Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval


4:54 pm - September 30th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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The Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips has threatened a blogger with “libel damages” over an email exchange.

The dispute revolves around the ‘Winterval’ story that right-wing commentators push every year around Christmas.

A few days ago, the blogger at Angry Mob sent Phillips an email stating:

Melanie, I noticed in your recent Daily Mail article that you again repeated the ‘Winterval’ myth – that councils have attempted to replace Christmas with ‘Winterval’. This myth has been debunked many times, indeed I have written an extensive essay on the subject which was covered by BBC Radio 4.

As it appears you have somehow missed this can I point you in the direction of this essay so you can apologise to your readers for misleading them: http://www.thedisinformed.co.uk/2010/12/12/the-winterval-myth/

Melanie Phillips replied by saying:

Interesting that you think all those people, including Bishops of the Church of England who were so upset by Winterval, failed to understand what you alone apparently understood. In fact, it is plain that you have zero understanding of why this term caused such offence to so many people. Birmingham council’s protestations that Christmas remained at the heart of the Winterval celebrations were disingenuous and missed the point. ‘Christmas’ is a term that does not merely refer to Christmas Day but to the period around it. There was no need for the term Winterval at all — except as a way of not referring to the Christmas season, but instead to provide a neutral term which would enable other faith celebrations around that time to assume equal prominence. That was the objection which was clearly stated at the time by the Bishops and others: Winterval buried ‘Christmas’ and replaced it in the public mind. Your message is therefore as arrogant and ignorant as it is offensive.

Melanie

‘Uponnothing’ then proceeded to publish the exchange on his blog, adding that she is, “essentially stating that I am wrong because I couldn’t possibly have a better understanding than people such as ‘bishops’ and presumably all of the journalists happy to repeat the myth over the years.”

He also sent her a short email back stating:

If you read the essay I think you’d realise that you are quite mistaken. Again, you really need to start engaging with facts, rather than just reverberating around your own blinkered mind.

Your dishonest attack on Rory Weal was a staggeringly embarrassing exercise in how underhand you have to become to even engage in an argument with a 16-year-old.

I’ve responded to you via my blog [http://www.butireaditinthepaper.co.uk], I prefer to keep such conversations public – as any writer should (although I notice you don’t believe that journalism or blogging is a two-way process, probably because it is easier to write your nonsense trapped in your own blissful bubble of ignorance).

I really think you should take a second look at some of the accusations you made about Rory Weal, because, thanks to your laziness (i.e. not bothering to look into his life situation before starting your rant), you got his situation horribly wrong and you look even more foolish than normal.

To which Melanie Phillips responded with legal threats.

She said in her response:

Your blog post about me is highly defamatory and contains false allegations for which you would stand to pay me significant damages in a libel action. There are many things I could say to point out the gross misrepresentations, selective reporting and twisted distortions in what you have written. I will not do so, however, because you have shown gross abuse of trust in publishing on your blog private correspondence from me without my permission. Consequently I will have no more to do with you and any further messages from you will be electronically binned unread along with other nuisance mail.

So, a libel threat for damages from a writer who constantly accuses ‘liberal elites’ of trying to shut down debate.

In 2009 Melanie Phillips wrote an article titled ‘Death of free speech: Is Britain becoming the censorship capital of the world?‘.

That year, she also complained of ‘lawfare’ by Muslims to shut down criticism of their activities.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


She didn’t really threaten to sue, though. And, given that she’s just been kicked out by the Spectator after leaving Brillo and Co to pick up the tab for a libel case, that would be no surprise. Also, her trashing of Rory Weal, which appears to have been motivated solely by his speaking to the Labour Party conference, was nasty at the outset and moved to a stance that was sadistic and gloating – because she knew that the Weal family did not have the means to take her and the Daily Mail to the cleaners for the abuse Mel was dishing out. Posts here:

http://zelo.tv/p4CMHZ
http://zelo.tv/pqQxt8

Does Melanie Phillips not understand the concept of Lent? Fail.

Of course by ‘Lent’ I meant Advent.

If these people are really so upset about a religious event supposedly being watered down, they could at least use the correct terms themselves.

Annoying, yes. Libellous? Never in a million years, not even on Planet Phillips.

It is a threat.

If someone says: “if I punched you in the face you would sustain significant injuries” – that would not constitute a threat?

6. David Boothroyd

It certainly isn’t libel, but it is traditional netiquette that one should ask for permission before publishing emails rather than just tell someone that you are doing so.

Reading the post, I assume the issue is the following (in ascending order of strangeness):

Such a response would be amusing, were it not written by a supposedly ‘professional’ journalist.

I suspect that is being taken as an attack on her professional standards (which could be an interesting court case – as she’d have to prove she still has some…).

It’s a wonderful defence: the majority must be right. Although it must be said that such a defence hasn’t proved terribly reliable down the years given that at some point majority correctness (the Mail can feel free to use this) dictated that the earth was flat and the sun revolved around it until a few individuals pointed out that this wasn’t true. Truth is dictated by fact, Melanie, not sheer weight of believers.

Presumably taken to suggest Ms Phillips believes the earth is flat and the centre of the universe (the former incidentally was never a widespread belief, as most people knew things were over the horizon, but it is a bit of a popular sneer at those ignorami in the past). At worst this looks badly phrased…

And that’s it. Ms Phillips does seem a mite sensitive here.

“dictated that the earth was flat ”

Utterly farcical!

Any basic knowledge of history will prove that almost no-one who gave it any kind of serious thought, thought the world was flat.
It’s a common myth…and not something to be used by a supposed ‘professional’ journalist.

Another LC bit of rubbish.

“Truth is dictated by fact, Melanie, not sheer weight of believers.”

LMAO!!
I’ll ensure you remember that when yet another (ever increasing in number) Muslim victimhood/barmy (ever increasing in number) Islamic beliefs must be respected article hits LC!

Sunny, there are threats, and there are empty threats.

Mel’s was an empty threat, not that anyone on the right would try to shut down debate, of course.

Good fringe “do” on Monday BTW. Pity there were rather a lot of eats with egg + mayo in them.

Yep, she’s a twat.

I’m not an MP fan but:

I don’t think he should have published the emails.

and

He misreads this para.

“Your blog post about me is highly defamatory and contains false allegations for which you would stand to pay me significant damages in a libel action. There are many things I could say to point out the gross misrepresentations, selective reporting and twisted distortions in what you have written. I will not do so, however, because you have shown gross abuse of trust in publishing on your blog private correspondence from me without my permission”

He quotes the final sentence, and then says:

How is that a good reason not to sue me? Surely this is a further offence that she is clearly annoyed by and would make her more likely to sue me, not less?

She isn’t refusing to *sue* him because she’s annoyed with him – she’s refusing to *engage* with him. That’s what ‘I will not do so’ means here.

i agree sarah

This is an extreme case of bad email netiquette. It is against one of the core rules of netiquette to personally insult people on the internet, flame.

She makes threats of defamation to people on Twitter all the time and tends to intimidate politicians who criticise her. She is such a joke. Not to mention a hypocritical bully and liar. I dare her to sue me for saying that. Of course, she couldn’t sue me for saying she herself was recently on the receiving of a successful (and I would say genuine) defamation lawsuit that got her sacked from the Spectator.

Happy Winterval in advance, Melanie Phillips. Good will to all overpaid, untalented, cynically motivated hacks. Keep flying the flag for your imagined silent majority. Jerry Falwell would be so proud.

I wish we could bin Melanie’s articles unread, along with all the other nuisance Mail…

(And yes, it’s a threat. Trying to get picking because she didn’t directly say “I’m going to sue you” – when you start throwing claims of libel and damages, it’s a threat. No, she probably isn’t going to do so right now, but the threat is there if he were to continue writing articles about her.)

By the way, did anyone else enjoy her blog post on Rory Weal? Almost immediately after Phillips attempts a character assassination of a 16 year old, a commenter has the temerity to suggest she has issues with those of different opinions to herself and might be guilty of what psychologists call ‘splitting’.

This was her response.

‘On the contrary, I see democracy and freedom as directly threatened by the kind of brainwashing that this young man represents. So do millions of others who are as alarmed as I am because they understand what is happening — and that it is doing so because so many just dont get it. As for bile and polarisation, if you were at the receiving end of what regularly comes my way you might begin to understand the meaning of those words.

Melanie’

Once again, we get the usual histrionics and we see that what this is really all about is Melanie Phillips the victim. I expect saying this would immediately get me accused of ‘viciousness’ and ‘bullying’ by Melanie which only goes to reinforce my point further. You cannot reason with a drama queen.

Yes kiddies, if you’re not willing to stand behind anything you’ve written in your emails or do not wish to have them publicly displayed there’s an easy method to stop it from happening.
Don’t press send.

Needless to say this goes triple for those who send hate emails.

From the OP: Uponnothing published the following: “I’ve responded to you via my blog [http://www.butireaditinthepaper.co.uk], I prefer to keep such conversations public – as any writer should (although I notice you don’t believe that journalism or blogging is a two-way process, probably because it is easier to write your nonsense trapped in your own blissful bubble of ignorance).”

As others have said, private correspondence should remain private unless both parties consent. There is the basic idea of manners — what I wrote to you in an email or letter was intended for your eyes. Keep it private unless there are exceptional reasons to disclose — whistle-blowing reasons.

There is another consideration of self protection. If you publish a false allegation presented in somebody else’s correspondence, you share the calumny, legally and morally.

As for Melanie Phillips, my opinions of her journalism are not libellous but any expression of them would be a waste of expletives.

@16. Cylux: “Yes kiddies, if you’re not willing to stand behind anything you’ve written in your emails or do not wish to have them publicly displayed there’s an easy method to stop it from happening.
Don’t press send.”

That is not a positive message to send to whistle-blowers, people who wish to tell stories about misconduct performed under the name of citizens. I know what you mean about being prepared, in court, to say that you believed that your post/email was true and required disclosure.

A different take on that is when somebody blows a whistle, seriously, the blower deserves protection. The principal subject should be the incident that raised a kerfuffle, and investigation of who illuminated the subject should be suspended. And dropped if the exercise is not malicious.

As others have said, private correspondence should remain private unless both parties consent.

Actually – not exactly. If I state an email is in confidence or not for publication, fair enough. But otherwise, its on the record. The FT journo Chris Cook recently got some really bizarre responses from civil servants re: education reform, and he published them without waiting for them to confirm it.

@18

A different take on that is when somebody blows a whistle, seriously, the blower deserves protection. The principal subject should be the incident that raised a kerfuffle, and investigation of who illuminated the subject should be suspended. And dropped if the exercise is not malicious.

I’m not sure how many whistle-blowers actually use emails as their method of blowing the whistle to be honest. Plus technically speaking by displaying MP’s emails the Angry Mob blogger was the one doing the whistle-blowing in this instance.

I had to stop listening to BBC Radio 4’s “The Moral Maze” because of Phillips. The debate was about drugs, and she equated someone smoking a spliff with someone noncing a child! The correspondant said “Taking drugs is about personal liberty” or something, and her response is “That’s the same as Paedophiles”, or something VERY similar. When I found myself halfway to Portland Place with the plan of running the bitch over when she emerged from BH I knew it was time to quit! Now I ignore her, her followers, and all those that subscribe to her vile, twisted, Human-Rights-Abuses-Apologetic foaming rants.
If only someone would do the world a favour and stick her in an Oubliette with Nick Griffin and Nadeine Dorries; imagine the peace that could cause!
PS, I’m broke, have nothing of any value, and am unemployed without benefits; sueing me would be a waste of the courts time.

@20. Cylux: “I’m not sure how many whistle-blowers actually use emails as their method of blowing the whistle to be honest.”

You have to get the attention of a journalist somehow. Phone the newspaper switchboard using a throw-away mobile phone, use Hushmail. Ultimately the whistle-blower gives him/herself away on the content of disclosed data. How many people knew that nugget of information? (Probably difficult to prove if you expose a “confidential” database to 250,000 people, but shit descended on one poor bloke.)

“Plus technically speaking by displaying MP’s emails the Angry Mob blogger was the one doing the whistle-blowing in this instance.”

I am unconvinced about “public interest”. The case that Phillips was unpleasant in private communication is unsurprising given her published words. Even if a correspondent revealed something “fruity”, a sentence that made the reader question whether it was racist, publication still requires a public interest argument.

The only people who *think* about Melanie Phillips are people on LC and on discussion forums like it. And her deluded libel threats are not “public interest”. I have held political discussions with intelligent people who didn’t know about Tom Paine, so I conclude the possibility of “the public” holding a value judgement about Melanie Phillips is negligible. Melanie Phillips, who?

@19. Sunny Hundal: “Actually – not exactly. If I state an email is in confidence or not for publication, fair enough. But otherwise, its on the record. The FT journo Chris Cook recently got some really bizarre responses from civil servants re: education reform, and he published them without waiting for them to confirm it.”

That is an etiquette change that I can not adopt.

You know what a press release is? The email that says *Press Release* at the top? I’d publish that without hesitation.

But private words in email, over the phone, on a piece of paper? Perhaps I might explicitly say that something is public, but that is the exception. On another occasion I might mention something to a company trading partner and I do not expect that information to be blasted over the internet. I didn’t put *Press Release* at the top.

25. So Much For Subtlety

16. Cylux

Yes kiddies, if you’re not willing to stand behind anything you’ve written in your emails or do not wish to have them publicly displayed there’s an easy method to stop it from happening. Don’t press send.

Really? So there is nothing wrong with George W.’s programme of monitoring the world’s e-mail traffic without warrants, because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in an e-mail?

Would you have a problem with the News of the World hacking someone else’s e-mail account? After all, you seem to think there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, right?

@22

You have to get the attention of a journalist somehow. Phone the newspaper switchboard using a throw-away mobile phone, use Hushmail. Ultimately the whistle-blower gives him/herself away on the content of disclosed data. How many people knew that nugget of information? (Probably difficult to prove if you expose a “confidential” database to 250,000 people, but shit descended on one poor bloke.)
I think this is VERY far removed from the matter at hand, to actually be a completely different subject entirely. Philips was not passing on sensitive information in the hopes of exposing corruption or malpractice, she was being a swivel-eyed bampot over an email response to someone who clearly wasn’t agreeable to her position in the first place. Hardly working on a basis of trust like a whistle-blower by necessity would, which you have hope doesn’t result in the verbatim printing of email correspondence. (Misplaced trust in that instance.)

But given how often whistle-blowers DO get hung out to dry, like Bradley Manning as an extreme example, I don’t think ‘positive messages’ are what they need. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say, so even to whistle-blowers I stand by my advice @16.

@24

Would you have a problem with the News of the World hacking someone else’s e-mail account? After all, you seem to think there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, right?

So showing people messages you yourself were sent is now equal to Phone hacking?
Well, bugger me, I showed my flatmate earlier an email from Pizza Hut I got, while asking him if he wanted to take advantage of the deals contained within together, turns out I was committing an act on a par with hacking Milly Dowler’s phone.
*Hangs head in sarcastic shame*

(Also curse you blockquotes fail above!)

@25. Cylux: “But given how often whistle-blowers DO get hung out to dry, like Bradley Manning as an extreme example, I don’t think ‘positive messages’ are what they need. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say, so even to whistle-blowers I stand by my advice @16.”

I have many quibbles but I reckon that Cylux and I can agree on one thing: if you want to blow the whistle, use a Hushmail account, or something like it. Look after yourself. Do not expect that the person at the other end is honest.

29. Leon Wolfson

@24 – When you’re dealing with a journalist? At his public email address?

30. So Much For Subtlety

26. Cylux

But given how often whistle-blowers DO get hung out to dry, like Bradley Manning as an extreme example

Bradley Manning is not an example of anyone being hung out to dry. If Manning was a whistle blower, what whistle did he blow? There is nothing in the papers so far that would even suggest there was a compelling public need to know. Or even a slight public need to know. All he has done is got some innocent people in trouble for wanting democracy or talking to the American Embassy. Probably bad trouble including deaths.

27. Cylux

So showing people messages you yourself were sent is now equal to Phone hacking? Well, bugger me, I showed my flatmate earlier an email from Pizza Hut I got, while asking him if he wanted to take advantage of the deals contained within together, turns out I was committing an act on a par with hacking Milly Dowler’s phone.

Amusing. But no. Now you are simply changing your argument. From the absurd “if you send an e-mail expect the whole world to read it”, to some other as yet poorly articulated position, but one I assume is something like “if you send an e-mail to someone that person has the right to display it to the world”. That is a lesser position and a more interesting argument that your original one.

Oh, and you’re doing that false equivalence thing. Come on Cylux, you seem to want to vie with Leon or sally. You’re not trying hard enough this time.

In reality, of course, Ms Phillips was nuts to think that if she talked to some no-name blogger, he wasn’t going to use it to big himself up. He actually got a Name to talk to him and so draw attention to his blog. Provided he published the e-mails of course. Her mistake was to slum it in the first place.

[deleted]

Ha ha ha Priceless

‘On the contrary, I see democracy and freedom as directly threatened by the kind of brainwashing that this young man represents. So do millions of others who are as alarmed as I am because they understand what is happening — and that it is doing so because so many just dont get it. As for bile and polarisation, if you were at the receiving end of what regularly comes my way you might begin to understand the meaning of those words.

Stupid cow.

@7 watchman: the earth is flat was never a widespread belief, as most people knew things were over the horizon

It wasn’t a widespread belief among sailors and educated people. It probably was widespread among illiterate peasants.

but it is a bit of a popular sneer at those ignorami

ITYM ignoramuses. You can’t use a Latin plural for ignoramus, firstly because it’s already plural, secondly because in Latin it’s a verb (meaning “we don’t know”), whereas in English it’s a noun.

@SMFS

Now you are simply changing your argument. From the absurd “if you send an e-mail expect the whole world to read it”

That was my argument? You sure? Given the context of the OP I’m pretty sure my original comment was “You send someone something, what you send them is in their hands, with obvious consequences, which may or may not include them slapping it on their blog”, hell some blogs actually carry a warning in a corner of the main page, saying that any email correspondence may be used on the blog at the blog author’s whim.

Plus I bet former congressman Anthony Weiner wishes he’d followed my advice and not pressed the send button.

Oh, bring it the fuck *on*, Mel! As high profile as possible, please!

Where can we donate to the legal fund? Or, given the possibility of her losing, where can we invest in shares of the inevitable payout?

SMFS:

The idea that being harrangued by Mel Philips, the journalistic equivalent of a mad bag lady shouting obscenities at the bottom of the street, is some kind of status boosting medal is absurd in the extreme. She harangues everyone. She’d probably try to sue the neighbour’s cat for mulsamic terrorism if it took a shit on her lawn.

Still, no such thing as a bad apologist for state power, eh love?

37. Mr S. Pill

Nice to see Mad Mel living up to her nickname :)

I wish she would take this chap to court, I’d chip in to his legal fund. Be good to see Daily Hatemail lies destroyed in court. Melanie Phillips (and her ilk) is a disgusting speciman of humanity.

38. Charlieman

@37. Mr S. Pill: “I wish she would take this chap to court…”

I reckon that rationalism would kick in quickly for you, Mr S. Pill, and that you would determine that courts are the wrong place to settle differences of opinion. Very strange things happen in courts. It is wiser to challenge Melanie Phillips on the plains of the blogosphere than in a legal jungle.

39. Chaise Guevara

Bit late to the party here, but I agree with some others that this doesn’t really read like a threat. I’ve occasionally said something like “Great, now you’re actually libelling me” online when I’m sick of being hit with some insulting straw man or another, but I wouldn’t want someone to interpret that as an actual threat of legal action.

That said, I can understand why other people DID see it as a threat, and I don’t think they’re being opportunistic or anything, I think they’re just reading too much into it.

40. Chaise Guevara

@ 37

I sympathise, but Charlieman’s right. The British legal system does not exactly have a reputation for resolving libel suits to the benefit of mankind – just ask Ian Hislop.

41. Dan Factor

Melanie Phillips wants the freedom of speech to spout her racist lies against Muslims and other minorities but she wants that free speech removed for people who point out her racism.

42. Flowerpower

This whole spat rest upom a crock of shit.

The blogger’s magum opus about Winterval being a “myth’ just shows the blogger to be as stupid and insensitive as Mel P says.

He takes up 57 pages or so to debunk a strawman.

In doing so, he entirely misses the point and fails to see what bishops, Christians, the Daily Mail and millions of ordinary people found so objectionable.

The reason he can’t see it, is because he is part of the problem himself and doesn’t have the imagination to understand the objection.

I am not a Christian, but I can well understand why anyone who is would be upset by the crass cultural relativism of a council that sought to include it under an umbrella brand with Diwali (as the birth of Christ and Diwali were of equal ‘validity’).

Also I can see why bishops might turn puce at the idea of the Christmas lights being turned on by a pantomime purple dinosaur. That’s without dwelling on the ‘retail festival’ aspects. Winterval wasn’t a myth at all. It was really offensive to anyone with a Christian outlook.

43. David Hodd

I thought for libel to be effective, you had to have a reputation worth damaging?

@42 “Also I can see why bishops might turn puce at the idea of the Christmas lights being turned on by a pantomime purple dinosaur. That’s without dwelling on the ‘retail festival’ aspects. Winterval wasn’t a myth at all. It was really offensive to anyone with a Christian Sectarian outlook.”

I fixed that passage for you.

45. Mr S. Pill

@38

Sigh, good point…

46. Jimboydavey

Hey Dan! Muslims are not a race!!!!!
And are hardly a minority in some areas of all our major cities.
Indeed they are the majority.

But why do I bother to educate another fucking idiot who calls a religion a race and defends any action against this RELIGION as racist!

Sorry Jimboydavey. Let’s fix it for you.

Mel Philips and other people who are irrationally prejudiced against the imaginary Muslamic Infidel bogeymen who live in their head and who they may or may not actually believe in when not writing about them for profit may not be strictly “racist”, per se, according to the strictest definitions of the words favoured by people looking for ways to pass their bigoted fucknuggetery off as brave, anti-PC ‘insight’ as opposed to the same reactionary tribalism it always is. However, they are bigoted fucknuggets.

If you like, for the purposes of accuracy, you can substitute all instances of the word “racist” with “bigoted fucknugget”.

@42.

I don’t think he’s missed the point at all. People may well continue to resurrect the opportunity to take umbrage and be offended at a thing done by a council ten years ago because they feel some genuine sense of moral outrage. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t cultivating that sense of moral outrage because they’re petulant little children who need to feel that the whole world is out to get them in order to shore up their sense of self worth.

You fucking Christians can pout all you like, fact is you nicked Saturnalia off the bloody pagans and stuck your blood-god all over it. If you don’t like sharing the solstice with others, you’re welcome to fuck off back to Rome, you hypocritical assholes. Otherwise, you might want to remember that the Christianity espoused by most Britons is a fairly innocuous ceremonial thing and we’ve got a history of casual heresy and pragmatic humanism that stretches far deeper than your cheap US-imported cultural-supremacist bollocks.

Some soft-skinned attention-seeking priest might well want to be offended by something fucking completely irrelevant. It happens every day. Paying attention to that kind of childishness only encourages it, though.

Ignorance is not a point of view.

The woman may be as mad as a box of frogs but that was plainly not a libel threat.

Delighted to chip in towards the legal fund if that person was to actually put her threats into practice. She makes me wince.

51. Chaise Guevara

@ 42 Flowerpower

“I am not a Christian, but I can well understand why anyone who is would be upset by the crass cultural relativism of a council that sought to include it under an umbrella brand with Diwali (as the birth of Christ and Diwali were of equal ‘validity’).

Also I can see why bishops might turn puce at the idea of the Christmas lights being turned on by a pantomime purple dinosaur. That’s without dwelling on the ‘retail festival’ aspects. Winterval wasn’t a myth at all. It was really offensive to anyone with a Christian outlook.”

This seems to basically read “It’s offensive for Christians to have to breathe the same air as those horrible heathens”. I think you’re probably doing Christians a disservice here.

If I decide I want to celebrate a festival in December, called Winterval or Festivus or Snowarama or whatever, what the hell does that have to do with Christians? I’m not stopping them celebrating Christmas, does the rest of the world have to fall in with their prejudices? Do they have copyright over happy occasions in the winter seasons? What?

52. Chaise Guevara

@ 42 Flowerpower

And before you say the offensiveness was because Christmas was included in Winterval, you know as well as I do that if someone had announced a winter festival covering a period that included 25/12 but didn’t mention Christmas, the response would have been an even louder “THEY’VE CANCELLED CHRISTMAS! FASCISM!!!!111″

The people who got offended over Winterval were/are either a) ignorant of its actual nature, b) self-righteous types for whom getting offended with people for being different is about as natural as breathing, or c) both.

53. Flowerpower

Chaise @ 52

Okay, so try a thought-experiment.

Just imagine that next Thursday was your anniversary – a big milestone one, say, your tenth anniversary.

Now, say you go to your partner and say “Look, I was planning a nice romantic dinner out on our 10th anniversary. But then I remembered that this week marks three months since the hamster came to live with us. So, in a sense, it’s the hamster’s anniversary too. Also, Thursday’s my mate Bob from football’s birthday. So what I’ve done is arrange for us all (yes, we can bring the hamster) to go on a pub crawl. I know you were looking forward to the romantic dinner, but your birthday will be right at the heart of our celebration – after the pub, we’ll all go on to a special birthday curry at the Indian and I’ve booked a stripper to sing HBTY.’

I think your partner might be a bit upset.

54. Flowerpower

….sorry, confused birthday and anniversary at the end there, Chaise. But I think you’ll get the drift.

55. Chaise Guevara

@ 53

That’s really not the same thing, is it? It’s not like Winterval involved going up to people and saying “look, I know you were looking forward to Christmas dinner, but we’re co-opting your house on the 25th to present the diorama of All Races Living Together In Harmony. It’s ok, we got you some turkey sandwiches”.

The whole point is that Winterval doesn’t impose on people celebrating Christmas – they can continue to do as they like. The offence seems to come from the assumption that a) the whole world needs to drop what it’s doing and help them to celebrate Christmas whether it wants to or not, and b) nobody should celebrate anything else during December, because nothing ruins your fun like seeing other people being happy.

56. Chaise Guevara

…and how did you know we have a hamster? :)

57. Laughing Boy

Blah blah…
Philip’s is right though. Bye bye Britain. Hello Asian Islamic state.

Donlt dare tell me this is not ethnic cleansing.
I donlt care one bit about the crappy Catholic religion. But the religion/people cleansed here is not the issue…the cleasning is.

If this same statistic (91% population dropping to just 3% in 10 years!) was achieved at the barrel of a gun you’d be up in arms.
Stealth Jihad indeed….

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/catholic-primary-school-set-to-convert–to-islamic-faith-2089112.html

“”Catholic primary school set to convert to Islamic faith””

“Just a decade ago, Sacred Heart RC Primary School in Blackburn was a flourishing Catholic community, with 91 per cent of its pupil intake professing the faith. Now that number has dwindled to no more than 3 per cent. ”

Lancashire! English county. No more. Give it another 10 years.
See where else turns into an Islamic dark ages horror show.

58. Laughing Boy

Throw this juicy statistic and street level view of our cultural suicide into the mix;

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/head-sounds-alarm-on-school-ghettos-2365631.html

“London’s schools are becoming ghettos as the city “sleepwalks towards Johannesburg”, a senior headmaster said last night.

David Levin, the head of City of London Boys’ School – a leading independent school – said he was “increasingly alarmed at the way London is dividing into ghettos”.

He cited the case of Stepney Green, a secondary school in Tower Hamlets, east London, where 97 per cent of the pupils are of Bengali background.”

You should be listening to Philips.

The worse thing about Melanie is that she isnt attractive enough to secretly fantasise about her, so I cant give my hatred for her a shameful guilty level.

Sadly this is yet another case of right-wing Christians mistaking the loss of privilege for actual persecution.

@Chaise Guevara – I think I love you. And Cylux and David Hodd, too :)

Particularly for this:

The whole point is that Winterval doesn’t impose on people celebrating Christmas – they can continue to do as they like. The offence seems to come from the assumption that a) the whole world needs to drop what it’s doing and help them to celebrate Christmas whether it wants to or not, and b) nobody should celebrate anything else during December, because nothing ruins your fun like seeing other people being happy.

62. Chaise Guevara

@ Yewtree

Much obliged!

63. Chaise Guevara

“Donlt dare tell me this is not ethnic cleansing.”

It’s not ethic cleansing. Sorry.

64. Flowerpower

63

It’s not ethic cleansing. Sorry.

True. But do you accept it is “white flight”?
And that is concerning.

65. Flowerpower

Chaise

The whole point is that Winterval doesn’t impose on people celebrating Christmas – they can continue to do as they like. The offence seems to come from the assumption that a) the whole world needs to drop what it’s doing and help them to celebrate Christmas whether it wants to or not

Actually, it does impose. Councils should just butt out of this sort of thing. They should concentrate on things like collecting the rubbish, providing meals on wheels etc. not hare-brained schemes of cultural engineering.

I agree with flowerpower that the blogger doesn’t “get it” and is probably incapable of doing so.

One of the signal features of the modern liberal regime is the idea that to specifically prefer one set of cultural norms over others is intolerant and exclusive (which, of course, it is). The very notion that Britain is a “Christian nation” is basically racist and chauvinistic. All cultures are equally valid and none should be promoted by the state or national institutions like the BBC at the expense of any others.

It’s important to note, as one commenter does above, that the State is not out to persecute Christians (or whoever); rather, the State wants to create a value neutral public sphere where the individual can select cultural content according to his or her personal preferences, which are inviolable as long as they do not impinge on anyone else. For modern liberalism, all choices are equally valid, as long as they play by these rules (which is why any form of “fundamentalist” religiosity is antithetical in the long term).

In other words, the choice between Diwali and Christmas is like the choice between Twix and Mars–certainly no business of the State, or any form of authority higher than the individual.

67. Jimboydavey

So Christian nation is racist…but it seems no one minds ‘Muslim nation’ or worse…’Muslim world’.

And yes it is ethnic cleansing!

68. Justaglasgowguy

The law of copyright is quite clear. If you create an article, letter, email or picture then you have the copyright of it. Effectively, copyright means you have control over how it is used. You can give it away telling the person ‘to do with it as you please’ or you can apply restrictions on it. It doesn’t matter whether you post it on Flickr or send it to a blogger. This applies to personal letters as well – those yellowing letters from your first love requires his or her permission to be included in your autobiography.
You may have possession of them but they are not yours to publish unless you get permission from the person who wrote them.

Oh, and is Islam a ‘race’? There’s only one ‘race’ and that is the human race. But you can be as offensive and discriminatory against Muslims just as much as you can be against Jews. Or are we going to argue that anti-Semitism is not racism?

69. Chaise Guevara

@ Flowerpower

“True. But do you accept it is “white flight”?
And that is concerning.”

Depends how you define “white flight”, really. And no, I don’t find it concerning in and of itself. A demographic shift at a school is not a reason for panic, unless there are other factors.

“Actually, it does impose. Councils should just butt out of this sort of thing. They should concentrate on things like collecting the rubbish, providing meals on wheels etc. not hare-brained schemes of cultural engineering.”

In which case they shouldn’t be putting up Christmas lights either. if you’re arguing for “small-councilism”, fair enough, but it’s at best tangentally related to this issue. In any case, I think Winterval (the real one that actually happened) was in part designed to boost local business, which you would think would fall within a pragmatic council’s remit.

70. Chaise Guevara

@ 67 Jimboydavey

“So Christian nation is racist…but it seems no one minds ‘Muslim nation’ or worse…’Muslim world’.”

Sigh. That’ll be to do with CONTEXT, dear boy! I know it’s hard to see the particulars when you’re desperately grasping at straws.

“And yes it is ethnic cleansing!”

Only to total idots with no sense of perspective or basic humanity.

Right. So we have established that Laughing Boy is an insane, frothing racist who has forgotten that this isn’t the Stormfront website.

Apparently when ethnic minorities are ghettoised in one location, this means that they are secretly ganging up with the intent to take over the UK by Stealth Jihad. Which, if I’m getting my axioms in a row here, seems to imply that Hitler was right when he broke up those Jewish Ghettos because they were, in fact, a hotbed of anti-German sentiment. My God, he acted just in time! How can we have got that one so wrong?

Anyway, Laughing Boy’s an idiot. Moving on.

Flowerpower, also Wrong! Not quite as frothingly wrong, but still, Wrong! Hilarious.

The little “why it’s ok that we’re taking such unnecessary umbrage” illustration was informative, but unfortunately ass backwards. Allow me to fix it for you!

What we’re dealing with here is Flowerpower going round others houses while they celebrate their anniversary, their hamster’s birthday, whathaveyou, and shouting at them because they’re not celebrating his birthday.

“But… who are you? Why do we want to celebrate your birthday?” they enquire.

“Because I’ve lived on this street for longer and anyway my taxes pay for your housing benefit so YOU OWE ME,” says Mr Flowerpower.

“But that’s actually not true, my grandad moved here in 1930 and I’m a teacher at the local school. I’m not on housing benefit,” they say, in the unaccented English typical of 3rd generation immigrant families.

“But you haven’t been married as long as I’ve been alive and your hamster is younger than me so my birthday is the oldest running celebration on this street and so everybody should either celebrate it with me or stay inside and shush,” says Flowpow.

“Even if that logic were correct, rather than being the fatuous gibberings of a demented lunatic,” they say, increasingly worried about how Flowpow got into their house, “it’s still not true, because it’s also my Great Aunt’s birthday, and she’s 96.”

“OH MY GOD WHY ARE YOU SO BIASED AGAINST MEEEEEEE!!!” says Flowpow, and runs off wailing to complain to The Internet that everyone hates him and is a big meanypie because he made a PERFECTLY REASONABLE REQUEST which they IGNORED because they SMELL. On his birthday he sits in his room and won’t come down to open his presents, thus proving to everybody that it was, in fact, TOTALLY RUINED by all those other people celebrating things that weren’t what he wanted them to celebrate.

Secretly, of course, he’s never been happier, because this sense of injured pride and righteous outrage that he cultivates makes him feel good about himself. Offense is like a drug, and Flowpow is mainlining it like an addict.

There. Now that I’ve explained it, I hope you find it helpful! Hopefully you can get offended at me too, and go off to cry about it to some white people who give a shit about your spoiled, petulant butthurtedness.

73. Flowerpower

Chaise @ 69

In which case they shouldn’t be putting up Christmas lights either

Of course they should.

I am a Jew, but I fully accept that this is a Christian culture and England has an established church. The ‘cultural engineering’ comes in when people don’t accept that and use political power and taxpayer money to re-engineer it.

Christmas – and Christmas lights – should be the cultural default position. Hannukah and Diwali should go on quietly on the sidelines, not be made normative by incorporation.

Depends how you define “white flight”, really. And no, I don’t find it concerning in and of itself.

I guess it’s when an area’s character changes so markedly because of immigration that a tipping point is reached where families from the original community just up-sticks and go somewhere else, usually complaining that their old home feels like a foreign land. It’s a way of rejecting multiculturalism with their feet. That leaves the equivalent of a ghetto, full of new arrivals with noone left around to integrate with…… hence the growth of a separatist mindset, and de facto apartheid.

Not healthy, really.

74. Chaise Guevara

@ 73 Flowerpower

“Of course they should.

I am a Jew, but I fully accept that this is a Christian culture and England has an established church. The ‘cultural engineering’ comes in when people don’t accept that and use political power and taxpayer money to re-engineer it.

Christmas – and Christmas lights – should be the cultural default position. Hannukah and Diwali should go on quietly on the sidelines, not be made normative by incorporation.”

Firstly, for the umpteenth time, nobody is stopping anybody from celebrating Christmas, including in public. The rest of this is just sour grapes. If Winterval has a big draw and does no harm (and I’m not counting bigots whinging about being offended as “harm”), why the hell shouldn’t we have it? Why do you want to push your beliefs into other people’s lives when they’re not harming anyone else? If you don’t like it, don’t join in.

“I guess it’s when an area’s character changes so markedly because of immigration that a tipping point is reached where families from the original community just up-sticks and go somewhere else, usually complaining that their old home feels like a foreign land. It’s a way of rejecting multiculturalism with their feet. That leaves the equivalent of a ghetto, full of new arrivals with noone left around to integrate with…… hence the growth of a separatist mindset, and de facto apartheid.”

I agree that ghettoisation is a problem, although obviously I feel little sympathy for the fleeing racists.

Not healthy, really.

Meanwhile, Jimboydavey seems to be *really* confused.

We are a “Christian nation” inasmuch as we have an established church and certain formal elements of Christianity grafted onto our system of government.

However, the population of these islands is, and this is one of these historically persistent traits, remarkably nonsecular and irreligious. The established church has long since got over its habit of insisting that everybody Jolly Well Do As We Say, which is a good thing because most of that habit was the result of a cock-measuring contest between various upper class families who all thought that they should be Monarch and that the country should therefore be Catholic or Protestant, and if they weren’t allowed then heads would roll, by Geoffrey! But even then, mostly people just went along with whatever brand they were told to believe that day, and have now mostly got over it. There are local pockets of exception, of course, the most notable being the whole Ulster debacle, but this still doesn’t represent much in the way of Britain being a “Christian nation” in the sense of everyone worshipping the same God in the same way, more in the sense that we like to graft it onto our personal identities and make our generational internecine fights over class, politics and resources nominally about which Church is actually Satanic.

So “Christian Nation” isn’t racist per se. But saying “Christian Nation”=”everyone here is a Christian” is factually incorrect and has been for far longer than the Mail has been importing its fake umbrage at the renaming of the winter solstice from American far right organisations. And saying “we’re a Christian Nation so nobody is allowed to do anything non-Christian” is, as discussed above, perhaps not racist, but certainly in the “bigoted fucknugget” drawer.

76. Chaise Guevara

“Not healthy, really.”

Sigh… I copied this into my post by mistake, it’s not supposed to be a sarky echo of you post.

77. Flowerpower

@ vimothy

Aaaron campbell at Theos exposes what’s wrong with the State doing its values-free cultural ringmaster schtick – it leads to social break-up:

any serious consideration of, and attempt to achieve, social cohesion can ill-afford to ignore the Christian stories that have bound us together as a culture for over a thousand years. In the same way as the knowledge of British history, constitution and symbols acts as a point of cohesion, so too does knowledge of the stories that have informed those cultural phenomena for centuries.

Knowledge does not, of course, mean belief in. It is not the state’s job to encourage religious belief or disbelief in any format. However, in an age that is increasingly questioning the received wisdom of multiculturalism, we can ill-afford to ignore those things that make for unity. Any attempt to downplay the Christmas story in order to help social cohesion is destined to prove counterproductive.

78. Flowerpower

@ 74 Chaise

Why do you want to push your beliefs into other people’s lives when they’re not harming anyone else? If you don’t like it, don’t join in.

It is not I who is pushing my beliefs (as I side, I do my stuff quietly on the sidelines), it is the Council who is gatecrashing other people’s lives and pushing its own “values-free”, crass cultural-relativism where it’s not wanted.

I recall a number of the CofE clerics up in arms about Winterval complaining that at a time of year when the churches are going around warning against excessive commercialism and consumerism, reminding their flock to think about the poor and homeless, the last thing they wanted was the Winterval crowd pushing a “retail festival’ of full-on consumerism. They had a point.

79. Flowerpower

Also, lest we forget, the Winterval shenanigans were essentially about a split within the Labour Party and marked the final fiasco in the career of leftie Teresa Stewart before being ousted by NuLab modernizer A. Bore.

The new lot recognized it was daft. And some time after wards Birmingham even ditched its abstract, secular Christmas lights and replaced them with lights that were ….ahem…. images of angels.

Flowerpower,

Well, that’s certainly true. Really, liberalism has to abolish society to establish the sovereignty of individual choices between equally valid values, and then it has to tell people what to think in order to prevent unresolvable conflicts between supposedly sovereign individuals. So liberal tolerance is substantive rather than procedural, i.e., it doesn’t consist of letting people do what they want, but in telling people how to think and behave. The state suppresses traditional society and installs an atomised hedonism in its place where “we’re free to be you and me, as long as the differences between us never matter”.

81. Chaise Guevara

@ 78

“It is not I who is pushing my beliefs (as I side, I do my stuff quietly on the sidelines), it is the Council who is gatecrashing other people’s lives and pushing its own “values-free”, crass cultural-relativism where it’s not wanted.”

If you want to make other festivities take a backseat to Christmas, you are pushing your beliefs on others. What right have you to tell people how to celebrate the things they care about? I’m not talking about your beliefs as a Jew (if, indeed, you have any), but your political beliefs, here taking the form of “groups I consder to be outsiders should keep their voices down”.

The only the council is pushing itself on others is via its use of public funds… and I agree that Winterval is a waste of money if it isn’t popular with the locals or of commercial benefit. But simply celebrating something you personally find crash is not an imposition upon you, unless you think the world has to change to suit your sensibilities.

“I recall a number of the CofE clerics up in arms about Winterval complaining that at a time of year when the churches are going around warning against excessive commercialism and consumerism, reminding their flock to think about the poor and homeless, the last thing they wanted was the Winterval crowd pushing a “retail festival’ of full-on consumerism. They had a point.”

Again that comes across as “you’re contradicting the church so shut your face”. Supporting local business is not a bad thing, even if certain religious elements find it disagrees with their values (the horror!).

And it turns out vimothy is paranoid! Who’da thunk!

Flowerpower, I admire your use of Holbo’s Two Step of Terrific Triviality there. Well played, sir, if still ultimately both fatuous and fallacious.

When the gentleman you quoted said “the Christian stories that have bound us together as a culture for over a thousand years” it was enlightening, because “as a culture” we’ve mostly used the overtly Christian bits of our culture to have a bunch of wars and discriminate against populations that were the wrong kind of Christian. But, amusingly, said chap also then waxes on about “In the same way as the knowledge of British history, constitution and symbols acts as a point of cohesion.” I suppose someone who doesn’t have a very good understanding of British History but who has cobbled something together in a way that suits his own purposes might very well believe that, but then, what are the rest of us to make of someone who is so clearly wrong about absolutely everything?

Also, as I said, the Christians nicked Saturnalia first, so turnabout is fair play as far as I’m concerned. If they don’t like it they can move to Rome.

Also, wrt @79, since Winterval has been “ditched”, one might even conclude that there’s no problem any more, right? So people who keep bringing it up in columns saying “many councils are renaming Christmas because of PC and Muslims” are hoping to achieve what, exactly, would you say?

Exactly what is the historical evidence linking the birth of Christ to 25 December?

As best I can tell, the early Christian churches simply colonised the spate of pagan festivals around the winter solstice.

In 46 BCE, Julius Caesar in his Julian calendar established December 25 as the date of the winter solstice of Europe and try this other Wikipedia entry for the Roman festival of Saturnalia:

“Saturnalia was introduced around 217 BC to raise citizen morale after a crushing military defeat at the hands of the Carthaginians. Originally celebrated for a day, on December 17, its popularity saw it grow until it became a week-long extravaganza, ending on the 23rd.”

When I lived and worked in Scotland in the early 1960s, Christmas day was originally a full working day. The traditional seasonal holiday then was hogmanay at the new year. Gradually, the seasonal holiday extended from Christmas Day to the New Year.

Christmas has become a widely celebrated commercial festival in Japan where the Christian churches have had little historic influence – not least because under the Shogunate prior to 1868 Christian missionaries were detained and executed by painful means.

85. Chaise Guevara

The article itself is hilarious, by the way. Apparently Christmas has been “renamed” Winterval in several places (to the best of my knowledge this has never happened anywhere), and the politically correct brigade want witch costumes to be pink because the traditional black robes are racist

This is my favourite bit:

“And finally, teachers are told they should be ready to lie, if necessary, when asked by pupils what their favourite colour is and, in the interests of good race relations, answer ‘black’ or ‘brown’.

Can you believe this?”

No. No I can’t. On account of it being obviously untrue.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2041765/BBC-BC-AD-debate-Our-language-hijacked-Left.html#ixzz1ZuihGkLx

It’s a good rule of thumb to assume that if people have to lie in order to justify their position, their position is probably bullshit.

87. Chaise Guevara

@ 86 McDuff

As far as I can tell, the stuff about witch costumes and teachers’ favourite colours, plus the idea that white paper is racist, is sourced from a single Telegraph article, which is itself based on the comments of a single woman, for whom a direct source is not available.

So even if it’s true, we have an article that may as well be titled “random person you never heard until we quoted her is rather stupid” for all its newsworthiness.

McDuff:

“When the gentleman you quoted said “the Christian stories that have bound us together as a culture for over a thousand years” it was enlightening, because “as a culture” we’ve mostly used the overtly Christian bits of our culture to have a bunch of wars and discriminate against populations that were the wrong kind of Christian”

Any evidence to back up that statement?

“But, amusingly, said chap also then waxes on about “In the same way as the knowledge of British history, constitution and symbols acts as a point of cohesion.” I suppose someone who doesn’t have a very good understanding of British History but who has cobbled something together in a way that suits his own purposes might very well believe that, but then, what are the rest of us to make of someone who is so clearly wrong about absolutely everything?”

Again, care to elaborate/back this up?

89. Laughing Boy

Listen to the facts Lefty idiots. Quislings. Traitors. Hypocrites. Fake liberals.

http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/europe/muslim-group-disapproves-of-polygamy-trend-in-the-uk

LONDON // Sharia councils in Britain are reporting an unexpected and “dramatic” rise in the number of Muslim men taking second or third wives.

A prominent Muslim legal expert warned that, because polygamy is illegal in the UK, second and any subsequent wives and their children could be left destitute and without recourse to the courts should these marriages break down.

Official government figures estimate the number of polygamous marriages in Britain at about 1,000. However, Muslim social workers believe the actual total could be 20 times greater.

Tariq Ali, a social worker in Lancashire and co-founder of Project BME, a charity for minority communities based in Darwen, Lancashire, told the Daily Mail that he was encountering many nikah-only marriages in Britain, mainly in the Pakistani community.

“Every single man of my age who I bump into seems to have a third, fourth or fifth wife,” he said.

“The issue is going unreported but in the Asian communities this is becoming a way of life. I think the number of polygamous relationships must be 20,000.”

I think the commenter at 88 is having some kind of laugh. Where is my evidence that British history is full of people having wars and chopping people’s heads off because the monarch was the wrong kind of Christian? Why don’t you try throwing a dart at a history book, I’m sure you’ll find something.

Why should I have to back up “you don’t know anything about British history”? The fact that you don’t know about the Jacobites, the Normans or the Orangemen should really say it all. And what do you think the Easter Rising was about?

Honestly. How can anyone have a conversation with someone so utterly dense, I ask you? Go read a bloody history book!

@ 90:

“I think the commenter at 88 is having some kind of laugh. Where is my evidence that British history is full of people having wars and chopping people’s heads off because the monarch was the wrong kind of Christian? Why don’t you try throwing a dart at a history book, I’m sure you’ll find something.”

I don’t see how this invalidates the potential of history to act as a unifying factor. These events are all part of our common heritage, after all, and it’s not like we’re still fighting the Civil Wars or the Glorious Revolution.

“Why should I have to back up “you don’t know anything about British history”? The fact that you don’t know about the Jacobites, the Normans or the Orangemen should really say it all. And what do you think the Easter Rising was about?”

All events which have helped to shape this country, to make it what it is — events, in other words, which are part of our heritage. Heritage acts as a unifying factor, by giving people something in common and helping to define them as a group. The fact that this heritage includes civil wars is neither here nor there, unless those conflicts are carried down to the present day. Which (Northern Ireland perhaps excepted) they haven’t been in Britain.

So you’ve changed from “where’s your evidence” to “the evidence doesn’t matter because my proposition is still correct”? Awesome.

What exactly do you mean when you say history acts as a unifying factor? Unifying to who? For what end? Was Peterloo unifying? Were the blackshirts unifying? What, precisely, are you suggesting “we” have on this island that is so unifying that if every local council fails to enforce a specific bit of Protestantism it will all fall apart?

Also, the whole “if you discount Ulster” thing is a pretty big “if”, you do know that don’t you?

94. douglas clark

You do appreciate that Melanie Philips makes a huge amount of money with her shtick?

The Daily Mail have today apologised for the article’s reference to Winterval: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/article-2058830/Clarifications-corrections.html

I don’t give two hoots about wherever Mel Phillips is a nice person or not , I agree with most of what see writes apart from the religious aspects and her insistence that Christianity kicked off the enlightenment, this I disregard with fervent intent.

People who judge a writers views or opinions on the basis of their being a pleasant sort and all that are as bad as watchers of east enders voting for David Cameron because ” he so handsome”

Personally I couldn’t care less whether it is you or Melanie P who is the more/less correct.
But disinterestedly reading your effort linked above completely fails to impress me except on your own hypocrisy or self-delusion.
“I thought it was important to demonstrate how Melanie deals with any polite, factual criticism of her writing.”
But your words were very far from polite, but rather calculated to be needlessly offensive. Furthermore your assertions about her being hypocritical in opposition to libel actions is totally misplaced. She explicitly indicated that she had better things to do with her time than trawl through your chatter for libel action material, she explicity indicated she was NOT going to start libel action. And anyway she couldn’t possibly demean you more than your own cheap writing does. Her reply looked to me eminently reasonable and restrained and left me impressed in contrast to your own baseless assertions.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Joe Darling

    Columnist Melanie Phillips threatens blogger@uponnothing with libel damages over 'Winterval' myth http://t.co/UWIJyYFY

  2. Keira Evans-Determan

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval (Liberal Conspiracy): Source : Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/MPJUmqin

  3. Samuel James

    “@sunny_hundal: Columnist Melanie Phillips threatens blogger@uponnothing with libel damages over 'Winterval' myth http://t.co/krZ60Z8m”

  4. Nick Oliver

    Columnist Melanie Phillips threatens blogger@uponnothing with libel damages over 'Winterval' myth http://t.co/UWIJyYFY

  5. Ed Hayes

    What does Melanie Phillips think she's gaining by acting like this? http://t.co/kbEB0i7Y

  6. Stockycub1973

    Columnist Melanie Phillips threatens blogger@uponnothing with libel damages over 'Winterval' myth http://t.co/UWIJyYFY

  7. David Gregory

    Melanie Phillips calls blogger "arrogant and ignorant", threatens legal action, irony meter implodes http://t.co/LL8GBJ3f via @libcon

  8. Andrew Jones

    Columnist Melanie Phillips threatens blogger@uponnothing with libel damages over 'Winterval' myth http://t.co/UWIJyYFY

  9. Gareth J Jones

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger over "gross misrepresentations & twisted distortions": http://t.co/oNUTVzo5 …because that's her job?

  10. pinners

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/xgTXsrQR via @PaulRooke10 #Winterval

  11. Jonathan Sadler

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/xgTXsrQR via @PaulRooke10 #Winterval

  12. Alex Braithwaite

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/NicFAII3 via @libcon

  13. Soph

    @miguelencasa just reading this http://t.co/sXmUBprm cba to research into background bc it is nonsense in every way.

  14. Carrie Allcott

    Soooo, more of what we've come to expect from Melanie Phillips then *facepalm* http://t.co/mQfHIoYb

  15. Natacha Kennedy

    Wondrous @melanielatest threatens some blogger with libel for disagreeing with her http://t.co/4fdyDO9o Do journos get any more pathetic?

  16. Nick Long

    Columnist Melanie Phillips threatens blogger@uponnothing with libel damages over 'Winterval' myth http://t.co/UWIJyYFY

  17. Rick

    Bloody hell! 27 Celsius outside and we've already got a Winterval row: http://t.co/vguQ3B7X

  18. Doug Shaw

    RT @flipchartrick: Bloody hell! 27 Celsius outside and we've already got a Winterval row: http://t.co/psTqxjpc >>he he

  19. Rick

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger over "gross misrepresentations & twisted distortions": http://t.co/oNUTVzo5 …because that's her job?

  20. John West

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval << you couldn't make it up…? http://t.co/ZQbqe6vL via @libcon

  21. Surreal Football

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval << you couldn't make it up…? http://t.co/ZQbqe6vL via @libcon

  22. Tim Moore

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval << you couldn't make it up…? http://t.co/ZQbqe6vL via @libcon

  23. Yvonne Aburrow

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval << you couldn't make it up…? http://t.co/ZQbqe6vL via @libcon

  24. Mark W

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/OlOdLvGC via @libcon

  25. Mark W

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval << you couldn't make it up…? http://t.co/ZQbqe6vL via @libcon

  26. Richard Bridge

    Melanie Phillips, a libel threat from writer who accuses "liberals" of closing down debate #doublestandards http://t.co/4i9Fb9Pa via @libcon

  27. Toutes les batteries - PHILIPS ACT 400

    […] Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval | Liberal … Presumably taken to suggest Ms Phillips believes the earth is flat and the centre of the universe (the former incidentally was never a widespread belief, as most people knew things were over the horizon, but it is a bit of a …. Well, bugger me, I showed my flatmate earlier an email from Pizza Hut I got, while asking him if he wanted to take advantage of the deals contained within together, turns out I was committing an act on a par with hacking Milly Dowler's phone. … […]

  28. Bef_ P

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/K9cXfJE4 via @libcon

  29. Julie Doughty

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/VQHouG1F via @libcon

  30. Welshracer

    Melanie Phillips threatens blogger with libel over Winterval http://t.co/MhOPKkEM Nasty woman.

  31. bruce lawson

    @pigsonthewing yup http://t.co/imAC4qwz

  32. Mo

    @pigsonthewing yup http://t.co/imAC4qwz

  33. Daily Mail admits Mel Phillips got it wrong | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] She eventually hit back with threats of libel Your blog post about me is highly defamatory and contains false allegations for which you would stand to pay me significant damages in a libel action […]





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