Described by detractors as “more of a long queue”, everybody had a good laugh at the poor turnout for the weekend’s Rally Against Debt. The fact that the event’s cheerleader-in-chief, Telegraph columnist Toby Young, snubbed the event to attend an exhibition about pirates instead was also cause for much amusement.
Perhaps less funny is the stench of hypocrisy. The exhibition in question is the reportedly excellent Pirates: The Captain Kidd Story at the Museum of London Docklands. So, while imploring others to attend an event calling for public spending to be thrown off a cliff, Toby Young was enjoying free preview tickets to be entertained by a charity which has received £18.9 million of public funding from the Greater London Authority in the last two years.
On-the-door tickets for the show, which is not yet open to the general public, are £7.00 and £5.00 for children. A member of the privileged media elite, Young got his for free. Appositely, the museum’s last accounts even identify spending cuts as a threat:
“The government may cut funding to the Arts/Heritage sector. The grant paid to the museum could be cut substantially.”
Supporting a pro-cuts event while filling his boots with taxpayer-funded tickets, Young has more in common with a pirate than he realises. Aaahhrr!