Quentin Letts pens book on finger-wagging elites… but doesn’t include Paul Dacre

Written by David Singleton on 12 October 2017 in Culture

The Daily Mail sketch writer was taken to task by Polly Toynbee.

Eight years after his book on '50 People Who Buggered Up Britain', Daily Mail sketch writer Quentin Letts is back with a similarly rabble-rousing read.

His new tome, Patronising Bastards: How the Elites Betrayed Britain, takes aim at a host of powerful bogey men and women, ranging from Tony Blair and Hillary Clinton to Richard Branson and Bob Geldof.

And of course Jean-Claude Juncker.

Explaining the premise of the book on Radio 4’s Today programme, Letts declared: "I’m attacking this big mass of people who are finger-waggers, who are telling hoi polloi how to lead their lives."

So, he was asked, why is Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre not featured?

"He’s escaped somehow, I don’t know how," replied Letts, coyly.

It fell to Guardian columnist to Polly Toynbee to pin down the Daily Mail man. She argued that Letts was set to give a "paean of praise to his beloved editor" and said that Dacre was firmly in the elite camp as he not only owns a grouse moor, but a large arable farm in Sussex "for which he gets huge amounts of EU funding". 

Toynbee also took the opportunity to rebut the charge in the book that she is a "la-di-da leftist with the most perfect villa in Italy".

Denying claims that she owns property abroad, she told Letts: "We are equally la-di-da. Quentin, from public school?  It’s not where you’re from, it’s who you’re for - it’s who you stand for."

She added: "There’s a whole world in which he thinks the establishment is of the left or liberal, which is weird, because for most of our lifetimes, the Tories have been in power. They are the captains of industry, they run the commanding house - possibly not of the arts, but of almost everything else."

Responding to Toynbee’s comments later, Letts suggested that his opponent was miserable and proposed radical action.

"I wish I could pin her to the ground and tickle her under the armpits to make you smile, my dear," he said.

On Twitter, he was immediately accused of being a patronising bastard.




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