Category Archives: Toynbee, Polly

How the West cringes before the Mahometans

Not one of Dalrymple's favourite journalists

Not one of Dalrymple’s favourite journalists

Polly Toynbee of the London newspaper the Guardian is, Dalrymple admits,

not one of my favourite journalists.

But Dalrymple notes (from 1:05:09) that Toynbee has said that

if she must choose between her feminism and her multiculturalism, she chooses her feminism. So she will argue for the protection of Moslem women.

The problem of the cultural cringe before the Mohammedans goes quite far in British administration, Dalrymple points out. He used to have many young Moslem patients

who had been denied access to school by their parents. The authorities never once did anything about it. But if a white working-class girl didn’t go to school, the parents might be threatened with legal action or imprisonment. A considerable part of this is fear — straightforward physical fear.

Furthermore, on the question of Islam as on so many other matters, Western politicians and intellectuals

are always on the lookout for an opportunity to demonstrate the breadth of their sympathies. This does a lot of harm.

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Justin Trudeau gesticulates in the direction of the Musulman fundament

A kind of negative authority

Most of us, writes Dalrymple,

sometimes get things wrong. I myself have sometimes mistaken the times of trains.

But a few people

get almost everything wrong.

Such persons, Dalrymple argues,

are not entirely useless, especially when they write, as many of them seem compelled to do. You have only to read them to know what cannot possibly be the case.

Compassion made prose

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‘Nobody suffers in the world but she feels for him, in the same way as God knows and cares about sparrows. The wonder is that she gets any sleep’

Dalrymple consoles Toynbee

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 22.50.08The electoral defeat of Ed Miliband was doubtless a cruel blow, but at least Polly Toynbee, the eminent Hampstead writer and journalist, will not have to pay mansion tax in the near future, Dalrymple points out. No tanks on her lawns, yet.

Toynbee is very like Mrs Dutt-Pauker in the Daily Telegraph‘s ‘Peter Simple’ column (written by Michael Wharton and illustrated by ffolkes). The doubts Toynbee must now be entertaining about the future of the socialist movement she loves so well are likely to resemble those experienced by Mrs Dutt-Pauker when news came through of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Wharton’s column at the time read in part as follows:

Polly Toynbee: also owns a mansion in Tuscany

Polly Toynbee: in addition to the Hampstead mansion Marxmount, owns a country house in Sussex (Beria Garth) and a villa in Tuscany

Thousands of Hampstead liberal thinkers have suddenly discovered that the Soviet Union, whose little faults they have so long forgiven (‘after all, in spite of everything, it is a socialist country’), is in fact ruled by old-fashioned militaristic imperialists. Even at Marxmount, Mrs Dutt-Pauker’s fine white house whose tall drawing-room windows look out on the Heath, a chill of doubt runs through the handsome rooms. Fear breathes in the well-stocked Marxist bookshelves. The greatest of all Hampstead thinkers has seen a nightmare vision: there are tanks on her own broad, cedared lawns.

On the other hand, Dalrymple writes, it is possible that Toynbee would never have had to pay the mansion tax,

for the difficulties in implementing it would have been a convenient excuse for abandoning it.