The backlash has begun in earnest: after New Year brought the news of another taxpayer funded sinecure for the loathsome Toby Young has come a welter of severely adverse comment. This has concerned Tobes sufficiently for him to protest that he really was the best candidate for a seat on the board of the newly-created Office for Students, ahead of those better-qualified, and representatives of students and lecturers.
After Frances Coppola concluded that his appointment was a politically driven elevation of someone not qualified for the position, he protested “I’ve worked at Harvard and Cambridge, am a visiting fellow of the University of Buckingham, a Fulbright Commisssioner and, as the co-founder of four free schools and director of @theNSN, have some experience of innovation in the public education sector”.
He’ll be telling us next that he ranks as high as any in Rome. Ms Coppola was unimpressed: “You did some teaching as a doctoral candidate at Cambridge, and some teaching as a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard. But you have never held a university teaching post or done any significant academic research. You didn't even complete your doctorate. Universities are not schools”. And Georgy Bradders had more bad news for him.
“Here he is “teaching” at Cambridge whilst failing to complete a PhD” she observed, showing that Tobes’ time as a post-graduate student - by his own account - devoted some significant attention to lusting after a fresher called Syrie. It wasn’t an isolated occurrence.
Tobes has serious past form for leering laddism, with early examples such as “Alan Carr has bigger breasts than Claudia Winkelman … What happened to Winkleman's breasts Put on some weight, girlie [!]”. And who can forget “In hotel room with five-months pregnant Padma. Her boobs are MASSIVE. Be careful what you wish for … Do Padma's breasts look bigger than normal? I think they do”. There was more.
After pausing to observe “Thanks. Personally, I'm a fan of Gail's boobs”, we got “That's quite a cleavage behind EdM. #PMQs” and the following year “Serious cleavage behind @Ed_Miliband's head. Anyone know who it belongs to? #pmqs … Breaking: Cleavage belongs to @pamela_nash #pmqs”. Ms Nash’s response is not known.
And that’s before the laddism spills over into what its apologists like to call “banter”, but is in reality yet more leering and inexcusable behaviour. “My mate Grub was in Zurich last weekend on a stag weekend and went and saw Oasis. Liam did a shout out to the ‘six British sex tourists’”. Yeah, bit of BANTER innit? Get some more f***ing LAGER in!!
The casual sexism even extended to podcasts, as Tobes’ less than totally adoring fans were told “@JamesDelingpole, @rcbl and I discuss the Eurozone crisis, Downtown Abbey and sex with American girls”. Where’s your sense of humour? It’s only a bit of lad banter!
The backlash against Toby Young’s sham appointment is not some mere outburst from more of those Rotten Lefties (tm). It is a well-founded and reasoned response to the Tory Establishment and their Press pals trying to get away with just taking the piss.
There will be more opposition to this move. Unless and until Tobes steps down. Hint.