In today's column, Polly Toynbee writes:
Occasionally the stage curtain is twitched back to expose the way things are.
So true. After claiming a couple of times that City bonuses were £21bn (e.g. on 22 August and again on 15 September) -- a claim which I pointed out at the time was erroneous -- in today's column we get:
When the trade minister Ian McCartney told MPs to fork out a day's pay for Farepak, he should have turned on the City's £8.8bn bonuses instead.
With no blush at the misplaced £12bn. Such is the contempt she has for the facts and for her readers.
However, it is not all about former errors corrected. She also writes:
Here are families from the 30% who own nothing... They will never own a home like the 70% majority...
She also asks:
Why has Ed Balls just promised banks they will never be windfalled despite soaring profits (HBOS £2.6bn, HSBC £6.7bn - thanks to consumer debt of £1.25tn)?
You'll note that these figures are actually half-year and not full-year profit figures, according to the, er, Guardian.
She also writes that:
The director Nick Gilodi-Johnson, the son of Farepak's owner, had an estimated share dividend from the parent company EHR of £445,000, on top of his pay, and stands to inherit £75m.
If you're wondering how Farepak has both an owner and a parent company, wonder no longer. Bob Johnson (Nick's father) founded the company but no longer owns it. We can be sure of this, because he died in 2001.