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Johann Hari’s legacy may be to bolster the right wing

Perhaps the most tragic aspect of Johann Hari’s fall from grace is that it serves to undermine the causes he cares about. At least, I hope he cares about them, and isn’t just exploiting them for financial reward.

See that? That’s the problem. Once you read about how he produced his material, and consider how much better off he is than the people he writes for, the doubts creep in. Which part of me resents, because I don’t like agreeing with Toby Young columns in The Telegraph.

In the grand scheme of things, Hari’s lack of basic ethics is easily matched on the other side, so perhaps it all balances out. But here’s the thing. The liberal cause is far more dependent on people rising above their instincts than the conservative one. The virtue of self-reliance clearly and directly benefits the individual; empathy and compassion are not so easily appraised.

Therefore liberals really do have to try that bit harder to make their case. Being equal isn’t enough.

Which by a convoluted path could bring me round to what I don’t like about the Toby Young piece. Toby “How To Lose Friends” Young accusing someone else of galloping careerism?! Takes one to know one, I guess. But it’s still kind of like a man calling an assertive woman a bitch.

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