The resistance among many - and not just those on the left - to the idea of gifting the loathsome Toby Young the taxpayer-funded sinecure of a seat on the board of the new Office for Students has now reached critical mass, so much so that the Guardian has picked up on some of the deficiencies in his candidature highlighted here on Zelo Street. Tobes has sounded appropriately regretful. But he’s not out of the woods yet.
That is because, in addition to the suspicion that better-qualified applicants were passed over for the post, and revelations about Tobes’ leering, laddish, sexist and demeaning behaviour, there is more evidence that his temperament is not suited to any kind of serious role overseeing the higher education of this country’s young people - and making our Universities attractive to all those revenue-generating overseas students.
Consider the following material that Tobes did not manage to delete from his Twitter feed in time - and then ask yourself if you would let him loose with money which we as taxpayers have been caused to pony up. How about his quip to Steve Hilton - “That's the kind of thing a veteran pr***-teaser would say. Now I know you're a girl!” Or his leering at Wimbledon: “Watching all these ladies fanning themselves on Centre Court. Does it actually cool you down? You'd think it would do the opposite”.
Still think he’s worth a public post? Look again: “Danny Boyle's wife's got huge knockers. #Oscars”. It has been alleged it was, in fact, Boyle’s teenage daughter. Still, back to the breast fixation: “@KirstieMAllsopp If you'd been there, you would have won Best Baps! Please look after my lovely wife this evening”. Knockers. Baps. Whatever.
Bad behaviour from footballer John Terry? “John Terry can shag for England as far as I'm concerned”. Yeah, it’s alright, e’s a LAD innee? Bit of BANTER innit?!? And so, no doubt, was “Someone once told me that they had to drive Oliver Stone to pick up a Humanitarian award and on the way he stopped to shag a hooker”. Lads shagging, eh?
When Richard Bacon asked “Bruno Tonioli was in my gym (remember I last saw him in Homebase). He asked for my hairdressers number. Is that a euphemism for something?” Tobes was on hand with a little routine homophobia: “@richardpbacon It's code for ‘I want to bum you’”. TOP LAD BANTER! Like observing two pundits disagreeing and wading in with “Ian Dale and Derek Draper? Why don't they just fuck and get it over with?” BANTER!
And don’t even suggest he isn’t on the loftiest of intellectual plateaux: “Get some compassion? I spend 60 hours a week doing voluntary work you patronising tosser”. Yeah, stick that one, eh? Could it get worse? As if you need to ask. “RT @songbird2407 ‘God I've gone through about 5 boxes of kleenex so far….Jesus....' Me Too, I haven't wanked so much in ages. #comicrelief”. LADS DOING TOP WANKING BANTER!!
So there you are at the DfE, advising Jo Johnson. At what point do you take the Minister aside and tell him that giving Tobes the nod may not be a good idea, and that he should pull the plug on the SOB before even worse news emerges?
Because I have to tell Bozza junior that, if he persists with Tobes’ appointment, worse news will surely emerge with the certainty of night following day. I can guarantee it.