Mad Mel’s Hate Speech 205

I make mistakes. I have ocasionally regretted something I wrote. However I have never written anything motivated by hatred of another race or religion, yet I am too “extreme” for the mainstream media. But Melanie Phillips, darling of the Mail and the BBC, can write this kind of incitement to religious hatred:

Romney lost because, like Britain’s Conservative Party, the Republicans just don’t understand that America and the west are being consumed by a culture war. In their cowardice and moral confusion, they all attempt to appease the enemies within. And from without, the Islamic enemies of civilisation stand poised to occupy the void.

With the re-election of Obama, America now threatens to lead the west into a terrifying darkness.

Can somebody please show anything I have written which is anywhere near as ill-motivated? Or anything near as barking mad? Yet Phillips is mainstream and I am in some way understood to be “beyond the pale” of accepted opinion. How does this happen?

Islam is a religion. I know a great many extremely good Muslims. There are also some bad ones, just as there are good and bad Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, you name it. What if I were to write:

“In their cowardice and moral confusion, they all attempt to appease the enemies within. And from without, the Jewish enemies of civilisation stand poised to occupy the void.”

Why is not everybody protected from hate speech? Unfortunately we don’t have an appropriate word as strong as “racist” to describe the kind of vile bigot Phillips is, Muslims not being a race. For Phillips to accuse Obama of conspiring with racial intolerance while promoting evil and hatred herself, is unspeakable.

Actually if Phillips is acceptable as a mainstream commentator, I am proud that I am not.

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205 thoughts on “Mad Mel’s Hate Speech

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  • Snap

    Dear Clark,

    very nice of you to happen to find my call like this, since I am quite deeply disturbed by the post Jon posted containing what I am saying amounts overall to an ad-hominem attack from him on me; or perhaps something even more serious, which it will indeed become if it is not retracted but is escalated by any more of the same.

    Jon stated he was not speaking as a moderator, and proceeded to annoint himself as chief psycho-analyst (so to say) and declare what I am doing as if it is fact according to some correct social rules and lecture to me, based on out of context selections from a few posts taken from some discussions spanning two pages with no grasp of the history and social dynamics of what had gone on. Some appropriate mediations to help bridge some ongoing misunderstandings would have been welcome, but Jon’s intervention was simply a one-sided attack full of misconceptions.

    The exchanges with this poster (who capably fends off trolls) have been generally friendly albeit testing my patience at times, due to a lack of understanding of scientific or legal standards of fact and reasoning, or that the onus is on those making bold claims to stand them up with evidence and references, and to do their own homework for questions they ask and make an effort to learn and think themselves and not need every tiny step spelled out.

    I’ve asked Jon to remove his post, but of course agree for you to see it. I’d rather not give a link to draw any more attention to it than has already been done, but you will easily find it at the end of page 5 of 2012/09/why-i-am-convinced… with earlier conversations starting on page 4. In the last days, I have the impression that my briefly stated opinions of my analysis of some inferences made in a book contrary to popular opinion lead to a series of attacks to denigrate me and pestering questions for me to do their fishing.

    So I am foremost needing the “structural” issues to be resolved or some suitable other person to be found with appropriate demenour and skills to do so, before unravelling the details, so that I can feel safe to post here without another such intervention from the “non-moderator”.

    sincerely yours in trust.

  • Komodo

    Welcome back, Clark. Take it easy, friend.

    Snap: I’m staying out of this. I have no issues with the site, and if THEM don’t already have my details on file, THEM’s not trying hard enough. Whether THEM gives a damn is another matter entirely.

    Ben: Sometimes I take a couple of days off politics and pixels. I can only stand so much current affairs. Still here. If I go, it will be with a colossal terminal rant first.

  • Komodo

    Melanie Philips is not mad…apparently.

    My impression of Phillips is that she is playing to her overseas audience, particularly her American Jewish readers. A common theme of the Europhobic, Islamophobic American right is that Europe is selling its culture out by making deals with the Arabs while America “stands alone” in defence of Western civilisation and, of course, Israel (one remembers the cover of Mark Steyn’s book America Alone, with an American flag surrounded by a sea of green crescent, star and sword flags), and they lap up any story about European governments capitulating to Islamists by hiding piggy banks and so on, along with tales of how Jews are cowering in their houses from “the new Nazis” (Muslims). Among the proof of her playing to that gallery are the smattering of geographical inaccuracies in Londonistan such as claiming that Mark Cross, the village where a group led by Abu Hamza supposedly hired an Islamic school to run a “terrorist training” facility, was “deep in rural East Sussex” when it is in fact just six miles from Tunbridge Wells, which is in Kent, and barely an hour’s drive from London; she also alleges that in London, “district after district seems to have become a distinctive Muslim neighbourhood”, which is simply untrue except maybe in one part of east London. There are other examples of her playing on her American readers’ ignorance of British geography and political and media culture, as well as American usages such as “Prime Minister Blair”.

    I’ll buy it. That final point is a good one. She’s not thinking in a British frame of reference at all, but in an American one.
    She may be against multiculturalism, but here’s a foreign culture she’s embracing. Hmmm.

  • Jon

    Hi Clark

    Don’t worry about it, it’s all good. Now we’ve got the Captcha device, the workload has gone down considerably – the odd bit of spam gets through, but it’s only a few a week, and they can be deleted at leisure.

    If you’ve a bicycle (I know you’re a motorcyclist at heart really) then I totally recommend getting out and exploring for a bit. There’s something magical about wrapping up in several layers and enjoying the crispness and the freshness of the weather.

    Warm wishes to you 🙂

  • Ben Franklin (head honcho CIA Office for Craig Murray Operations)

    Let me add my two cents…..Clark; You’re missed, especially as rational referee in each discussion.

    Best regards.

  • Ben Franklin (head honcho CIA Office for Craig Murray Operations)


    You, too add maturity to the discussion, and are missed when you take your siesta….

  • technicolour

    BenFraklin, from an earlier thread:

    “I see the magpie (he meant Dreoilin) and colour me brown (he meant me, having explained that ‘brown’ meant ‘shit’) have formed an alliance with village idiot (he meant Villager). Birds of a feather, schlock together, he he.”

    Impressive, mature stuff, nyet?

  • Ben Franklin (head honcho CIA Office for Craig Murray Operations)

    I allow myself to digress, when the moment is appropriate. I, however, am not deliberately inflammatory, for it’s own sake. {end}

  • technicolour

    An apology will do. Would you like me to find more examples? Otherwise by all means try and continue, as if from some kind of moral high ground, to extol the virtues of mature debate etc – it’s quite funny, and we could all do with some laughter.

  • nevermind

    Technicolour, if your skin is as thin as you make out and you cannot, for the sake of it, leave the past be past, why are you punishing yourself?

    You expect an apology? for how long? don’t you think this website, bringing all sorts of views together, from left to right and top to bottom, needs this sort of back sniping?

    Its enough now, please let it rest or get accused of stifling flow with your school masterly demands for penance and apology’s, its your choice.

  • technicolour

    What’s the matter, Nevermind? I thought you approved of hypocrisy being exposed. Or do the posters here who hurl around insults and imprecations at the drop of a hat get some kind of special dispensation from you? If so, why would that be?

    As for ‘penance’, not sure what you mean there? Or punishing myself – huh? Weird. An apology is certainly in order, sure; or would be from someone posting in good faith. Apologies happen all the time on this board. Things then continue.

    If you’re asking whether an apology can be expected in this case, I would have to agree that the answer is no. That is not, however, my problem. My ‘skin’ – and thank you so much for asking – is in perfect working order, by the way.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Ben, thanks on all counts. Much appreciated.

    Btw, for a while I’ve meant to say, my apologies to you for insinuating/assuming, when you first started posting here, that you might be, or might be in cahoots with, a handle known as, ‘Larry from St Louis’/’Yugostiglitz’ (chronic posters like me will recognise those names). As you’ve proved amply since – whether or not we might agree on specific issues – that it was a silly and unwarranted assumption on my part.

    Don’t worry, wrt your question, it’s not personal at all. I used to be able to read music but then forgot, then remembered, then forgot again – an intermittent illiterate, one might say (or alternatively, a case of periodic insanity)! My tentative explorations with composers and musicians consisted largely of me providing the lyrics and them then writing the music based around the narrative/lyric I’d provided, with feedback to me on the lyrics, which I worked and re-worked until it all melded. In general, song lyrics arise more easily from loose, prose mechanisms than from poetry, in my experience; poetry is its own music and each one forms a singular sonic world – though there are great exceptions, of course and then, where does one draw the boundaries?

    It was classical, mainly, though there was a popular song for a choir and I began to work with a Celtic folk-rock composer and separately, with a DJ, but they became tied-up with various ‘life and other’ stuff before the projects could really go anywhere. I’d love to do it again, you know, if I got time/the opportunity.

    The other side of it though is that most of my work was stimulated and riven by some kind of musical idiom – folk, classical, jazz, psychedelic, roots, syncretic… often overtly, always close to subliminally.

  • thatcrab

    Sorry. I hope you get one too Tech. More time for your news support and very positive outlook. Many Thanks 🙂

  • Ben Franklin (head honcho CIA Office for Craig Murray Operations)

    Suhayl; Are you familiar with the music of Mark Knopfler? He blew me away last month when he opened for Bob Dylan. His Celtic ballad/rock fusion stole the show. My spouse keeps bugging me to get some of his stuff for listening at home, and I have been remiss.

  • Dreoilin

    “I see the magpie (he meant Dreoilin) and colour me brown (he meant me, having explained that ‘brown’ meant ‘shit’) have formed an alliance with village idiot (he meant Villager). Birds of a feather, schlock together, he he.”
    — Ben Franklin, quoted by Tech above

    “If something offensive is written by someone you know to be reasonable, it’s easier to overlook. What I can’t stand is pyromania. You know, the folks who just want to arouse emotions for personal titillation, then stand back and lustfully watch the flames?”
    — Ben Franklin

    “This isn’t Facebook, it’s a forum for discussion, ostensibly expanding the core of knowledge we seek. It’s also a chance to bridge gaps between cultures so that some connections can be made in our diverse body politic. Trolls take delight in offending and setting psychic fires to further the division.”
    — Ben Franklin

    A little consistency would be welcome, Ben. Especially when you’re attempting to lecture people who’ve been here for years and years.

  • clark

    Tecnicolour, Ben Franklin, hey, come on folks.

    Ben, Tech is a really good activist who, in my opinion, gets a bit carried away, particularly in discussions about racial and ethnic equality, and in those discussions lets the end dominate the means. Technicolour, you really should watch that tendency; I really don’t expect it to lead anywhere nice.

    Technicolour, Ben Franklin shows considerably good sense on many and most issues. All of us come to web sites like this one to get a clearer perspective than is available from the warped corporate media. Each of us has found the mainstream image to be misleading on some particular issues, but all of our world-views were shaped by it to some extent; that, or we had very unusual childhoods. So when someone’s outlook on something maybe seems insufficiently progressive, it’s probably best to assume that it originated in that background from the warped corporate media, and present some decent evidence to counteract it.

    Tech, I suggest that you post a link to the latest film you’ve been involved with. And please think twice before posting any sort of innuendo. Look at the example above: you posted, “Nah, Phillips is OK. […] what she really hates is cyclists”, and Komodo, understandably, associated it with an old argument on that subject, which wasn’t what you intended, I think.

    Remember the problems with text-based communication; it doesn’t include tone of voice and the various non-verbal cues that keep things running smoothly in face-to-face conversation. In the stark, text-only environment, it is very easy to take a comment too seriously, and things can go to hell very quickly.

    When new readers happen upon our conversations here, we really don’t want our world to look like it’s dominated by arguments and pointless bickering. The broad agreement found in the corporate media is one of the things that makes it attractive; it helps to dispel worry and doubt, but as we know, it contributes so much to the false legitimisation of perpetual warfare and gross inequality.

    Yes, disagreement is essential, but precisely because disagreement and discussion thereof is essential to the process of forging consensus, the finding of the areas of shared overlap. Those areas of agreement are the nuggets of treasure that all this laborious sifting of opinion is directed toward revealing.

  • Clark

    Komodo, having done sound for jazz bands for a few years, this lyric reminds me of many a good gig that somehow failed to move the audience:

    “They don’t give a damn ’bout any trumpet-playin’ band,
    it ain’t what they call ‘rock and roll'”

    This reminds me of Phil’s complaint about the “music business” last time I linked to a Zappa piece, and raises a contradiction that I’ve never reconciled. I’m sure that the entertainments industry excludes more talent than it promotes, and ruthlessly exploits those performers not strong enough to withstand the pressures and temptations it throws into their lives. Nonetheless, it seems a good thing that some work is promoted so vigorously that people separated by half the globe can find shared feelings expressed in a song.

    Technicolour, here’s one for when you’re feeling combative, The Power of Equality; PLAY LOUD:

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Clark, happily! Here’s a large, steaming-hot, November mug of tea, just for you. You’re right about rock music, btw, or, as our good co-contributor here, Vronsky on a past board has termed it, “commercial music”.

    Ben and Komodo, yes, Knoffler is an excellent guitarist, one of the best blues/rock guitarists, technically, I’ve heard (a guitarists’ guitarist, as it were). I have to admit, I wasn’t really into ‘Dire Straits’ in the 1980s, as I found their songs a little too slick (and I spent the 1980s being very angry, partly but not only because of the fact that much of the soundtrack of those times was associated in my mind with yuppies; Thatcher/Reagan and all that cultural zeigeist shift, against which I seemed to be swimming – and still am). I was more a ‘Jam’, Kate Bush (who, like Tori Amos and many others, in fact owed/owes a helluva lot to the superb NYC singer-songwriter, Laura Nyro), ‘Barracudas’ and ‘Stiff Little Fingers’ man, myself! I certainly can see why others liked Dire Straits’s music, though; I found the song, ‘Brothers in Arms’, very moving. When I re-listen now, I like their material more, perhaps now that the socio-political context has been distanced. I really like Knoffler’s solo material best, actually.

  • Komodo

    Yes, Suhayl, I understand the charge of slickness. But they did it so damn well! There are times when a bit of carefully crafted mellow is no bad thing. And as you say, he’s a top-flight guitarist.

    Clark: Also a Zappa fan – musically too intricate for many, perhaps, and it took me a while to see what he was doing – but if you like snide takes on a variety of styles, the Bonzos were always good value.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for your eloquent words Clark, fare better than my riposte.
    Technicolour, just sayin’, I value your contributions here very much, just can’t stand the back sniping. I would love to see one of your films, In B+W or technicolour….

    Mine’s an Assam, no longer than a minute stewing for me please, Suhayl, thank you.


  • Clark

    Goodness, no Suhayl, not “all for me”! I’ll set the mugs out; there’ll be plenty to go around.

    Mark Golding chose Brothers in Arms for his Internet radio show, didn’t he?

    Hmm, so Vronsky calls rock “commercial music”, but most rock musicians never get beyond making a loss on the pub circuit. The relative lack of commercialisation of orchestral music is at least partly an accident of history; it was written before telecommunications and mass production enabled so much profit to be concentrated upon so few companies.

    Once upon a time, there was a princess walking in the forest. As she walked along, she heard a little voice, which said:
    “Pick me up and kiss me, and I’ll turn into a jazz musician!”
    She looked down, and there was a frog. She picked it up and put it in her pocket.

    A bit further on, the princess heard the little voice coming from her pocket, saying:
    “Why won’t you kiss me? why won’t you kiss me?”
    She took the frog from her pocket, looked it in the eye and said:
    “Listen, mate; with a talking frog, I can make money…”.

  • Dave

    Let’s not forget all the gender hatred that we encounter in the media. Women have had to put up with it for a long time, but that does not make it acceptable for the tables to be turned and for separated fathers to be vilified, defamed, and told that they were to blame for the marriage breaking down simply because they are male. Unbeknownst to them, taxpayers are currently funding several charities whose sole purpose it is to commit violence against men by spreading lies that all separated fathers are violent, abusive, deadbeat, irresponsible, etc..

    Somehow we’ve gotten to the point where being extreme is perfectly acceptable if it coheres with the correct political agenda, whilst exposing the truth is judged to be extreme.

  • Komodo

    Wow. No-one has yet accused me of being a feminist, but the idea of taxpayer-funded charities going out with baseball bats and subjecting random men to actual violence is a new one to me. Links please.

    I call exaggeration for effect.

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