Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Tuesday 10 March 2020

Trevor Phillips - Send In The Clowns

After the event come the spinners, the purveyors of alternative facts, the deflectors, the shouty bullies, the hit job dispensers, the unprincipled in search of the indefensible. So it was after the Labour Party suspended Trevor Phillips, to the surprise of hundreds of thousands of other party members that he had joined the party in the first place.
So many voices out there on the right speaking with one voice, that of clear assertion that whatever Trev is accused of, he didn’t do it, and that this is nothing more than a grotesque act of self-harm by the Red Team. In making that assertion, every one of these media clowns has allied themselves with racist bigotry of the most vicious kind.
But let us consider first the roll of shame. We begin with Robert Colville of the Centre for Policy Studies, who sets the tone for all his media pals. “Things that don’t get you expelled from the Labour Party: hosting IRA, Hamas, Hezbollah in parliament; sharing platforms with antisemites; picketing trial of Brighton Bomber; etc etc … Things that do get you expelled from the Labour Party: being Trevor Phillips”. Ri-i-i-ght.

Phillips has not been expelled: the purveyor of alternative facts need not have troubled himself with such trivialities as accuracy. Meanwhile, at ConHome, the serially clueless Charlotte Gill has told readers thatLabour are fools to pick a fight with Trevor Phillips” and has claimed that the party has “discarded” Phillips, which it has not. Accuracy again.

LBC’s Gammon Emeritus Nick Ferrari was also dismissive of Labour’s action: “Take it from me, Trevor Phillips is the least ‘ist’ or ‘phobic’ person I've met in 40 years of journalism. Utter balls”. So he’s backing Phillips unequivocally, then. There is more.
Fraser Nelson, serially dishonest editor of the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine, went on BBC Politics Live yesterday and defence Trev. “‘Nothing he said could be described as anti-Muslim hatred at all’ … Spectator editor Fraser Nelson says Labour is passing a ‘thought-crime test on its members’”. Let’s just check his previous, shall we?
One Tweeter has helpfully collated three particularly egregious examples of front page Spectator racist bigotry, for instance “Taught to hate”, depicting a child holding a copy of the Qur’an with one hand and a machete with the other, signposting an article by infamous Islamophobe Doug Murray The K. And there’s a plug for career anti-Semite Taki, too!
Or how about “HOW TO SPOT THE JIHADI NEXT DOOR”, by none other than Nelson himself? Including a grotesque cartoon caricature of a Muslim in the crosshairs of a gun sight. Would Nelson and his boss Andrew Neil have got away with that if the caricature had been of a Jew? Because if they wouldn’t, they shouldn’t do it with Muslims.
Then we come to the Spectator front cover “Eurabian Nightmare”, which all but endorses the Great Replacement conspiracy theory. And who is writing in this issue? Several luminaries, including Mark Steyn, who said of the Bosnian conflict “The Serbs figured [the demographics] out, as other Continentals will in the years ahead: if you cannot outbreed the enemy, cull ‘em”. Fraser Nelson is in no position to define or dismiss racism, and nor, incidentally, is the editor who presided over that last example - Boris Johnson.
Others were not prepared to wait for due process, and simply declared that the Labour Party was wrong, these being exemplified by self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Dooda: “I urge everyone who supports free speech, and the right to speak the truth without being unfairly branded a ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobe’, to sign this petition to support Trevor Phillips”. He hasn’t been branded anything, so … OH WHAT A GIVEAWAY!
And bringing up the rear, there just had to be the loathsome Toby Young blustering “Defend Trevor Phillips's Right to Free Speech”. Except no-one has constrained Phillips’ freedom of speech. This has Sweet Jack to do with freedom of speech: that is a mere smokescreen deployed in order to avoid addressing Phillips’ bigotry.
Moreover, given Robert Colville, Charlotte Gill, Nick Ferrari, Fraser Nelson, Julia Hartley Dooda, Toby Young and so many others have no problem unequivocally supporting Trevor Phillips, they presumably have no problem with his Sun column on the “Muslim fostering” story. So one has to assume they are comfortable with its claims.
Those claims include likening a child placed into foster care with a Muslim couple to child abuse, and comparing it to the torture and murder of Victoria ClimbiĆ©. So, Trev defenders, you all happy with those kinds of Free Speech apples? Would Tory London Mayoral hopeful Shaun Bailey, who also leapt to Phillips’ defence, care to defend that during a debate with Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan? Good luck with that one.
With Trevor Phillips, we have seen the depths to which those in and around our free and fearless press are prepared to sink in order to defend the indefensible.

It’s also possible that they didn’t do their homework, which makes it even worse.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at


[The Legalballs Fund has now closed]


Anonymous said...

The ole speccy. Still, in terms of decency, it is no better than Kid Cole and the coconuts attempt at journalism.

When will it sink in that they do more harm than good?

Anonymous said...

Ultimately, Phillips cuts the same pathetic figure as all political turncoats. So no surprise he's "supported" by a cacophony of urfacsists. Given his public record, no democratic free thinker would give him the time of day anymore than to old and dead crackpot Joe McCarthy.

Anonymous said...

Could it be the Muslim foster story that Trevor P was so concerned about? If so worth a listen...