Friday, February 09, 2007

Attention Scum!

That was the underlying message from Melanie Phillips' when interviewed by Glenn Beck a couple of days back. Her breathtaking attack on the people of this country was matched only by the utter deceit of the reality of the situation at the moment. This will come as no shock to those who have been watching Phillips closely of late. After all, she does have previous for throwing wild accusations at whole communities on the basis of the flimsiest of evidence.

In her interview with Beck, Phillips spends a lot of time describing what the alleged kidnappers would do with their victim. According to Phillips, the victim would be:

'forced to grovel.....wring out of people the desire for our government to change it's policy.........finally, behead these unfortunate people.'
Perhaps Phillips has missed her calling in life, her talents would be better served as a writer of fantastical fiction. I'm not quite sure how we get from an allegation of a kidnap plot, to some horrific, televised beheading. Of course, there is an obvious reason for this melodrama, the attempts by the establishment (of which she is a part) to crank up the fear factor. Phillips is merely re-producing the kind of nonsense normally found in the tabloid press. And, like the tabloid press, she simply reinforces what the Home Office want people to believe. The Home Office want you to believe that there is a terrorist lurking on every street corner, so that they can continue to erode the liberties we all enjoy. Phillips is simply a megaphone through which the established order deliver their message to the fearful masses. However, the story from the police is very much different.
Last Saturday, The Guardian produced an interesting piece on the reality of the arrests in Birmingham. Within the piece, one counter-terrorism official claimed that:
"an awful lot of inaccuracies" had appeared in the media.
Amongst these inaccuracies were the claims that two British Muslim soldiers had agreed to act as 'live bait' (as reported in The Sun) and that the police had uncovered a list of 25 intended victims. In fact, there were suspicions amongst many in the police that the leaks to the press were more insidious than might first appear. According to Paul Snape, vice chair of West Midlands Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers:
"The police force is asking the question, where did it all come from? There may be political reasons for it, such as what was going on at the Home Office and at Downing Street."
So where did Phillips get her fanciful interpretation of the facts? One can only presume she just accepted the Home Office line. Instead of acknowledging the amount of uncertainty surrounding the case (after all, investigations were ongoing), Phillips presented a skewed view of what the police actually believed. But then, we expect that from someone keen to defend the establishment line. After parroting the Home Office line, she then moves onto the Iraq war.
The disdain on Phillips' face for her compatriots is plain to see. When talking about Iraq she claims there is a:
'hysteria about the Iraq war, hysterical denunciations of Tony Blair for supporting President Bush, a ferment of hatred of America and Israel.'
Hysteria? Hysterical denunciations? If there is a hysteria surrounding the war, wouldn't the media reflect this hysteria? A hysteria suggests that every facet of our lives is dominated by those who oppose the war in Iraq. The implication is that every time we pick up a paper, or switch on the television, we are confronted with hysterical images of the anti-war movement. Only three newspapers actually opposed the Iraq war, the rest gave their wholehearted support, particularly the Murdoch based press. Furthermore, as Justin Lewis found in his studies on the media's reporting on the war in Iraq:
...while the BBC's "anti-war bias" has become an article of faith for many, we found no evidence of this. Indeed, like most other broadcasters, the BBC generally leaned towards pro-war assumptions. The least pro-war broadcaster was Channel 4.
By presenting the anti-war view as 'hysteria', Phillips is suggesting that our media (alongside the populace) is consumed by an anti-war agenda. Although there clearly is a growing anger towards the Iraq war, to call it 'hysteria' is pretty wide of the mark. However, there is no doubt that, when watching this interview, Phillips herself is consumed by some fearful 'hysteria' (just click on the label 'Mad Mel' to see how hysterical she really is). As for the hatred of America and Israel, once more Phillips uses the old right-wing trick of confusing hatred of a government, with hatred of a population. There is certainly a hatred of the actions of the American and Israeli governments, but there is no evidence that there is a 'ferment of hatred of America and Israel' as a whole.
Phillips then moves on to perhaps her most disgusting remarks of the interview:
'...if you have a population that is showing such weakness...' [meaning the UK population]
I'm sorry, 'weakness'? Is it weak to question what your government tells you? Is it weak to disbelieve the mainstream media? Is it weak to stand up to the established order and attack their mechanisations? Is it weak to say that you do not accept the views of the elites? I would argue that a large chunk of the British population have shown the complete opposite. It is Phillips and her ilk that have shown weakness. Weakness in the face of an unprecedented attack on our society by a state eager to play upon the fears of the populace. Too weak to stand up to the government and challenge their ongoing demonisation of an entire community. In the face of such a vicious onslaught by the media and the government, I am amazed that so many people in this country have the strength to question what they are told, to be suspicious of the motives of those in authority. There is no weakness. There is only strength. Strength when the odds are stacked against ordinary citizens through a vicious campaign of mis-information and deceit, led by the likes of Phillips.
The interview ends with a typical comment on the 'political correctness' agenda that dominates both the US and the UK. Of course, this is the very same political correctness of which Phillips herself plays a massive part (although she would never admit it). As was shown a couple of days ago, any criticism of Israel is broadly condemned by Phillips as symptomatic of an underlying anti-semitism. Despite her public proclamations to the contrary, she is quick to attack any group, whether Jew, Christian or Muslim, that censures the Israeli government. What is this if not political correctness?? You cannot condemn the actions of the Israel government without fear of offending somebody. And yet, many on the right argue that one cannot condemn Muslims in public, because of a climate of political correctness. As far as the right are concerned, 'political correctness' is an affliction that only affects the left, yet there are those on the right that use political correctness as a tool to undermine legitimate criticism of the Israeli government.
This interview with Glenn Beck proves that Phillips is nothing more than a self-hating Brit. She despises the British public for their refusal to believe the lies and distortions of the government, the media and various commentators. She has proven time and time again to be a hateful, vicious columnist who, even when presented with the facts, refuses to tone down her attacks on an entire community. Thankfully, the majority of the British population are not taken in by her hysterical denunciations and continue to show their strength in standing up to the established order. In the face of such an onslaught, the population should be praised rather than viciously condemned.