According to the increasingly batshit Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips, something called “The Left” has wreaked all manner of havoc on the UK. This mythical being has imposed “infantilism”, forcibly lowered standards in schools, invented climate change (which Mel says is a “scam”), brought us political leaders who are all “callow”, and brought us “non-judgmentalism”.
No longer fair, and possibly unbalanced
But in her latest rant, “Millions of lonely people: the tragic legacy of the Left’s war on families” – of the standard to satisfy the most discerning rant connoisseur – Mel goes further, telling of a “culture war” and “the wrecking ball of the left”. Wow. So what form has the fallout from this “war” taken? There are, apparently, lots of people who choose to live on their own.
And, so what? Is Melanie Phillips proposing that the individual’s right to choose the status of their household should be forcibly removed? This is the weakness at the heart of Mad Mel: arguing for libertarianism and authoritarianism at the same time makes you look ridiculous. But, hey, you can always blame it on “the left”, especially anything to do with family cohesion and breakdown.
Like with divorce, which Mel says has become easier, and to which I call bullshit. Before the late 60s, when couples no longer had to show “grounds” for separation, it wasn’t too difficult for those who wanted to end their marriage to do so. And if this “war” by “The Left” has been so successful, how come the divorce rate fell between 1979 and 2007? And what’s all this rubbish about “cohabitation”?
Some couples choose not to marry. So what? Hasn’t Mel heard of “common law partners”? She talks of unmarried cohabitants having “a right to opt out”, but she’s just ranted about married couples divorcing and thereby ... exercising their right to opt out. That’s after she smears everyone between the ages of 45 and 64 of “growing up in the swinging 60s and [throwing] over the traditional family”.
Sadly, this backfires as one of those in that age group is Mel herself. And in reality this is just another attempt to stand up the idea that, as she puts it “Left-wing ideologues wanted to smash western society by eroding all the moral authority and constraints on which it was based, and replace it with a brave new world in which individuals would make up all the rules to suit themselves”.
This is utter baloney: what has really happened is that the world is now a different place to that in which Mel and her contemporaries grew up. People now have the means to make their own choices about where they live, and with whom. It’s all to do with the freedom of the individual, and nothing to do with leftists waging non-existent wars that take form only in the mind of the rabidly paranoid.
Still, it keeps Mel in paycheques, so that’s all right, then.