Pamela Geller on Melanie Phillips: “More elitism”

Pamela Geller has a terrific response here to Melanie Phillips’ hysterical and inaccurate rejoinder to our initial responses to her gratuitous attack on our work. (Got that?) My earlier response is here, and Pamela’s is here. A bit from Pamela’s latest:

The EDL has nothing racist or xenophobic about its platform. Phillips knows full well that the rare nazi salute at an EDL rally is most often the work of an infiltrator, a deliberate schemer attempting to smear the group. They are removed from the demo immediately. She ought to be more critical of those who seek to manipulate her good opinion.

Phillips says that the EDL targets mosques, but it doesn’t. Actually Islamic supremacists fake attacks on mosques and try to pin them on the EDL, but Tommy Robinson has said: “Anyone who knows anything about our group knows there is no way we do anything like that. It’s just so blatant it’s not us.”

Her reference to Vlaams Belang is really a low blow. First, because we attended a conference in 2007 that Filip DeWinter happened to be at (here). That is the extent of my relationship. I knew nothing of him or his group (I still don’t) when I went to Brussels along with Bat Ye’or, David Littman, Dr. Aryeh Eldad (Israel), Robert Spencer, Dr. Andrew Bostom, Friends of Oriana Fallaci and the world’s leading counter jihadists. Hundreds were there. So was DeWinter. So what? Melanie Phillips is now attaching herself to the libels of the execrable Charles Johnson. That tells you everything.

Vlaams Belang? That took me back. I haven’t heard anything about them in a long, long while — it is indeed bizarre for Phillips to dredge all that up. Just look how many terror attacks Vlaams Belang has perpetrated since that conference — clearly they are the real threat.

Anyway, read it all.

Robert Spencer: Yes, You Can Tell the Truth About Jihad Violence in Britain (As Long As You"re For It)
Really, how dare they?
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  1. says

    With regards to Islam and the criticism of it, Melanie Phillips has always been very shortsighted. In fact, I consider her to be very much a one-woman “revolutionary moralist force” taking pride in dispersing as many of her own lofty musings while being totally oblivious to the surrounding reality. When you’re an armchair philosopher, it becomes easier to distance yourself from others that way in order to keep your personalized “moral high ground” intact. I suppose such an attitude is quite typical of former-Lefties-turned-into-morally-self-righteous neoconservatives. A leopard never really loses its spots. This reeks of subliminal Leftism ingrained in her attitude.

    Criticizing Phillips’ attitude, Robert Spencer has remarked:

    “I am reminded of a time when I was in London, several years ago, and witnessed an uncomfortable scene in which a prominent English writer dressed down some EDL members with a cold fury. His accent was posh, theirs were not, and as he upbraided them it became increasingly clear that he was outraged at their insolence ” that these lower class lads would dare to approach him and speak with him as if he were an equal. The impression I got then has been reinforced many times since then: that the foes of jihad in Britain often oppose the EDL for the unspoken reason that it is made up of people from a lower social class, and people of lower social classes simply do not lead acceptable movements.”

    An assessment that would be correct in my book.

    Basically, there are 2 underlying core issues:

    1) populism has become a derogatory term redefined by elitist politicians and media figures to distinguish themselves from what they consider as yokels, i.e. the general public. (and not just in the UK, but all over the place.)

    2) In the UK the problem gets exacerbated by the explicit class distinctions that are still rife there in daily use (working class, middle class, upper class and a whole array of gradations in between these categories), contrary to much of “continental” Europe.

    Melanie Phillips is quite simply the sort who likes to hear herself sermonize on tv programs like BBC’s Newsnight or Question Time, where the holier than thou and the high and mighty come to have a civilized debate with the sole intent of demonstrating their own perceived eloquence, so they can beat themselves on the chest later for having been there.

    She seems to think she can reinvent her own persona by showing up, but most of the time she’s actually unable to infuse any debate with new insights. She can read the media for sure to come up with stuff on Iran I’ve heard about a million times before (and has turned into general knowledge by now), but that’s about it ! “Steer myself out of trouble, just rehash what we already know and I’m an intellectual” could be her motto.

    She’s a useless star chaser, who likes her own prestige.

  2. says

    After reading well on the whole affair I am in utter shock that Melanie Phillips doesn’t see that she is wrong.You don’t have to have a Phd to check facts,which she hasn’t.Will she change?I doubt it.

    Check out also:

    “Do Muslims 17 Times a Day(in their 5 Daily Prayers) actually say Allah,in Effect,says Christians and Jews are Evil?Technically-speaking,Yes”


    “Article I on the History of Christian Opposition to Slavery till 475,the End of Antiquity(11 Examples)”

    “Watch the Abnsat Debate:”Islam and the West,a Clash of Civilizations?”

  3. says

    “Her reference to Vlaams Belang is really a low blow. First, because we attended a conference in 2007 that Filip DeWinter happened to be at (here). That is the extent of my relationship. I knew nothing of him or his group (I still don’t) when I went to Brussels along with Bat Ye’or, David Littman, Dr. Aryeh Eldad (Israel), Robert Spencer, Dr. Andrew Bostom, Friends of Oriana Fallaci and the world’s leading counter jihadists. Hundreds were there. So was DeWinter.”

    Does Geller have any evidence that Vlaams Belang is bad? Or is she doing to Vlaams Belang pretty much what Philips is doing to the EDL?

    “Vlaams Belang? That took me back. I haven’t heard anything about them in a long, long while…”

    That might be because Spencer hasn’t been reading the Gates of Vienna blog, which has been continuing to report on their fine counter-jihad activism unfortunately ignored here at JW. (Meanwhile, the Gates of Vienna blog has not been ignoring Jihad Watch, but has posted several supportive reports
    on the UK banning of Spencer and Geller.

  4. says

    Quote One
    “Conscious of being outsiders in British society, they (the Phillips family – Jews from Poland) kept their heads down and tried to assimilate ” which made them very different from some of today’s immigrant communities, whose mission sometimes seems to be to force the rest of us to adopt their religion and culture, not the other way round’.

    Quote Two
    “We are an inclusive movement dedicated to peacefully protesting against Islamic extremism.
    What do we want?
    We want the government to outline a convincing strategy for defeating Islamic extremism.
    We want the Muslim community to make serious efforts to counter extremism.
    We want an open and honest debate about Islamic extremism; about what we can do to stop it, and about what causes it.
    What do we believe in?
    We believe that our country has done a great deal to safeguard and champion individual rights and freedoms and that this is something of which we should be immensely proud’.

    I’m sure you’ve got it. Yes, Quote One is from a recent article by Phillips and Quote Two is from the EDL website.
    So what’s the difference?
    The difference is class and gentility. It irks Phillips that Tommy and other EDL people don’t speak with upper class tones and given a choice would eat tinned salmon with vinegar rather than as a pate.
    It was those lads and lasses with working class accents who defeated Hitler. If they hadn’t I expect that Ms Phillips would not have reached adulthood.

  5. says

    Having looked at some information about the EDL, it became obvious to me that alleged manifestations of racist elements at there gatherings were most like the work of infiltrators and saboteurs out to make them look bad.

    From the standpoint of comments about Britain’s class structure, it’s also obvious that there is some social prejudice at work here as well. England is a class-based society the likes of which few Americans really understand.

  6. says

    I am disappointed in you, Robert, for not being far-sighted enough to be able at least to apprehend the difference in approach to counter-jihad work between the UK and the US. I am also very disappointed in Pamela for her outburst and insults to all of us in the UK who are doing our best within our legal system to fight sharia encroachment.

    We are all on the same side! This should not be about one person and what anyone might or might not think of her.

    As a matter of interest, didn’t I hear somewhere that Pamela and the EDL had a falling out a few years ago? Can you tell us more about it?

  7. says

    Now is not a clever time for infighting. Get over it, you have enough mutual enemies out there and it is plain wrong to kick off a public rift.

    You are doing more harm than good by lashing out at Melanie instead of focussing your time and efforts at the real enemy. Do you think she is an easier target for your bruised egos than the Brit government?

    Grow up. You are good people and I hope you are also strong enough to realise that this squabbling risks dividing people that are on the same team.

  8. says

    Melanie put her neck on the line by writing the book ‘Londonistan’ when other critics of Islam were stunned into silence through fear of being labelled Islamophobic. No other book published in the UK has done more to inform British people of the rise of Islam in their country. Her next book ‘The World Upside Down’ exposed political correctness in all its grotesque manipulations and impositions of laws in favour of multiculturalism. To slander her on this thread is outrageous. Melanie is the most outspoken critic of Islam, Muslim appeasement and government blindness in the UK today.

  9. says

    Robert and Pamela are being very naive, in my view, in exacerbating this dispute. Their alliance with the EDL had already been shown to be a public relations failure. The almost regular public spats with folk that share a liberal concern with democracy and human rights over differences of opinion on the nature of Islam (or Islamism or the very distinction), or on the worthiness of allying with certain groups, is at best enough to diminish the likelihood of new supporters amongst the liberal media and public, and at worst enough to feed into the hands of Islamists and their sympathizers and seriously ruin their long-term credibility. Philips’ comment on the EDL was not the centre of her article and did not deserve the vitriolic response by Robert and Pamela. Its rather ironic that Pamela refers to Melanie as hysterical when it is her work that belies the greatest amount of hysteria. Yes, she is passionate but perception is almost everything. This kind of response, I have to say, is very sad and disappointing. The truth does matter, but it pays to be smart about how it is expressed and defended. Melanie’s book Londonistan is amongst the best on Islamism and dhimmitude in the UK and here we have JihadWatch disciples slamming her without even being aware of what she has achieved in the UK. You people have no idea of the political terrain in the UK and how much she has pushed the debate on there. I agree with some of the posters above that to slander Melanie on here is outrageous. Not only does it fail to respect all that Melanie has done for the cause, it is also naive beyond comprehension.

  10. says

    I’m reading Londonstan right now and think it is excellent and full of verifiable facts.

    But I also agree that people from working class backgrounds are as justified in their assessment of Islam as anybody else. Instead of denigrating them or ignoring them, we should be defending them from marginalization and Nazi slurs.

    It is not political elites who will won this war, but the groundswell of support from all classes of society.

  11. says

    I used to be a fan of Phillips, possibly because here in Britain, she was all we had.

    However as time passed, her reactionary and class sneering attitudes began to grate.

    Her demeaning of the British working class is a symptom and it’s obviously shared by Cameron, May and the political hierarchy which basically is treating them as shit to be ignored and over ridden.

    The final straw came when I’d sent her a story tip and her ballistic reply was quite something.

    Oddly enough, few minutes later I got an email, apologising profusely and I assumed, that was that.

    However, following the Brievik slaughter in Norway I sent another tip and my thoughts on the political backlash.

    In it I suggested that the left wing liars would point fingers at the likes of her and thus more accusations of islamophobia would be hurled around like political confetti.

    A similar reaction ensued and she demanded in hysterical terms that I send no more stories. I, of course have complied.

    Two things

    1/ I know for a fact that she had used my leads to generate articles and assumed that they were welcome. She, cocooned as she is in a British Establishment is nowhere near as informed as either Pamela or Robert and the odious Harry’s Place is basically her port of call.

    It’s a pure lefty student debate site and quite unfollowable, full of unattributable quotes and basically pretension on steroids.

    2/ Ironically the dragnet fingers of flailing hate did single her out and my contention proved to be true.

    Apology? Not on your life, but I expected none and so it came to pass.

    Now to the EDL.

    I’ve said it before but their image really needs sorting. Tommy Robinson is wonderful and as good an Englishman as it gets but they need a politically savvy front man and media operator. Also an expert on Islam would help enormously.

    The Geller Spencer team is quite brilliant because it combines both of those attributes.

    Although I’m what could be described here as middle class I mix around quite a lot and have picked up friends wherever I’ve worked and traveled.

    A few years back my design and advertising business hit real problems and to get by I took up temporary work.

    Along the way I met lots of wonderful characters and some have remained as friends.

    Some of them are very much like Robinson and do have criminal records from youth but now good citizens and the very antithesis of racists, mainly because they were brought up in heavily mixed areas.

    And, believe it or not a really good friend is second generation Pakistani who actually despises Islamism more than I do.

    He was abandoned whilst young and although his father was Muslim he drifted out of it and actually married in a Catholic church.

    Phillips would know nothing of that milieu and her cocoon is her undoing.


    Although mosque burning and defacing is absolutely wrong what did May and her idiot clan expect? They push and push and following Rigby’s death, then lie.

    Muslims stalk the streets and rape innocent girls. They fester and agitate. They are massively over represented amongst criminality. They sell drugs, commit huge amounts of fraud and violence. They openly demand our deaths. They sponge off the state.

    And we’re expected to take it?

    In years past EDL members would have been on the forces front line, the Tommy Atkins of our once great British Army. Now it’s come to this?

    I really despair.


    Cross posted on Atlas

  12. says

    Thanks Babs, I hadn’t read your comments when I posted mine.

    The real enemy is not each other, but those on the sidelines pointing and chuckling at Robert and Pamela spitting out the dummy against Melanie instead of Her Majesty’s elected cowards.

    The US did much the same after Lebanon, when their barracks were lost to a terrorist bomb and hundreds died. “So you want a fight?” they asked, “Ok, we gonna invade Grenada!”

  13. says

    Phillips is all about Oxbridge educated elites displaying a common disdain for the average citizen. She’s no different in her approach than Cameron or Theresa May, for that matter.

    Plus, she’s a turncoat leftwinger considering herself a ‘political analyst’ of the highest order, but the only thing she’s actually any good at, is dispersing downtrodden cack !

    I bet this so-called masterpiece of hers, Londonistan, is crammed to the hilt with illegible half-witted pseudo-intellectual wankery. We’re supposed to be glad she has written this crap, as if she’s the guiding light of a whole movement !! Talk about megalomania.

    She can stay in her ivory tower as far as I am concerned, looking down on people, while Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller do the utmost to relate to average citizens directly. Pam’s supposed to have some respect for her as soon as Phillips feels targeted in any way. That tells me exactly what I need to know about her.

    Phillips thinks she can carry the whole counter-jihad movements on her self-proclaimed intellectual clout, and as soon as she feels challenged on the subject of her arrogance, she’s crying foul ! So Pam should let Phillips walk all over her first, but still needs to treat Phillips with kid gloves as an untouchable endangered species afterwards ?

    Phillips can dish it out but she can’t take it. Pamela is right, you wanker.

  14. says

    “Melanie is the most outspoken critic of Islam, Muslim appeasement and government blindness in the UK today. ”

    Correction: Melanie is the most outspoken critic of Islamism and of the “Minority of Extremists” among the Majority of Nice Decent Harmless Muslims of the world. That’s so 2003.

  15. says

    I’ve read both.

    Londonistan was a great book and Phillips did break a lot of new ground. For that she is heartily commended.

    The World Turned Upside Down not a patch on it, filled with pseudo gibberish and when she gets on to Intelligent Design she truly loses it.

    Phillips has sold her soul to the BBC Question Time and Moral Maze lumpen glitterati and British Establishment.

    She’s joined the Hampstead elite and her sneering attitude towards the ‘hoi polloi’ is beginning to grate.

    Pamela quite rightly objects to being lectured at and basically told who and who not to associate with by this oh so superior woman and I don’t blame her one bit.

    It is a shame as Phillips showed such promise. Sadly she’s succumbed and like many of her ilk has lost her way.

    Unlike Pamela and Robert she’s never manned the barricades and rather than being an activist writer she’s a kind of know it all reactionary right winger careful to keep her feet in both camps.

    She takes the BBC shilling from an organisation which virtually, to a man or woman would love to see Israel reduced to a burning rubble with a Hamas flag placed at the epicentre. Her credibility is thus reduced to zero.

    Her popularity is also eroded by the sheer repetition of her off kilter rants and if in doubt go to her articles in the Daily Mail and count the comments.

    This is a tiny spat in the huge cosmos of a global clash and we should all move on.

    There’s more fish, geffilte or not, to fry out there.

  16. says

    ”I’m reading Londonstan right now and think it is excellent and full of verifiable facts”

    Yes, it is.

    But her attitude to the EDL contains no verifiable facts. Indeed, she offers none.

    Her attitude is a result, I believe, of her own class prejudices, and swallowing whole what she is told and hears from the msm.

    Also intellectual snobbery, and the vital fact that she is comfortably insulated from what it actually means to have a mosque on the corner of your street, a halal butchers in the middle, and gangs of muslims walking abreast on the pavement, trying to intimidate non-muslims.

    She has never experienced mohammedan thugs hanging round bus shelters and intimidating young non-muslim girls with foul sexual innuendo, nor had them hanging round her garden gate, spitting on the pavement, and shouting foul insults in Urdu.

    She has never had her children targeted by mohammedan paedophiles. She has never had her children beaten up because they entered a ‘non-muslim area’.

    She has never been denied benefits after working for 25 years, and fallen on hard times, only to see a somalian cabal walk to the head of the queue, and get money, a house, without a question asked.

    There are many more examples I could cite, but I’m sure you get the gist.

    The EDL, however, **have** experienced all these things, and more, because many of them are working class, because they live in neighbourhoods, and estates, which have been overrun by mohammedan scum, and now they are **fighting back**.

    Neither, of course, has camoron, may, blair, brown, or any of the other quisling traitors, experienced any of the above, and they never will.

    I hope they experience the Mussolini/Clara Petacci scenario, however.