Guardian Profiles Melanie Phillips
Even by the Guardian’s low standards, this is an amazingly condescending and petty piece on Melanie Phillips and her book Londonistan: Jackie Ashley meets Melanie Phillips.
Multiculturalism, she writes, “has become the driving force of British life, ruthlessly policed by a state-financed army of local and national bureaucrats enforcing a doctrine of state-mandated virtue to promote racial, ethnic and cultural difference and stamp out majority values”. British nationhood is being disembowelled by “mass immigration, multiculturalism and the onslaught mounted by secular nihilists against the country’s Judeo-Christian values.”
It is not just Muslim terrorists: “They are fuelled by an ideology that itself is non-negotiable and forms a continuum that links peaceful, law-abiding but nevertheless intensely ideological Muslims at one end and murderous jihadists at the other.” If you blinked at the word “continuum”, she means it: the British establishment is “transfixed by the artificial division it has erected between those who actively espouse violence and those who do not.” Yes, artificial division.
Some columnists may be accused of wilful exaggeration, shouting to be noticed, and then having to go further simply to keep ahead of the game. Phillips is not like this. She is not cynical, or saying it for effect. She means every word and the key to her analysis is her belief in a general collapse of values or, in her words, “the creation of a debauched and disorderly culture of instant gratification, with disintegrating families, feral children and violence, squalor and vulgarity on the streets”. This is combined, she believes, with a profound anti-semitism among people who do not realise that “the fight against Israel is not fundamentally about land. It is about hatred of the Jews”. She hears echoes from the past today, talking of “a climate in Britain that has alarming echoes of Weimar in the 1930s”.
At this point, armed with her book underlined and turned down, page by page, I want to say: “Blimey, Mel” and, “Relax, old thing” and, “You may, just possibly, be going a little over the top.” In fact, in a cheery way, I suggest that some of this may sound a bit “bonkers”. This really sets her off.
The Guardian, you may recall, is the paper that hired a member of the radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir as a staff reporter: The Guardian’s Pet Islamofascist.
Someone is certainly “bonkers” here, but I don’t think it’s Phillips.
And this comments thread goes well past bonkers: Londonistan is only half the story.