Polly Toynbee is a long time fan of the BBC and defends it relentlessly whilst being a long time not such a fan of the Daily Mail’s editor Paul Dacre (2008):
The feeding frenzy against the BBC, spurred on by Dacre and Murdoch, grows ever more threatening. It matters because politicians are afraid of both men. More sinister than the trip to Deripaska’s yacht was the less publicised visit by David Cameron to Murdoch’s yacht on that same holiday. Obligingly, Cameron wrote a piece in the Sun last week joining in the anti-BBC hue and cry.
Here she tells us that Dacre, and Murdoch, have an evil legacy for Britain:
Delicate Guardian readers may find it hard deciding whether Max Mosley or Paul Dacre is the more unsavoury character. But there’s no doubt which of them does most harm: Dacre – along with Rupert Murdoch in his different way – probably does more damage to the nation’s happiness and wellbeing than any other single person, stirring up hatred, anger, fear, paranoia and cynicism with his daily images of a nation going to hell in a downward spiral of crime and depravity.
She of course has no problem with the Marxist ideology of Ralph Miliband and thinks it ourageous that such an ideology should be called an ‘evil legacy’.
But then she is also a long time fan of George Bernard Shaw….so you might understand how Polly thinks….if not let’s take a peek under the bonnet:
Polly ‘“Everything in the State, nothing outside the State,” Toynbee defends Ed Miliband and attacks the Mail as ‘Bully, coward, hypocrite, shameless, remorseless, ruthless, malignant – add your epithets for the Mail here.’
What makes Shaw so likeable and readable is the odd blend of soaring idealism and no-nonsense realism
Shame about this newspaper article:
In 1927 Shaw published in the London Daily News a letter titled :
“Bernard Shaw on Mussolini: A Defence.”
or how about this:
“The Nazi movement is in many respects one which has my warmest sympathy.”
or what of his liking for Oswald Mosley:
He was well-disposed toward Oswald Mosley, Britain’s home-grown fascist demagogue, declaring Mosley “the only striking personality in British politics.”
or inconveniently for Lefty Polly:
Bernard Shaw, who, for some years at any rate, declared Communism and Fascism to be much the same thing, and was in favour of both of them.
Or how about his ‘admiration for the “great Communist experiment” which as it “spreads over the whole world” would prevent the “collapse and failure” of civilization.’ after his visit to the Soviet Union in 1931.
Polly quotes, approvingly, his ‘idealism’:
“The blunt truth is that ill-used people are worse than well-used people.” He adds: “I hate the poor and look forward eagerly to their extermination. I pity the rich a little, but am equally bent on their extermination.”
All classes are “each more odious than the other: they have no right to live”.
She tells us that:
The problem, Shaw says, is that the poor are kept ignorant, and without “trained minds capable of public affairs”, so they cannot see how “the evils of the system are great national evils”.
Shaw’s clarity of argument and caustic wit prod and question the weary old reasons why markets are immutable, the world must always be as it is and nothing can ever change. All it would take, he says, is enough people who want to change it. All writers can do is keep making the case for something better.
Fascinating how the mind of Polly Toynbee works…..how exterminating the Poor and the Rich is an ‘ideal’ to be considered…..interesting also that the ‘Capitalist system’ is Evil, Paul Dacre is evil…….but we can’t call Marxism Evil.
What else is there about Polly’s hero that we ought to know?:
Playwright George Bernard Shaw hailed Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini as the world’s great “progressive” leaders because they “did things,” unlike the leaders of those “putrefying corpses” called parliamentary democracies.
aaaahhh but the Left cry, that’s so unfair picking something from someone’s past to pillory them now (Daily Mail support for the Blackshirts in 1934 aside of course):
The problem with the right-wing use of Shaw to pillory moderate socialists and nonsocialist liberal progressives is not only that very few of the latter held such views, but that this kind of cherry picking is ahistorical. It doesn’t seek to understand how such now unacceptable opinions gained currency, or who held them and why. It is what Pascal Bruckner calls the sin of anachronism, which he contrasts to real history, which “forbids us to judge preceding centuries from the point of view of the present.”
But of course Toynbee is cherry picking the bits she approves of in Shaw’s writng and ignoring the rest, just as the Left cherry picks the Mail’s history without context or understanding.
Late in 1929, Shaw among other public figures had been asked by the BBC to give a talk in a series called Points of View. He chose “Democracy” as his subject and turned the term upside down by declaring, “Who can blame Signor Mussolini for describing it as a putrefying corpse?”.