Hating the Daily Mail is a substitute for doing good » The Spectator

Go to a branch of Whole Foods, the American-owned grocery shop, and you will see huge posters advertising Whole Foods, of course, but — more precisely — advertising how virtuous Whole Foods is. A big sign in the window shows a mother with a little child on her shoulders aaaah! and declares: ‘values matter.’The poster goes on to assert: ‘We are part of a growing consciousness that is bigger than food — one that champions what’s good.’ This a particularly blatant example of the increasingly common phenomenon of ‘virtue signalling’ — indicating that you are kind, decent and virtuous.We British do it, too. But we are more sophisticated, or underhand. Mishal Husain was particularly aggressive to Nigel Farage on the Today programme recently, interrupting him mid-sentence, insinuating that he is racist or that, even if he isn’t, his membership is. She would doubtless like to believe that she was being tough but fair. But another force within her was stronger. Mishal was ‘virtue signalling’ indirectly — indicating that she has the right, approved, liberal media-elite opinions, one of which is despising Ukip and thus, most importantly, advertising that she is not racist. When she later goes to a dinner party attended by other members of the media elite, she will be welcomed and approved for having displayed the approved, virtuous views.There are many ways to advertise your virtue. You can say ‘I hate the Daily Mail!’ to suggest that you care about people who are poor and on welfare benefits. You are saying that you respect them, care about them and do them the honour of believing the vast majority to be honest and in need.

via Hating the Daily Mail is a substitute for doing good » The Spectator.

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