Polly Toynbee copying the Ranter

I’d forgotten this, but how strange! In her column last week, The Guardian’s Polly Toynbee decided to take the piss out of Michael Howard’s “I believe that the people should be big..”.

In fact, this is what she came up with: “A Conservative government would be smaller, he warned. “Smaller government, bigger people” is their slogan – somewhat unfortunate in anti-obesity week. So £80bn of excess fat would be liposucked from Britain’s body politic. “Could she have read this post in the Ranter of the 5th of January? I think we should be told.

By the way, she does have a point concerning the Tories’ proposed freeze on Civil Service recruitment. My attack is founded on the idea that if civil servants leaving the service are not replaced, then their jobs must be filled by somebody. Even if some of the jobs can be got rid of, people who are unequivocally necessary will still leave – they don’t live forever. So, with absolute certainty, the competent will retire and be replaced by those who were considered insufficiently competent to have that job before the holder’s retirement. There will be a process of progressive mediocritisation (and I claim the rights to that word).




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