In a recent post on his weblog, political commentator, enemy of political correctness and general iconoclast Taki Theodoracopulos (sometime contributor to the Spectator) has conjured up the image of Tony Last from Waugh’s novel A Handful of Dust among the anti-Trump protestors in front of the Trump Tower office building on Fifth Avenue. He gets there by asserting that the protestors are being paid for their activity by George Soros:
How is it possible for … George Soros, to mask himself in virtue by paying self-aggrandizing, mostly young well-off people to protest while the cameras are whirling? … [T]he protesters remind me of Tony Last, held prisoner by a madman reciting Dickens in perpetuity. They will be yelling the same slogans eight years from now, or for as long as the ill-gotten Soros billions hold out.
At first glance, Mr Todd, who holds Tony captive in Waugh’s novel, seems to have little in common with Soros. However, upon further reflection, and accepting for the sake of argument that Soros is paying the protestors, the analogy makes some sense. The protestors are free to move on whenever they please, but only assuming they no longer need the alleged support of Soros. You could say the same about Tony Last, except if he moved very far he would have been eaten by a crocodile. And although Mr Todd didn’t need to pay Tony, he did provide fairly basic food and shelter, as well as reading material. Thanks to a reader for sending us this link.