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  • Technorati: graph / links

    It’s not Nick Griffin but you’re close…


    by Sunny on 8th June, 2009 at 2:44 pm    

    So, who wrote this?

    Nevertheless, they have been able to seize their opportunity – and not just because of the expenses scandal. No, the rot in our culture that has let in the BNP goes far, far deeper than that. It is because it has turned attachment to national identity itself into a crime. Anyone who objects to multi-culturalism is called a bigot; anyone who wants to curb immigration is called a racist; anyone who objects to the Islamisation of Britain is called an Islamophobe; anyone who wants to leave the EU and regain the power of national self-government is called a xenophobe; anyone, in short, who wants to retain Britain’s national identity rooted in the shared particulars of religion, law, history, traditions and culture and its powers as a self-governing nation finds themselves ostracised as a pariah.

    You might think, listening to Griffin last night, that this sounds suspiciously like him. It’s not. It’s Melanie Phillips at the Spectator - now echoing BNP mantras, while pretending she’s not racist by having a half-hearted dig at them.



      |   Trackback link   |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: British Identity, Other racists, Race politics




    33 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. riverScrap.com — on 8th June, 2009 at 2:52 pm  

      Well hang on, neither being opposed to multiculturalism nor wanting to curb immigration makes you a racist. Tarnishing mildly-xenophobic jingoists with that label only nudges them further towards the BNP camp.

      I’d rather listen to their concerns and engage them in a reasonable debate. First we acknowledge that having wide-open borders is a bad idea, then maybe they’ll acknowledge that many immigrants bring benefits to the UK (no pun intended).

    2. Fitzroy — on 8th June, 2009 at 2:53 pm  

      That is actually shocking.

      She really has finally flipped.

    3. Alex — on 8th June, 2009 at 3:02 pm  

      And she’s quite right. Having a secure sense of national identity is vital to a healthy society. In countries from Japan to India this is not controversial. What’s so unpleasant about the BNP is that their national identity is rooted in racial hatred. But there comes a point when a sizeable minority will overlook this as they are so disgruntled with the denigration of a legitimate yearning for a national solidarity. The answer is to promote a positive national identity and to take into account the work of the likes of Robert Putnam, David Goodhart and Richard Layard and accept that high rates of diversity and mobility reduce levels of social trust and so cooperation and happiness.

    4. Sunny — on 8th June, 2009 at 3:03 pm  

      Depends how you phrase it - but the BNP’s obsession with Muslims taking over our society is racist paranoia. And so is that of Melanie Phillips.

      If you can point me to some sane paranoia about Muslims I’d like to see it :)

    5. riverScrap.com — on 8th June, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

      I definitely can’t point to any sane paranoia about Muslims. But I would say that xenophobia is just what its name implies: a phobia. It’s not an inherent hatred towards foreigners as much as a lingering distrust of them (distrust which can be excusable, depending on your upbringing / background).

      I have a lot of time for the adage that while the BNP is racist, many of the people who vote for it are not. Sure plenty are, but others have just been swept up by its propaganda and the circumstantial evidence they see in their neighourhoods (which can be very compelling if they live in the inner city).

      I wouldn’t say that what Melanie Phillips wrote above is racist. Also, fear of Muslims ‘taking over’ isn’t racism - whites can be Muslims too :)

    6. marvin — on 8th June, 2009 at 3:29 pm  

      Apart from the Islamisation of Britain part, which seems a slightly paranoid idea, it’s all correct is it not???

      The accusations of bigot or racist when discussing immigration or national democracy contribute to BNP support.

      How can the less articulate working class have their voice heard when they are shouted down by the left for being racist on topics they want to discuss?

      This attitude on the left *is part of the problem*

    7. Greg — on 8th June, 2009 at 4:44 pm  

      Please stop the Melanie Phillips obsession.

      Anyone who objects to multi-culturalism is called a bigot; anyone who wants to curb immigration is called a racist; anyone who objects to the Islamisation of Britain is called an Islamophobe; anyone who wants to leave the EU and regain the power of national self-government is called a xenophobe; anyone, in short, who wants to retain Britain’s national identity rooted in the shared particulars of religion, law, history, traditions and culture and its powers as a self-governing nation finds themselves ostracised as a pariah.

      echoing BNP mantras, while pretending she’s not racist

      Do you really think anyone with this attitude is a racist?

    8. arthur — on 8th June, 2009 at 4:47 pm  

      Sunny,
      I have to thank you for alerting me to a typically logical, coherent and tightly reasoned piece from Melanie Phillips that I might otherwise have missed.
      Characterising Ms Phillips’ evident,predictable and well-founded loathing of the BNP as ” a half-hearted dig ” is akin to the protestations of the one-eyed Griffin that the BNP is not a racist party.
      Her - perfectly valid - point is that it is the failure of the main political parties to address the legitimate concerns of the British people over the issues of national identity, security and the economy that, together with disenchantment with the politicians’ blatant self-interest, has opened the door to a loathsome band of racist opportunitists that are despised in equal measure by me, Ms. Phillips and your good self.

    9. Adnan — on 8th June, 2009 at 4:55 pm  

      “Islamisation of Britain” - yeah, typical Mel logical.

    10. Naadir Jeewa — on 8th June, 2009 at 4:59 pm  

      If we’re going to start from the assumption that Melanie Philip’s imagined problems really do exist, then the battle against the far right is already lost.

    11. marvin — on 8th June, 2009 at 4:59 pm  

      It’s odd Sunny makes a fairly well-reasoned post about the BNP at the Grauniad, yet when it comes to one of the chosen foes (right-wingers, especially the more paranoid ones), reason seems to go out the window and said foes become the devil incarnate with nothing valid to say.

      Does Mel make no valid point in this article? Really?

    12. Naadir Jeewa — on 8th June, 2009 at 5:26 pm  

      Mind if I fisk?

      1. Anyone who objects to multi-culturalism is called a bigot;
      - Brian Barry?

      2. anyone who wants to curb immigration is called a racist
      - Goodhart?

      3. anyone who objects to the Islamisation of Britain is called an Islamophobe
      - Britain isn’t being islamised.

      4. anyone who wants to leave the EU and regain the power of national self-government is called a xenophobe;
      - Any number of traditionalist realists. They may be mistaken, but they’re not xenophobes.

      5. anyone, in short, who wants to retain Britain’s national identity rooted in the shared particulars of religion, law, history, traditions and culture and its powers as a self-governing nation finds themselves ostracised as a pariah.

      This is a conflation of many things. let’s break it down:
      a) who wants to retain Britain’s national identity rooted in the shared particulars of religion, law, history, traditions and culture.
      - Grace Davie in CiF the other day?

      b) powers as a self-governing nation.
      - Back to IR again.

      Unlike the people above, some get ostracised for the above because they’re speaking with racist intent and doublespeak, It just so happens, that like others, Melanie Philips doesn’t think she is racist.

    13. Ravi Naik — on 8th June, 2009 at 5:43 pm  

      Mel is a paranoid Islamophobe (is there any other kind?) - but she is no Nick Griffin. It would be really nice if we stay away from dodgy comparisons.

    14. Ravi Naik — on 8th June, 2009 at 5:48 pm  

      Mel is a paranoid Islamophobe (is there any other kind?) - but she is no Nick Griffin: she does not seem to be against multiracial societies. It would be really nice if we stay away from dodgy comparisons. What Nick Griffin did was to use “multicultural” as a codeword for “multicultural”, but they are different concepts.

      France and Brazil are multiracial countries with one cultural identity.

    15. Ravi Naik — on 8th June, 2009 at 5:51 pm  

      Mel is a paranoid Islamophobe (is there any other kind?) - but she is no Nick Griffin: she does not seem to be against multiracial societies. It would be really nice if we stay away from dodgy comparisons. What Nick Griffin did was to use “multicultural” as a codeword for “multiracial”, but these are different concepts.

      France and Brazil are multiracial countries with one cultural identity.

    16. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 8th June, 2009 at 5:57 pm  

      Odd then, that for the past eight years mad mel has employed the exact same tactic she claims (because that’s all it is, a claim, a bad carciture that she supplies no evidence for) her opponents use, shouting down anyone who has had the audacity to show any concern for people who aren’t white or jewish as ‘politically correct’ or ‘terrorist sympathisers’.

      Melanie Philips doesn’t think she is racist.

      There is no racism any more, there is only ‘PC loonies’ and ‘legitimate concerns’.

    17. Faisal (The Spittoon) — on 8th June, 2009 at 6:22 pm  

      I doubt Nick Griffin has the kind of self-awareness required to write something like this:
      No, the rot in our culture that has let in the BNP goes far, far deeper than that.

      The only objectionable thing Ms Philips has written in this passage is the “Islamisation of Britain” claim. But you don’t have to be a mad Islamophobic fascist to notice the increasing levels of Islamist religiosity imposed on publicly funded facilities and events.

      For example, alcohol was not allowed to be sold by stalls in the London Mela held in East London because of a directive on the organisers by the East London Mosque. Could that be regarded as “Islamicisation”? Or is it just respect for “Islam” in a public fair open to all members of the public?

      The really nutty Philips isn’t so much Mel as Bilal. Whereas Mel Philips is “mad”, Bilal Philips really is a fascist. And he is being engaged on a public “dawah” (propagation) tour under the organisation of a new Islamist group called iERA.

      More details here

    18. Faisal (The Spittoon) — on 8th June, 2009 at 6:25 pm  

      I doubt Nick Griffin has the kind of self-awareness required to write something like this:
      No, the rot in our culture that has let in the BNP goes far, far deeper than that.

      The only objectionable thing Ms Philips has written in this passage is the “Islamisation of Britain” claim. But you don’t have to be a mad Islamophobic fascist to notice the increasing levels of Islamist religiosity imposed on publicly funded facilities and events.

      For example, alcohol was not allowed to be sold by stalls in the London Mela held in East London because of a directive on the organisers by the East London Mosque. Could that be regarded as “Islamicisation”? Or is it just respect for “Islam” in a public fair open to all members of the public?

      The really nutty Philips isn’t so much Mel as Bilal. Whereas Mel Philips is “mad”, Bilal Philips really is a religious supremacist bordering on fascist. And he is being engaged on a public “dawah” (propagation) speaking tour organisaed by a new Islamist group called iERA.

    19. damon — on 8th June, 2009 at 6:40 pm  

      Because I like listening to The Moral Maze on Radio 4, I hear Melanie Philips speaking quite often.
      Although she’s somewhat reactionary (especially with her talk of things like ‘Islamification’ and ‘Londonistin’), I have to admit to quite fancying her.
      It’s not so much what she says, but the way that she says it.

      All of the things that she talks, about quoted in red by sunny in the original post, have a grain of legitimacy (in my opinion), but that’s all, (not more).

    20. marvin — on 8th June, 2009 at 6:40 pm  

      Faisal, Faisal, Faisal!

    21. Sunny — on 8th June, 2009 at 7:24 pm  

      The accusations of bigot or racist when discussing immigration or national democracy contribute to BNP support.

      You know what’s really funny? Is that if I switched around the words whereby criticising of Israel was not racist - marvin would call you that anyway by comparing you to anti-semites… and furthermore you’d then start having hysterics of anyone said the situation in Palestine created suicide bombers and support for Hamas.

      But oh no! It’s one rule for Muslims and another for whites for you isn’t it marvin?

      PC gone mad I tell you!!

    22. Amrit — on 8th June, 2009 at 7:26 pm  

      But… but… Mel, you ARE a bigot!

      According to the Wiktionary, bigot =

      one who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; one who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion…

      Bigots twist facts to suit their agenda. See the Daily Mail ad nauseaum. Call us when you don’t say things like ‘What this election tells us is that America voted for change because America is in the process of changing – not just demographically by becoming less white and more diverse.’

      Yeah, because America was all-white before Obama came to power - DUH.

    23. Sunny — on 8th June, 2009 at 8:04 pm  

      The really nutty Philips isn’t so much Mel as Bilal. Whereas Mel Philips is “mad”, Bilal Philips really is a religious supremacist bordering on fascist.

      That’s sooooo true!

      Melanie Phillips is a misunderstood poor woman who will save our proud British nation from the Evil Hordes Who Surely Want To Destroy Everything We Stand For.

      You’ve seen the light Faisal. You have seen the light.

    24. Faisal (The Spittoon) — on 8th June, 2009 at 8:25 pm  

      Well, we were all placing bets here on how long it would take before you brought in the “criticism of Israel” as a counterfactual to the reasons for the victory of the BNP.

      I claim my tenner!

      But not without noting that the reasons why the discussion on increased Islamicisation in certain London councils has been tanked up over the years as a direct result of the policies implemented and backed by 10 years of new labour.

      And not by the journalism of your favourite bugbear.

    25. Rumbold — on 8th June, 2009 at 8:33 pm  

      Eh? How did Israel come into this?

    26. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 8th June, 2009 at 8:35 pm  

      But you don’t have to be a mad Islamophobic fascist to notice the increasing levels of Islamist religiosity imposed on publicly funded facilities and events.

      Nor do you have to be particularly observant to notice that over the past few years a deluge of fictitious stories have been spread (in large part by mad mel and her employers at DMGT) regarding Muslims trying to impose themselves on ‘our’ ways, these mostly revolve around Christmas being ‘banned’ in some way (of course the only people ever to actually ban Christmas were Christians). Despite the vast majority of said stories being untrue the far right operate under a ‘throw enough and some will stick’ mantra, which, due to their constituency has been quite successful.

    27. Ravi Naik — on 8th June, 2009 at 9:18 pm  

      The only objectionable thing Ms Philips has written in this passage is the “Islamisation of Britain” claim. But you don’t have to be a mad Islamophobic fascist to notice the increasing levels of Islamist religiosity imposed on publicly funded facilities and events.

      So, why do you find her rants (Islamisation of Britain) objectionable?

    28. Anon — on 8th June, 2009 at 9:53 pm  

      Four years ago a BNP columnist, one Joe Priestley, wrote:

      “I don’t know which establishment newspapers are the most popular amongst readers of the BNP’s website, but it would be interesting to find out. My guess is that the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday will figure strongly, and that columnists Peter Hitchens and Melanie Phillips are the ones whose opinions people feel most closely match their own.”

    29. Jai — on 8th June, 2009 at 10:05 pm  

      My guess is that the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday will figure strongly,

      Interestingly, during the past few weeks (including today’s edition) the Daily Mail has been particularly forceful about highlighting the dangers posed by the BNP along with condemning them wholeheartedly.

      Yes, I was surprised too.

      But their unexpected efforts are welcome. Better late than never.

    30. Sunny — on 8th June, 2009 at 10:21 pm  

      has been tanked up over the years as a direct result of the policies implemented and backed by 10 years of new labour.

      Great! I’m glad you bought this up!

      Can you list those policies please. Thanks.

    31. Naadir Jeewa — on 8th June, 2009 at 11:08 pm  

      @27

      I recently read a report on multiculturalism in Quebec by Gerard Bouchard and Charles Taylor which has a fascinating section on “reasonable accomodation” in practice:

      “During the time of turmoil, many cases or affairs led a significant number of Quebecers to adopt a very negative perception of reasonable accommodation.
      These cases or affairs focused usually on accommodation or adjustments perceived as being illegitimate or a form of threat to Québec society’s values.
      In order to clarify the situation, the Commission mandated two researchers who devoted over four months to reconstructing as rigorously as possible the facts based on a sampling of 21 cases among those that received the broadest media coverage and that fuelled most extensively the controversy. The researchers questioned the interveners and witnesses and relied on the documentation available.
      Our research reveals that in 6 of the 21 cases studied, there was no apparent distortion between the facts reconstructed and the public’s general perception
      of these cases. However, we noted striking distortions in the other 15 cases.
      Thus, the negative perception of reasonable accommodation that spread in the public often centred on an erroneous or partial perception of practices in the field….
      We have thus observed with respect to a majority of cases that aroused controversy significant distortions between facts and perceptions. Given this observation, we can only ask ourselves what form debate would have
      taken if the public had obtained complete, objective information. The most likely hypothesis is that an accommodation crisis would not have arisen.”

      Despite the focus on Quebec, I strongly recommend it to anyone who thinks we’ve been islamicised. You’ll see some media stories that look very similar to ones published here, and in Australia, so I’ve been told.

    32. marvin — on 9th June, 2009 at 11:04 am  

      You know what’s really funny? Is that if I switched around the words whereby criticising of Israel was not racist - marvin would call you that anyway by comparing you to anti-semites… and furthermore you’d then start having hysterics of anyone said the situation in Palestine created suicide bombers and support for Hamas.

      I have never, ever, insuated that criticising Israel is antisemitic. This is, however, the exact accusation that actual antisemites, on this blog, have levelled at me.

      I don’t get the point of the comment about Hamas and suicide bombing. Many on the left thing that it would all stop if only Israel would cede the ‘67 terrories, which I beleive to be mind numbingly niave. How does this comment relate to Mel’s article?

      The fact is that it’s hypocritical to say Mel sounds just like Griffin when many articles on Israel are indistinguishable amongst progressive lefties and neonazis and islamist terrorists!

      Because left wingers have accidentally accepted neonazi and Islamist rants for progressive left wing thinking. Sue Blackwell, amongst many others have accidentally linked to neonazis and islamist extremists. The Guardian employed one.

      Because the language is the same. Any supremacist totalitarian worth his or her salt will use more mainstream grievances in their output!

    33. Kenwood — on 9th June, 2009 at 12:12 pm  

      Sunny

      Most of my friends on the left would agree with a lot of the paragraph that Mel wrote and I would guess that if that paragraph was sent out in a letter to the UK population by an MP, they would swoop up a significant number of votes because it represents the mainstream views of the majority of the UK population.

      It is so hard to take you seriously when your hatred for an individual forces your mind to close.



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