Polly Toynbee, Counter-Revolutionary 218

It is amusing that Polly Toynbee attacks Russell Brand on the grounds there is a real difference between Labour and the Conservatives, on the day Ed Balls argues immigrants must be kept out by amending the EU treaties – in the same paper!

I have never been a great fan of Russell Brand’s media persona, and for a revolutionary to be shacked up with Jemima Khan’s millions is perhaps some kind of extended exercise in post-modern irony as performance art. But Brand’s perception that the neo-con political parties are all the same is absolutely correct, and his is almost the only voice the media will broadcast saying it. When I have been saying precisely the same thing for a decade it is not news. News, apparently, lies not in what is said, but whether or not it is a celebrity who says it.

Not voting is a perfectly reasonable choice. I would prefer that people voted Green, or independent, or SNP in Scotland or Plaid Cymru in Wales. But Brand’s option of not voting is also valid – the entire system of corporations, media and politicians is designed to block real change.

Polly Toynbee is a very rich woman compared to the rest of us, with a great deal of inherited wealth and a Guardian salary well into six figures, for writing a constant stream of tribal pro-Labour drivel. She quotes with approval John Lydon’s observation:

it’s clear, if you’ve got a pile of money in the bank, you vote for people with piles of money in the bank

Which is absolutely true, and why Polly Toynbee votes Labour. Another irony which flies over the head of the humourless old moneybag-toting harridan.

Toynbee is delighted to discover that the rambling Lydon is not really a revolutionary. The rest of the world had known it was only a money-spinning pose for forty years, and he is pretty right wing.
Extraordinary that Toynbee points out the strangeness of treating Russell Brand as a political guru, and then sets up John Lydon instead. The silly old bat really, really doesn’t get irony, does she? Or is Polly Toynbee in fact herself some kind of monumental performance art installation, designed on every level to project the futility and hypocrisy of New Labour?

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218 thoughts on “Polly Toynbee, Counter-Revolutionary

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  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Mr Scorgie

    “Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !
    16 Oct, 2014 – 10:52 pm

    “Don’t you believe that such exercises might be useful, rather than the forces of law and order having to improvise on the day for any future terrorist act itself?”

    Such exercises are useful Habbabkuk but they are usually publicised beforehand to minimise an unintended tragedy like a member of the public being killed by one of the vehicles involved in the false alarm exercise.”


    That’s a little thin, Doug – you’re just objecting for the sake of it, whilst recognising that such exercises are useful.

    One could argue that no prior announcement was designed to ensure that this exercise would be carried out in conditions as near as possible to the conditions that would obtain if there were a real terrorist incident.

    I’d also add that terrorists would not – I imagine – give prior notice of their attack either.

  • Republicofscotland

    I seem to recall that sharing the pound was one of the major stumbling blocks and having an HQ for Sctoland’s MoD is a long way from actually having a functioning ministry.


    Yes outwardly Westminster claimed that it wouldn’t share the pound thus causing UK businesses £500 million pounds extra in transaction, this of course would have been shot down by the CBI, and then there’s the minister who let slip of course there would be a currency union.

    As for an MoD HQ building there’s already one in Glasgow on Argyle st. Here is a picture of the MoD building called the Saint Kentigern building, who’s better known to Glaswegians as Saint Mungo.


  • Angus

    There’s a lot of comments based on what people think brand and Lydon have said rather than what they actually have said.

    Brand has stated , he’s perfectly happy vote if offered a realistic alternative to vote for with any chance of positive change. He’s also perfectly aware of the contradictions of his position as a ‘celeb’ with money but appears to be attempting to use that position in the right direction.

    This time last year I’d not have given him a second thought, but have revised my thoughts on him, we need these people to stick their neck out. I find “the Trews” to be well worth a watch, even if he’s a bit irritating at times. He doesn’t have to do that. have a look at the episode rebuffing the criticism by Fox news for a start.

    What Brand and Lydon have in common, is that they are both Articulate (self) educated and most importantly with a level of insight that many people committed to one ideology or an other don’t possess.

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  • John Spencer-Davis


    [Johnstone] John Spencer Davis
    Russel Brand a headbanger?
    I don’t think so..

    His charm never fails to endear him to interviewers, male and female… Watch him interviewed by John Snow on Utube.

    [JSD] Maybe. I haven’t seen him with Jon Snow, but I remember him being interviewed by Jeremy Paxman a year or two back, and that wasn’t the impression I got. Paxman hardly bothered to disguise his contempt, as I recall. I can’t stand Paxman myself, but Brand certainly failed to endear himself to his interviewer on that occasion. I will have more to say about that interview as I remember it when I respond to Phil.

    [Johnstone] He has charisma twinned with a razor sharp wit yet humility, which is a word that is fast vanishing from the language. These are rare qualities and he must surely be having an influence upon the web generation..are you Craig?

    [JSD] Well, different people will perceive him differently, no doubt. I don’t seek him out, so I can only respond based on what I happened to have seen of him to date. I’ve perceived neither charisma nor razor-sharp wit nor humility. I’m happy to accept that other people must see him from a different planet to me. And you are quite right that humility seems in pretty short supply these days. Kind regards, John

  • John Spencer-Davis


    [Phil, quoting JSD] “I think he’s [Brand] on the media so much because he is so damaging to the causes he espouses.”

    [Phil] How is he damaging? You offer nothing except he is a “headbanger” type of arguments.

    [JSD] That’s quite true, but I did not know anyone was going to demand further and better particulars. I’m quite happy to supply further details of why I think that. I will do so in another post.

    [Phil]The court jester is a real and honourable tradition which has long served as a challenge to power. Mockery diminishes pomposity. We need more merry pranksters.

    [JSD] Amen to that. I couldn’t agree more. I just don’t think Brand is very good at it, from what I’ve seen. Mark Steel, for example, is brilliant at it, and I admire him greatly. Kind regards, John

  • Memesrus

    Freddie Mercury, although large by perception was a diminuative person. I met him once and was shocked at how tiny he was.

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