Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RAVES!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 29/01/11

Brought To Book

Two articles I'd like to bring to your attention, if I may.

First off is this call to arms by the author Philip Pullman, addressing a meeting in Oxford called to protest against the savage cuts being proposed by the county council in the local library service.

In it, he not only champions the cause of a properly-resourced public library system, he expands his argument to take on the thoroughly bogus rhetoric of Cameron's Big Society, a land where essential public services are provided by unpaid volunteers who - presumably - don't need to go out to work or don't have families to look after, thus handing control of those services back into the hands of the Lady Bountifuls who used to do 'good works' for the poor in bygone days; as long as the poor they were ministering to were the 'right sort', of course.

The second item is equally impassioned on its subject. It comes from the journalist Johann Hari, slashing through the homophobic nonsense spouted by those who - at least historically - one would have expected to know better.

He reserves - quite rightly - his biggest scorn for Melanie 'Mad Mel' Phillips, the thoroughly rebarbative columnist for The Spectator, the Daily Heil and any other organ which is willing to pay her money to scream her imprecations at a world she is no longer able or willing to comprehend. American readers may not be familiar with La Phillips: if so, imagine the prose style of Michael Moore melded with the socio-political views of Ann Coulter and you won't be too far from the mark. In addition to believing that Britain is committing 'cultural suicide' by even giving Muslims house-room, that all Palestinians are terrorists (and that, consequently, she seems never to have met an extreme racial Zionist that she didn't like - a posture condemned even by Alan 'I Support Torture And Hounding Academics Out Of Their Jobs If They Don't Unconditionally Support Zionism' Dershowitz), that 'Intelligent Design' (sic) is valid science, and that Andrew Wakefield's fraudulent claims about links between the MMR vaccine and autism deserved the widest possible dissemination, leading to a huge fall in vaccination and the disabling and death of children as a result; in addition to these, as I say, Mad Mel believes that "...just about everything in Britain is now run according to the gay agenda.", and that people like her, Tory MP Richard Drax, various clergymen and bed & breakfast proprietors are the victims of some politically-correct witchhunt at the behest of Sinister Forces backed by Marxist indoctrination. And all this because a voluntary organisation sent out information packs to some schools suggesting that it might be a worthwhile idea if secondary school kids discussed the matter of homosexuality as a way of preventing rampant bullying in their schools.

Hari - as so often - cuts through the yattering and exposes Phillips and her ilk as the deluded, backward bigots that they undoubtedly are.