The Internet never forgets. And Twitter is part of that. These basic facts, one might have thought, would by now have been taken on board by the loathsome Toby Young, especially given that they contributed to his recent fall from grace. But that thought would have been seriously misplaced, as Tobes went off on a most unfortunate Twitter riff yesterday, one which may cost him dearly. As in both his dwindling reputation, and a lot of money.
The individual known as “Westminster’s village idiot” lived up to his nickname in no style at all yesterday after author Robert Harris mused “Philip Hammond, ex-Chancellor, seriously suggests in today’s Times that one reason the Prime Minister may want a hard Brexit is so that his backers in the City don’t lose billions - corruption on a scale I wouldn’t dare put in fiction”. Hammond was considering the previous claims of Bozo’s sister Rachel.
In waded Tobes: “I’m surprised that you, Robert, the author of a novel about the Dreyfus affair, would recycle Hammond’s disgusting anti-Semitic conspiracy theory: Boris is being manipulated by a secret cabal of city financiers who stand to profit from economic ruin. Have you joined [the Labour Party]?” But there was no anti-Semitic anything.
It was bad enough that Tobes had suggested that all bankers were Jewish. But worse was to come, as Spreadsheet Phil took grave exception to that Tweet, later declaring “This is self-evidently absurd. But it is also defamatory. I will be taking legal advice tomorrow morning. I shall make no further comment”. What say Tobes to that?
Well, apart from giving the appearance of having experienced an involuntary bowel movement of no known violence, Tobes had decided to backpedal furiously. “Apologies Philip. The suggestion that ‘speculators’ are controlling the govt could be construed as an anti-Semitic trope if ‘speculators’ is being used as a euphemism for Jewish financiers, as it sometimes is. But you evidently didn’t mean that and I’ve deleted the tweet”.
Yeah, right. I have less than totally favourable news for Tobes. One, “Globalists” is code for “Jewish bankers”. “Speculators” is not. Two, that Tweet does not merely equate “Speculators” to Jews, it ups the ante significantly by talking of a “secret cabal”. And Three, deleting the Tweet is not a defence against litigation, as the precedent case of Monroe v Hopkins demonstrates. Put simply, Tobes is, this morning, in deep legal shit.
So it was that the celebrations began, with Michael Rosen responding simply “I did warn you Toby”. Lawyer Sundip Meghani was in no doubt as to the seriousness of Tobes’ predicament: “This is plainly a libellous comment defaming your character. I think you have merit in pursuing it, Mr Hammond. Best wishes”. Yes, he’s in the poo.
Colleen Hawkins concluded “Speaking as a speculator myself, I speculate that this won't be the end of the matter, Tobe”. And Patrick Lohlein reminded The Great Man of his professed creed: “Classical liberalism is all about individual responsibility Toby”.
Yes, Toby Young is in deep legal doo-doo. Just rejoice at that news.
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