Hot on the heels of the news that Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips was to depart from the Daily Mail after twelve glorious years of frothing, ranting and often incoherent wibbling, has come her last column. Mel takes time out to remind her adoring readers (Douglas K and Robin Bonkers) that she is returning to the same subject as her second effort in December 2001.
Still not even a little fair and balanced
And, to no surprise at all, that subject is mainly Muslims, and specifically the insistence of a small number of women who are followers of The Prophet that they wear a veil which covers all but the eyes. “No one has a human right to hide from justice behind a veil”, thunders Mel, taking the usual sample of one and extrapolating from there to fulminate about the abuse of liberal and tolerant values.
Her problem with the veil? “It destroys nothing less than the presumption of equality on which human communication is based. For the full veil radically alters the balance of power between the woman it conceals and those attempting to communicate with her. This is because while they cannot see her face, she can see theirs”. What she must make of blokes with full beards and shades is not recorded.
But Mel knows this is A Very Bad Thing: “The result is that they are no longer communicating as equals, because she has a basic advantage over them. And no one has the right to bring about that imbalance”. And whose fault is the wishy-washy response of so many? Nick Clegg (seriously!), a “sanctimonious idiot” whose “feebleness of mind reflects widespread confusion about multiculturalism”.
And the result? You’ll love this: “It thus damns basic western values as ‘discrimination’ or ‘racism’, and turns the application of common sense into a prohibited activity. It is, in short, a mad reversal of truth and justice that ultimately would destroy western society ... Leftist rabble-rousers ... Islamic fanatics”. Stop it Mel, I can’t type for the laughter. But then the mood darkens.
“This, I’m sad to say, is the last column I shall be writing in this slot. I am extremely grateful to you, my dear readers, who have written to me in such huge number over the years to express your often passionate support for my views”. That’s a bugger, I bet Dominic Lawson won’t be anything like as good value when it comes to laugh-out-loud moments. Oh, and there is one final valedictory.
“I will continue to champion the values in which we all believe and to stand up for truth, justice and the truly powerless against those who would destroy them. I look forward to sharing the next phase of my writing career with you all”. Ah, the delusion and paranoia is still intact after all these years. And now Mel has more time to share it with the likes of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
Yes, finally, at long last, there goes Melanie Phillips ... on her way ... out.
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