Polly Toynbee

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Last quote by Polly Toynbee

He could have settled for being one of the greatest chancellors. But his new autobiography reminds us that wasn’t enough. Gordon Brown saved the world. He really did, bringing world leaders to agree a gigantic fiscal stimulus and bank rescue. But the trouble with saving us from a 1930s-style depression is that people never see what didn’t happen. Few feel gratitude towards the person who prevented the mass unemployment, devastated savings and home repossessions that never poleaxed them. The Tories went on to win the argument overwhelmingly: Brown maxed out the credit card and left shedloads of debt, went the story, licensing their lost decade of austerity.feedback
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Nov 07 2017
Polly Toynbee has most recently been quoted in an article called Weinstein Scandal Threatens to End ‘Boozy’ British Political Culture. Polly Toynbee said, “Was only a scandal or two away from losing power.”. Polly Toynbee has been quoted a grand total of 41 times in 39 articles.
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Polly Toynbee quotes

Sep 07 2017

With medical negligence cases sharply up, citizens need to ask if they really want services drained to compensate a few claimants who can prove their case. Not a week goes by without another sign of extreme stress in the NHS. Winter is coming, as the warning goes, with 40,000 nurse vacancies unfilled, debts mounting and for the first time ever the NHS next year takes a real cut in per-capita income.feedback

Sep 05 2017 - Brexit

The government’s approach to the negotiations is dangerous as well as frivolous. Labour’s MPs are the grown-ups now. Today parliament returns, led by the most dangerously incompetent and decadent government in modern times. This parliament will seal the country’s fate permanently and, on current form, fatally: nothing in the conduct of Brexit suggests any understanding of the cataclysm ahead. Instead the summer has seen only callow jockeying for position between would-be Tory leaders of unbelievable unsuitability.feedback

Aug 31 2017

It may be, that, like a jellyfish, she has little independent propulsion but is blown along by the tides.feedback

Aug 29 2017 - Brexit

Theresa May is trying to reassert herself by cosying up to MPs and claiming again that she cares for the workers. But she, and her strategy, are doomed. The date, it seems, is set. Theresa May will depart on 30 August 2019, or so it is confidently reported. After a smooth Brexit, she can leave Downing Street with elegant aplomb at that time of her own choosing. Really? Magical thinking indeed.feedback

Aug 17 2017

The government tries to deny cuts exist. But some hapless GPs are being forced to stop providing everyday medications to those unable to pay for them. The retreat of the health service is stealthy and haphazard, as a creeping postcode lottery of cuts gradually erodes the “national” in NHS. IVF, hip and knee operations are being cut back randomly in some regions. In some places patients can only get one cataract fixed: seeing with one eye is enough.feedback

Aug 14 2017

The Tory backbencher’s disingenuous pitch for party leadership is a measure of how rightwing fanaticism has captured the Conservatives. In a world grown weary of politics as usual, anyone peculiar is in with a shout; if they can sound funny-peculiar, all the better. Even a weak joke or two these days is worth a shed-load of worthy policies for improving people’s lives. In the decadent politics of entertainment, maybe the one who draws the widest smile wins.feedback

Jul 20 2017 - Women

Yes, the corporation underpays women, but even its most bloated salaries are dwarfed by those dished out to FTSE 100 CEOs• Polly Toynbee is a Guardian columnist. I can add my own story to the BBC pay brouhaha. In the 1990s, as social affairs editor, one of four newsroom editors leading specialist departments, I was the only woman and, by reliable gossip, I was near as dammit certain I was paid a lot less than the rest.feedback

Jul 11 2017 - Labour Party

The boulder of Brexit blocks her path, she can feel the Europhobes’ knives at her back, and Corbyn is waiting. The great unravelling is beginning• Polly Toynbee is a Guardian columnist. A year ago today Theresa May was anointed unopposed. What a wretched anniversary, marking an inert year in which absolutely nothing has been done for the country, and even less for her party as she squandered its majority. Beyond the monstrous nightmare that is the eight upcoming Brexit bills, the first of which is to be unfurled on Thursday, there is little in the pipeline either.feedback

Jul 06 2017

We don’t need a magic money tree to fund care for the elderly – the wealth is already there in their homes. A third of nursing homes fail the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection. Damned as “inadequate” or “requires improvement”, more than a third have been told they need to improve safety. How many more warnings are needed about the scandals and inhumanity that lurk behind the closed doors of many care homes?feedback

Jul 04 2017 - Immigration

As reality bites, Conservative Euro-fever continues to rage, with pros and antis both rampant. Labour must stand by but prepare to step in. The Brexit crunch is here. Ministers from DExEU, the new Brexit department, trying to bite the promised cake find their teeth breaking on the concrete hard choices. Theresa May’s red lines, her adamantine insistence on total immigration control with no European court of justice oversight, makes the department’s job impossible on single market and customs union access. So James Chapman, the Daily Mail journalist who was previously David Davis’s chief of staff, told Radio 4 on Saturday. There are no cakes, only rocks and hard places. Sticking to her red lines really does mean losing free access for our trade, and the 60% of our exports that go either to the EU or to 45 other countries with EU trade deals. It means lorries paying tariffs backed up around the M25 to Watford.feedback

Jun 29 2017

As austerity’s grim effects bite, Labour has an open goal every day. They will lose vote after vote, but win the argument every time. Cheers rang out from Tory benches when the Commons votes were counted last night in response to Labour’s amendment to the Queen’s speech on cuts to emergency services and pay for public sector workers. Their seven-year cap on public sector pay was saved! But those whoops signalled the end of their era, a marker for historians seeking emblematic moments when a party in power (more or less), loses its grip on reality. They were cheering their own demise, whenever it may come.feedback

Jun 27 2017 - Conservative and Unionist Party

The leader of the House of Commons accuses broadcasters of not being patriotic – yet the Tories have betrayed the nation through cuts to our most valued services and institutions. Patriotic? Who? Not the Tory Brexiteers who have brought this country so alarmingly low. While EU politics are rebooted with new Franco-German confidence, our government is only saved by the Democratic Unionist party. Ignominy doesn’t get much more mortifying than that.feedback

Jun 21 2017 - Brexit

This is the impasse parliament – nothing can be done by a rudderless government immobilised by a toxic combination of state shrinkers and Europhobes. No gold carriage, no content worth the vellum it’s written on, nothing much to see here; move on. But where to? The Black Rod absurdity of the Queen’s speech flummery does nothing to disguise a rudderless country in the depth of crises unseen since the war as two Conservative-made disasters flap home to roost – Brexit and the great austerity.feedback

Jun 20 2017

The war on regulation energises rightwingers such as Boris Johnson. But as Grenfell Tower shows, it undermines our rules for a safe and decent society. As the country fell silent yesterday for the Grenfell Tower victims, David Davis was opening negotiations to take the UK out of the EU. How did it come to this great kamikaze mission? What fired up a small and eccentric group of rightwing extremists to hammer away over the decades until they dragged us away from our closest neighbours?feedback

Jun 16 2017

Symbolism is everything in politics and none better signifies the austerity of May-Cameron-Osborne era than North Kensington’s ghastly tomb• Grenfell Tower fire – latest updates. That tomb in the sky will be forever Theresa May’s monument. Grenfell marks the spot and her visit marks the moment the last vestiges of her career were finally rubbed out. She made it her own yesterday by that fateful “visit” to a handful of senior fire officers, guarding her from any contaminating contact with the bereaved and newly homeless. Dead to emotion or empathy, she sealed her fate.feedback

Jun 12 2017 - Labour Party

The Labour leader is a man remade. To a remarkable degree, his respectability and plausibility as prime minster is established. Nothing succeeds like success. Jeremy Corbyn looks like a new man, beaming with confidence, benevolence and forgiveness to erstwhile doubters, exuding a new father-of-the-nation air of authority, calmly awaiting his imminent elevation to power. When I met him on Sunday he clasped my hand and, with a twinkle and a wink, thanked me for things I had written.feedback

Jun 09 2017 - OECD

Theresa May’s visionless, empty negativism deserved to fail. This signals a monumental shift in what is to come. The earthquake shock of the exit poll will be forever a “where were you?” memory. Defying all prediction Theresa May was trounced and “Jez we can” was no wishful fantasy. Listen to the sound this morning of the eating of hats and the munch, munch of humble pie from those of us who worried he could never get anywhere near success.feedback

Jun 08 2017 - London

So distorted is first past the post that very few election ballot papers will make a difference. Abandoning this could make everyone’s vote count• Election 2017 live updates. Canvassers out today on a frantic door-knock to get their vote out will often hear that heart-sinking refrain: “What’s the point? Voting makes no difference.” Or “I’m not political”, as if it were an optional hobby. Earnest volunteers may want to wring the necks of the apathetic, the clueless and the idle who are so hopelessly indifferent to the value of democracy.feedback

Jun 05 2017 - British elections 2017

The harsh light of the election campaign has shown up her hollowness – and inability to respond to heartbreak. There was a brief flicker of relief when Theresa May was crowned by her party. At least she was not Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom or any of that gallery of extremist Brexiters and free market ideologues. But the country hardly knew her then. Surely, some hoped, she had an air of competence and solidity acquired from six years in the perilous Home Office, where few survive long without mishap. Only now is it obvious how lucky she was to be viewed in this light – but now her record has come back to haunt her.feedback

May 25 2017

The party might have expected to capitalise on the Manchester attack. But Paul Nuttall’s words fell with a thud, and the party’s end is in sight. With Ukip standing at just 2% in some polls, only one group of people will be more frustrated than the party itself: Islamist jihadis. Surely murdering children at a pop concert should set these useless phlegmatic Brits’ blood boiling? Why aren’t these faithless, pusillanimous people retaliating as they should, by surging towards Ukip with cries of revenge against all Muslims?feedback

May 22 2017 - Brexit

The PM’s panicked reaction over social care has trashed her claim to be strong and stable. If she wobbles like this, how will she cope with negotiating Brexit?Screeching types, burning rubber, chaos and panic, this U-turn just four days after printing her manifesto is unprecedented – and incomprehensible. Theresa May’s about-face is a shocker, as she announces a cap on what people will pay for their care. She all but abandons one of her few brave and wise policies in a fit of election madness.feedback

May 18 2017

The Tory manifesto pledge takes a bold step in raising money from elderly home-owners, but there are fairer ways to fund this, as Labour has shown in the past. “No death tax!” the chancellor Philip Hammond proclaimed before the election campaign began. But here comes exactly that – and a very good thing too, as the Tory manifesto recoups the cost of care from property after death. Social care is in a crippling crisis, leaving half a million frail old people with no care at all, while others get notoriously perfunctory 15-minute home visits or often squalid residential care.feedback

May 16 2017

The prime minister’s boast that she champions employee rights scores highly in the annals of electoral fantasy-speak. To believe it takes a lot of forgetting. The art of election-winning is to scrub clean your negatives, to rub out your dark side. The Tory party has so many it dare not mention even its own name. The right to be forgotten on the internet is expected in the party’s manifesto – and they certainly have a lot to forget. On the Maymobile her name is enormous while “Conservatives” is in tiny print, like a “terms and conditions apply” footnote.feedback

Apr 13 2017 - Syria conflict

Thatcher, Major and Blair all bent in the face of NHS crisis – yet through lack of opposition, May and Hammond remain iron-clad adamant: no more money. There is an ebb and flow in reporting on the NHS as Trump, Syria and Brexit dominate front pages. But the pressure-cooker state of the entire service still worsens. This morning’s latest figures are just a snapshot of deterioration – but every target is missed: for A&E, ambulance response times, for treating psychosis within a week, for cancer waiting times, blocked beds and diagnostic tests.feedback

Mar 28 2017 - Conservative and Unionist Party

Reality bites from this week: the reckless charge out of Europe has begun. But at last Labour, thanks to Keir Starmer, is fighting back. Off we go, headlong downhill, off piste, our Eddie the Eagle Brexit negotiators tumbling down towards a great crevasse. Far from “taking back control”, as Theresa May sends off our suicide letter on Wednesday, we will abandon all control as we place ourselves at the mercy of the goodwill or otherwise of each of the EU 27.feedback

Mar 14 2017 - Conservative and Unionist Party

The future seems bleak but with EU negotiations and a great reform bill still to come, there are many pitfalls for a reckless prime minister. That’s it; the way is clear for Theresa May to plunge the country into a self-destructive journey into thickets of the unknown. This will be her legacy, her hand the one that risked breaking the economy and breaking the United Kingdom too.feedback

Mar 07 2017

As the chancellor prepares to slash the state he claims there’s no cash. Yet he’s preparing to give billions away to the rich. How perfectly their faces fit the parts they play, this pair of graveyard undertakers to public services. Chancellor and prime minister use their grim solemnity to persuade the nation that there is no alternative. It’s all a charade – and they are, of course, play-acting – but they do it alarmingly well. Polls show they still convince voters that this extreme punishment is a doleful necessary.feedback

Mar 02 2017 - Conservative and Unionist Party

The peers debate was a terrible augury for how Theresa May intends to conduct these negotiations. It looks like things can only get worse. Here’s the Daily Mail’s comment the morning after: “In an act of betrayal and dishonesty, the House of Cronies, Dodgy Donors and Has-Beens voted last night by 358 to 256 to amend the Brexit Bill.”.feedback

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