Good things can come from guilt

I do not know anyone in the Sackler family. I wouldn’t even have heard of them were it not for recent reports of their return to the large-scale philanthropy with which their name was once associated. These reports have led to criticism of institutions that accepted Sackler charity: the well-worn argument being that the family’s businesses made a fortune from aggressively promoting the use of opioids in America, and opioids have caused serious addiction problems for millions of Americans. Sam Leith wrote thoughtfully about the controversy on the Spectator website last week (‘We should be thankful for the Sackler family’s philanthropy’). His — to me — most arresting argument is