Imaginary Double Standards

This is a rhetorical trick which is becoming increasingly common, and frankly it’s getting on my tits.

Because this isn’t about criticising your political opponents for things they’ve actually done or actually said; it’s imagining a scenario in which they do something hypocritical, and then criticising them for the hypocrisy that you’ve just imagined.

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Toby Young’s Meritocracy

Toby Young has just been appointed to the board of the Office for Students –  a new regulator with a remit “to champion the interests of students, promote choice and help to ensure that students are receiving a good deal for their investment in higher education”

This is the same Toby Young who championed the flagship Tory ‘free schools’ programme, which literally funnelled money from state schools into increasingly exclusive education.

But let’s put that aside, and see whether he’s a worthwhile advocate for “the interests of students”… in his own words.

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Under 25s

So amidst all the usual rhetoric of the Conservative Party conference  – claims that the economy is recovering when it really, really isn’t, promises to keep cutting public services even after the deficit has been paid down, threats to sentence ALL long-term unemployed to Community Service… the usual guff…

… David Cameron has promised to cancel ALL benefits for under-25s.

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Human Rights

As you’ve probably heard by now, David Cameron – the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – has now openly said that he wants to “look at scrapping the Human Rights Act“.

This isn’t the first time a senior Tory has suggested this. It isn’t even the first time Cameron has suggested it.

But it’s the first time it’s been suggested quite so baldly – that it’s been talked about as if they really want it to become policy.

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Goalpost Shifting

There’s a lot of talk online today about Cameron “Considering an extra £25bn in welfare cuts” – a horrific idea, especially following on from the half-million disabled people about to be denied their living allowance, the cuts to ESA, the cuts to income support, the cuts to child benefit… and so on. 

So people are understandably appalled and frightened, and they’re rightly speaking out about it.

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