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A stand-up comic delivered an astonishing evisceration of the recently resigned Tory education advisor, and self-proclaimed provocateur, Toby Young, on Question Time last night.
Nish Kumar, the host of BBC Two’s The Mash Report and Newsjack on Radio Four Extra, produced a hilarious yet deeply serious tirade laying into Young’s ‘dark Nazi’ links.
Kumar received a rapturous ovation and numerous customary whoops from the assembled Question Time audience, held this week in Jeremy Corbyn’s patch of Islington.
The furiously funny rant followed the news that Toby Young had attended a eugenics conference last year alongside a speaker who argued that raping unconscious children was acceptable, as well as others who openly proclaimed their own deeply troubling white supremacist beliefs.
Speaking about the Toby Young situation, an audience member asked the Question Time panel:
I’m a student, and frankly, what Toby Young says is just disgusting. He talks about social mobility and he talks about how you can encourage people from lower incomes, by giving them eugenic treatment and allowing them to rise up and improve their intelligence. How can a man like that stand up for students’ interests. It’s frankly despicable that he was even put forward – it’s ridiculous.
Responding first to the question was Tory MP Dominic Raab, who attempted to defend Young by arguing that there were ‘two sides to the story’.
Raab eventually went on to produce a typical piece of Conservative whataboutery, changing the subject onto both Labour MP Jared O’Mara – who was suspended by the party for historical misogynistic and h*mophobic comments – and also referencing an out of context quote from Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell on newly appointed DWP Secretary Esther McVey.
Kumar, who was sitting next to Piers Morgan on the Question Time panel, then interjected, beginning his rant by saying:
I’m a stand up comedian. I exercise my free speech regularly and I’ve said things which are truly, objectively reprehensible.
I’ve said things about members of the panel. I described one member of the panel – I won’t tell you who it is – as ‘what would happen if someone injected a gammon steak with white privilege’
A statement that received roars of laughter from the audience. Kumar then went on to joke that:
If I could go back in time, I would high five myself because it’s a funny line!
Then came the serious bit, with Kumar stating:
Now, do I consider that an absolute privilege which I utilise constantly – absolutely I do.
Do I also realise that that free speech that I have exercised may preclude me from certain jobs? For example: co-hosting Good Morning Britain. Absolutely! There are consequences to the things that you say!
And you can’t castigate a generation as being over-sensitive – or this terrible term ‘snowflake’ that is constantly banded around with absolutely no context or meaning – you can’t castigate a whole generation for taking appropriate measures when you look at someone who is going to be involved in tertiary education.
If I wake up tomorrow and suddenly decide that I want to run a university, most of my tweets will probably come back to haunt me!
And also, we’re talking a lot about the things he’s said – what about the things he’s done. What about the news today that he attended, at UCL, a eugenics conference – that is some dark Nazi stuff man, and it’s not acceptable in modern education!
To which the Question Time audience erupted in whoops and applause.
However, Piers Morgan – perhaps feeling a sense of duty as another of Britain’s intentionally rabble-rousing establishment lackeys – interjected to tell Kumar that “you can’t call him (Toby Young) a Nazi”.
Kumar then battered Morgan down with actual facts, saying:
I didn’t call him a Nazi! I described the practice of eugenics as having its history in ancestral fascism!
You can watch the extraordinary segment below: