As 2012 moves towards its end, there is one constant in the world of punditry, and that is the increasing desperation of Peter Hitchens to blame all the world’s ills on “rich liberals”, while not understanding that this definition covers such a vanishingly small part of the population that the idea they can somehow wield society-changing power shows that he is not dealing from a full deck.
Hitch has become more than usually annoyed at the death of Alan Greaves, who was severely beaten by an as yet unidentified person (or persons) while walking from his home to the local church, where he played the organ: “he met evil on a suburban road, as it is now all too easy to do” opines Hitchens, although if this were “all too easy”, then incidents like this would be happening a lot more often.
And while the Police investigate the apparently motiveless attack, Sherlock Hitchens knows exactly what caused it: “The horrible, diabolical injuries he suffered suggest that his assailant’s mind is in some way unhinged, quite possibly by the drugs which we have effectively legalised in our pursuit of pleasure at all costs”. So not by reading intolerant punditry in the Mail, then.
In any case, Hitch wants you to “look over there”: “Those who pontificated grandiosely about a school massacre in America will see no lesson in this, because it does not suit their views”. This informs the discussion not at all, except that one should note that if anyone has pontificated grandiosely about the Sandy Hook shootings, that person is Peter Hitchens.
Meanwhile, he’s decided that the attack was a result of “those who have subjected this country to a vast, 50-year liberal experiment” (no doubt the cops will move to arrest them at the first opportunity). “Authority, punishment, morality, self-discipline, patience, thrift, religion were all deemed to be outdated and unnecessary, not to mention repressive, backward and unfit for this wondrous new century”, as well.
Really? Now, I don’t know what happened to set off the attack on Alan Greaves, but what I do know is that Peter Hitchens doesn’t know either. But such occasional attacks like this have not just started happening in the past fifty years, although the reporting of them is far more comprehensive and immediate than it was then. Sadly for Hitchens, he cannot grasp this concept.
Instead, he blusters that “I don’t want the past back. I just think we chose the wrong future”. One can only marvel at the prospect of a future where ranting pundits can solve crimes without being there or knowing the unpleasant details. But at least Hitchens can reassure us all on one common misconception: “I have no great affection for the Fifties”, says the great man.
Which is probably as well, as fifty years ago wasn’t the fifties, even at the Mail.