Melanie Phillips

25 July 2011

A wider pathology

Published in: Melanie's blog

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A concerned reader has sent me a post by Sunny Hundal on the Liberal Conspiracy blog.  Hundal brings us what he clearly considers to be the most important news about the Norwegian atrocity. This is that, in the ‘manifesto’ reportedly published by the terrorist suspect Anders Behring Breivik, two of my articles are quoted.

Golly. Is Hundal suggesting that my writing provoked the mass murder of some 93 Norwegians?  Doubtless with one eye on the law of libel, he piously avers:

...there is no suggestion that his actions were inspired by Melanie Phillips, nor am I making that claim.

Yet apart from a glancing reference to Jeremy Clarkson, whose remark about the flag of St George is also cited in this ‘manifesto’, I am the only person to whom Hundal refers to in this blog post, quoting at some length both my article and Breivik’s comments on it. He therefore gives the impression that I play a major role in this supposed ‘manifesto’, which he describes as warning of the ‘Islamic colonisation of western Europe’.

But in fact, there are only two references to me or my work in its 1500 pages. Those references are to two articles by me published in the Daily Mail, a mainstream British paper -- one on mass fatherlessness in Britain, and the other on the revelation by a former civil servant of a covert Labour government policy of mass immigration into Britain. There is no reference whatever to my writing on Islamisation.

Not only that, Breivik name-checks a vast number of mainstream writers and thinkers, including Bernard Lewis, Roger Scruton, Ibn Warraq, Mark Steyn, Theodore Dalrymple, Daniel Hannan, Diana West, Lars Hedegaard, Frank Field, Nicolas Soames, Keith Windschuttle, Edmund Burke, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Friedrich Hayek, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Ghandi, George Orwell and many others; indeed, it’s a roll call of western thinking and beyond, past and present.

So why doesn’t Hundal refer to any of these people who have also been thus name-checked? Why has he singled me out in this way? It looks like yet another crude attempt to smear me by a writer who has long displayed an unhealthy obsession with my work (see here and here  and here for example).

The supposed beliefs of the Norway massacre’s perpetrator has got the left in general wetting itself in delirium at this apparently heaven-sent opportunity to take down those who fight for life, liberty and western civilisation against those who would destroy it. On Twitter and the net and in the liberal media, the forces of spite, malice and venom have been unleashed in a terrifying display of irrationality.

After all, we don’t even know yet whether Breivik acted alone. We don’t know whether this ‘manifesto’ was indeed written by him or indeed what it is: as Mark Steyn observes here, it reads like as weird kind of cut-and-paste job. If it is indeed the work of a psychopath, it doesn’t bear examination for a single minute.  And yet the words of a deranged individual are being cited by people like Hundal who are taking them entirely seriously. Since when did people ever use the ravings of a madman in public debate? As Steyn writes:

...when a Norwegian man is citing Locke and Burke as a prelude to gunning down dozens of Norwegian teenagers, he is lost in his own psychoses. Free societies can survive the occasional Breivik. If Norway responds to this as the left appears to wish, by shriveling even further the bounds of public discourse, freedom will have a tougher time. 

Already, through the selective and distorted use of this document and the amplification of such malevolence through Twitter and the net, a blood-lust is building. Thus I am receiving emails such as one from Carsten T Holst-Lyngaard who says:

I congratulate you on your part in the Norway massacre;

or this from Taper Collins:

blood on your hands. hope you’re happy with the effects of your anti-everyone vitriol. abhorrent.

Breivik may be one unhinged psychopath – but what is now erupting as a result of the Norway atrocity is the frenzy of a western culture that has lost its mind.

About Melanie

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her controversial column about political and social issues which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain's educational and moral crisis, which provoked the fury of educationists and the delight and relief of parents.

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Books

  • The World Turned Upside Down
  • Londonistan
  • The Ascent of Woman
  • America's Social Revolution

Contact Melanie

Melanie Phillips
Daily Mail
Northcliffe House
2 Derry Street
London W8 5TT

Contact Melanie