By Ben Pensant
I’m sure I wasn’t the only principled Corbynite who spent the Winterval Holiday dreading the new year. From the terrifying threat of Trump-incited nuclear war to the equally scary prospect of losing my state-sanctioned income unless St. Jezza seizes Number Ten sharpish, all the evidence suggested the next twelve months would be as traumatic as the last. Luckily, my fears were premature. Because in less than a week, 2018 has already been ram-packed with enough principled leftist behaviour to fill that shopping trolley Michael Moore takes to IHOP every morning.
We’ve seen anti-imperialists demonstrate their commitment to human rights by condemning Iranians for demanding human rights. Liberals who once believed Trump was so desperate to be President he colluded with Russia gleefully big-up a book which claims he didn’t want to win the election at all. And Owen Jones doing what he does best: having meltdowns on Twitter, demanding someone is sacked for saying something he doesn’t like and crying on Sky News about an issue no-one outside of social media gives two fucks about.
And boy, have OJ et al excelled themselves, going further than usual and demanding someone is sacked from a job they haven’t even started yet. The someone in question was of course Toby Young: self-confessed Tory, editor of right-wing rag Punch and an all round villain so evil he makes Kevin Spacey look like Keyser Soze.
His crime – or rather his most recent crime – was to accept a government job as one of 15 people on a board that regulates universities or something. The full details of this role are of course unimportant, which is why myself and everyone else spitting feathers about it didn’t bother finding them out. But one thing we do know is that one of his duties will be to monitor and uphold free speech, in itself is enough to set alarm bells ringing.
Because unless you’ve been living under a rock – or worse, in the north – you can’t have failed to notice the way a new generation of oppressed middle-class kids have spent the last few years bravely fighting the insidious trend of subjecting students to points of view they don’t like. Which explains the terrified establishment’s decision to employ a ghastly Conservative to stamp out this #resistance for good.
And be warned, in picking far-right Young their intention is clear: a huge middle finger to those of us who know fine well the only people who should ever be allowed to regulate anything are leftists. (There’s been studies and everything.) Thank god we’ll soon have a Labour government to enshrine this into British law.
A Labour government, I might add, with no need for the kind of rank nepotism practiced by the Tories. One only has to compare the behaviour of Young’s father with that of Corbyn and McDonnell to see the huge difference in class. While Toby senior famously used his reputation as inventor of the metric system to secure his shit-for-brains child a place at Cambridge, John and Jezza enrolled their sons in the university of life, gifting them tough jobs at Labour HQ which introduced them to the hard graft of writing tweets, answering phones and ironing Lady Thornberry’s fanny pads.
Similarly, while Theresa May hands Young a multi-million pound gig because he votes Tory and cleans her toilet, Corbyn has a more moral approach to rewarding his lap-dogs, demonstrated by his decision to offer a peerage to a ghoulish human rights lawyer for white-washing an investigation into anti-Semitism. And as for suitability: while Shami Chakrabbitslim’s experience as a barrister makes her eminently qualified to wear silly robes and hob-nob with rich people, Young seems to think he’s got the right to interfere with higher education just because he’s set up the odd school and served on a commission that helps poor kids get into university. He couldn’t be more of a campus outsider if he wore a shell-suit and read The Sun.
And the last people who should be regulating anything are outsiders. The fact that virtually every board or quango since the Year Blair has been stuffed with people who know bugger all about the thing they’re regulating is irrelevant: they tend to be good left-wing people so they get a pass. Young, on the other hand, is a bad right-wing person, totally unqualified for the role of giving colleges a free pass to churn out identity politics-obsessed Mary Whitehouse clones.
Thankfully social media is awash with such folk, especially politicians and journalists – the last people on earth to use family or friendship connections to get on in life. And they gleefully dug up recent examples of Young’s despicable views, such as his dislike for I, Daniel Bloke, the 2015 masterpiece from poverty-porn auteur Pat Loach. Many pointed out that, as an Oxford graduate, Young had no right to comment on a film about poor people, cleverly ignoring the fact that its director was an Oxford graduate too. But this was just the tip of the iceberg, because as the hysteria grew the perpetually offended somehow unearthed even worse examples of Young’s repugnance.
Chief among these were the claims that thirty years ago Young called working-class grammar school kids ‘stains’ and wrote a 2012 column which referred to disabled students as ‘functionally illiterate troglodytes’. This damning evidence was circulated all over the media by scores of brave liberals who had clearly never read the original articles, including Wigan Casino glass collector-turned-Corbynite cheerleader Paul Mason, who appeared to have gotten all of his information from a long-discredited 2015 hit-piece in former newspaper The Independent.
Several concerned leftists even started a petition calling for Young to be sacked, citing these two claims as proof of his wickedness. And never one to miss out on some moral outrage, Owen Jones chipped in with a predictably manic performance on Sky News in which he asserted three times that Young had called disabled students ‘troglodytes’.
Great work from everyone. But what made it even more sweet was the fact that Young never actually said either of those things. Indeed, as was obvious to anyone who took the time to find out what he had said, when he spoke of ‘stains’ he was talking about undergraduates in general, and the ‘functionally illiterate troglodyte with a mental age of six’ comment was an over-the-top example of where the state’s obsession with inclusivity might lead, exaggerated for comic effect despite not being particularly funny. Which is handy, as ‘funny’ is practically kryptonite to the modern left.
Not that that bothered the tens of thousands who signed the petition calling for Young to be fired. Nor did it concern Mason, who grabbed the opportunity to have a Twitter meltdown even more spectacular than that time he responded to a train being delayed with an epic rant in favour of nationalisation, blissfully unaware that the overhead lines which caused the delay are already nationalised. (He’s an economist, y’know.)
But despite the best efforts of The Purity Police, the campaign to shame Young barely registered, with most people on Twitter and practically everyone in the real world sharing the opinion that a gobby journalist being appointed to a board they couldn’t care less about was roughly ten times less important than some model getting her tits out on Celebrity Big Brother. Which as we were to learn, would have excited the breast-obsessed brute no end.
Because phase three was when the witch-hunt really kicked into gear, with even those unmoved by Young’s vile politics rightly appalled by his grim history of sexist jokes. And as all good liberals know, a sure-fire way to set off the pitchfork-wielders is to remind them of some comments someone once made about boobs. But they struck gold with the series of sick tweets Toby sent between 2009 and 2012. Because as well as boobs there are dicks, arses, knockers and tiddlers. Apparently one time he even called someone airhead.
Even worse, Young once offended LGBTQPRs everywhere with one of the worst anti-gay slurs imaginable. Indeed, in the dark history of homophobia there are few things more hurtful than calling someone ‘penis breath’. Though at least the whole sorry saga has brought home how foul this phrase is: few gay men will forget the devastating sight of Owen Jones spitting it out on Sky News as if he were coughing up a mouthful of Tory spunk. And I don’t know about you but I fear I’ll never again be able to watch ET without wincing at that evil little bigot, Gertie.
But the ugliest chapter of his three-year reign of titty-based terror was the foul tweet he sent paying tribute to film director Danny Cannon’s wife’s bosoms, little realising it was actually the Oscar winner’s DAUGHTER. Despite being blatantly obvious that Young hadn’t realised this – the clue being the fact that he used the word ‘wife’ – it was decided that as well as being a revolting Tory who hates disabled people and is obsessed with mammary glands he is also quite clearly a nonce. The idea of handing a middle-aged man who talks like a ten-year old delinquent the keys to the castle is beyond the pale. Give this animal a sniff of power and he’ll be spitting on the fire and drawing cocks on walls before you know it.
Still, fingers crossed the collective outrage is enough to force a U-turn, even if beyond Westminster, The Guardian and The Temperance League of Twitter no-one gives a shit about Young or his new job. Indeed, rumour has it in the world the only objection dumb Mail-readers had to Young using a vile phrase like ‘baps’ was that he didn’t choose a more downmarket term, such as ‘Bristols’ or ‘top bollocks’
Predictably, the Tory trolls piled in, determined to paint us as censorious, hysterical puritans for behaving like censorious, hysterical puritans. Some even went as far as ridiculously suggesting we were only upset with Young because he’s a Tory, conveniently ignoring the similarly frenzied paddy we threw in October when Clive Lewis offended middle-class curtain-twitchers everywhere by saying ‘on your knees, bitch!’.
But frankly, they’re not worth our time. The modern left have done themselves proud once again, and the outrage of the last week should hold us in good stead for the battles to come. Indeed, point for point, Toby-gate has been a perfect example of the debating power of the regressive left.
Because you can’t just disagree with Young’s claim that wheelchair ramps are an example of PC gone mad. No, you have to cherry pick an unrelated line from the same article and say he hates disableds and thinks they’re troglodytes.
You can’t just argue against his hypothetical comments about who would most benefit from genetically engineered intelligence. No, you have to call him an evil eugenicist who wants to sterilise the poor and the stupid.
You can’t find out what he actually said about working-class students and ‘stains’ and criticise him for that. No, you have to take the word of agenda-drive activists like Paul Mason and an embarrassment of an online rag which has so little journalistic integrity it makes The Canary look like The Wall Street Journal.
And you can’t look at someone’s record of helping children and young adults of all backgrounds gain access to a good education. No, you have to focus on the fact that he’s made the odd laddish comment on the internet and decide that disqualifies him from doing a job which every sane person knows should only be available to members of the Labour Party. (Or Tories who know when to zip it.)
All in all, a textbook example of arguing your point when you don’t actually have one. And happily, as I write this news is filtering through that Young not only admitted to watching PORN he also once made a sick, unfunny and blatantly obvious joke about WANKING. Gotcha. You can run but you can’t hide, baldy.
But let’s not get too carried away. Believe it or not, there are things happening in other parts of the world far more serious than Toby Young getting a cushy job on a board. Because as we speak, brave people in a far-flung corner of the world are risking their lives to protest the way their oppressive regime has treated them.
These courageous rebels enjoy few of the luxuries we take for granted and deserve our solidarity as they fight tooth and nail in the name of liberal values. So I hereby call on all my followers to pledge support to their brothers and sister thousands of miles away who’ve spent the last week horrendously offended by this racist piece of shit:
Our thoughts are with you, comrades x
(Photo: Andrew Kneebone)