(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
Tobes has taken particular exception to her latest article, “Let Queen Elizabeth reign until the end – then stop this charade”, on the Royal Family, which concludes with the firmly Republican sentiment “Put an end to this royal infantalising of a nation. Imagine how abolishing the monarchy would open all the dusty constitutional cupboards to the sunlight of reform. Let her reign as long as she lives – but let her be Elizabeth the Last”.
Another grown-up perspective from Tobes
Being a good Tory and unswerving Royalist, Tobes could not let this heresy go unpunished. In a bizarre Twitter excursion, he asserted “Let the present queen’s reign mark the end of this privileged dynasty, say [sic] @pollytoynbee. Pot, kettle, black?” above a representation of an edited Toynbee family tree. What relevance does this have to the Royal Family? Well, none, actually. Other Tweeters were unimpressed.
The condemnation was not backward in coming forward: “What a ridiculous comparison … Jealousy can be a terrible thing … What on earth is your point? @pollytoynbee's family has many notable members. Good for them, they earned it each generation”. Indeed they did: one might think that Tobes is a teensy bit jealous, rather than accepting that he was not even good enough to be a regular columnist at the Sun.
And, as the man said, there was more: “that's... not even a little bit similar. What is wrong with you? You're like the dumbest smart person … Pretty sure the Toynbees aren't as privileged as the Windsors. Also they actually work for a living”. Then came the pièce de résistance: “That may well be the most stupid comparison, you've ever made (and there is stiff competition)”. Give that Tweeter a Cheeto!
On top of that, if we’re talking privilege, which is the heavy hint that Tobes is making, he is standing in an extremely draughty glasshouse here. As the son of Michael Young, Baron Young of Dartington, the Labour peer who drafted the party’s 1945 manifesto “Let Us Face The Future”, Tobes is entitled to call himself not just plain old Toby Young, but the Honorable Toby Daniel Moorsom Young.
All of which means that what we have here is a total lack of credibility for someone, and that someone is not Polly Toynbee. Guardian pundits do not need to ask Tobes’ permission to go about their business without being personally smeared for their trouble. There is a strong Republican tradition in Britain, and despite the entreaties of the tabloid press, such a stance does not make its adherents traitorous or disloyal.