Alex Massie

Polly: adrift on a sea of ignorance. Who knew?

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Sigh. I know we don't expect much from Polly Toynbee. But perhaps she should read some Irving Kristol before she starts referring to John Redwood as a neocon throwback to the Thatcher era. If she added some other books to her reading list she might remember that the Thatcherites were, to some extent at least, inspired by FA Hayek - a man not generally considered a neoconservative luminary.

It's too delicious, of course, that in terms of policy towards work and families and other social matters La Toynbee deeply cares about, she has rather more in common with neoconservatives than she seems to understand. They, after all, are the proponents of the "Big Government Conservatism" she says David Cameron must embrace. (In stopped clock rightness terms, of course, she may well be right to say that politically Cameron would benefit from doing so, but that's a different matter entirely.)

(Yes, I know it's futile to even try and remind folk that neoconservative has a distinct meaning beyond nasty right-wing ideas of which I disapprove but it would be nice if, like liberal, its meaning weren't entirely corrupted.)

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.