As if there were not enough anti-Semitic tropes being cast about today, what with the Mail on Sunday talking of “people pulling strings” in relation to Oliver Letwin, the individual known as “Westminster’s village idiot” has, of his own volition, ponied up another. Yes, the loathsome Toby Young has once more opened his North and South and inserted both Plates of Meat in no style at all. The subject, as ever, is Brexit.
And as so often, what trips up Tobes is another of his attempts to show the world that he really does have an intellect to reckon with, rather than being the embodiment of the dictum attributed to the late Denis Thatcher - “Better to keep one’s mouth shut, and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt”.
His less than fortunate intervention came after author and historian 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”. Spreadsheet Phil was considering where the suggestion put forward by Bozo’s sister Rachel might lead us.
Tobes was having none of that. He is, after all, an unswerving supporter of our alleged Prime Minister. So in he waded. “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]?”
Er, WHAT? There is no “secret”, no “cabal”, the idea did not come from Hammond - but from Rachel Johnson - and the only way the whole thing can be passed off as anti-Semitic is by assuming that all those concerned in backing Bozo are Jewish. And that is why Tobes is going round in an anti-Semitic circle of his own creation: his contention only stands up by using an anti-Semitic trope. Someone hasn’t been thinking this one though.
As a result, Tobes’ latest attempt at personal aggrandisement was destined to become a campaign that developed not necessarily to his advantage. The response was derisory, with one Tweeter asking “How on earth do you make a judgement that it is anti Semitic? I think that shows more about your attitudes than [Philip Hammond]”.
Another responded “Indeed. The purveyor of antisemitic tropes is the person who assumes that 'City financiers' must mean manipulative, money grubbing Jews”. That means you, Tobes. And it got worse. “All you did there, Toby, was add the words ‘secret’ ‘cabal’ and ‘anti-Semitic’, and turn Rachel Johnson’s comment into Philip Hammond’s. Lovely work. And it’s not yet 10 o’clock. Enjoy your day”. Quite.
And worse. “You are being remarkably dim this morning Toby. The ‘conspiracy’ was suggested by Johnson’s own sister. And there was no mention of Jews in her suggestion or Hammond’s article”. None whatever. Strange, but when there really are anti-Semitic tropes being bandied about - as with the Telegraph’s Soros front page, and the Daily Mail going after Ralph Miliband using the “disloyal Jew” trope, Tobes remains silent.
Anyone would think he’s just a dim Bozo booster. I’ll just leave that one there.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at