Personal and undiluted views
All Stories

Guardian haridan Polly Toynbee patronises poor people in offensive obesity attack - let them all have ballet lessons

Tom Winnifrith
Friday 19 August 2016

It is no surprise that the £300,000 a year Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee views yesterday's obesity proposals as a wicked Tory attack on thre poor. In Toynbee's socialist paradise the State would intervene with taxes and advertising bans and every instrument of its control to make poor people less fat. The failure of the Tories to do this clearly shows they want poor people to be fat and to die early. Only someone writing from the rarified airs of a North London mansion or a Tuscan castle could write such tosh. This is vintage Toynbee. She opines:

Reports suggest the poor find it harder to afford fresh fruit and vegetables, home cooking, and of course swimming pool and gym fees, ballet and judo lessons for their children. All true, but that’s only part of the story. As some smug middle-class people remind us, well-educated penurious families can feed their children well on lentils, but that’s irrelevant to life at the bottom of the social heap.

Words fail me. Naturally all kids want to do ballet just like their parents want to go to the opera - these are indeed the pastimes the poor reach out to do and are only deprived by the wicked Tories. Out in the real world kids used to kick soccer balls around on the streets for exercise. "Working out" does not need to involve expensive ballet or judo lessons. Incidentally heavy state subsidies of ballet ( supported by Toynbee) have benefited only the middle classes, folks like Toynbee, it is still out of the reach for most folks to watch. I assume Toynbee would solve that with more subsidies from the Money Tree.

La Toynbee says that "reports suggest that the poor find it harder to afford fresh fruit and vegetables". Jeepers has this ghastly creature never been to a supermarket, an emporium where she might actually mix with poor people. Toynbee seems to think that it is a three way choice on food: fresh veg ( rich people), processed junk food ( cheap and for poor folks) and lentils (cheap but for middle class folks). If Polly got off her fat arse and checked out a supermarket she's see that it is actually cheaper to buy and prepare a range of fresh foods rather than to fill your trolley with processed crap.

So that is why many poor folks are, in fact, not eating junk food but proper meals. One third of kids may be obese but two thirds are not. That implies that it is not poverty driving the food intake of kids but the choices made by their parents.

Parents who buy junk food do so as a choice. There are too many poor folks and some middle class folk ( Diane Abbott, Polly Toynbee for instance) who are fat. They too are fat through choice. Polly do some exercise and cut down on the calories, it is simple enough.

It does not, for a second, cross the mind of Toynbee that some folks are just not very clever so they earn less than others and so are defined in Toynbee terms as poor, that is to say in relative terms although in absolute terms of purchasing power they are far better off ( i.e. richer) than their skinnier peers of 100 years ago. And being not very bright they opt to feed unhealthy rubbish to themselves and their offspring. However much the State intervenes in the lives of folks who Toynbee clearly never mixes with none of this is going to change.

Toynbee also notes:

To be obese signifies being poor and out of control, because people who feel they have no control over their own lives give up. What is there to struggle for if there is no chance ever of a job that will pay beyond bare subsistence? With no prospects, drinking, smoking and eating the wrong things become small compensations in lives with very little else. Being out of control becomes a mindset ever harder to climb out of. Why defer small gratifications when there is no greater reward on offer?

A woman who has spent her life ensuring that the client state of the left are denied opportunities for self improvement, by pushing to close down grammar schools, to deny the right to buy, by supporting labour and immigration policies that have pushed down wages for the lower paid now tells us that she knows the despair that poverty brings.

The Toynbee thesis is that the obese, the smokers and the drinkers do so because they are poor. The presence of a good number of fat, smoking drinkers among the middle classes but, more importantly of many thin, well nourished clean living working class folks shows this to be hogwash. Polly please explain why two thirds of kids are NOT obese if poverty is the sole driver. She cannot. Toynbee fails to consider any other factor that might explain a link between lower household incomes and weight gain.

In part that is because other than those who serve her in restaurants or tend her properties she rarely meets anyone who is not middle class. That is why she was so stunned that working folks voted for Brexit and why the last election result came as such as shock to her - Toynbee and her Guardian colleagues never meet the plebs and just do not understand the world on the other side of the tracks.

But, in part Toynbee pumps out this piffle simply because she enjoys telling her rapidly falling readership that the Tories want to kill poor people.

If you enjoyed reading this article from Tom Winnifrith, why not help us cover our running costs with a donation?
About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
[email protected]
Recently Featured on ShareProphets
Sign up for my weekly newsletter

Required Reading

Recent Comments

I also read