To tweet, or not to tweet – that is the question for anyone participating in this, the narcissistic age of entitlement; and the question for anyone following the Toby Young saga. Self-publicists should forget any idea of a safe, grey area in between.

So Young, to his cost, has already found. He will find, too, that all attempts to refute the Trump-type caricature now pinned on him are in vain. He must be regretting his past uninhibited enthusiasm for the medium, as must many other (safe for how long?) political operators and aspirants whose desire for acknowledgement, notice and career advancement has tempted them into that dangerous territory where private thoughts are turned into spontaneous public expression.

How many of them, I wonder, will be busy deleting their earlier messaging, or worrying whether their addiction to attention is as likely to put paid to their prospects, or kibosh their career, as to build it – what might come back to haunt them, and when?

It’s perhaps not as curious as it seems that the disinhibition and self-indulgence of tweeters is only matched by the censoriousness of a growing army of self-appointed censors,  21st century middle-class sans culottes, many of them avid tweeters themselves.

This is the ‘unaccountable, intolerant middle-class mob’ as described by Brendan O’Neill, which is now wielding ‘extraordinary influence over public life, [and] which are a far greater menace to reason and fairness than Young ever could be ’.

Mrs May is no match for them. Unless she decides to takes on the blame culture, which she has already effectively endorsed, the current Conservative purge is set to continue. Her Cabinet Ministers may prove forever expendable.

And yes, it has more than ‘a whiff of the Stasi’ about it. Take the Labour MP Dawn Butler on yesterday’s BBC R4 Today, riding high on having hounded Young out of his appointment, shamelessly continuing her ‘virtue and terror’ tactics that the BBC happily took in their stride without comment. Jo Johnson should be less happy. Her finger was pointing at him – for the temerity of sitting on the Parliamentary benches in her eyeline. Knowing him to be the brother of Boris was really quite offensive to her and, in the context of her comment, sufficient to render him unfit for office. North Korea (where unsuspecting relatives are banged up for life in concentration camps alongside the accused) here we come. Appeasing Conservatives be warned. You won’t be spared.

The stench of hypocrisy is overpowering. As Daniel Hannan tweeted: ‘So, according to Twitter, making an off-colour joke years ago disqualifies you from serving on a quango. Supporting Hezbollah, the Soviet Union and the IRA qualifies you to be prime minister.’

Quite so.

Yet I am afraid cannot get worked up on Mr Young’s behalf – either about his entirely predictable promotion to a new arm of the quangocracy or his subsequent resignation from this unnecessary State money-waster.

He is no martyr to a cause. I carried no torch for him even before his injudicious tweeting came to light. Like Janice Turner, I didn’t believe that Toby Young was a conservative – with a small c – in the first place.

Like Lord Adonis, he’s been a paid-up member of the educational technocracy that grew out of and has thrived off the abandonment of truly liberal education, and which continues to stifle the possibility of its return.

The closing of the British mind as a result is as much a function of this repeated Conservative capitulation to socialist equality and social mobility agendas as declining educational standards are a result of it.

Whatever Toby Young’s motivation for setting up his own Free School he, along with Michael Gove, missed their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to challenge the egalitarian agenda imposed on schools ever since Anthony Crosland and Shirley Williams (education ministers in Wilson’s 1964 -70 Labour Governments) set out to destroy the grammar schools – the point at which the real goal of education (which is education) was confiscated and since when schools have been viewed not as organisations for the transmission of knowledge but as instruments of social engineering.

Instead Michael Gove (and his Leftist-surrendering government) committed schools to becoming the very engine of social mobility.

My point is not just the sheer futility of the social mobility mission hurting most those it tries to help by closing opportunities rather than opening them. (And no, Free Schools have not opened opportunities in any way comparable to grammar schools. Contingent on the State’s say-so and money, they are neither free to select nor to compete for academic or any other excellence.)

It is that the abandonment of liberal education to socialism’s resentment-based ideology is exactly what has opened the door to today’s moral relativism and intolerance. This is what has led to democracy’s decline from mass rule to mob rule – to an informer-style society that, in its desire to control the people in the name of equality, expresses exactly that contempt for human freedom which was once thought to be the preserve of the pre-glasnost USSR and its satellites.

The simple fact is that Toby Young is a victim of an education corruption that he’s failed to comprehend. That is the real issue for debate. And that is what he needs to grasp now if, as he says, education is the passion he plans to pursue.

Were he to take up the cudgels for education as a goal in and of itself, he could yet become a conservative radical to equal his Open University-founding socialist father. He’d kill two birds with one stone – helping the poor and disadvantaged by challenging the very education ideology that limits them and has bred the intolerance of which he’s the latest victim.


  1. Conservatives, both big and small c ones, need to stop feeding the crocodile in the hope that it eats them last.

    The left will not stop if you apologise for offending them, they merely see that as a sign of weakness and double down in their efforts. Until those on the right hold the left to their own standards and refuse to back down in a fight then they will continue to lose and every sphere of public life from education, the civil service, the NHS and publicly owned broadcasters will be dominated by the left.

    Milo was successful at this right up until the point that he apologised for something. As soon as he did that he too was lost and he became a fraction of his former self.

    • Milo wasn’t a victim of the left. It was the ‘pubs that got him – that and his own inability to keep his stupid mouth shut.

    • Milo was a victim of the public distaste for paedophilia. He was seen as an apologist for it and, while he might just have been being provocative, his public pronouncements about it were fairly vile.

      • Most of the public wouldn’t even know who Milo was but strange how that public distaste hasn’t brought down any leftwing figures and bloggers who have supported and expressed leanings in that direction.

          • Has Harman ever been considered unfit despite her involvement with PIE.
            You are aware that paedophilia is defined by an arbitrary age that we have chosen. Certain groups and countries do not consider that age to be applicable to them so do they support paedophilia or is it just a cultural thing?

          • I’m not sure Harman has reiterated her support for PIE and I would imagine it’s a source of some chagrin, but I’m struggling to think of any elected official who has said anything as sad and squalid as Yiannopoulos.

          • Naz Shah MP for Bradford West : “Those abused girls in Rotherham and elsewhere just need to shut their mouths. For the good of diversity”

            She didn’t come up with that original sentence, but was seen giving support to it.

          • If the girl has not started menstruating then it is paedophilia. Full stop.
            This is one area where ‘Natural Law’ works well.

          • Plus the Labour Government gave taxpayers’ dosh to these revolting
            & dangerous perverts.
            Which reminds me.
            Any news about the millions we gave to Kids Company ?
            Any prosecutions yet ?

    • Beautiful put. Far too many people on the Right assume that Leftists are like themselves, but merely holding different views. This is the fallacy that enables Leftists to run rings round them.

      The Left have no scruples, and do not believe in a clean fight. Alas, many Right-wingers think that if they argue politely and use reason, there is a chance of a meeting of minds. Not so. The only way to deal with the Left is as you say – plus, I would add, the employment of as much mockery and ridicule as you can possibly muster. The Left absolutely hate that. They far prefer people who are prepared patiently to engage in “arguments” with them, than to people who refuse to take their self-righteous humbug seriously.

      • You are correct. The left do not engage in battles that employ reason. Post-modernists/neo-marxists explicitly reject rational argument as just another expression of the white/patriarchal/colonial culture which they reject.
        Instead they appeal to the emotions – and it can’t be denied that socialism is emotionally appealing: everyone’s equal (sense of justice), the rich won’t rich be anymore (emotions of envy/jealously/hate), and the state will look after me (satisfies my insecurity and worry about having to be an adult in a big bad world – so I may remain an emotional infant).
        The only way to win over a socialist is to be equally emotional and unashamed about the positive good capitalism and western democracy has been for tackling poverty and injustice.

      • Correct, indeed. The left also hates it when you just stand there and laugh and make fun of them, and they give plenty of opportunity.

        Sadly, it doesn’t make for a tranquil life (or government), but it does work well, as we are finding over here. Sadly, if she were an American, Mrs May would no doubt be a never-Trumper, losing every battle over the last 16 years, as they did. Well, we are trying something else, and it appears to be working.

  2. Somebody quite as short, weedy, bald, bespectacled, unattractive, unsavoury and Aspergic (self-diagnosed) really shouldn’t support so-called eugenics. Considering Young’s obvious multiple personal shortcomings, in a society which vets human life before birth as per quality Toby himself would doubtless himself have been weeded from the genetic pool as an embryo before birth. His pathetic attention seeking verbiage written in respect to eugenics therefore, it seems to me, smacks of the old adage: “Cutting Off the Branch You’re Sitting on”.

    Best he carries on as the male version of Katie Hopkins and stays out of public life.

    Toby, son, you ain’t no Übermensch.

    • He was in favour of giving the fruits of advanced medical research for free to poor people, on the grounds that the rich would have an unfair built in advantage otherwise.

      Seems reasonable to me.

      • Except that the “science” that the little troll was writing about doesn’t exist and almost certainly will never exist. Nascent inteligence cannot and probably will never be abe to be predicted by examining the genes or DNA of prospective parents or that of the mother’s embryos. If the rich have an advantage as far as personal development and success are concerned it arises from their ability to purchase things like the best tuition and education for their offspring, support them during and after such adventures, and afford them every possible help afterwards including thins like neopotistic introductions to significant others and use of familial or personal connections to lever all manner of opportunities for them based on who they are rather than what they are.

        As far as intelligence goes, well, intelligence per se seems to have no direct connection with wealth. Consider, for example, the younger members of our own royal family, all of whom are intellectually as dull as dishwater despite having enjoyed the best educations that money can buy.

        Issac Newton was the son of a yeoman farmer and Karl Freidrich Gauss, one of the cleverest men ever to draw breath, was the son of a day laborer. In Sparta Toby Young would have been discarded at birth.

        • What about having cybernetic bits added to your brain? There’s a lot of potential routes for transhumanism.

        • Well it’s your prerogative to believe that, but I think you’re quite wrong. Identification of genes influencing differences in traits has gone exponential. Quite a few folk working in that area reckon most will be pinned down in a decade or two. Some have also been predicting IQ via brain structure scans with moderate early success i.e. should get better.

          That’s not the same as being able to play god via human genomic engineering in that time-frame, but you must be aware of the implication in CRISPR surely? [Had a small set-back the other day re. the Cas9 part, but that won’t stop it].

          There is a strong correlation with SES (wealth) and intelligence i.e. smart folk tend to make more money. When it comes to the roll of the dice for offspring then yes, poor dim folk can have bright kids and rich smart folk can have dim kids, but on the whole your kids tend to get traits from their parents. Or grandparents in my daughter’s case: she’s *the* one of quite a few grandchildren who is like my mother (a very good thing).

    • Voluntary eugenics works well. It raised the average IQ of Ashkenazi Jews hugely in a period of around 150 years.

  3. There are three charges against Young. That he was spectacularly unqualified for the role. That his appointment was sheer cronyism of the worst kind – there were other much more qualified candidates who were passed over. That his back catalogue of ‘contributions’ renders him unfit for any role in government or public life. Glad to see that CW with it’s unswerving adherence to traditional values and family life chooses to defend the likes of him.

    • I saw the tweets. They were revolting – really revolting – and certainly render him unfit for any public office let alone the label ‘conservative’.

      • “My proposal is this: once this technology [genetically engineered intelligence] becomes available, why not offer it free of charge to parents on low incomes with below-average IQs? Provided there is sufficient take-up, it could help to address the problem of flat-lining inter-generational social mobility and serve as a counterweight to the tendency for the meritocratic elite to become a hereditary elite. It might make all the difference when it comes to the long-term sustainability of advanced meritocratic societies.”

        That’s “really revolting”? Sounds quite egalitarian and community minded to me.

        “Inclusive. It’s one of those ghastly, politically correct words that have survived the demise of New Labour. Schools have got to be ‘inclusive’ these days. That means wheelchair ramps, the complete works of Alice Walker in the school library (though no Mark Twain) and a Special Educational Needs Department that can cope with everything from dyslexia to Münchausen syndrome by proxy. If [then education secretary, Michael] Gove is serious about wanting to bring back O-levels, the government will have to repeal the Equalities Act because any exam that isn’t ‘accessible’ to a functionally illiterate troglodyte with a mental age of six will be judged to be ‘elitist’ and therefore forbidden by Harman’s Law.”

        Probably true.

        ““In hotel room with five-months pregnant Padma. Her boobs are MASSIVE. Be careful what you wish for …” In another tweet referring to a photoshoot with Lakshmi in 2009, he wrote: “I had my d*** up her a***”.”

        Well, he was a bit of a lad the best part of a decade ago.

        • I read his book years ago. Full of anecdotes, like how he amusingly procured class A drugs for Damian Hirst, and how he thought he was having a ‘coke stroke’. What exactly do you have to do to exclude yourself from public office these days?

        • The first is essentially Toby being seduced by what Stephen Hsu said around who gets to take advantage of advance in human genomics i.e. just the rich, or everyone? That was beyond the pale to a large contingent of delusional blank-slaters who scthweam “Sexist Racist Nazi!” if you mention innate intelligence, the same way they do re. average differences between biological sexes.

          That last line of the second isn’t far wrong. The proportion of children achieving a GCSE C or better is roughly the same proportion that used to achieve a CSE 5 in the O-level days. Yet we pretend the GCSE C is much like an O-level C. Everything was massively dumbed down to get us to this point.

          There was a lot of howling over Gove’s nuGCSEs, that a mandatory 19th century novel wouldn’t be ‘relevant’ or ‘accessible’ to children etc. Lately most of the focus has shifted to more difficult nuGCSE maths because, ::shock::horror:: quite a few children can’t answer the difficult questions on the higher tier paper and that makes them sad or puts them off maths (correctly in my view).

    • Those three charges could be applied to many politicians, including those on the left, who are still empowered, including Corbyn. Cherry picked outrage won’t wash.

      Corbyn has never held a shadow cabinet or cabinet role and has been a lifelong insurgent and misfit, spectacularly unqualified for the role of Prime Minister.

      He became leader of the Labour party as a result of union patronage and cronyism.

      His back catalogue of smooching vile terrorist organisations renders him unfit for any role in government or public life.

      But here you are, huffing and puffing about Toby Young being appointed to a quango.

  4. The whole thing is massively hypocritical, given that the vile Emma Dent Coad and the sleazy Keith Vaz are still in jobs.

    That being said, a man of Toby Young’s intelligence should have had the wit to stay away from the keyboard after a couple of pints.

    One of the first things any responsible parent does is teach their children not to post things on Facebook or Twitter that might come back to bite them in the @rse when they apply for a job. So for someone whose job is in leading education, Toby Young is hardly a great role model.

  5. 1) Quangoes are pointless, expensive and self serving. I’d abolish the lot if I had the power. Cameron stated, when he was in power, that he would get rid of them and didn’t – shocker!
    2) As the self styled Twitter mob point their ray guns in the direction of anyone they disagree with/anyone on the right, why is it that no one is pointing their aim back? David Lammy, Dawn Butler and Diane Abbott have made shockingly racist statements in the past but no one appears to want to rake these up. Many Twitter/social media users on the left have made shocking and disturbing comments about killing off those whose opinions differ from their own such as Brexiters, Conservatives, kippers, the elderly but their comments remain hidden.
    I also notice that Jared O’Mara’s views (to which he only needed an ‘education’) did not get him the sack; of course, he’s on the left. If O’Mara had been an ‘evil Tory’, he’d have been hounded out of his job in a heartbeat.
    For the left, it’s one rule for them and another for everyone else; essentially, do as I say not as I do. It stinks.

    • I’m of an age & outlook that assumes twitter is an outlet for teenagers & I’m
      genuinely shocked that President Trump indulges in this adolescent activity.
      I rather like Toby Young & share many of his serious views.
      It seems to me that his tweets are the equivalent of banter at a well lubricated party,
      and I would not want to have my conversations or behaviour in such a setting
      preserved & played back years later.
      Toby is a victim of the fascistic Left.
      Why does the Tory party not deluge the media with images & quotations from
      the Jew hating, conservative hating, communist loving Labour Party ?
      One of the reasons that the last election was such a disaster for the UK is that
      the Tories did not even attempt to expose the dangerous extremists who now constitute
      the power base of the Labour Party.
      I gather that Corbyn was very recently paying homage to the muderous Trotsky.
      Think of the public reaction if Mrs May visited the grave of General Franco.

      • I don’t think it’d matter if the Tories rolled back Labour quotations and sent it to the media. It was no coincidence that the MSM began to look favourably on Labour and damningly at the conservatives after Diane Abbott’s hissy fit last year, when she claimed she was being racially abused and victimised, mostly down to her incompetence with numbers and, well, everything else. The MSM look favourably at minorities and support and encourage much of their campaigns. It didn’t matter that Abbott was (and is) incompetent, it mattered that she was a woman and one of colour – the whole narrative changed after that and the impetus to attack switched from the terrorist sympathising Labour Party to the capitalist loving Tories. So, to my original point. Whether the media got hold of Labour quotes from the past or not, it would not be in their interest to publish it since it would go against their current narrative.
        As for Trump and Twitter, I have no issue with that. I don’t use Facebook or Twitter but many people see it as a way of reaching the public, as does Trump. He might tweet the occasional rubbish, he might tweet some common sense or purposeful observation but he is reaching out to his public, his America. Whether people agree with him is by the by but he is taking advantage of the 5th amendment – good for him.

      • Teenagers typically won’t touch Twitter or Facebook: not cool because of all the adults etc.

        On the bright side, here at least, they seem to be against all the virtue signalling and have running jokes about being ‘victims’ i.e. seem quite strong on assuming personal responsibility.

      • One reason Trump started to use twitter so much was that the US media, and much of the world media, spent far more time telling American voters what to think about Trump than it did reporting his views fairly.

        • May be the only reason, in the beginning. It’s his version of the fireside radio chats of FDR and TV and radio ones of Reagan.

          It’s has also become a very shiny squirrel for the media, which lets him get a lot done while they’re off chasing it.

    • Quangos exist to provide platforms , sinecures, salaries and opportunities to bully, to the otherwise unemployable children of the political class, as well as a cornucopia of patronage for the ruling elite.

  6. If, ‘Education’ is the process of acquiring knowledge, then the UK Education department needs to urgently redefine its role and that of the pedagoguery.

    If ‘Education’ is force feeding kids agitprop Marxist doctrine – then, that’s what we’ve acquired.

    On Toby, really I never had a clue where he was coming from but to call him a ‘right winger’ was to say the least rather wide of the mark. He’s carved himself a niche quite cleverly and good luck to him but he’s no colossus of scholarly bent and his promotion to the board – was quota based as a sop to gullible toryboys more than anything else.

    Finally a quango everseeing universities is just another wet dream for bureaucrats and empire building nonsense. Actually, what is needed shut down the ballooning but totally useless faculties mainly humanities at the majority of UK campuses. Further to that, with financial concentration on STEM encouraging students through the promise of cheaper fees, even no fees if they wish to study worthwhile subjects and the inclusive of English, English History, Geology, Architecture and Phil but not, never combined disciplines.

    Get the ‘social’ out of sciences and kids back to the blackboard.

          • Then most likely, metaphorically or literally; the blackboard is still a key teaching tool in Finnish classrooms.

          • That’s a blog, and it does nothing to support the contention that rote learning or joyless education create better outcomes.

          • Rote learning has its place. Poetry and songs were always popular in societies before literacy became widespread and in societies that were completely illiterate. Do you think singing is joyless?

            As for arithmetic do you really think it is a good idea not to teach multiplication tables or for pupils to leave school without a reasonable grasp of the chronology of British history and where it fits in the chronology of world history?

          • Because it gives us a sense of place in the world, a shared history, shared stories and shared ideas about who we are. A solid teaching of history is the key to national identity.

          • The primary purpose of education (at least for children) is not to “get a job” as many people foolishly think, it is to pass knowledge from one generation to the next. Getting a job is a byproduct of education, not its function.

          • Sorry, fella, but the world has moved on. You need a job and you need your education to fit you for one. If not, you’re wasting everyone’s time.

          • No, we don’t. In fact, we’re a few years shy or genetic testing that will tell you what your abilities are so you can be trained to those abilities and don’t need to bother with subjects that are of no use to you.

          • Nope. I’m a utilitarian. I wish this advice had been available to me so I wouldn’t have wasted three years mucking about with a pointless English lit degree of no real value.

          • If your only purpose it to learn how to perform an economic function, earn some money, then die, then why bother and not just skip to the end?

          • That’s up to the individual. They either find some meaning in that process, or they don’t. And I’m being deadly serious – I really am kicking myself that I wasted so much of my life in education.

          • I became a journalist because my sole skill is writing slightly better than average, although I could just as easily have done that at 16 as 22.

          • Poor Barry would rather not live in the UK.
            The way he presents himself is either as a solipsistic moron or as someone in need of help – I’m not sure which, so it’s best to ignore him & he’ll go away.

          • Well even from a purely utilitarian viewpoint if someone wants a job in the British Civil Service, say, then it helps to be British. Most people in most societies in the world, have a sense of loyalty to their own families and their own countries. They even tend to understand their own countries better than foreigners do.

          • How is it possible to understand history without a chronological framework? Does the future influence the past, or is it vice-versa? If you were building a house would you start by trying to put the roof up?

          • The fuss about “rote learning” is hyperbolic ideological bollocks used by progressive types who think children can discover their way to all the knowledge they need (or somehow Google it out of all the trash) and thereby avoid suffering nasty adult authority and wisdom: political Year Zero, reset society stuff.

            There wasn’t much rote learning as a proportion of her time in primary school, but my child enjoyed it. I recall a very young, cheerful demonstation of rote learnt phonics noises (had accompanying arm actions) and similarly with times-tables. Gibb, stubborn proponent of both, has done some definite good here.

          • And? That blogger is not an idiot and has expertly demolished some of PISA’s progressive agenda-driven points with their very own data.

            Do you have a school-age child? I have a 14-year-old at Middling Comp who is a very high-achieving difficulty for them and I don’t really do recieved opinion, so can speak to much of this and back it up.

          • Historically a couple had to prove to the Lutheran minister that they were literate before they married. The Mother then taught Finnish to the children up to the age of 7 years of age. Consequently high levels of basic literacy were achieved. However,, at the top end the Finnish schools have not been as good as the British ones.

            I doubt any school in the World provides the rigour of those who are scholars at Winchester, Eton or Westminster. The standard of the Latin exam for an Election to Winchester which is taken by 12- years old children is about AS level and is probably the same for the Greek. A knowledge of Greek helps to learn the Indo -Aryan languages which extend to N India- Urdu, Hindi and Sanskrit, etc.

            When it comes to vocational training then Switzerland and Germany are probably the best. Germany and Austrian teachers are saying immigrants from Middle East/W Asia are reducing standards .

    • Closing down the Humanities and Social Sciences, if made possible, will only make a Corbyn government more destructive.
      Jonathan Heist (and others with Jordan Peterson, Camille Paglia and others in moral support) has created the Heterodox Academy:

      It should be done in Britain.

      It supports informing potential undergraduates and theitlr parents of what each university course has as an aim: a fully rounded, educated, thoughtful (even fun loving) graduate, or a sjw! 🙂
      There are predictions that half of the US’s places of higher learning will go bankrupt within the next couple of decades, and it won’t be the STEM subjects that suffer!

      • There’s no point in non-STEM subjects other than things such as medicine. If you forcibly removed ALL useless subjects from the universities, you’d have enough money to train people who were useful to society.

        • All a bit utilitarian though? I have had a fairly successful career in Design Engineering, but I would not have wanted the musicians, authors and artists not to have existed!
          Though I do accept that musicians, authors and artists normally have no need to attend university.

          • Oh, rather. I spent most of my life in the trades, and wouldn’t do elsewise if I could. That never stopped me from reading, and even writing a bit, from loving music (which at its base is very mathematical), poetry, or art. That’s where the joy of a life well lived is.

            Not in the rather mundane part where we earn our daily bread. That is the price we pay for life and dignity, the joy is in the rest.

          • I have been lucky for a lot of my career, in that the engineering design work I have done, especially in the second half of my working life, has been sufficiently interesting and challenging to have given me considerable job satisfaction. I would have hated it if it was mundane and purely for the monthly salary.

          • And I spent much of mine in service and troubleshooting, from pure relay logic to automation. Construction rots your brain, even, maybe especially, with good engineers. With the bad ones, well the as-built drawings differ considerably, sometimes.

            Anybody that works only for the paycheck, well, I’m sorry for him, but a lot of life remains outside of work, and it’s necessary for us.

  7. Far too many people on the right make the mistake of taking a knife to a gun-fight. They need to put the knife away and get a tank!

  8. I have read some of Mr Young’s tweets. They were appalling. We know the Left would leave him alone if he was himself a Leftist, but that is not the point here. Mr Young descended into the gutter and is judged by the Right (as well as the Left) as a consequence. Of course he could not take up the post offered – and quite frankly I resent the fact that my Spectator subscription goes toward supporting such a crude, vulgar, distasteful man in his editorial role at said magazine.

    • It is about self control and awareness. Having worked in heavy engineering where if one rubbed someone up the wrong way, one was invited to step of site and sort it out; one learnt judgement. Yes be prepared to stand one’s ground and fight if needed but think before one open’s one’s mouth and learn to make jokes.

      The problem for men like Young and J O’Mara is that they have worked in an effete environmment where they can say anything and not be challenged to a fight. They are spoilt teenagers who have never learnt to live in a tough man’s world. A man has to be prepared to be judged on what he says and does and take the consequences for it , including fighting. A Bryant, the historian is quoted that the boxing ring was the nursery of British manliness and that a gentleman did not lie for that was cowardly and that they had to be prepared to stand up to tyranny and the mob. Wellington said our honesty was our greatest asset. Chivalry is needed to be a gentleman and this requires an ability to stand up and fight to protect the those who are weaker.

      The modern day age has reduced the World to the village or small town. Everyone practically knows what people have said and done. Consequently, to earn a reputation to be able defend oneself physically and verbally, to give a good account of oneself in a fight or argument; combined with a reputation for common sense, good humour, courtesy to all and honest straightforward dealings are assets.

      • Agreed, and well said. The world in which I came, everyone knew who was honest, who could be depended on, who would do anything for his own advantage, and in the final analysis, the Duke (actually his writers in The Shootist) had it right, “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.”

        Of course, such a society requires men, not little sniveling boys to be in charge.

  9. And the moral of the story is: stay off Twitter.

    Politicians, journalists, slebs, mediocre attention-seekers and other ‘Like’ junkies pay waaaay to much attention to it. Young’s use of the term ‘Twitchfork mob’ was spot on.

    Please, I urge all of you, just stop bloody using this hateful little tool.

    I can honestly say I’ve never even visited its website and have not suffered in the slightest.

          • “Twitter is for young people”

            I see, I didn’t know that.

            So I’m definitely not supposed to be on there then, whether I like it or not, because I’m an old geezer.

            Thanks for clearing that up. I’m quite relieved really. And you’re welcome to it.

          • I’m on there. I’m 44 and use it to promote my work, but I know that it isn’t intended for people like me.

          • Well that explains a lot I must admit, not about you I mean but about all the silliness which goes on in there. The overwhelming shrill, liberal-left bias of the Twitchfork mob that seem to infest it so much.

            They’re far from being representative and yet seem to wield a disproportionate amount of power – because so many people think they are representative.

            We really need to stop taking so much notice of what people say on there.

            Good luck with promoting your work on there anyway. Seems like one sensible use for it at least.

    • It’s not the worst thing ever, as with most such stuff it depends who you follow. I rarely use it myself except for promoting work-related stuff, but some people I follow post interesting links and such. I don’t entirely get the fascination of those who tweet their every waking thought though.

      • Well OK, I exaggerated slightly but seriously, you can exist without social media. In fact I’d say you’d be happier too.

        Did you see that Black Mirror episode ‘Nosedive’. If we’re not careful we’ll go in that direction.

        • Oh I agree, I quit Facebook as it was just adverts and self indulgent nonsense for the most part. Also means family members now have to telephone me (and I them) instead of just facebook messages. Alas, I have to use twitter for work so can’t really get out of it, but I never look at it at home.

          • Most of my family live in NZ and keep urging me to get on FB so they can ‘keep in touch’.

            I sound like such an old-fashioned curmudgeon when I tell them to email me instead! It’s almost like telling them to write a letter!

      • Ironically perhaps, Twitter is the reason we have a significant ‘grass-roots’ movement of mostly teachers arguing for very traditional education. They don’t like grammars, but they’re not obviously against within-school ability grouping (sets).

  10. Conservatives have to wake up to the fact that the left have had an easy run on the group think of a lot of people in the UK. You just cannot back down against the left,you have to confront them,you have to attack them,you cannot let them get away with their narrative.
    Toby Young should not have backed down. But there seem to be few in the Conservative Party who have the backbone to stand up against the left. This is mainly because those at the top of the party are now fully paid up members of the politically correctness which is a cancerous growth running through the institutions of government,you only have to look at May and her reshuffle of the walking dead.
    She has to have more women at the top,not on merit or life experience,just because they are women. I have no problem with women in high positions (Maggie was brilliant),but everybody has to gain position on merit….the best person for the job( I am keeping of the subject of remainers/Leavers).
    I see no redemption for the party whilst they appease the left,their narrative,their political correctness and the bias of the media

  11. In the internet before Web 2.0 and social media, only idiots put their real name on the internet, at least if you weren’t entirely sure who would be employing you in 10-20 years time.

    Toby Young now knows why. If nobody knew who @toadmeister really was, there wouldn’t have been a problem.

    • Quite, hence my nom de guerre which is an old companion from last century. Suprised to see a reference to “web 2.0” here, thought it had fallen off the end of what folk know about now.

      • Perhaps, but I was a pretty early netizen, being a massive geek. 😉 And I remember well how it suddenly switched from the preserve of massive geeks to a truly mass participation thing.

          • They let the riff-raff in. Used to joke about that with online friends, not all geeks, because you’re right about the impact (largely began when AOL hooked up).

          • Interestingly way back when I remember the internet really was the preserve of the technicians, it was an extremely right wing talking space in the main. The old blogosphere in the 00s, especially the early 00s, was a huge right wing echo chamber. I remember people writing essays on wondering where the lefties were.

            Then social media happened and suddenly the Left came roaring in.

          • It was also far more focused on good quality knowledge, research and writing. The people using it were usually very dedicated, no matter what their field, and keen to use the Internet to publish and discuss ideas that the mainstream wouldn’t touch.

            While that’s still the case today and you get great variety of opinion online if you care to look for it, the echo chambers of social media platforms have become largely similar to the major broadcasters in their endless repeating of social liberal ideology.

          • May depend on where you hung out, but I viewed it as being quite US libertarian. A lot of the action seemed to centre on the cipherpunks and other associated mail lists.

          • Yeah it certainly was libertarian. Toby Young would’ve fit in pretty well I think.

            But a lot of the US warbloggers were more outright neocon, like Steven Den Beste. I used to read his stuff on USS Clueless back in the day. He was very much into American exceptionalism – he also wrote a lot of insightful and interesting articles though so I let him off his hatred of ‘Euros’.

  12. Anyone who has used the internet since its inception knows you don’t write anything on a public forum (especially one so public as Twitter) that you would not be happy to repeat in person and/or in public. In other words, be careful with your words. The pen is mightier than the sword etc. The fact some of his juvenile comments were only a few years old makes it even worse. He is a fifty four year old man. Regardless of the politics, agendas or otherwise, you cannot expect to be appointed to a public position with those tweets hanging over your recent past and not expect it to at the very least raise a few eyebrows. Words are powerful. Ask any publicist.

    • He’s an unelected member of the politico-media class with a big ego who waves a little blue flag.

    • I have to say that when I was foolish enough to read his Spectator articles, I had assumed that he was of the left.

      • Easily done since the Tory party is morphing from a social democrat party into a fully socialist one.

  13. Toby Young’s only mistake was to apologise.

    Once you give an inch to the SJW thought police, you are lost.

    • Totally agree. The right of centre don’t understand this fundamental as they are too polite. The left of centre have it down to a fine art. Shout at everyone, go on an aggressive attack and if anyone questions you, shut up and keep your head down for a few days until the heat cools down.

    • The Tories can’t fight and won’t fight. Even their real conservatives play nice. The left are running rings round them.

    • I agree. he should have said something along the lines of ‘I have not spent my entire life carefully preparing for this appointment. I have made mistakes, I have said things on the spur of the moment, but I have learned from both and they are the past – I am in the ‘now’ I believe I can do this job well and successfully. Thank you and goodbye.’ … and May should have backed him, but she is actually the weak link, not Young.

  14. The Leftis bull-dykes that now dominate the media narrative, will not be content until masculinity is made a criminal offence.

    • What a love-in on Newsnight last night between James Delingpole and Paris Lees, with the former, in best 1980s Thatcherite fashion, talking about how they should bond over a spliff. Perhaps they have now done so? Delingpole was adamant that Toby Young had only ever been playing a character. So, did he supply Class A drugs, or did he not? Did he dress as a woman in order to assault lesbians sexually, or did he not? In both cases, he was paid on the understanding that he had in fact done so. When his accounts were published, then there was no suggestion that they were intended to be read as fiction. I smell an impending Johann Hari moment.

  15. Toby Young has gone, the Junior Minister who appointed him has been moved with a view to managing him out next time, and the Cabinet Minister is off to the backbenches. Jo Johnson may have been wrong to suggest that Twitter went back to the 1980s, but the trends that have come to a head in this case do go that far back, with roots that stretch even deeper into the past.

    It is not just a matter of being permitted to be as obnoxious as you please, provided that you are posh enough, although there is that. It is not just a matter of being given paid public appointments based on being people’s mate rather than any qualification for the job, although there is that, too.

    It is the deep ideological split between those who see “progressive eugenics” as an acceptable or even a compulsory opinion, such as Toby Young, and those who most certainly do not, such as my erstwhile editor for The American Conservative, and now Deputy Editor of The Spectator, Freddy Gray, who had to try and defend Young on yesterday’s Daily Politics, but who, to his credit, barely attempted to do so.

    This is a Mel Bradford moment, the occasion of a split as deep, and as deeply rooted, as that between the neoconservatives and the paleoconservatives. A split, in fact, not unrelated to that one. This time, though, the neocons have lost. Freddy Gray for the job that is now vacant? Why ever not? Or what is Stuart Reid doing these days? Then again, they could always co-opt the paleocon-friendly Left in the person of someone like Neil Clark, bypassing both the municipal Labour Right in education, and the Liberal Establishment in academia and the media.

    • You fail to address the fact that only those on the right are berated, hounded and indeed expected to grovel. John McDonnell was rightly called out today by Andrew Neil for his disgraceful remarks about lynching Esther McVey. He also wrote an utterly disgusting piece about murdering Mrs Thatcher and her cabinet (surely a hate crime today), around the same time as Toby Young (much younger) was making remarks that actually would have been seen as par for the course in that era.

      I am not defending Mr Young under modern societal norms. However, it seems to me we are following the narrative of a few ‘offended’ people, who at the same time want to take down our history because the times our great men and women lived through do not correspond with sensitivities today. It seems to me that twitter has unleashed in many people the witchunts of the 16th and 17th centuries under Puritanism and also the terrible McCarthy witchunts in America. I notice also that it is generally the under 50s who seem to carry out these mob attacks. Whatever happened to accountability, respect, irony and indeed freedom of speech.

      • Toby Young’s Spectator employer, Andrew Neil, tried today to make it all about John McDonnell’s rather prescient remarks concerning Esther McVey, who will very soon become one of this country’s great public hate figures. With a bit of Jared O’Mara thrown in. But McDonnell will not be removed, and O’Mara, who is still being paid, will probably be back soon enough. Whereas Young has gone, the Junior Minister who appointed him has been moved with a view to managing him out next time, and the Cabinet Minister is off to the backbenches. There are winners in politics. And there are losers. There is no doubt which is which this week. Call it the luck of the Irish.

  16. Parliament is a serious institution. It’s where our laws are made. It’s where the very sources of our freedom she and responsiblies resides; Our democratic process.

    Women who wish to participate in this scared institution, should not be allowed to trivialise it by wearing push up bras, low cut tops, high heel shoes, fake nails, short skirts or any make up products whatsoever.

    It’s a parliament, not a night club and should be respected as such.

    • if you’re worried about conduct in parliament, i would suggest that subsidised alcohol is a bigger problem than women using beauty products. If MPs were more responsible and open about alcohol abuse, perhaps Charles Kennedy would have been able to serve as an MP for longer.

        • I’m not so sure about that, ‘TheRight’. He and I are poles apart politically, but – I can’t say why – I had to spend some time with him in a professional, and sometimes social, capacity and I found him to be quite a sensitive, thoughtful man, free of the pretensions of many MPs I have had the misfortune to be in company with.

          • He was prepared to cede control of this country to the Berlin/Brussels Axis.
            He was just another traitor.

  17. Twitter is here to stay and if users want it to remain uncensored, they will have to learn to restrain themselves or, like Mr Young, suffer the consequences years later of what seemed funny when thoughtlessly fired off. It’s a great instrument for self-promotion for pols and journalists and the like (they think) but the downsides can be swift and brutal. Mr Young can think of himself as collateral damage in the process of Twitter house training itself.

    • Twitter only cares about politically incorrect non-intersectional thinking. People throwing defamatory or ‘hate-speech’ (proper legal sense) at wrong-thinkers don’t suffer for it, but perhaps that will change.

      • Twitter allows an awful lot, perhaps too much. You have to be really out of line before they act. But you are missing the point. No one is questioning Mr Young’s right to tweet the stuff he does. They are questioning his conspicuous lack of wisdom in doing so.

        • There is more than one point. The mob wasn’t only concerned with Toby’s clearly unwise, laddish tweets about females etc.

        • Perhaps, but then it’s an American company built on our ethos. And truthfully Americans, especially conservatives, find it censors quite a lot too much, not least because it is biased censorship. But we uniformly (almost) believe you are responsible for what you put out there. Freedom and responsibility, the old American (and English) pairing.

  18. Today a truly vile woman by the name of Alison Chabloz in court for singing some awful anti Semitic songs. Her charges are noted in the media, but not her closeness to the Labour party and especially the Glossop Labour Club where she often performs.

    Reading the story I followed a link to the campaign against anti Semitism, where they have an article about Jo Johnsons pro censorship university quango, and they are under no illusion that this is all about censoring anything they don’t like or feel the public shouldn’t be allowed to hear.

    While I believe that Alison Chabloz is a horror and it’s taken the authorities far too long to deal with her. If she’d been singing songs like this about Pakistanis or Muslims her feet wouldn’t have touched.
    This bill is NOT about freedom of speech, it’s all about taking it away and killing it, the evidence of the Campaign Against Anti Semitism proves that.

  19. Toby believes in free speech and an end to mass immigration, an outrage for so called Conservatives who now have a Nigerian multiculturalist in charge of selecting candidates for the next election. Welcome Jeremy Corbyn, when will the penny drop that immigration is the issue that won Brexit and immigration is the issue that could win big for May’s floundering Blairites?Germany continues to import illiterate and unemployable Muslims to replace its Christian population, why? In 2015 alone Merkel and her migration gangsters allowed more than 1.2 million Muslims to settle in Europe, of whom 34,000 were in work two years later. The rest remain on benefits, most of the 34,000 employed were as messengers on makework schemes. Contrast this with the treatment dished out to Greece, a Christian nation and a member of the EU. Unemployment in Greece now stands at 22% with youth unemployment at 55%. In Spain and Italy youth unemployment is only 40%, yet none of these desperate workless nations were given the chance to send their well educated and disciplined young people to Germany to work. Why? (Read: “2030: Your Children’s Future in Islamic Britain” by David Vincent, Amazon and Kindle). According to the EU, Greece is experiencing a great “recovery” with part time jobs averaging 400 Euros a month (about £4,300 a year), destitute Greeks, Spaniards and Italians are left to rot while unemployable Muslims go on a Europe-wide crime spree. On the island of Rhodes a 76 year old woman climbed onto the roof of a three-story block of flats in Sofouli Street and fell to her death, while in Athens a 16 year old threw himself from a bridge on Attica Road. The old lady had seen the ravages of war, the Nazi occupation of Greece, civil war and post war poverty but the EU she could not survive. Meanwhile Muslim migration into Europe continues apace with Ireland registering a 30% increase in its Muslim population in less than five years. Hitler will prove to have been less of a menace to Europe than the Merkel/Soros/EU axis as the awful future unfolds

  20. For the record, deleting tweets has no effect. The latest Project Veritas investigation in the US reveals that Twitter keeps every last vowel and punctuation mark of every connection anyone has with the corporation and is more than happy to hand over every detail to favoured recipients:

  21. The hounding of conservatives will continue until someone makes a stand. Unfortunately it will not be Theresa May, her next apology will be along soon.
    Even when it is not called for she will join in the witch hunt ref her recent criticism of Trump.
    I can’t understand why she can’t learn from Donald, if you have a go back at them they buckle, constantly apologising is not the sign of a strong leader

  22. The obvious thing to do, and something that unfortunately our wet liberal faux tory team will be unable to do, is to replace Toby Young with a whiter than white, but clearly hard ‘c’ conservative person. Make them realise that hounding a good man out of the job has consequences that they might not like.

  23. I would dearly love to be involved in conservative politics, not the Conservative Party, but as a independent, free of the constraints of party diktats, because I really want to try stem, indeed, turn back, this tide of destructive liberalism, but I have a problem:

    Many years ago I was falsely and maliciously accused of rape, investigated and after a year, cleared. The Woman, a professional, was found to have made the same false and malicious allegations about three other men. I was urged to sue, but to be frank, the episode left me shattered, my confidence knocked, my self esteem very low, I was not keen to re-live the experience nor to see the newspapers pick it up, which they had not previously done. Over the years I have bumped into people I knew, some well, at the time who had heard about the allegation, arrest, and so forth, but not about the result – that this woman was disturbed of mind but functioned at a very high level, that I was blameless, innocent, free of taint, – but then, that’s the thing, I don’t thing one ever is free of it. Those people caught my eye and there was a sudden realisation of who I was, they would check their step, I could see the dilemma playing out in their minds – do I speak to him? Ignore him? I saved them the trouble by turning away, but my stomach and heart sank like a stone. I moved home several times, eventually re-built my life to about 95% of my mental state before the incident, however, I know that the second I put my head above the parapet, I will be fair game, and that would yield one of two results: I would weather on and hope the public see through it, or it would break – I fear the latter.

    I appreciate my circumstances differ from Young, but the public minefield, the traps, the social media warriors, the scandal-hungry press, all await, as in his case.

    You will not find one trace of me on social media; I despise it, not for the what happened in the past, but for what it is doing to society, to individuals, I can barely believe the cynicism, hatred, and instant judgement that is spewed forth by the millions, daily, and worse, salvation seems to be in the hands of those least likely to grant it.

  24. Fair enough in general, but I note the repeated use of the phrase “social mobility”.

    Since when have socialists cared about “social mobility”?

    They are in pursuance of spurious equality agendas, certainly (excepting themselves of course, and their privileged friends), but social mobility? Never.

  25. ‘Twitter’ reminds me of very drunk people of the ‘in vino veritas’ type; the reckoning comes the day after.

  26. The problem is that people on the right engage in these arguments on the left’s terms, immediately becoming apologetic and defensive. Instead we should be laughing at their manufactured outrage and refusing to go along with their micro-policing of speech, instead lampooning and teasing these bedwetters in the way that Trump does.

  27. ” … informer-style society…” – ie. neo-Stalinist, which is what I’ve been saying about our society for some time.
    Education / freedom – As I’ve also said here before: it won’t be long before those who have the means send their kids to schools in India, China, or somewhere in the far East, to get a proper education.

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