What, I sometimes wonder, is Melanie Phillips’ problem? Yes, there are protests around London and across Europe, politicians of all stripes face new and testing challenges, and much of the world faces a future less certain than a decade ago. But that is no excuse for spewing out apocalyptic ranting and trying to frighten folks with visions of conflict, or even war (as in nuclear war).
But that is, more or less, what Mel is offering Daily Mail readers today. Anyone protesting brings out the intemperate and authoritarian in her, the Coalition Government gets it in the neck for, well, being a Coalition Government – Young Dave cannot do anything that meets with Mel’s approval – and everyone in the Middle East outside Israel is bent on wiping it out.
It’s hard to decipher her reasoning, other than that it consists of screaming denunciation of anyone not doing her bidding, an appeal to crack down on anyone dissenting or having the temerity to enjoy themselves (and throw lots and lots of folks into the nearest slammer), and a further appeal to allow the Government in Jerusalem to take out a few of its neighbours.
I hate to dissent from Mel’s Weltanschauung, but this is total crap. We didn’t get half decent workplace conditions by not occasionally rocking the boat. Universal suffrage only happened because folks were prepared to kick off about the UK being, prior to 1918 (that’s less than a century ago), a less than totally democratic country, and change is unlikely without someone first saying that something is wrong.
And that includes the phoney and ineffective “war on drugs” which Mel wants pursued with even more vigour – until someone mentions that it is absorbing serious amount of money and getting us precisely nowhere. Then there is the question of the Middle East, which she insists on bringing up at every opportunity – it’s the subject that got her binned from the Spectator.
Israel will not co-exist peacefully with its neighbours by aggression, and that much is obvious to Bibi Netenyahu and his fellow members of the Knesset. Pumping high explosive – and maybe worse – into Iran on a whim is not a fruitful way to achieve any kind of settlement in the region. In any case, as Mel might have noticed, the IDF has not suffered any serious military setback since it was created.
First Amendment considerations dictate that Melanie Phillips and her like should be able to say what they like, and when and where they like. I commend her persistence in the face of reality. But just occasionally I wish she would go and have a long rest – then try looking at the world without the prejudice that is shot through any and all of her ramblings.
And Mel – save us the witless Gandhi reference and do some homework.