It may be unfair to single out a particular newspaper columnist or commentator for inconsistency & hypocrisy (they're there to "provoke debate", ie., spout any old crap, if necessary), but Polly Toynbee's witterings in the Guardian are now being viewed as case studies in schizophrenic political polemics. Yesterday she excelled herself (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/sep/13/labour.conservatives ).
Toynbee, who enjoys an annual salary of £250,000 for her thoughts, penned a truly risible piece on how all is not yet lost for both Labour & Gordon Brown at the next election, despite the fact that Toynbee was one of the panellists on Thursday's Channel 4 News, on which the latest damning opinion poll was dissected (http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/domestic_politics/battleground+britain+exclusive+poll+of+key+seats+predicts+tory+landslide/2449117/ ).
Toynbee contradicts her own wild-eyed optimism in the first paragraph of her article:
"Stepping up to microphones in the TUC hall were those authentic voices now almost entirely absent from Labour politics. Many, these days, are women, and they speak for the workplaces of the third of people whose real living standards have fallen over the last five years. When they tell of years of pay settlements falling below inflation, it's not an abstraction. When they call for a windfall tax and a fairer sharing of the pain of this recession, it's not a political idea of fairness, it's bread and butter. But they went back to their workplaces empty-handed."
Despite the truly galling & grotesque spectacle of New Labour ministers telling the low-paid to be grateful for small mercies (a cynical bookie could take bets on the number of hypothermia-related deaths this winter), Toynbee still thinks there is one last chance for this government.
Well, Polly, there isn't. Cameron will walk into No. 10 in 2010 & it will be the mendacity of New Labour which will facilitate it.