4 June 1951 |
|Occupation||Journalist, author, publisher|
|Notable credit(s)||Daily Mail columnist
The Spectator correspondent
Former columnist for The Guardian
Author of Londonistan
Melanie Phillips (born 4 June 1951) is a British journalist, author, publisher and co-founder of EM: Melanie Phillips Electric Media. She started on the left of the political spectrum, writing for The Guardian and New Statesman. During the 1990s she moved to the right, and currently writes for the Daily Mail, covering political and social issues from a social conservative perspective. Phillips defines herself as a liberal who has "been mugged by reality".
Phillips has often appeared as a panelist on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Moral Maze and BBC One's Question Time. She has written a number of books, including Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain (2013). She was awarded the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 1996, while she was writing for The Observer. She published her memoir, Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain on 5 May 2013.
Early life 
Phillips' family was Jewish, and immigrated to the U.K. from Poland and Russia. Her father, Alfred, was a dress salesman, and her mother, Mabel, ran a children's clothes shop. Both parents were committed Labour voters. She was educated at Putney High School, a girls' independent school in Putney, London, and later read English at St Anne's College, Oxford.
Phillips trained as a journalist on the Evening Echo, a local newspaper in Hemel Hempstead, as her probationary period in the provinces, then compulsory for the profession. After winning the Young Journalist of the Year award in 1976, she spent a short period at the New Society magazine, before joining The Guardian newspaper in 1977 and becoming its social services correspondent and social policy leader writer.
She was named in 1984 the paper's news editor, and was reported to have fainted on her first day. She started her own opinion column in 1987. As a writer for The Guardian in 1982 she defended the Labour Party at the time of the split with the Social Democratic Party. While working for The Guardian, Phillips wrote a play called Traitors which was performed at The Drill Hall from January 1986. The play was set at the time of the 1982 Lebanon War and centred around the moral dilemmas of a Jewish journalist who as political editor of a liberal magazine has to decide whether to veto an article written in anti-semitic tones, and also whether she is right to publish a leaked document about the Falklands War. The play was reviewed by John Peter in The Sunday Times as "a play of blistering intelligence and fearless moral questioning", although he considered it bordering on implausible.
Phillips left The Guardian in 1993, saying that her relationship with the paper and its readers had become "like a really horrific family argument". She took her opinion column to the Guardian's sister-paper The Observer, then to the Sunday Times in 1998, before beginning her association with the Daily Mail in 2001. She also writes for The Jewish Chronicle and other periodicals. Since 2003, she has written a blog, once hosted by The Spectator, but after a disagreement and her resignation from the magazine in June 2011, it is now hosted on her own website.
Personal life 
The BBC has said that Phillips "is regarded as one of the [British] media's leading right-wing voices" and a "controversial" columnist. She began her career on the liberal left with The Guardian. Her drift to the political right has been mirrored by her journalistic career: she now writes for the Daily Mail, and Nick Cohen wrote in 2011 that she has become vilified by The Guardian, while Phillips herself stated in 2006 that her views are often misrepresented by her former newspaper.
She has said that she supports a two-state solution in theory but that it cannot work in practice, commenting: "I would have no problem with a Palestine that would live in peace alongside Israel [...] I respond to the evidence of what is actually happening. Israel is being demonised [...] If Israel were to leave the West Bank, it would turn Islamist overnight and become an Iranian proxy on Israel’s doorstep. That is why I cannot support a state of Palestine."
Phillips's criticisms of liberal Jews who disagree with her positions on Israel have been condemned by Jewish writers such as Jonathan Freedland, Alan Dershowitz, and Rabbi David Goldberg. Freedland criticised Phillips's labelling Independent Jewish Voices, a group of liberal Jews, as "Jews For Genocide". He wrote in The Jewish Chronicle: "Now, as it happens, I have multiple criticisms of IJV [...] but even their most trenchant opponents must surely blanch at the notion that these critics of Israel and of Anglo-Jewish officialdom are somehow in favour of genocide—literally, eager to see the murder and eradication of the Jewish people [...] it is an absurdity, one that drains the word 'genocide' of any meaning."
In All Must Have Prizes, published in 1996, Phillips offered a critique of the British education system, saying that an egalitarian and non-competitive ethos (progressivism; multicultural education) had led to a catastrophic fall in standards. She criticised John Dewey's "disastrous influence". A subsequent paper said that "Phillips gets Dewey quite wrong," for example in claims that Dewey promoted ahistoric and cultureless education. Phillips criticized one academic paper—on primary-school children's constructions of British identity. Its authors responded with a follow-up study, showing that young adolescents, in common with their counterparts in primary schools, adopt a pluralist viewpoint with virtually no nationalist or racist comments.
Phillips has commented on the politicisation of education, particularly at Aberystwyth University. In 2005, she said there was an "anti-Jewish witch-hunt going on in our seats of learning" with particular focus on Aberystwyth University, based on an anonymous student's testimony. In 2008, following further allegations (supported by documentary evidence) made by another anonymous student regarding the biased nature and reading list of a course on terrorism convened by politics lecturer Dr. Marie Breen Smyth, as well as allegations by the same student regarding bias against Israel by Breen Smyth and her colleague Dr. Richard Jackson, Phillips wrote to the Vice Chancellor of the University saying that Breen Smyth was a "subversive" who should not be allowed to teach. These accusations were denied by Breen Smyth.
In 2008, The UK Drugs Policy Commission called allegations Phillips made regarding its work, "an absolute travesty and a wilful misrepresentation".
Phillips in 2011 said there is no "war on drugs" in Britain, rather a "refusal to enforce the law against drug use in a coherent, consistent, and effective manner". She sees the result as a lax attitude to drug use that helps perpetuate drug use. In 2010 she cited the US as an example of strict enforcement, stating "consumption of cocaine has fallen by 75 per cent in the U.S. over the past 20 years — suggesting that the American ‘war on drugs’ has been rather successful."
Global warming 
Gay rights 
She opposed the introduction of civil partnerships for gay couples in the UK, and has said that what she calls "the traditional family [...] has been relentlessly attacked by an alliance of feminists, gay rights activists, divorce lawyers and cultural Marxists who grasped that this was the surest way to destroy Western society." She has said that giving IVF fertility treatment to lesbians would "help destroy our understanding of human identity", and expressed her opinion that opposition to it represents "a fightback to save our civilisation". She said the UK government was brainwashing children by including references to gay people in lessons about censuses and population movement. Philips called it "an abuse of childhood", part of a "ruthless campaign by the gay rights lobby to destroy the very concept of normal sexual behaviour". These views led to her receiving the controversial 'Bigot of the Year' award from gay equality organisation Stonewall in 2011.
Barack Obama 
||An editor has expressed a concern that this section lends undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, controversies or matters relative to the article subject as a whole. (February 2013)|
Since the election of Barack Obama, Phillips has accused him of "adopting the agenda of the Islamist" and of being "firmly in the Islamists camp". Shortly after Obama's re-election for a second term, Phillips said that "Four years ago, America put into the White House a sulky narcissist with an unbroken history of involvement in thuggish, corrupt, far-left, black power, Jew-bashing, west-hating politics." She warned that Obama would lead America into a "terrifying darkness". The Independent termed it "rather odd" and an "angry rant", which "sparked debate on Twitter."
UK politics 
Phillips has argued that the British Conservative Party lost its way after the retirement of Margaret Thatcher. She also stated that the UK Independence Party is prepared to embody "truly conservative attitudes" and has attracted a sizeable protest vote, despite its "unsustainable spending policies".
- The Divided House: Women at Westminster, Sidgwick and Jackson, 1980, ISBN 0-283-98547-X.
- Doctors' Dilemmas: Medical Ethics and Contemporary Science by Melanie Phillips & John Dawson, Harvester Press, 1985, ISBN 0-7108-0983-2.
- All Must Have Prizes, Warner, 1998, ISBN 0-7515-2274-0.
- The Sex-Change Society: Feminised Britain and the Neutered Male, Social Market Foundation, 1999, ISBN 1-874097-64-X.
- America's Social Revolution, Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society, 2001, ISBN 1-903386-15-2.
- The Ascent of Woman: A History of the Suffragette Movement and the Ideas Behind it, Little, Brown, 2003, ISBN 0-316-72533-1.
- Londonistan: How Britain Is Creating a Terror State Within, Gibson Square Books Ltd, 2006, ISBN 1-903933-76-5.
- The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle Over God, Truth and Power, New York, Encounter Books, 2010, ISBN 97811594033759.
- Andy Beckett "The changing face of Melanie Phillips", The Guardian, 7 March 2003
- "Orwell Prize Melanie Phillips – Columnist, Daily Mail". The Orwell Prize. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- Peter Hillmore "NS Profile - Melanie Phillips", New Statesman, 10 March 2003
- John Peter "Amoral acquiescence", The Sunday Times, 26 January 1986.
- "Why Melanie Phillips quit The Spectatorl". The Guardian (blog). 28 June 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- "Goodbye, Melanie!l". News Statesman (blog). 24 June 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- Phillips, Melanie (16 June 2011). "My blog's new home". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "Joshua Rozenberg". Noel Gay. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
- Jackie Ashley (16 June 2006). "The multicultural menace, anti-semitism and me". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- List of Panelists for Question Time, BBC website, 6 June 2007.
- Nick Cohen (6 December 2011). "A regiment of women monsterers". The Spectator. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Glazov, Jamie (24 July 2009). "Alan Dershowitz vs. Melanie Phillips". FrontPage Magazine. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
- Freedland, Jonathan (30 March 2007). "The danger of Melanie Phillips". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- Petrovic, J.E. (1998), "Dewey is a Philistine and other grave misreadings", Oxford Review of Education 24 (4), pp. 513-520
- Carrington, B., Short, G. (1998), "Adolescent discourse on national identity—Voices of care and justice?", Educational Studies 24 (2), pp. 150-152
- Phillips, Melanie. The Spectator, 15 April 2008, Terror in academia
- "UK Drugs Policy Commission responds to Melanie Phillips" Spectator.co.uk 19 April 2008 Retrieved 6 February 2012
-  By Melanie Phillips "Daily Mail" 17 November 2011]
-  By Melanie Phillips, "Daily Mail" 21 September 2010]
- "Global warming is a 'scam' says Melanie Phillips" bbc.co.uk 27 November 2009 Retrieved 21 July 2012
- "Melanie Phillips's Articles " A fatherless law". Melaniephillips.com. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
- "Yes, gays have often been the victims of prejudice. But they now risk becoming the new McCarthyites" By Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail 24 January 2011]
- Hugh Muir, "Stonewall's bigot award prompts banks' threat to withdraw sponsorship", The Guardian, 30 October 2012
- Melanie Phillips: Would you buy a used manifesto promise from this lot?
- Daily Mail: I know where the political common ground is, Dave. The question is, do you?
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Melanie Phillips|
- Phillips's personal website