Decca Aitkenhead perfectly skewers David Cameron’s former advisor Steve Hilton in this interview by exposing the limits of his thoughtfulness. And for a man who fashions himself as a blue-sky thinker, this is doubly embarrassing and revealing.
I urge you to read the interview in full, but here is where the exquisite cognitive dissonance begins:
And then I ask one simple question, and the whole story he tells about himself unravels. Do he and his family deserve their wealth? He stares at me in surprise.
“Er … I think we definitely both work really hard.” Sure, but do they deserve their level of wealth? “Well … such a good question. I’m just trying to think.” He falls silent for 11 seconds, searching his mind for an answer that doesn’t undermine everything he’s been saying.
This continues for a painfully long time, with Hilton grasping for an answer. Aitkenhead says he becomes ‘unquotably inarticulate’.
But do they deserve their wealth? “I don’t even think that’s the right way to think about it.”
A perfect illustration of Upton Sinclair’s quote:
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.