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Polly Toynbee's opinion of the rioters? They were nearly as bad as the bankers!

By Matthew Barrett
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ToynbeePolly A fine, cut-out-and-keep column from Polly Toynbee today. She kicks off by calling this government "small-staters":

"So far, the small-staters are losing. A small state means – and Cameron has not budged – a smaller police force and shrunken social programmes, with more potential for anarchy."

Is David Cameron a "small-stater" at heart? Is his inner circle? That debate has been going on for years, and there is no definitive answer. It is far easier to judge him by his government's actions. On that score, I would have to say it's a funny sort of "small state" that allows the state to spend 50% of national income.

Toynbee then moves on to sub-Prescottian banker-bashing:

"The small-staters blame the collapse of moral values, school indiscipline and feral beasts without fathers or consciences, as if removing government allows morality to flourish. But take government and regulation away and see discord follow – from Sir Fred (Scottish Calvinist) Goodwin to all the other looters. Grab what you can, winner takes all, no wealth is ever too much, this neoliberal amoral creed has reigned unquestioned since Margaret Thatcher. Boris Johnson blames the rioters' "extreme sense of entitlement", but his success from Bullingdon restaurant-trasher onwards has been based on never questioning his own entitlement. L'Oréal's "Because I'm worth it", the slogan of our times, is a close relative of "Because I can", which stretches from Barclays chief Bob Diamond to the Debenhams window-smasher."

It speaks for itself, and doesn't really need comment, other than to note it ticks all the stereotypical, lazy populist-left boxes: bankers, religion, Mrs Thatcher, Boris, the Bullingdon Club, big companies, and then some more bankers.