When, on the Today programme, Sidney Blumenthal talks about the utter incompetence and carelessness of a federal government that starved levee-building of funds to run a war and tax cuts in the face of long-standing warnings of disaster, that is playing partisan politics in the face of human disaster.
When, two minutes later, the same Republican spokesman blamed the collapse of law and order in New Orleans on a corrupt city administration, that is merely an objective statement.
Just so we're clear.
Some of the comrades have talked about supporting the shooting of looters as a necessary evil.
As far as I am concerned, two points emerge. One of these is that, when one is having to scavenge in stinking wreckage for bottled water and days old bread and canned food, one might well decide to put a pocket cd player in one's pocket at the same time. One might even acquire a gun, though if you are me, and have poor hand-eye co-ordination, short sight and bad reaction time, that would be a very bad idea.
The other is that, if looting is wrong, what do we have to say about hoteliers in e.g. Baton Rouge who are putting up their room rates and evicting refugees from New Orleans who cannot pay?