I wouldn't be bothering to post about Jenny Tonge MP if it were just to add one more expression of criticism, disgust or what have you, to the many already out there. Several other bloggers have written about her remarks, including Oliver Kamm whose post on this I urge you to read if you haven't already. I draw particular attention to the words Oliver quotes from Michael Walzer.
I have just one point to make which I've not yet seen made anywhere, and it's this. Try using Tonge's words about something else, not merely atrocious, as suicide bombings are, but generally recognized to be so without any known inclination towards apologia. Try this:
Many many people criticise, many many people say it is just another form of brutality, but I can understand... I think if I had to live in that situation, and I say this advisedly, I might just consider harming my children myself.
Many many people criticise, many many people say it is just another form of brutality, but I can understand... I think if I had to live in that situation, and I say this advisedly, I might just consider physically attacking some asylum seekers (shooting a few liberals; etc.) myself.Tonge's words go beyond the usual 'root causes' hypocrisy, though not without first going through it: through the 'understanding' without 'condoning', but which precisely does condone in denying that it is doing so. It goes beyond this, however, with the language of 'advisedly' and 'I might consider'. For this is a language of moral deliberation, where the standard 'root causes' hypocrisy most generally appeals to 'desperation', 'roiling anger' and such like, to convey that those who murder are beyond all reasoning and moral choice. But Jenny Tonge has said - and said it 'advisedly' - that she might 'consider' becoming one. One what? It seems she couldn't bring herself to utter the word for what she would then be, and that may be a small point in her favour, betokening some residual moral anxiety.