THE BLOG
14/09/2015 13:42 BST | Updated 14/09/2016 06:12 BST

Why We Need Katie Hopkins

Mothers, the elderly, the mentally unstable, hippie parents... it seems there's no end to the list of demographics Katie Hopkins will take a stab at.

In the eyes of most reasonable people, her views are vile, obnoxious and ignorant at best.

But is that not precisely why we need her?

Ever since the 40 year old blathered her way into the public eye via The Apprentice in 2007, she has forced eyebrows to rise so high, NASA scientists have later discovered them in orbit.

Last week she spurred furious criticism once again after refusing to apologise for her April column about refugees.

The Sun comment piece, headlined "Rescue Boats? I'd Use Gunships To Stop Migrants", is a prime example of her capacity to appall the masses, with odious remarks like:

"These migrants are like cockroaches," and "Force migrants back to their shores and burn their boats."

What I want to make a case for is not Hopkins' views; it's the public outrage they incite.

Johann Hari called her "evil". Owen Jones likened the piece to "a neo-Nazi rant". Matt Lucas said it was hard to think of anything left for her to do now other than "kill some people".

In fact, the backlash led to over 200,000 people signing a petition calling on the inflammatory columnist to be sacked from The Sun.

Vile as they may be, I believe we need people like Hopkins to reassure us that humanity is actually not that bad. The hounding she receives every time she opens her insatiably deplorable gob reassures us that her crass intolerance is not the norm.

We've all heard the "if you haven't got something nice to say, don't say it" spiel. But freedom of speech is an important human entitlement and Hopkins is right to voice her thoughts. However awful, at least they give conscientious people the opportunity to undermine her with compassionate, reasoned stances.

Walter Palmer provides us with another example. He killed Cecil the Lion and the public uproar (excuse the pun) made one thing clear: it wasn't okay. Whether or not his killer was prosecuted, Cecil's murder will always be recognised as an injustice that masses of people rallied against.

Without members of our society openly doing wrong, intolerable acts and views can sit beneath the surface of public knowledge, unchallenged. We can grow complacent towards antisocial attitudes, forgetting that they're an ever-present problem we should be fighting and educating others against.

As every good children's film has taught us, we need antagonists. Peace didn't come to the wizarding world just because Harry Potter was squeakily wholesome. It was also because malevolent Lord Voldemort was so blatantly wrong. The moment he was rebuffed, a happy ending began.

Outspoken villains create a cause to publicly unite against, and act as a sounding board for our social conscience.

So thanks, Katie Hopkins, for helping us define and combat true awfulness. Next time you stoop so low that you're squatting in your own bullshit, may the forces of good rush forth to counter your bad smell.