söndag 21 september 2008

Polly Toynbee in trouble

The Guardian's old stalwart, Polly Toynbee, is another journalist who gets trashed by the commentators both from positions on the left and right. She was an ardent advocate of New Labour, which in retrospect demonstrates a certain lack of perspicacity. Now that the wheels have come off, she has found herself in a position of having to try to defend the indefensible.

Some of the attacks are personal, drawing attention to her privileged background. In the circumstances, and given what she says, such criticism is not unreasonable. Toynbee and her Guardian colleagues are as much a part of the British Establishment as the top level civil servants, the heads of Oxbridge colleges and the editors of the right wing press. Their shared aim is to control what it is permitted to be discussed and what voices must be silenced. With a 99% success rate, by their own standards they are doing very well. But it has got the country enmeshed in a mass of nearly insoluble problems.

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