Polly on politics

Some exceptions – the TUC’s Frances O’Grady, Kenneth Clark, Shirley Williams – have the gift of sounding like themselves, as if they believe what they say. Put the journalist Owen Jones on a platform and he blows your socks off. The public trusts Margaret Hodge’s authentic passion on tax-dodging companies, though Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage suggest verbal felicity can be an actor’s knack, not proof of honesty.


One of
her examples is a complete know nothing, the other is lying through her teeth all the time and then we’ve Boris and Nigel as well.

Voters may pretend to like honesty, but they are still inclined to back whoever pretends they can do “more for less” – Swedish services on US taxes.

Tsk, we’re all very naughty boys and girls, aren’t we? We decline to pay for what Polly thinks we should have. Perhaps she’d better elect another populace?

17 comments on “Polly on politics

  1. have the gift of sounding like themselves, as if they believe what they say

    But, regardless of whether they do actually believe it or not, if it has not even the faintest connection to reality (like much of Polly’s own oeuvre), then it is bollocks.

    I’d rather have a politician who knew what was going on but was, from time to time, a little disingenuous, than one who was always honest but was in a distant orbit around the Moons of Delusion.

  2. Following a lecture by Shirley Williams about the importance of an ethical foreign policy I asked her how this fitted with her party’s support of “the ethnic cleansing of 350,000 from Kosovo, racial massacres, such as the shooting of 210 outside Britain’s HQ in Dragodan by our “police” the sexual enslavement of thousands of schoolgirls and the dissection, while still alive, of 1,800 people to steal their body organs.

    Her reply was “these things happened but Milosevic did it first”.

    On my asking for evidence of the 2nd part of that she asserted that she personally had seen Milosevic doing it when she visited Yugoslavia.

    When I checked that and found that she had “seen” these events in Kosovo in 1999 on her visit only to Belgrade in 1995 & asked her how she reconciled the disrity she refused to answer.

    Shirley Williams is undeniably an obscene and wholly dishonest Nazi whore willing to tell any lie whatsoever in the Nazi cause. She could never, under any circumstances, be a member of any non-Nazi party and it is unsurprising that obscene Guardianistas support her.

  3. What SE said. Motivations are incredibly overrated.

    I’m willing to believe that tremulous-voiced boy socialist Owen Jones is sincere. I also believe the things he sincerely believes in are dangerously stupid and evil and I wouldn’t trust him to run a whelk stall.

    Similarly, I’m willing to give Polly the benefit of the doubt and suggest she, too, sincerely believes the inane garbage she writes from her Tuscan villa. A dog probably also sincerely believes that sheep shit is delicious.

  4. Kenneth Clark should’ve been dispatched to the knacker’s yard years ago, Shirley Williams’ role in destroying grammar schools merits her a place in the top ten list of most destructive post-war British politicians, Margaret Hodge is a grandstanding know-nothing and I have no idea who the fuck Owen Jones is but I hate him already. Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, infuriating though they may be at times, are at least recognisably human beings with whom one can imagine having a drink and a laugh.

  5. @ David Gillies
    In 2004 someone did a poll on “who would you prefer to have a drink with” (Americans, who cares about grammar?) and the teetotal George Bush won hands over fist against Kerry. It was Crosland, not Shirley Williams who launched the vendetta against grammar schools. You misrepresent Margaret Hodge – she is not a know-nothing, having a large shareholding in a tax-avoiding company and allegedly having worked for Price Waterhouse – I could be less flattering of her. If you knew Owen Jones you might hate him more: a middle-class lefty who took offence when someone from his home town pointed out that he grew up in the posh area of Stockport (surprise! – his mother was a university lecturer and his dad got paid by the local authority while a campaigning trade unionist until given an early-retirement pension). He has never had a proper job, just lobbying for trade unions, writing for left-wing papers (is that any different?) and researching fgor the Labour Party.
    Kenneth Clark, however, is still one of the best MPs around (although I disagree with him over the EU, which I thinks needs drastic, not moderate, reform)

  6. John,

    That’s one of those politically-common irregular verbs, isn’t it?

    I am drastically reformed.
    You slide peacefully away at the end of your natural life.
    They are terminated with extreme prejudice.

    🙂

  7. “Margaret Hodge … allegedly having worked for Price Waterhouse ”
    That she may have received a paycheck from said company… She is another of our hereditaries. No doubt some company was required to give her a paycheck. Worked? Who can tell? There’s another prominent MP I can recall, Also a hereditary. Received a paycheck from a company. It features in his CV. Of his work, little was apparent.
    For no reason whatsoever Boris Johnson rings an alarm marked wrong’un. I may be proved wrong but I’ll be surprised. I was right about the unnamed character above. Useless piece of over-promoted sh1t.

  8. @DavidGillies Owen Jones is Rik from the Young Ones (if you remember that TV comedy) without the jokes – virtually a clone, except Jones isn’t funny and he gets more TV time than Cameron does …..

  9. John,

    Much as I applaud Chidder’s father’s extension of the term to be inclusive (briefly) of the local community, the term wasn’t invented by Sir Pterry. It appeared in both Apocalypse Now and Hawaii 5-O, as well as in a couple of Chapman Pincher’s books, long before the 1989 publication of “Pyramids”.

  10. @ SE
    You are more widely read than I, so I have learned something today. My apologies for my misunderstanding due to ignorance.

  11. The response to the final paragraph here is a bit unfair. Polly is pointing out that you can either have a low-tax state with minimal public services, or a welfare state with high taxes.

    This is clearly true – and it is also true that the politicians who pretend this trade off doesn’t exist are the worst rogues, demagogues and charlatans.

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