Forget ‘virtue signalling’ – ‘empathy patrolling’ is the new moral phenomenon

I’ve had just about enough of being told how to feel about what happened last Wednesday.  

I feel angry. I still feel shock. I feel a keen ache for the families of those murdered, especially the loved-ones of PC Keith Palmer. 

I feel that cold spite that works its way into your heart at times like these, vengeful cruelty passing itself off as hard-headedness. When I remember this, I feel ashamed to have given in to it.  I feel scared of an ideology that crashed into the 21st century in an outrageous spectacle but has now made its choreography more low-key. 

I feel contempt for the demagogues who seek to exploit the raw emotions of After Wednesday. I feel disdain towards those rolling their eyes at the locution ‘After Wednesday’. I feel all of these contradictory impulses, sometimes at the same time, and yet I’m not supposed to feel any of them. Simon Jenkins told me so. 

Continue reading on the Spectator Coffee House blog

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