Friday, 13 September 2013

Moral poverty and the Archangel of Arrogance There’s been a sudden wintry chill in the weather here in south east England. I lay in bed the other night anticipating the winter and reflecting that I have a home that is reasonably efficient, I can keep warm and I expect to have enough to eat. Many thousands won’t, but I’m lucky. It’s a series of chances in my life – a few of which I may have been able to capitalise on to a small extent – that gives me relative comfort compared to those who are not lucky. I then wondered why some people attribute their own fortune to their own merit. Many people on the right probably lie in bed thinking ‘I deserve this, I’ve earned it. And those who don’t have a warm home and good food at their table simply don’t deserve it.’ It seems odd, but this attitude is commonly expressed in the media coming directly from the present government. Is there any articulated attitude that more clearly represents true arrogance? Step forward the Archangel of Arrogance, to provide a resonant example. Michael Gove, secretary of state for education, a man who is not best able to manage his thoughts, has been talking about people who use food banks: "I had the opportunity to visit a food bank in my constituency only on Friday and I appreciate that there are families who do face considerable pressures. "It's often as a result of some decisions that have been taken by those families which mean that they are not best able to manage their finances.” This is arrogance of the highest order, the kind that allows the proponent to claim authority on all sorts of matters at a whim. In this case it shines with moral zeal, it glistens with the oleaginous self-satisfaction of the true ideological dangerman, bent on the refeudalisation of England. And finally, a little moral coda. Seeking wider coverage of this story, I went to the Telegraph website and entered ‘michael gove food banks’ into the search box. Well you never know, they might have reported his riposte. This is what I was offered: Food and drink homepage

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