Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Morality of Political Opportunism

When something appalling happens there is often a rush to find an explanation, something nice and easy that will return life to normal.  Thus the murderers of Jamie Bulger were driven to it by watching violent horror films, as was Michael Ryan who committed the Hungerford massacre.  Rapes are caused by the victim wearing short skirts and tight tops and entering dangerous situations.  Muggings by being in that part of town at that time of night.  

And a father kills his children because of the welfare state.

I have never been so pleased that I have never voted conservative or bought a copy of The Daily Mail or so ashamed of being English as I have been this week what with first the Mail, then closely after the Chancellor and the Prime Minister, stating and hinting that the reason Mick Philpott killed six of his children is because of the welfare state.  Let us be clear about this.  This is what they have said.  They have maintained that those children are dead and died horrifically because of child benefit.  They are, of course, wrong.  Those children are dead because an evil man set fire to their home as part of a custody dispute.  To use this as an argument against the welfare state is like using the Fred West murders as an argument against cowboy builders*.

*And if you find that essay into black humour inappropriate, then kindly consider the inappropriateness of using dead children as political ammunition

I note that some commentators are trying to distance themselves from this.  They are trying to claim that these killings highlight, in some way, issues about welfare payments.  But that is not what was said.  The Daily Mail stated and Osborne and Cameron hinted that there is a causal link between these deaths and the benefits system.  Do you get child benefit?  Then you’re a danger to your children.  What they have said is as simple as that.  Do they believe it?  Apparently not.  But they said it and therefore they can only have done so to shore up a political argument.

Think about it.  Consider it.  Be appalled at what has happened to us.  This dreadful tragedy occurs and the reaction is to use it as a way to popularise a controversial political policy.  Then wonder at the moral corruption that allows it.  It is truly despicable.  Those who looked to use the bombing of the Twin Towers as an opportunity to criticise the foreign policy of the USA were rightly excoriated.  So must those who do the same with this case.

It is sad that the right wing of this country has fallen into such moral depravity as to use the killing of children to make cheap political points but it is the case and anyone right of centre has the burden upon them to reverse this.  If you buy The Daily Mail you are complicit.  If you intend to vote Tory and have not contacted your MP/local party to complain about this behaviour you are complicit.

And may God forgive you.