Friday, November 24, 2006

Not "all there"

Polly Toynbee was on BBC1's Question Time last night, and she said:

We saw child poverty in this country -- and this is all there in this document -- go from 14% in 1979 to 33%
[you can watch it online here -- quote comes at about minute 38]

She's used these figures before, of course, without noting the inconsistency between the two series from which the numbers are taken.  However, it's not "all there in this document" which actually says:

The growth of child poverty on the relative measure was particularly alarming, with a rate of 12% in 1979 rising to 27% by 1992.
[.doc link here]


Anonymous said...

If Bill Gates, Mr Microsoft, moved to the UK think of all those people that would then be driven into "relative" poverty.

tommac said...

In Boris Johnson's article on Polly he said that she had herself sent her children to private school. Now I've read that it was her step-daughter. Do you know the full facts? Did she send her own children to private schools? What age was her step-daughter, and had she gone to private school before Polly became her mother?

I don't think these questions are unfair or intrusive, as Polly so often writes about the evils of private education, and the subject is one where personal choices so clearly overlap with public pronouncments and social theories.

I think we should be told...

Karswell said...

Just a moment's thought would expose the idiocy of Polly's statement. One in three children living in poverty? Not in my experience and pretty insulting to one in three parents. How would you feel if some know-it-all from a big house on Clapham Common told you that your children lived in poverty.

Bill Sticker said...

Everyone with half a brain cell still working knows that Polly Toynbee writes the most awful new labourite nonsense. Maybe if everybody ignores her she'll go away.

You can call me a dreamer....



Anonymous said...

I just did a check on Polly reference earlier speculation that she might be using a Professional Services Company to reduce her tax bill.

It appears that her directorships do not relate to any such companies, although it is of course still possible that she is using one, or else exploting some other structure to reduce her tax bill.

Her two current directorships are of:

The Wise Group, a charity for the unemployed

BRIGHTON DOME AND FESTIVAL LTD, a company doing arts festivals in Brighton

Anonymous said...

amusing piece of Polly filla at the BBC.

They have a eulogy to her wonderfulness, here:

The most amusing bit is the caption to the photo, showing her on the phone

'Polly Toynbee has a ferocious appetite for research'

'Her editor at the Indie was Andrew Marr, a firm Toynbee admirer.

'"What makes her stand out as a journalist is not only her strong views," he says, "but also her ferocious appetite for research. In a media world in which too many media columnists simply voice their top-of-the-head opinions, Polly always arrives heavily armed with hard facts."

It's worth noting that Andrew Marr is married to Jackie Ashley, fellow Guardian commentator and left-wing cheerleader, so one can hardly take his assessment of Polly's research abilities as terribly impartial. One suspects his five years as BBC Political Editor made him feel as cramped as Polly did, with regards to remaining impartial, as there's no doubt that he's a rabid lefty.

'Polly Toynbee worked as social affairs editor for the Guardian for seven years, before taking up the same position with BBC Television News in 1995.

'Eventually, the constraints of having to be impartial and having to limit her output to two-minute bite-sized TV chunks, proved too much '

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