Early last year, news emerged that the loathsome Toby Young had been appointed to the board of the Office for Students. Once the initial incredulity had died down, questions began to be asked as to how he had come by his new role - pointing out his laddish and appallingly sexist Twitter back catalogue. Tobes frantically deleted thousands of Tweets. But the screen grabs had already been taken. His fate was sealed.
On January 2 he was still hanging on. The following day brought more revelations of crude boob jokes and leering asides. And his GQ article “I was a lesbian for a night”. Then came his shameful comments about the Dowler hacking.Our free and fearless press took a dim view of his drug dealing past. His tendency to flogging the log while alone at home late in the evening didn’t do him any good, either. And then came the fall.
Since that episode, Tobes has been alternated sorry for himself, and trying to rescue his media career. And he had been keeping out of trouble until the house showed every sign of falling in once again. His problem was giving in to the urge to comment in a suitably edgy style on the problems that have beset the Duke of York recently.
Prince Andrew was a little too close to Jeffrey Epstein, and it seems to other less than totally savoury individuals. After a recent car crash interview, he has “withdrawn from public life”, whatever that means. Tobes concluded “What The Duke of York should have done is marry a tough, sensible, no-nonsense woman who would have stopped him getting into these messes - like I did”. Which means what, exactly?
Rod Selby asked the all too obvious question. “Are you admitting to having suppressed tendencies that are socially unpleasant and that you are unable to control without the oversight of a decent woman?” Would Tobes deflect? Would he laugh it off? Would he take the wise step of ignoring the question altogether? None of that. He simply said “Yes”.
He immediately began to trend on Twitter, and for all the wrong reasons. One observer concluded “Toby Young isn’t a sex offender/paedo because his wife won’t let him”. Epstein was just that. Another Tweeter asked “WHO AMONGST US (without our tough, sensible, no-nonsense wives) WOULD NOT HAVE DONE EXACTLY THE SAME THING AS THE DUKE OF YORK HMMMMM???????”. Not looking good, was it?
Another commenter wanted to know “So you're *not* the Toby Young in Epstein's address book? You must be relieved” [details not reproduced here, sorry]. And one last conclusion was “There are two things in life worse than being talked about … 1. Not being talked about … 2. Your self-own only reaching #5 on the twitter trending chart”. Ouch!
It was all going so well for Toby Young, given the humiliation heaped on him after that Twitter back catalogue came to light early last year. Now he’s self-owned in no style at all, perhaps causing his own downfall without anyone else needing to be involved.
Once I believed stupid people didn’t go to Oxford. How wrong I must have been.
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