Yesterday at Comment is Free there was an article by the feminist and trade union activist Cath Elliott about what's being called the Broken Society. With the usual apologies to her readers, she found herself agreeing with David Cameron.
The piece was shot through with a genuine fear about what is happening to us. One of the instances she cited was of the suicide last week of Shaun Dykes, when a crowd gathered and goaded him as he prepared to throw himself off a building, and then gathered to take pictures of his dead body on their mobile phones.
Like Cath, I was horrified to hear of this incident, which, in the complete moral void it illustrated, was in a way more alarming than the rising knife crime statistics.
Then there was this neat little line in her article: 'Arguing about who or what is responsible for this moral decline gets us nowhere.'
Really? It seems to me to be of the utmost importance to establish how this situation has come about if we are to have the remotest chance of turning it around.
But that would require real moral courage on the part of Cath and many increasingly worried voices on the left.
These are the people who are sensing that, well, actually, they might have been seriously wrong about some things; but hey, weren't we genuine in our desire to destroy the rancid oppressive structure of bourgeios capitalist society etc etc?
The Shaun Dykes incident is telling. The mantra that crime, violence and anti-social behaviour is due to social deprivation has been chanted for decades. Only now is one hearing it less. It is becoming just too embarrassing for its adherents to cleave to this obviously fraudulent line of argument. Since when does social deprivation lead naturally and inexorably to such unspeakable cruelty and sadism? To suggest this, is to be disgustingly insulting to those lower down the economic scale who have no problem remaining civilised. Was the crowd who gathered even 'socially deprived'?
Andrew Anthony's book, The Fall Out, is one good example of a testament from the ranks of self-regarding but disproportionately powerful left/ liberals who have been quite literally mugged by reality. They spent decades chipping away at any kind of conventional structure, sneering at any type of authority whether political, legal or moral, and culturally deconstructing to oblivion the links which bind any kind of society together, all the while caring more about how their particular set of views made appear to the rest of the world.
They are loathsome. I see no reason why those on the centre-right should be in any way grateful for their growing discomfort. Conservatives should go on the attack - not welcome them with a kind of gratitude. They are friends not worth having.