Friday, 27 January 2006

Polly-minded Twaddle

“[W]hy is the gap between high and low pay so wide and why do we value essential work so poorly?” [1] asks the highly paid and unessential Polly Toynbee. It might well be asked: Why does Ms Toynbee not value her local street-cleaner with an annual donation of nine-tenths of her own large income? Why not?—Because Polly Toynbee is a demagogic blatherer, that’s why!
.....Boldly, however, Ms Toynbee is keen to insinuate hypocrisy on the part of Mr Rupert Murdoch when she tells us that he “can float his personal fortune of £3.9bn in Bermuda, avoiding taxes while his newspapers pontificate about welfare scroungers”, but thereby she evinces only the fundaments of Polly-mindedness: sophistry and wilful stupidity on behalf of the State. For it is evident that while a person such as Mr Murdoch is trying to save his own money from State-kleptomania, those persons on welfare-handouts are taking someone else’s—a different matter entirely.
.....Ms Toynbee can expect to get away with this sort of thing because she can safely assume that the State has crept into the heads of most of her readers, and trampled their minds to simple mush.
.....In his day, Søren Kierkegaard too was much vexed by the envy-stoking and self-regarding demagogy of journalists, and he had this to say on the matter:
[I]f there is any suggestion of shooting people down, then let it be the journalists for the way in which they have used and profited by the simple classes. God knows I am not bloodthirsty . . . but nevertheless, I should be ready to take the responsibility upon me, in God’s name, of giving the order to fire if I could first of all make absolutely and conscientiously sure that there was not a single man standing in front of the rifles, not a single creature, who was not—a journalist. That is said of the class as a whole. [2]
I think this thorough-going measure a little too harsh, however; a couple of salient examples from The Guardian should suffice.

[1] Polly Toynbee, “You are now the pay tsar: speak out and embarrass cowardly politicians” (An Open Letter to Paul Myners), The Guardian, 27th January 2006

[2] Søren Kierkegaard, The Journals of Kierkegaard, Tr. & Ed. A. Dru, (London: Fontana Books, 1958), journal for 1849, pp.163-4.

8 comments:

dearieme said...

unessential or inessential?

Deogolwulf said...

Well, sadly we cannot deny that Ms Toynbee has an essence.

Neil Harding said...

I'm sure Murdoch earned every penny of his 3.9 billion while people slave 40 hours a week on a pittance in demanding jobs and actually pay taxes towards our public services.

How can you defend someone by saying it's their money, when no-one could have possibly 'earned' this level of wealth without the most serious perversion of justice?

Who is being reasonable here? It sure aint you.

I've met Polly Toynbee and she bought be a beer. So I'm obviously biased. I suspect Murdoch wouldn't give the drippings off his nose to a homeless person. I'm on Polly's side against heartless bastards like that.

dearieme said...

As in "neil harding" is a quintessential twerp?

Deogolwulf said...

"I'm sure Murdoch earned every penny of his 3.9 billion while people slave 40 hours a week on a pittance in demanding jobs and actually pay taxes towards our public services."

It is none of the government's business whether Murdoch "earned" his wealth (and what kind of state do you think it is that decides to such an extent what is "earned", i.e., deserved?). And ah, yes, how could a person such as Mr Murdoch not look evil when set beside those selfless taxpayers freely giving up their taxes for the good of the people! Drivel.

"no-one could have possibly 'earned' this level of wealth without the most serious perversion of justice?"

-- This sums up rather nicely the perversion of the concept of justice, which you "noble fighters for social justice" have taken as denoting a demand for equality and other demands besides, a concept wholly denuded of what is deserved and thus of all the unpleasantness of the reality of life. But it also should go without saying that justice is not always done -- how could it be? Some evil men enjoy life and never meet their just desserts. But what I fear most is those power-mad totalitarians and their pet fools who wish to bring "justice" to all, which just happens to mean they'll need to control everything.

Mr Murdoch is, I suspect as you suspect, a heartless, ruthless bastard. Better a hundred Murdochs than a million faceless little Pollies working towards "total justice". And if you think Murdoch is ruthless, just think what the Pollies are capable of when it is all done for the "greater good".

Deogolwulf said...

Dearieme, yes, that's the fella.

The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

Actually I think particular Neil Harding is in fact some kind of automated spamming device unleashed by Downing Street.

;-)

Deogolwulf said...

Damn, I've been replying to spam again.