There is little more delicious in the blogosphere than the sight of a flannelled fool taking aim at his target before inadvertently shooting himself in the foot. And today’s recipient of self inflicted harm, and therefore object of ridicule, is the loathsome Toby Young, supposed “free school” champion and freelance hack.
Tobe has decided to have a snark at the evergreen Arianna Huffington, who is setting up a UK version of the Huffington Post, which Young believes to be a “Left-wing political website”. Moreover, he tells that she “is in for a nasty shock”, as if he or anyone else in the UK is likely any time soon to top Matt Drudge, Andrew Breitbart, or the massed ranks of Rupe’s troops at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
And Young states, at the outset, that he will be playing the person, and not the ball, when he declares “there’s the endless store of embarrassing factoids about Arianna herself”. Then, we are treated to the tired and meaningless “champagne socialism” insult, which inevitably serves when the writer has nothing to say. What Young really means is that Arianna is successful, and he is not. It’s straightforward jealousy.
But the unintentionally hilarious part comes when Young extols the virtue of the right leaning part of the blogosphere. His first fave in this genre is Melanie Phillips, who he likes so much that he fails to spell her name correctly. And exactly where Mad Mel fits in to the libertarian firmament, with her irrational authoritarianism, is not clear.
Tobe’s next big blogging beast is occasional VW Golf pilot Paul Staines, who blogs under the alias of Guido Fawkes. Young manages to miss Staines’ spraying 500 notes up the wall betting on David Laws staying in office, his vicious and futile campaign against Foreign Secretary William ‘Ague, and the small matter of much of the Fawkes blog being written by Staines’ tame gofer Henry Cole.
But it is his third pick that takes the biscuit: James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole, who is so keen to sneer at his opponents, peppering his posts with routine abuse, but who, when showed up by Paul Nurse recently, was soon squealing like a pig who has just discovered he is in the Robirch factory.
And Young tops even this lameness by declaring “A right-wing meteor bursts into the blogosphere every six months or so”. Perhaps he could tell Iain Dale of his discovery: Dale, who knows a thing or two about blogs and blogging, observed recently “The Right Wing Blogosphere Needs New Blood”. He stressed “The comparative decline of the right ... is because there has been no new blood”.The only “nasty shock” Arianna Huffington will get from Toby Young is if he actually turns up. And on the basis of his latest post, that’s doubtful.