Wednesday, July 04, 2007

An existential crisis

I am not sure that I can cope with this. I have just listened to Radio 4's The Moral Maze (rarely a wise decision) on approaches to terrorism and I found myself agreeing with Melanie Phillips. OK she went off on a few wild rampages through misplaced historical analogies and the occasional distortion, but in the final discussion her moral outrage was fully justified.

My shared anger was roused by two comments from one of the male panellists who I was unable to identify by voice alone. I can't guarantee total accuracy either as I jotted them down as I heard them, but the import is absolutely correct. The first was bad enough. 'There are other theocratic countries, not least Israel". All right, he should go back and look at a simple primer of political theory and learn the difference between a theocracy and a secular, liberal democratic, ethnic nationalism, but so far so depressingly familiar. Then I heard a chilling phrase that took the breath away. "We cannot bring everything back down to the Jewish problem". Shit. Did I hear that? The Jewish problem? Is mainstream British liberalism using the language of the Holocaust?

The world has turned upside down and I need a drink.

1 comment:

Barry Larking said...

The BBC website has this edition of the Moral Maze on its 'Listen Again' feature. Go to BBC>Radio Four>Listen Again. I am not clever enough to place a link here (which may not in any case be permitted).

Listening to the 'Moral Maze' is indeed taking risks with one's health, especially on an issue such as this.

I too am deeply disturbed to find myself in agreement with Ms Philips. But as Orwell said once "If the Daily Telegraph says eating babies is wrong, then The Daily Telegraph is right".

Importantly, why does the BBC pander to the voices of Moslem complaint and self pity? None are truly representative of progressive Moselms in this country, many of who are accomplished and working out a way of belonging without giving up those important aspects of identity and orgin. I am personally convinced much of what passes for commentary on 'Moslem's' relationship to Britain has more to do with the internal (and terminal) political problems of Pakistan.