Written by Roy Turse
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Tuesday, 31 March 2009

image for Polly Toynbee Accidentally Unites the Nation against Jacqui Smith
Polly Toynbee has United the Nation

An article in the Guardian has prompted a huge response from readers. By five o'clock today at least 730 people sent responses about an article by Polly Toynbee, which claimed that Jacqui Smith was the victim of a new wave of Puritanism.

Having read the story, people from all over the country wrote in to the Guardian's website to express their incredulity at how far out of touch the article was. In an unprecedented reaction to a single story, hundreds of Guardian readers expressed their disagreement with Polly Toynbee's views.

Amongst them was Simon Temple, who contacted many of the other respondents and arranged a meeting on Facebook. The group have formed an alliance known as the 'Guardian of the Pure Politician'. Their new website says they are fed up with MP's greed and self-serving attitudes. The group's aim will be to highlight MP's dubious expense claims, particularly if they concern pornography.

Self-styled 'Witchfinder General' Temple has subsequently stated that the group will 'hold MP's to account for their deviation from the principles of pure government', and will all wear black clothes with top hats. Temple's group claims that 'MP's divine right to expenses' is heresy, and also that musical instruments have no place in the House of Commons.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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