Sunday, May 18, 2008

Manchester GS: The Home of Lord Snooties?

Not sure that I'd call ex-scholars of Manchester Grammar School "Toffs" as The Daily Mail choose to. Apart from Lord Porridge of course, not in the list, and around nine or ten Lords that are, plus er John Leech MP (allegedly an expellee) and Miles Barter (like Porridge not listed). But it is pretty funny that Labour's "Toff Number One" from Crewe and Nantwich went to fee-paying MGS.

But also that Tories are pursuing the rebuttal on this stuff. They protest too much. Always. Hurt Sadie wishes that the names will never hurt me brigade in the Students' Union had thought "Toff" was the acme of hurtful name calling.

UPDATE 18:15: Hopi Sen examines the evidence, including Tory Class War in a Brent Con Person Leaflet (above).


Anonymous said...

For God's sake, Chris, enough already!

NO-ONE CARES. No-one, that is, apart from self-absorbed Labour activists who have to keep throwing ever-greater dollops mud to hide the fact that they can't answer a simple question that I posed several hours ago: what positive reason can you give people to vote Labour on Thursday?

Go on, give it a try. A single, uncomplicated reason that's worthwhile in and of itself, and without mentioning the Tories. Forget they exist for the moment. Don't tell me why we should vote AGAINST them, tell me why we should vote FOR you?

If a Labour activist can't answer this instantly with a well-honed soundbite, you really do have problems.

Sadie Smith said...

Chris: "hurt"? Easy on there my friend, you'll start ruining my Tough Guy street cred, eh?

Sadie Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Paul said...

Sorry, sorry, very sorry, don't break my legs please miss.

Chris Paul said...

Mistoffelees: We agree. No-one gives a damn. And that is the point of my post(s) and also those of Sadie, Hopi and others. Silly attack, silly defence.

The single uncomplicated reason is:

Social Justice and Opportunity: The last 11 years show massive investment in schools, hospitals and public services after Tory neglect AND a substantial but actually virtually painless redistribution in wealth.

Any good? Now tell me why the hell anyone should vote for your Toff (joke) unless they hate Brown cos he's only got one eye and ain't all singing all dancing like Blair.

Anonymous said...

Since I wrote in this very blog that I'd sooner cut my own leg off with a rusty saw than vote Tory, to whom are you referring when you mention "your Toff"? Or is this part of the alleged joke?

The last 11 years show massive investment in schools, hospitals and public services after Tory neglect

This is certainly true in terms of the amount of cash being splashed around, but much of the NHS money went straight into GPs' pockets because John Reid notoriously cocked up the figures that would trigger a bonus, and the rest...

...well, my wife's worked in the NHS long enough to remember the Tory years, and she says morale has never been lower. And she's about as hardcore as Labour supporters get.

So am I to assume that she's deluded?

Anyway, it's not much of a reason, given that you know as well as I do that considerably less spare cash is going to be available in the next few years. Especially since Gordon Brown decided to spend £2.7bn on one of the most spectacular U-turns I can recall.

(Not that he was wrong to do it, mind - but he should never have got into the 10p tax mess in the first place).

Chris Paul said...

yes, joke, though it's not always easy to remember which commenter is which on any disclaimers like that

there may or may not be enough cash over the next two or six or ten years to continue to grow the NHS and schools and police and arts budgets as much as before

(GPs didn't get it all clearly, that's quite wrong)

but history - and indeed the more candid statements - indicate that whether the money is there or not Tories like ET will cut spend, "share the proceeds of growth", and reverse whatever redistributions have been achieved

obviously this is why city boys and toffs support them, but why would the broad population in Crewe? apart from because of some tipping point for change brought on by the personal attacks on Brown and his two mistakes (election and 10p)

Anonymous said...

Do you seriously believe that Gordon Brown has made just two mistakes?

Actually, his great tragedy is that many of the mistakes he made years ago are only now coming home to roost. Ken Livingstone vigorously campaigned against his Tube funding proposals, and lost the battle - but fundamentally won the argument, especially since Metronet went under. (This is one of the main reasons why Ken bucked the trend in London, as he has a proven track record of standing up to Brown and Labour when he perceives they're working against his constituents' interests).

And there's also a more fundamental philosophical argument - at a time when people's budgets are being squeezed as never before, it's easy to see the attraction of a party which promises to allow people to keep more of what they earn, especially as it's by no means obvious what all the massive amounts of extra spending have actually achieved.

You say that GP's didn't get it all, and I believe you - but it's certainly the perception on the ground (and remember, I'm married to an NHS worker, so this is by no means ill-informed speculation) that they got a far, far better deal than anyone else, for no particularly good reason.

So, with the greatest respect, you're not doing a particularly good sales pitch - and I'm nominally on your side!

Chris Paul said...

Thanks again Mistoffelees, perhaps since you are on our side you might offer your own sales pitch and/or solution?

(GPs may deserve their pay, mine does with the sort of friendly hours and brilliant family doctor service that others have run from, but I'd have to agree that this was not the best deal ever made; 10-12 years training ... though in Cuba they'd do it for the people)

Anonymous said...

I'd say to the people of Crewe and Nantwich - you have the minimum wage.
You have more holidays.
You have more maternity and paternity leave.
You have the right to a trade union to stand up for you against your bullying money-grabbing boss.

Anonymous said...

The last item on that shortlist predated Labour's election in 1997, and it's extraordinarily unlikely that the Tories will overturn the first three.

In any case, they can't before the next election as they're not in power, so the electors of Crewe and Nantwich aren't taking any risks at all.

Sorry to play devil's advocate here, but I'm really not impressed so far. There's certainly a far stronger case for voting Tory (if only to give Gordon Brown the fright of his life and hopefully snap his party out of their complacency) than there is for maintaining the status quo.

Incidentally, I see that senior Labour figures are now admitting that the "toff" campaign was an embarrassing and counter-productive disaster - as anyone outside the party could have told them from the start.

If anything, it crystallised the impression that Labour have become hopelessly out of touch after eleven years in power: voters care far, far more about things that actually affect them like food prices and jobs than they do about where people went to school.

Chris Paul said...

The idea that voters in Crewe and Nantwich stand to lose nothing is of course the Pickles "Love Bomb" idea, blogs passim. However if you believe say Dave Osler that a loss would be catastrophic rather than a warning shot (I don't) this just doesn't wash.

ET is just the thin end of the Tory wedge as it were.

Dunwoody is an experienced Parliamentarian who has held Govt portfolios in Wales, ET is a dilettante do-gooder with no evidence of competence or commitment whatsoever. He's been PPC for 12 months and done virtually nothing.

If you think the Tories might get in in 2010 then you need to get a Dunwoody into parliament to protect you, and like mother like daughter she'll also stand up to Labour.

You are too dismissive of Miles' points. there are more here. they might not dismantle the minimum wage or reduce pensions, but they won't introduce say a living wage and Tories will try to beat up the unions.

Very much looking forward to johno sorting out the RMT in London.

Anonymous said...

Only one this is certain followeing this by-election.
I'm never getting another key cut at Timpsons.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't get anything done at Timpsons.

Their staff are allowed to charge whatever they think the customer is prepared to pay for a job. This is a pretty widely-known fact in the trade.

If you don't believe me, have a look at their display of watch straps - none of them are priced.

Anonymous said...


Do you remember having a go at my blog regarding 'privilege' being used as a term of abuse ... looking at recent headlines, it appears that others agree; even if you don't.