There seems to be quite a lot of right wingers who make a sport out of criticising our Polly (or crudely abusing her in some cases), unfairly in my opinion. They rarely point out significant errors in her work (and we all make some errors some of the time) but mostly resort to name calling. I feel this is because they recognise the power of her argument in destroying their own rhetoric. In short, they feel threatened.
Polly has written a reply to some of the more vociferous accusations made by Tim Worstall and Frank (MrPikeBishop). These right wingers seem to have had a field day making hay at Polly's expense because she wrote about the abuse she receives, as they are unlikely to publish her reply on their own sites, I publish Polly's reply on CiF in full here.
"Hello Frank! That's a bit better than this MrPikeBishop stuff. And hello metal merchant Tim in Portugal.
I've been thinking about 'hypocrite'. You keep accusing me of not revealing what I'm paid. Well, I'm not going to, not until there is general Guardian policy of transparency, which I have always advocated. It seems mildly unfair to pick on the person who is in favour of it. The whole point is everyone doing it at once - as I emailed back to an anonymous person who turned out to be Private Eye in disguise, not revealing themselves - which is hardly transparent, is it?
I write quite often about pay, from a point of view neither of you are likely to agree with. In fact I've written a book about it - Hard Work - trying to explore the injustice of the pay someone like me gets as a journalist, (which I agree is too much and too little taxed), with the pay of a care assistant looking after 6 helpless old people all day, or cleaners or dinner ladies. I write often about the danger of the well-paid - and politicians - losing all touch with the real world where ?21,000 is the median wage, yet those earning ?100,000 delude themselves that they are somewhere in the 'middle' (they are fewer than 1%). Maybe that makes me a hypocrite. But I'm not entirely sure why I deserve particular bullying for raising the subject. Class and cash divides remain taboo, but are as important as ever.
Thank you DD for suggesting Ian Birchall is an old SWP activist. That figures.
Thanks Smurfs75 and Slider.
Neither Jackie or I are against debate. How could we be? Ity's what we do. Comment is Free has opened up conversation - and that's just what it should be.
So Frank, I'll take you up on your accusation that I and my Guardian colleagues on the left of centre are responsible for wrecking the country? Is the country wrecked really? Tell me when your golden age was, who was better off and happier? How many more people had more opportunities and choices than they have now? A few maybe, but the many. You can be a Peter Hitchens/John Major wild romantic about an orderly white world of the 1950s when we drank dandelion and burdock, spinsters bicycled to church past cricketers on the village green, while mugs of warm ale waited in the pub... Major's dream. But you would be hard put to say life was really better then for the great majority than it is now. And yes, comprehensive education, opening up sixth forms, A levels and higher education has opened horizons and doors for nearly half the population... I won't bore you. You know the arguments too well. Of course we should seethe with indignation that everything that doesn't work better when it could and should. But 'wrecked' suggests a better era, once. When, exactly?"