Hating up a storm
I don’t know where this flurry of blogging has come from, but I’m going to surf it while it’s there (does one surf flurries?). Hugo Rifkind in the Spectator rather puts his finger on a point that I’ve noticed about a bit.
I could never be comfortable on the left — there’s just too much hate there
He notes three examples in particular, all ones that I’ve touched on here.
Firstly the bizarre, frothing rage that Dan Hannan attracted after his comments on the NHS:
A few months ago, I interviewed Dan Hannan, the blogging MEP. This was shortly after he’d described the NHS as ‘a 50-year mistake’ and, in return, been described as ‘a boggle-eyed, slap-headed, unpleasant, revolting, heartless, shit-brained, attention-grabbing, foetid excuse for a prick’ by the Guardian’s Charlie Brooker. ‘It’s what the left does,’ said Hannan, who is slap-headed, certainly, but seemed none of the rest. ‘They don’t think, “he’s wrong”. They think, “he’s plainly a wanker”.’
It was one of the clumsiest, crassest, most cringe-making things I’ve ever seen in a newspaper.
To be clear, it’s not just that Hari doesn’t think Cameron is right in all he wants to do. He doesn’t even think he’s honestly wrong. He thinks he’s an evil cynic, whose primary purpose in standing for election is to ‘take money from the hard-working majority of Brits, and hand it to his friends and relatives on landed estates and in tax havens’. This is mad. Proper mad. Tinfoil hat mad. Protocols of the Elders of Zion mad, as though there were a secret society of poshos at the heart of the Cameron project, passing the port in a bunker under Notting Hill, and sniggering ‘Rah, rah, rah, we’re going to smash the oiks.’ Clever people can only think like this when the hate comes first.
Rifkind is kinder to Hari than he deserves though. That article included about the nastiest, most offensive line on Cameron that it’s possible to imagine.
As one political journalist recently said sardonically that if Cameron announced the slaying of the first born, he would be applauded for having a great policy for second children.
Ignore, for a second, the general nastiness of this. And now remember that, two months before this piece was written, David Cameron’s first-born child had just died. I’m sure that Hari didn’t intend this to be as offensive as it looks, but, as Rifkind says, It’s the hate. It’s a handicap. It makes you nuts.