Newsnight presenter Gavin Esler did nothing to moderate these personal attacks (even appearing to find them quite funny). George kept his cool and came out really well, I thought, especially in the face of Porrit’s provocations. Perhaps Mr Porrit is a little envious of Mr Monbiot’s environmental star status.
Anyway, even Julie Burchill is attacking him now – he replies to her criticisms in today’s Guardian:
In reality, it is people like Julie Burchill – who is, incidentally, far richer than almost any green I have met – who treats the poor with contempt. So that she can revel in what she calls "reckless romantic modernism", other people must die. But at least you can't accuse her of hypocrisy: she cannot fail to live by her moral code, for the simple reason that she doesn't have one.
Sure, we are hypocrites. Every one of us, almost by definition. Hypocrisy is the gap between your aspirations and your actions. Greens have high aspirations – they want to live more ethically – and they will always fall short. But the alternative to hypocrisy isn't moral purity (no one manages that), but cynicism. Give me hypocrisy any day.”