Friday November 21, 2014
Off to Ireland for the Weekend – Ballymaloe beckons
The Sacrifice I have made for West Ham and its inspired manager Fat Sam Allardyce
Video postcard #87 – Our relations with the UK Muslim community – tolerance needed but also honesty

PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

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Melanie Phillips Joins My Blog Photo Hero List

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- Tom Winnifrith

I have been bashed as a misogynist for having only two women in my photos of my heroes at the top of this blog – Ayn Rand and Baroness Thatcher. Both of them would laugh of such criticism – as meritocrats they would not support affirmative action in a blog photo hero list. Neither would today’s addition to the list – the woman I describe as my pin up girl: Melanie Phillips.

Actually we all know that my lifelong pin up is another good Jewish girl Abbe Aronson but I am afraid that Abbe’s support for President Obama precludes her from joining the hero list. But back to Mel. Who is she you may ask?

She has been a newspaper columnist for years but you should not hold that against her. The Mail offers her a platform these days but, again do not hold that against her. She is an incredibly brave writer, tackling issues that others refuse to address. The first time she really dazzled me was with her book All Must Have Prizes which is an incredibly detailed and damning critique of the way that Britain has debased and destroyed its education system during the past 50 years.

Read it and you understand how deeply engrained are the forces within education that will – whatever politicians say – continue to degrade the way in which our kids are taught. Or not as is increasingly the case.

But Mel’s big theme is Israel, the fight against anti-semitism and the threat posed by radical Islam not only to the Jewish culture but to the Western way of Life. She says things which many of us think but few dare to articulate, most notably in her book Londonistan. Indeed in the British media world she is often pretty much a lone voice and, given the abuse she receives, that is not entirely surprising. But it is not cowardice that makes the media take an overwhelmingly anti Israel line and skip anti-semitism as an issue, it is the fact that there is a an accepted consensus in North London liberal circles to follow a different tack.

Her most recent book The World Turned Upside Down basically charts how he West has abandoned what were the building blocks of its belief system leaving it as a secular society, believing in nothing and thus unable to defend itself against more muscular forces, such as radical Islam. Saying that a Judeo-Christian based value system is a good thing is not the sort of thing that goes down well at Islington dinner parties. Rather like the Toynbee rule (everything she says is wrong), there should be an Islington Dinner party rule: any subject considered unmentionable at such an event is one that definitely needs airing. For her bravery in doing just that and because she is almost always right about every issue, Melanie Phillips joins the band of heroes at the top of this blog.

You can buy All Must Have Prizes here

You can buy The World Turned Upside Down here

You can buy Londonistan here

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