Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

The ageist hatred of Polly Toynbee

Okay, we know Hampstead champagne socialist Polly Toynbee is an incorrigible Remainer. No news there. But her latest tweet about a so-called People's Vote (the losing side's determined effort to reverse the 2016 referendum result) has gone beyond the pale - even for many of her fellow Remain followers. Here is her dehumanising tweet, celebrating the deaths of parents and grandparents up and down the country.

'What was 'the will of people' is now 'the will of dead people'. From Saturday, new young remain voters on register tip the balance v old dead leavers. Time for a Final Say Referendum.'

The responses offer an illuminating view of how most people abhor extremism, whatever their political tastes. Here are a few examples: -

'Has it ever occurred to you that the older you are, it usually equates to greater knowledge & experience. The younger you are, it's the other way round. The 'old' therefore have seen all of the good & the bad of the EU since 1975 & are much better placed to make a judgement on it.'

'I'm truly embarrassed that there are people in this country who have no national pride, that would put its faith in a foreign institution and that treats its older generation with such derision. I personally blame the leftist educational system for this.'

'This is in appalling bad taste. Imagine the situation was reversed & people of the right were making the comment. You, Jones et al would be on the ceiling.'

'A morally reprehensible post, with an unsound argument to boot. People's voting habits change as they get older: its why Labour wins a high percentage of young votes but fares less well with older voters.'

'This is a vile tweet whether a remainer, leaver, Tory or labour. The 'dead' are those that gave us democracy by fighting and sometimes dying in wars to preserve the fabric of this country.'

'As a 63 year old I voted remain now as a 66 year old you have just convinced me to vote leave.'

'Who would want to be on the same side as someone so despicable? You seem all bitter and twisted inside. Do some yoga every day. It will lead you to peace.'

'Disgrace. Belittling the people who have done much for this country and made their sizeable tax contributions towards it.'

'Next you'll be suggesting that I get my mum euthanised as she's in her 80's. What a lovely person you are.'

On the last tweet, Polly is a champion of euthanasia. Except for herself of course; she'd like to continue her sermons for many years yet.

But this was not just an off-the-cuff comment by Toynbee. She was drawing attention to her carefully cogitated article in the Guardian today, in which she stated: 'Enough old leavers will have died and enough young remainers will have come on to the electoral register to turn the dial on what the country thinks about Brexit'.

Demographic projections are certainly fertile ground for socio-political comment. But what would Polly say if a Telegraph columnist warned of British cities becoming Muslim majority in the next 20 to 30 years? She would compete with Owen Jones to issue the most berating response. You can also guarantee that Hope not Hate would be calling for a boycott of the Telegraph. Perversely, this reactionary organisation is disinclined to make any fuss about a prominent commentator beckoning the old to their burial.

But Toynbee won't have her collar felt, unlike the gruff Yellow Vest demonstrator James Goddard, who called Anna Soubry a 'Nazi' for obstructing Brexit. It seems that for the political establishment hate crime is selective. Long-in the-tooth Leavers are fair game. 

Not wanting to sound like a snowflake, though, I would give arrogant, antidemocratic Remainers enough rope to hang themselves. As another Tweet suggested for Polly's opinion piece: 'If there is a so called Final Say or People's Vote or whatever nonsense you want to call it, the Leave campaign should put this article on a billboard and the referendum will soon turn into a Final Say on Decency and Civility.'

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