And so the focus on the publicly-funded career of the loathsome Toby Young moves from the newly-created Office for Students to the New Schools Network, where he is the Director, and is paid more than £90k a year, despite there having been precious little activity in the setting up of new Free Schools since his appointment. In the meantime, efforts among the right-leaning Pundit Establishment to reinvent the affair continue.
We know who you are, thanks
These consist, more or less, of lying about who dealt Tobes the fatal blow, claiming it was the Rotten Lefties (tm) rather than his fellow OfS board members and influential back-bench Tory MPs like Rob Halfon. Also being blamed is the mythical “Twitter mob” which is fine when the right uses it, but otherwise A Very Bad Thing Indeed. And at the front of this blame and lying game is self-promoting Talk Radio host Julia Hartley Brewer.
Ms Hartley Dooda did not get off to an auspicious start, endorsing a sentiment by Spiked, so-called because it should have been, claiming “'Toby Young thinks working-class people are stupid!', say the people who have literally spent the last 18 months calling working-class people low-information, ill-educated, dim, rash, not cut out for politics”. Nobody said Tobes said that, and the false assumption that follows is plain dishonest.
Still, she tried to rally by blaming Jezza, who wasn’t involved. “If you think Toby Young is unfit to be on the university regulator board because he tweeted about women’s tits but you voted for Jeremy Corbyn to be PM after he took cash from Russia & Iran, and supported Hamas & the IRA, then you’re an idiot”. Corbyn does not support the IRA or Hamas, but it seems lying about that does not yet make you an idiot.
Oh hang on, she claims to have been right: “Nope. He supports them. Clear statements of support”. Bullshit. Talking to people does not make common cause. But then it was on to Tobes’ wanking joke about starving children in Africa. She admitted this was bad. But it was still someone else’s fault that Tobes’ actions had consequences.
“I didn’t say it was an innocent joke. I said it was a joke. It was indeed a sick joke. But this is supposed to be a free country with free speech. People are allowed to make sick jokes. Until you and your mates trample all over our basic democratic rights”. Did someone take the vote off Tobes for saying that? No-one trampled over anything. No democratic rights were harmed during the Toby Young affair. This is more lying, plain and simple.
Likewise Ms Hartley Dooda’s claim “If you are punished for making the comment, then you’re not free to make it, are you?” Who punished Tobes for the wank joke? Was he nicked and carted off to the cop shop? Did he get sent down for a handful on The Moor? This, too, is rank dishonesty, and a worrying development that partisan pundits are prepared to lie blatantly in defence of the indefensible.
Toby Young was free to make those statements. This he did. No rights were removed from him as a consequence. There is no change to that freedom to speak, which he has and continues to have. And when Julia Hartley Dooda is going to address Tobes’ drug dealing, his comments on the disabled and the working-class, his advocacy of eugenics, and his continuing dishonesty on a range of issues, she might gain a little credibility.
Until then, she won’t. So no change there, then.