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A Tortoise File

Pariah

What does Harvey Proctor’s life tell us about the limits of our tolerance, and what we’re prepared to do to people who overstep them?

Pariah

First published
Monday 26 April 2021

Last updated
Tuesday 27 April 2021

Why this story?

How vulnerable does someone become once the rest of us have decided – even with good reason – that he’s crossed a line in his political views or his personal life? The dark star of right-wing politics in the 1980s, Harvey Proctor transgressed on both fronts and paid an enormous price for it. The fascinating question his life story raises is not just how much he’s suffered and whether he deserved to; it’s what it says about our capacity to do harm to outcasts. Ceri Thomas, Editor

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