up. His true contribution is despite being immensely privileged, he manages to retain such embittered malice, embroiled in perpetually foaming anger. He may be exceedingly comfortable, and connected to power for no discernible reason but it’s still NOT FAIR, because of the people who don’t like his tweets and the lesbians and people who are probably Communists, and unnecessary wheelchair ramps, that are a WASTE, because although I’ve never been in a wheelchair, I know wheelchairs can go down steps because it just rings true.
So he’s a perfect symbol for modern power, and deserves to be on the board of all our institutions.