In April 2020, Britain was still settling into lockdown life. Virtual schools were still getting their sealegs, and the personalised background feature on Zoom was still a sweet little novelty. We were all becoming well-versed in the cycle of distraction and contemplation that is seemingly the only way to cope with the very harsh reality of a global pandemic.

But Captain Tom Moore was clearly less content with simply waiting things out. Intent on helping the NHS however he could, he began a sponsored walk - which ended in over £1.5 million being raised. Moore’s fame snowballed, and his selfless determination quickly earned him ‘national hero’ status.

However, it didn’t take long for the Internet’s crueler side to rear its ugly head. Around the same time, popular artist Sam Smith had also gained traction on Twitter - but this was very different from the adoration that Moore experienced. Smith had uploaded a video of their feelings around the lockdown, understandably in tears. Biting comments were quick to fly from the rest of the world, questioning how anyone could possibly feel upset in a million-dollar mansion. Whether Smith's intentions were genuine or for comedy, the smear campaign against them raged on, to the background noise of national uncertainty around furlough payments, and the anguish of NHS workers left without PPE.

All judgements walk a shaky line between what is fair and what isn’t - especially where mental health is concerned. But what stood out here was the sheer venom with which people were attacking Smith and their “desperate cry for attention” . The word “snowflake” was thrown around liberally, referring to the post as “embarrassing and disrespectful”.

Many went as far to compare Smith and Moore - and although the two situations are very different, it did strike me as strange that the brunt of donations seem to be from working class ‘heroes’, when it is unimaginable how much of an impact millionaires could have if they decided to pool the ever-multiplying wealth in their bank accounts.

Where people seemed to be falling over themselves to praise celebrities before, now they seem much more ready to question why they don’t contribute more to society money-wise.

The issue is too complex to discuss in a short article - but it can definitely be said that as the economy races towards ruin in a slump reminiscent of 2008, the eyes trained on those at the top seem to be growing much more critical.

- Leila Clover