Zoe Williams:

But the paragraph that had me churning with impotent rage was this one: "Michael Philpott is a perfect parable for our age: his story shows the pervasiveness of evil born of welfare dependency. The trial spoke volumes about the sheer nastiness of the individuals involved. But it also lifted the lid on the bleak and often grotesque world of the welfare benefit scroungers – of whom there are not dozens, not hundreds, but tens of thousands in our country." It is vitriolic, illogical depersonalisation to ascribe the grotesqueness of one wild, unique crime to tens of thousands of people on benefits.


As has been pointed out elsewhere, the Harold Shipman case had nothing to do with middle England, middle-class professionals. Yet, somehow, the Mail and others have been able to bring social politics into the Philpott case.