Toby Young

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Toby Daniel Moorsom Young (born 17 October 1963) is a British journalist and Director of the New Schools Network, a free schools charity.


The Oxford Myth (1988)[edit]

  • It was as if all the meritocratic fantasies of every 1960s educationalist had come true and all Harold Wilson’s children had been let in at the gate … Small, vaguely deformed undergraduates would scuttle across the quad as if carrying mobile homes on their backs. Replete with acne and anoraks, they would peer up through thick pebble-glasses, pausing only to blow their noses.


  • Inclusive. It’s one of those ghastly, politically correct words that have survived the demise of New Labour. Schools have got to be 'inclusive' these days. That means wheelchair ramps, the complete works of Alice Walker in the school library (though no Mark Twain) and a Special Educational Needs Department that can cope with everything from dyslexia to Münchausen syndrome by proxy. If [then education secretary, [Michael] Gove is serious about wanting to bring back O-levels, the government will have to repeal the Equalities Act because any exam that isn't 'accessible' to a functionally illiterate troglodyte with a mental age of six will be judged to be 'elitist' and therefore forbidden by Harman’s Law.


  • It wasn't my proudest moment. I asked who a particular MP [was] who one couldn't see the head of, but was sitting behind Ed Miliband and wearing an extremely low-cut dress… I committed the sin of noticing it and apparently this constitutes harassment in some people's views.
    • Comments on Newsnight (31 July 2013) concerning his tweet: "Serious cleavage behind Ed Miliband’s head. Anyone know who it belongs to?" (2012). Cited in "Toby Young tweets: the comments that led to his resignation" Evening Standard (8 January 2018)
    • Young's appointment in January 2018 to the board of the Office for Students, the university regulator, was followed by his resignation a few days later when publicity concerning his posts on social media made his position untenable. A tweet from 2009 ("What happened to [Claudia] Winkleman’s breasts? Put on some weight, girlie") was also among those to be cited.


  • My proposal is this: once this technology [genetically engineered intelligence] becomes available, why not offer it free of charge to parents on low incomes with below-average IQs? Provided there is sufficient take-up, it could help to address the problem of flat-lining inter-generational social mobility and serve as a counterweight to the tendency for the meritocratic elite to become a hereditary elite. It might make all the difference when it comes to the long-term sustainability of advanced meritocratic societies.



  • Ironic, when you bear in mind that the free enterprise system has lifted over a billion people out of extreme poverty since 1990, while Maduro has urged starving Venezuelans to start cooking their rabbits.
    That's been the story of nearly every socialist utopian project, which we would do well to remember on this May Bank Holiday: it begins with a vision of the brotherhood of man and ends with people eating their pets.

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