Peter Hitchens stakes his claim


by Rumbold
23rd February, 2009 at 5:33 pm    

Many people would consider Melanie Phillips to be the Daily Mail’s most unbalanced commentator. While I can see the appeal in that argument, I do feel obliged to stand up for Peter Hitchens’ claim to be a contender for title. Recently he wrote a cheerfully evidence-free article on the pro-gay tyranny of the modern state:

“We cringe to the new Thought Police, like the subjects of some insane, sex-obsessed Stalinist state, compelled to wave our little rainbow flags as the ‘Gay Pride’ parade passes by… And that’s another thing. We can’t even call homosexuals ‘homosexuals’ any more. This neutral word is not considered enthusiastic enough. We have to say ‘gay’. Which is exactly why I don’t, apart from in inverted commas.”

Now Mr. Hitchens now wonders why the Pope would consider visiting Britain, a country that he claims persecutes Christians:

“Here’s a thought. You’ll have noticed that openly Christian citizens are the ones who increasingly get the rough end of this society. The cultural elite jeers at them, militant atheists denounce religious education as a form of child abuse, people are threatened for doing or saying Christian things.”

Watch out Melanie. Your title is under threat.


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  1. Carnival Of Not-Persecuting-Christians… « Back Towards The Locus

    [...] tip of the hat to Rumbold at Pickled Politics for the Hitch article. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The Romney speech: Why [...]




  1. soru — on 23rd February, 2009 at 5:51 pm  

    Don’t think it is quite as virulently mad as Mel, but ‘we have to, which is why I don’t’ could well be a contender for shortest self-refuting argument.

  2. Don — on 23rd February, 2009 at 6:02 pm  

    cultural elite as a term of abuse is always revealing.

    openly Christian citizens are the ones who increasingly get the rough end of this society.. Does Hitchens minor have figures comparing the number of people beaten up or abused for being openly christian, compared with those beaten or abused for being openly gay?

    Persecution is not the same as no longer getting the deference they think is their due.

  3. Billy — on 23rd February, 2009 at 7:25 pm  

    I wonder if Peter Hitchins has even seen people jeering Christians outside a church? Because I haven’t.

    Abuse aimed at people in a gay bar though, I have seen.

  4. Chris Baldwin — on 23rd February, 2009 at 8:07 pm  

    He’s not as bad as Melanie Phillips. Hitchens is just your average reactionary (and definitely part of the cultural elite since he gets to write in the papers and make TV programmes); his work doesn’t have the same “aaargh, we’re all going to die” quality as Ms Phillips’s contributions.

  5. Johnbarnes — on 23rd February, 2009 at 8:57 pm  

    I wonder if Peter Hitchins has even seen people jeering Christians outside a church? Because I haven’t.

    Abuse aimed at people in a gay bar though, I have seen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya9xypqB5eo

  6. A Councillor Writes — on 23rd February, 2009 at 9:04 pm  

    They have a long way to go to beat Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin.

  7. Sunny — on 23rd February, 2009 at 9:41 pm  

    I dunno, it’s a tight fight!

    Though I agree with the Councillor above… or include Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly in that fight too.

  8. Refresh — on 23rd February, 2009 at 10:00 pm  

    Chris Baldwin:

    ‘his work doesn’t have the same “aaargh, we’re all going to die” quality as Ms Phillips’s contributions.’

    I am sure you mean “hahahah, you’re all going to die unless you wipe them out first”

  9. Gege — on 23rd February, 2009 at 10:27 pm  

    ‘Many people would consider Melanie Phillips to be the Daily Mail’s most unbalanced commentator. While I can see the appeal in that argument, I do feel obliged to stand up for Peter Hitchens’ claim to be a contender for title.’

    LOL

  10. Cyburn — on 23rd February, 2009 at 11:34 pm  

    I always thought Hitchens to be the least despicable of Daily Mail pundits compared to Littlejohn and Phillips.

    But his rant on Stalinism and Homosexuality being mandatory etc… gives the latter two a run for their money.

  11. Amrit — on 24th February, 2009 at 1:38 am  

    If anyone’s obsessed with sex, it’s evidently Peter, given that the word ‘sex’ appears thrice even in just that little extract.

    You can just imagine him doing a Norman Bates, can’t you?

    ‘But… but… I didn’t WANT to wear my mother’s underwear and lipstick… The ‘gay’ made me do it! I’m just another victim of the ZaNuLab Stalinist thought police!’

    When that fails: ‘Jesus wore a dress, I mean robe… why can’t I? STOP HATING ON MY CHRISTIANITY, YOU CULTURAL ELITE OF MILITANT ATHEISTS!’

    He probably thinks ‘teh gay’ is a disease that can be caught by going to Gay Pride marches. I’m curious as to who it was that really made Peter attend that, incidentally… I bet he’d pass it off as ‘research’. :-D

  12. Leon — on 24th February, 2009 at 10:28 am  

    I actually really like Peter Hitchens, he’s my favourite bona fide rightwinger. He’s a pure joy to watch on things like Question Time, and while I disagree with pretty much EVERYthing he says I respect his integrity in standing by his views.

  13. damon — on 24th February, 2009 at 10:29 am  

    I too find Phillips, Hitchens, Littlejohn, Hanity, O’ Reilly etc, to be often times whacko and way too right wing. But I also like to hear them and try to see if they are saying anything that has a word of truth in it. I enjoy listening to Melanie Phillips on Radio 4′s Moral Maze programme (even though I disagree with much of what she says) – but sometimes she has a point. I wouldn’t agree with her when she says that the Met Police was ”never” guilty of institutional racism – but I do agree with her somewhat that a whole load of rubbish (as well as some sensible and wise things) have been spoken in wider society about the issue of racism in the police.
    Sometimes these right wing reactionaries score some points – showing how bad some of the arguments of the anti-racist left have been.

    Just listen to Dotun Adebayo’s radio programme on Sunday evening on BBC London radio. (It’s available for a week on the ‘listen again’ function).
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/
    For nearly two hours they were talking about this issue, and everyone from his guests in the studio, to his callers into the show (mostly of Afro-Caribbean origin) were saying that the police were still racist.

    Then bizarrely enough, right after that programme, another black presenter (Eddie Nestor) started his show, with two perspective black MP’s as his guests in the studio: Chuku Umunna (for Labour)
    http://www.streathamlabour.org.uk/2008/07/
    and Kemi Adegoke (for the Conservatives)
    http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:AvfqrHo-UiQJ:www.lambethconservatives.com/2008/11/kemi-adegoke-dulwich-west-norwood/+kemi+adegoke&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=uk

    From racism in the Met on one programme, this one was all about what the police have to do to stop knife and gun crime (and another black man had been shot dead that very afternoon in Dulwich, the seat that Kemi Adegoke will be contesting with Tessa Jowell at the next general election).

    My point – one minute the police are racists for stopping and searching a disproportunate number of BME youth, and the next, they are being criticised for not doing enough.
    Phillips may indeed be ”Mad Mel” – but sometimes she might have a point too.

  14. dave bones — on 24th February, 2009 at 10:44 am  

    I saw Peter Hitchens debate with a couple of Muslims at a Muslim based rally in Trafalgar square. No one raised their voices and no one seemed to mind him being there. Newspapers just like reactionary things dont they.

  15. Sid — on 24th February, 2009 at 10:52 am  

    I agree with Leon, Peter Hitchens is likeable, oozes integrity and there is a tragic air about him which might come from the fact that he has chosen to wear a hairshirt. I like his brother too.

    Theeeeeeeeeeeey’re great!

  16. Leon — on 24th February, 2009 at 3:56 pm  

    Don’t think much of his drink soaked popinjay brother however…

  17. Rumbold — on 24th February, 2009 at 5:13 pm  

    I had forgot about Littlejohn. It is scary to think that if Simon Heffer went back to the Daily Mail he wouldn’t even be in the top three.

  18. Refresh — on 24th February, 2009 at 5:21 pm  

    Agree with Leon about Peter Hitchen and his brother.

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