I’ve known Philippa Stroud all of my adult life, and it’s no secret to my friends that she has been something of a role model to me. Yes, you read that right, and yes, I am talking about the same Philippa Stroud who was vilified in yesterday’s Observer.
Highly intelligent, capable, and articulate, deeply compassionate, she longs to see people be all they can be. And she wants this country to be a better place. We may disagree politically on how to get there, or even what it looks like, but I’ve never once doubted her sincerity or her motives.
It’s tempting to go through the article line by line and rebut each inaccuracy.
But instead, I want to ask this:
The authors clearly did their homework, for example picking apart her book God’s Heart for the Poor. I wonder if at any point they noticed the time, energy and effort that she tirelessly poured into working to help others. The sacrifices she made. And the big heart with which she did it. Did they notice any of that, or were they too busy skim-reading for words like “gay” and “demons”?
Have they met Philippa, spoken to her, heard the stories of the hundreds of people she has inspired or helped or counselled or to whom she has helped restore confidence and dignity?
I am a leftie, and a proud one. I do not want a Conservative government. But I would be more than happy to live in a country run by people like Philippa Stroud.