Always on the lookout for More And Bigger Self-Promotion Opportunities For Herself Personally Now, tedious TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Brewer has hit on the idea of using someone who does Proper Journalism™ to show the world how wonderful she is. Sadly, picking an argument with veteran Guardian pundit Polly Toynbee turned out to be one of those campaigns which developed not necessarily to her advantage.
We know who you are, thanks
Ms Hartley Dooda took out her phone and filmed the exchange, which took place on College Green, opposite the Houses of Parliament. She manages to get Ms Toynbee to pitch the opinion that Ms Hartley Dooda is on the conservative far right, then works herself up into a lather demanding to know what “far right” is - try looking in the mirror, eh? - before heckling brings proceedings to a premature end.
This did not deter The Great Woman. “This is me confronting @pollytoynbee for calling me ‘far right’ simply for supporting Brexit. Me and 17.4 million others” she trilled, managing to miss that the “simply for supporting Brexit” part was not borne out by what was in the video. The subject of the ambush, though, remained unimpressed.
“I think J H-B must think this boring little conversation very exciting as she whipped out her mobile to film me. Looking for a spat, trying for the vacant Katie Hopkinson [sic] maybe? But not quite there yet”. Ms Hartley Dooda was deeply offended. “No, Polly, I just thought it was extraordinary that you would insult me like that. I’d just finished a 3.5hr live radio show so I don’t have the energy for this crap. You & I were chatting as we walked so I was gobsmacked that this is what you actually think of me”.
Oh, how hard she has to work, three and a half hours shooting her North And South off! She is big - it’s the radio shows that got small! And there was more. “BTW, her name is Katie Hopkins (I know you’re not big on facts). She is a reality TV star making a living by shocking people. I am an experienced political journalist with a long track record as a writer & broadcaster. Now sod off back to Tuscany”. What was that about facts?
Ms Toynbee does not have a house in Tuscany, or indeed anywhere outside the UK. And “experienced political journalist” my arse. But enough of the to and fro - what’s her track record on this far right stuff? Well, she has one, and sadly, it’s not looking good.
Consider what she said about Enoch Powell. “I'm not defending Powell, I just don't see anything in the Rivers speech that he got wrong”. Wait, what? “I said the predictions that Powell made in that speech were right, ie they were accurate”. Oh dear. And there’s more. “His speech made predictions that were right, ie. accurate/correct”.
Which part of the speech was that, then? Was it “In this country in 15 or 20 years' time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man”? Was it “an alien element introduced into a country or population”? How about “Nothing is more misleading than comparison between the Commonwealth immigrant in Britain and the American Negro”?
Or perhaps what Ms Hartley Dooda has in mind is Powell telling, of the existing population of the UK, “they found themselves made strangers in their own country. They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated”. Or was it the letter he invented, about the woman who was the last white person in her street? The woman in pursuit of whom scores of journalists scoured the West Midlands, to no avail?
On the basis of her excusing Enoch Powell, Julia Hartley Dooda can be characterised as far right. Her inability to enter into any rational intellectual process on Brexit - rather, she indulges only in clouds of verbiage and repeats ad infinitum, and indeed ad nauseam, that what was voted for is however she defines the subject - merely reinforces the characterisation. When Andrew Marr called her a Conservative, he got it wrong.
But only because she’s far further to the right than that. I’ll just leave that one there.
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