Thursday, 22 June 2017

"Weaponising the Poor"

Last night C4 News ended with a group of Grenfell survivors being interviewed, seated in a church, by Jon Snow. Towards the end a Muslim man who had lost five family members in the fire attempted to say that we should be concentrating on those who died and not trying to politicise the event. He struggled to be heard amidst interruptions and being ignored.

Later, on R4’s ‘The Moral Maze’ on the same subject one of the panel summed up, talking about how the poor and the victims had been “weaponised” to serve a political end.

Victims and the suffering often become fodder for righteousness, a pretext for indignation which isn’t really interested in them per se. They are merely a means to and end, the end being the imposing of a political agenda on events ((with the permission to hate that this affords)) and the endowing of the imposer with the credentials of bravery, caring, solidarity and outrage which they so desperately seek. Why they need to project such an image is a mystery – perhaps they are trying to assuage a form of guilt.

There is a curious form of selfishness in this in that the projected image sought by these ‘champions’ of the poor matters more to them than the poor themselves whose predicament they presume to espouse. The poor are stepping stones on the road to justification.

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