Jack Monroe, and the left’s confusion between wrong and wicked

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November 29, 2014 by Paul Goldsmith

Look at the picture, bottom right, of David Cameron and his son Ivan. Ivan died, aged six, in 2009, having lived his short life suffering from cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Cameron and his wife Samantha had spent many nights in hospitals with Ivan, who had more or less round-the-clock care, supported by the NHS. His experience of this has always informed his understanding of the value of the NHS. It has also informed policies like his ring-fencing of spending on the NHS – which has lasted through this Parliament and has been committed to the next Parliament too.

Now, it IS legitimate to question this policy. It is also legitimate to criticize the ridiculous attempt in 2011 to perform a top-down reorganization of the NHS having promised they wouldn’t. It is legitimate to worry about the privatization of the NHS, although amusing for political ideology students to see just how conservative the left can be about it.

I have little doubt that what Jack Monroe (bottom left), the poverty and food blogger, was trying to do was to accuse Cameron of standing by whilst bits of the NHS were being privatized (an accusation that gets thrown at the Tories whether it is happening or not). This was all part of a hashtag that was trending (#Cameronmustgo) over the last weekend, that became very popular. But look at what she wrote at the top of this page in her Tweet.

I have a huge amount of sympathy for many of the campaigns that are driven by left-wing motives. I think the existence of Food Banks in this country are an abomination. I think that low pay in this country is economically as well as politically unacceptable. I think the abuse monopoly power of the energy companies should never be allowed to lead to people choosing whether to eat or heat.

But where I do not have sympathy for the left is with their inability to distinguish between the wrongness of someone that doesn’t agree with their world view, and the wickedness of someone that doesn’t agree with their world view. To accuse David Cameron of using ‘stories of his dead son as misty-eyed rhetoric’ is disgraceful. What is worse, I believe that Jack Monroe really believes it. You cannot win an adult argument against anyone if you are so twisted with hatred for a person that you believe things like that about them.

What’s astonishing is that as people lined up to point that out, and Sainsburys, for which Monroe writes a blog, disowned her, people on the left decided that they HAD to defend her. Surely it would have been better to hold your hands up and admit she got it wrong? That’s what she should have done. But instead, people have somehow decided that if you share someone’s worldview you are allow to share their twisted hatred, and that, frankly, is both wicked AND wrong.

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