Friday, 26 June 2009

Won't somebody PLEASE think of the stay-at-home mums?

I'm used to seeing confusing arguments in the Mail, but even by their standards this seems a bit...weird. In Why does CBeebies hate stay-at-home mums?, Laura Kemp tackles the burning political question of the day. Already it's off to a bad start with the headline, since no-one actually hates stay-at-home mums, but we'll plough on anyway. It starts with a moving portrayal of an innocent family betrayed:

Next on CBeebies, a party political broadcast by the Labour Party. OK, I'm not being literal, but I never thought good old Auntie would betray me like this; that it would become the Government's ventriloquist's dummy by piping out Labour's send-mums-back-to-work mantra on its preschool channel.

When I considered what to allow my 21-month-old toddler to watch on television, I turned to the trusted corporation that gave me Blue Peter and Take Hart as I grew up.

Seems reasonable; you just want to be able to stick your child in front of a TV and let him get neutral, inoffensive entertainment. But what did the red bastards at the BBC give us? Balamory, Timmy Time and Me Too!, it seems. Not exactly the Triumph Of The Will, you might think, but then your brain has probably been turned to a soft, porridgey mush by years of BBC propaganda too. Allow Kemp to enlighten you about these three shows' heinous crimes:

All three shows feature ecstatically happy characters at nursery - there's lovely nursery worker Miss Hoolie on the Scottish island of Balamory, Timmy the lamb and his daycare pals in Timmy Time, and trustworthy Granny Murray the cuddly childminder in Me Too!.

The message is clear: nursery is normal, fun and nothing to be scared of. But as a stay-at-home mum, I feel undermined, undervalued and angry.
I'm not entirely sure why Kemp finds this weird. They're three very different shows; the nursery conceit of Balamory is fairly incidental and the kids themselves really just represent the audience. Me Too! is more explicitly about childcare, in that it's about six kids who are in childcare and follows them and their parents; the parents are two couples, a single mum and a single dad. Not much actually wrong with that. Timmy Time is a fucking ludicrous inclusion in this list; it's about a sheep on a farm and his various different animal friends, who are watched over by 'Harriet the Mother Stork and Osbourne the Father Owl'. You'd have to be hyper-sensitive to view it as subliminal advertising for sticking your kids in a nursery; the 'parent' figures aren't their real parents because when you make an animated series about animals it's generally easier to have one of every animal, as this show does, rather than trebling the cast with similar-looking parents. The adults in that show seem only to exist to provide authority figures, and if you really MUST try and project them into the real world, they represent normal parents just as much as they do childminders. They are authority figures and role models in the shows, and their exact relationship to the kids isn't as important as the universal themes that get covered.

Kemp goes on and on to whinge that various minorities are represented but she hasn't seen a character exactly like her and is thus horribly disenfranchised. Allow me to propose a reason for this; these shows are aimed at kids and are mostly about the interaction between kids. To do this you need to get these kids in one place, be it a nursery or a school or a, er, farm. A show about a stay-at-home mum would be fucking boring, because they're generally looking after kids too young to leave the house and interact with kids on their own, making it hard to find excuses for getting young characters together. There are shows which feature stay-at-home mums on normal television, but they're usually in shows that are about adults or families. If you want to make shows all kids can relate to, it's easier to make a show in a school and have shitloads of different kids in it than it is to make a show about a family. Kemp is furious though:

Gone are the days when Mum gets a mention - the (male) chefs in cookery show Big Cook, Little Cook tell tots following the recipe to 'ask your grown-up helper' to turn on the oven.

Just imagine what Listen With Mother would be called today. Listen With Childminder perhaps?
Even when I was growing up in the 80s they would say 'ask an adult'. It's fine. What would be the point in saying anything else? "Ask your mum, kids! Unless she's dead of course!".

The odd thing is, Kemp's article keeps sneering at inclusiveness like this, while demanding she be included. Imagine for a second that all the shows on CBeebies were about stay-at-home mums and nuclear families. Now picture the derision that someone like Richard Littlejohn would show if you wailed and campaigned for a show featuring gay parents or black parents so you could be included. Kemp seems to be having her cake and eating it here. I like the part where she contrasts 'minorities' (everyone else) with 'the traditional family' (hers), and then goes on to cite statistics saying that two-thirds of kids do actually go to nursery, which in fact puts her in the minority.

The most interesting bit is this, where Kemp bravely takes on the propaganda apparently inherent in the descriptions of these shows from the BBC:

Meanwhile, Timmy Time 'is an engaging exploration of nursery life which every pre-school aged boy and girl can relate to'. Errrrm, not every child - what about my son?

'In this bright, colourful, safe environment,' it continues, 'Timmy and his animal chums learn how to make friends, create new things, paint, draw and generally learn those very important life lessons from their nursery teachers.'

Of course, silly me: only a nursery can turn a toddler with the terrible twos into a rounded human being.

And as for daycare being safe, that's taken a nasty knock in many people's minds after a female worker at Little Ted's nursery in Plymouth was charged with child sex abuse.
There's nothing in that description that suggests kids can ONLY learn these lessons from their nursery teachers, it's just that in this particular show that's who they're learning from. The last sentence about child abuse though is absolutely fucking vile.

There is an obvious solution which I'm sure would please Kemp in her mad desire to have shows about plasticine farm animals unerringly reflect reality, and so I'm about to pitch to CBeebies that their next episode should see Timmy and the gang brutally sexually assaulted by Mother Stork and Father Owl in an extended rape scene, only for the police to find graphic images of the abuse on their computers. I bet somehow Kemp would find something to complain about in that, too. It's political correctness gone barking mad!

Kemp seems to think this is a post-97 New labour phenoment, but I wonder what Kemp would make of the shows I watched as a kid. In The Raccoons, the mother Raccoon worked at the paper along with her husband, a shocking endorsement of both nepotism and working mums. SuperTed didn't even have real parents; he was made in a factory in what seems to be a be a blatant analogy suggestive of sinister genetic engineering. Can anyone say for sure that the creators of SuperTed didn't envision a dystopic future in which there are no such thing as families and all creatures are created in labs? Sooty was a tedious bit of PC nonsense which tried to suggest that it was normal for mute bears to apparently live with a man and a woollen dog. And can the human mind imagine a more sickening piece of multicultural propaganda than the baffling domestic set-up of Rainbow? You've got a bear, a hippo and a man living together with some weird freakshow thing with a rugby-ball-shaped head and a zip for a mouth, and the naive PC idiots who made it expect us to believe this is how things work in the real world? Bears and hippos just hanging out, yeah? How on earth is my imaginary child supposed to relate to that?

Incidentally, winner of 'best piss-taking response' is Harold Showmore of Boston, who writes "Big Cook, Little Cook? Why does the BBC continue to discriminate against average-sized cooks?!". Which would have made a snappier response than this ludicrous fisking I've just undertaken, but it's a bit late now.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The Kids Aren't All White

The Mail, as we all know, isn't a racist paper and they definitely dislike the BNP just like everyone else (they're a bit rough-looking and some of them are working class). So I always find it curious when they do their casual race-baitng work for them, such as in the crudely-titled Four in ten under-20s in London aren't white, in which they point out, over the course of a whole article, that four in ten under-20s in London aren't white.

Now, this statistic appears to be genuine for once (although the report it comes from describes it as an 'experimental statistic' from 2006), but what intrigues me is why the Mail chose it. For a start, most people who are broadly against immigration insist that they're not concerned with race, so why on earth is that an interesting statistic in and of itself? It undoubtedly includes large numbers of second- and third-generation 'immigrants' who are as British as anyone else unless you're Nick Griffin or some other idiot who thinks that the 'just because a dog is born in a stable doesn't mean it's a horse' analogy is a sophisticated argument.

The other thing that strikes me is that the report it comes from is overwhelmingly not about race. They've taken this stat from the ONS' Regional Trends 41 report, which this year is focusing on children. It's a big report, with numerous sections, and the Mail has culled this statistic from the first part, which is 29 pages long. One section of one page refers to the ethnicity of children, but the report is massively wide-ranging. It concludes, among other things, that income deprivation is the primary factor in regional differences between children's welfare. So this section of the report is about child poverty, immunisation levels, obesity, educational performance and so on, while the wider report has a big section on regional differences and how they correlate with the status of women in business. And what's the Mail concerned with? Pulling the stat about skin colour out of its context in the report and tossing it forth as if it were significant on its own.

Inevitably, they wheel out Sir Andrew Green of Migrationwatch to moan about 'the massive change that is taking place to our society at a rapid pace and without the indigenous population ever being consulted'. The text of the article isn't particularly interesting, but it is curious the way the Mail does this sort of thing, putting forward these kind of statistics with a fairly clear disapproving tone which their readers can then pick up and run with. And oh, how they run:

Make that 7 in 10 and i might believe it.
- Mike, London, England, 25/6/2009 8:01
Yeah, you read that right, he's asking to have the statistics massively increased based on his no doubt impeccably-researched reckonings. I wonder if he used the same fool-proof sampling system as this next genius:

Do tell! To anyone like me who regularly uses public transport in London, this is stating the obvious.
- Peter North, Sutton, Surrey, 25/6/2009 0:26

A less accomplished writer than me might at this point make a crude joke involving Peter North's famous namesake, but I'm going to use this sentence to gloss over the fact that I couldn't think of a good one while still brazenly making the reference anyway in a quite rubbish way. Anyway, here's Graeme from Winchester going for the commenting money-shot with finesse:

The British establishment are globalist traitors.
- Graeme, Winchester,England, 25/6/2009 5:49

Short, punchy, harsh words indeed, but he seems almost impotent next to this guy:

If a person cannot see the great danger they must either be stupid or welcome the coming disaster. I told friends in London in 1990 that if this population growth continues it will explode. "No problem, the numbers are slowing down anyway" they said. I fear civil war just like in Yugoslavia as the EU flounders and the UK as a viable nation state disintegrates.
- david newall, Leeds and Australia, 25/6/2009 6:07

A pretty heavy comment there, but what else would you expect from a man who seeingly bestrides the world like a Colossus, one foot in Leeds, the other in Australia, as he rains down prophetic jizz upon our reluctant faces? There's really nothing you can do but admire the kind of man who can unironically put two continents in his location while predicting that immigration will lead to civil war. At least David Newall seems to have plenty of people on his side in the upcoming race war, given that his comment has a positive rating of 101 while someone suggesting that skin colour shouldn't matter is getting a kicking to the tune of 137 negative votes at the time of writing. One can only pray for David that when the time comes, the war takes the forum of an angry online click-voting battle.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

The New Boring

Well hey, if it isn't my favourite complete waste of time, Andrew Brown, writing another thunderingly non-committal shrug-piece in the Guardian. Brown's creationist-friendly 'let's all get along, you meanies!' witterings put me in something of a quandary. I read Melanie Phillips and Littlejohn and I get angry at all the deliberately myopic hyperbole; with Brown I get angry because his articles don't really say anything, or serve any real purpose other than mildly winding up atheists by continually missing the point.

So, there's this new creation museum in Kentucky, and Brown has got an email about it from Michael Ruse. You might think Brown, who seemingly spends his entire life examining the intersection between religion and science, might have a look at the science in this museum, and deliver a tentative verdict on it from atop his carefully-erected fence. Instead, Brown charges fearlessly into a field of carefully-erected straw men, shattering largely irrelevant arguments with the full force of his 'interesting' semi-conclusions:

For a start, it is not nearly as high-tech, he thought, as the Field Musem of Natural History in Chicago, or even the Museum of Science and Industry. This is interesting because one imagines that creationists are using slick multimedia displays to sell their ideas since reason clearly won't do the trick. But no.
So, despite having a fair bit of money, the Creation Museum isn't quite the Universal Studios tour. Great. Now we've got that out of the way, onto the meat!

The other point, easily overlooked, is that this was a very racially mixed place. I had not known that the modern creationist movement, from its very beginnings in the works of Henry Morris, was adamant that the human race was all one. This is a very interesting sidelight on the complications of modern American fundamentalism.
Ah, so not only does the museum have mediocre production values, it's also not explicitly racist! That's certainly one in the eye for The New Atheists, probably. Hey Guardian readers! They're not racist! They're okay!

Ruse adds that

"Just for one moment about half way through the exhibit ...I got that Kuhnian flash that it could all be true – it was only a flash (rather like thinking that Freudianism is true or that the Republicans are right on anything whatsoever) but it was interesting nevertheless to get a sense of how much sense this whole display and paradigm can make to people"

That is the second interesting and unexpected part of the story: that he should want to understand – indeed, to feel – how his opponents feel.

Whether that's 'interesting' or not is for you to decide, but I can't help feeling that calling Ruse's touchy-feely desire to reach out to creationists 'unexpected' is a tad disingenuous, given that that's essentially been Ruse's niche for years. You don't need to research much further than his Wiki page and his list of books and articles to know roughly where he sits in this debate. Personally, I find the 'framing' debate tedious; Dawkins and PZ Myers aren't going to change their combative styles, nor should they as long as their reasoning is sound and their passion is intact. I think a mix of bulldogs like Myers and less divisive but intellectually sharp figures like Ken Miller and Eugenie Scott are required to get evolution across, so I can respect Ruse wanting to take a more gentle approach, but there's still no excuse for him writing meandering crud like this:

It is silly just to dismiss this stuff as false – that eating turds is good for you is [also] false but generally people don't want to [whereas] a lot of people believe Creationism so we on the other side need to get a feeling not just for the ideas but for the psychology too.
Yes, it's silly to merely dimiss stuff as false, but it's also silly to afford creationism respect because more people want to believe in than want to physically eat shit. Criticise Dawkins all you like, but he's done plenty to try and actually explain the science of evolution. Atheists have talked plenty about the psychology of creationism, but at what point do you stop saying 'well, we need to get a feeling of the psychology behind the Creation Museum', and start saying 'Holy fuck! They're claiming that there were dinosaurs and humans together in the Garden Of Eden!'? I'll be honest, if you feel like being a tad rude towards the kind of people so deliberately ignorant and entrenched in their worldview that they'll start building museums around their utterly unproven claims, I'm not going to stand in your way. Andrew Brown will (but you can probably just walk around him):

The new atheists recoil instinctively from the idea that they should get a feeling for the ideas and psychology of creationists. To them the essential point about believers is that they are stupid and crazy and wrong. So why waste your one life trying to inhabit a mind smaller and more twisted than your own?

I've copied the links Brown inserts there, where he portrays Guardian commenters as calling believers 'stupid', 'crazy' and 'wrong'. You can follow them and see if you agree with Brown's characterisation of them (suffice it to say that none of them use the three words he does; the 'stupid' one for example merely calls another commenter out on an apparent logical fallacy). It's time for the last paragraph now, and having failed to examine any of the Museum's ideas, repeated some of Ruse's comments about framing, and had his now-customary dig at the 'new atheists', Brown lines up his knockout punch:

But this constant identification of religion with irrationality, stupidity, cruelty, and ignorance is doubly self-defeating. It doesn't of course work to persuade anyone out of religious belief. But it also promotes some quite grotesque self-deception. For if all the bad traits in human nature are religious, and I am not religious, then I am surely free from all the believers' faults. Sometimes I think this explains the attractions of that style of atheism.

And here we run into one of the problems you can encounter in journalism when you call for others to stop bloody well stereotyping people; it kind of makes it difficult to then crudely generalise about others, which is one of the primary functions of the commentator. Having railed against the new atheists for conflating religion with irrationality, he then goes on to suggest that these atheists are self-deceptive and convinced that they are free from irrationality and fault. When I read this kind of wet-blanket journalism from the likes of Brown, it ironically kind of makes me want to run into his office, wanking frantically over a picture of an ape-like ancestor and screaming 'Dawkins is the new Messiah!' while I bash him over the head with a Tiktaalik bone. I mean, at least the creationist nutjobs are vaguely fucking entertaining.

Shorter version of this blog: Andrew Brown tells 'new atheists' to lay off creationists without really giving a compelling reason why. Again.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

International fugitives come from other countries, Mail finds

Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for the most absurd, point-missing headline of the day:

World's most wanted violent criminals on the run in UK (and guess what, none of them are British)

The Mail here has caught wind of a list of fugitives announced by Crimestoppers, looked down the list of dudes wanted in the UK, and noticed that they're all have foreign-sounding names and come from places like Poland, Hungary, and Albania. And not a single Brit is on the list! Astonishing!

It's almost shocking until you realise that the list of 16 is taken wholesale from Operation INFRA, a list dedicated to finding international fugitives; that is to say, alleged criminals from one country who are suspected of having fled to another. By its very definition, no British man would be included in that sixteen, because our fugitives have to, you know, leave the fucking country.

It's pretty standard foreigner-bashing distortion, and that headline with its crude hell-in-a-handcart-ism isn't doing anyone any favours. The great part about this though, for me, is the impeccable timing with which the Mail delivered it's story. Just yesterday, the BBC reported Crimestoppers' announcement that they'd just captured a British man on the run in Malaga, who was wanted in connection with charges of attempted murder, wounding with intent and possession of a firearm. His arrest came as part of the Spanish Crimestoppers operations, which are dedicated to finding the numerous British (alleged) criminals who they're hunting in Spain. If you go to that site, you will find that he was on the list of NINETEEN British men believed to be hiding in Spain.

Indeed, you don't even have to go to the Spanish site to do this; if you go to the UK Crimestoppers Most Wanted page, and under the drop-down 'Showing' menu select 'Operation Captura', you get the same list; 19 British men wanted in connection with serious crimes who are thought to have fled to Spain. The Mail has skewed the stats in its headline by selecting a list which by definition excludes British men, and smugly pointing out that none of them are British. The article does briefly mention these operations in Spain, but it's all rendered toothless by that gormless fuck-up of a headline and the biased tone of the article.

The other amusing aspect of the timing of this 'dirty murdering Poles'/'criminals are mostly foreigners' nonsense is that it comes in a week where one of the major news stories has been the hunt for and subsequent arrest of a British man who has been on the run for several days after his rich wife was found brutally murdered in a Paris hotel room. His Polish wife, no less!

The comments make inevitably depressing reading, although there is some amusement in seeing comments like this:

The dumping ground and criminal hideout of Europe. And with the UK's Human Rights bill these people will be untouchable.
- Gary, Barcelona, 1/6/2009 12:45

Yes, that's right, a British ex-pat in Spain, whose Costa del Sol is notorious as a haven for fleeing British wrong-'uns, and a country where 19 Brits are currently wanted, suggesting that Britain is the 'criminal hideout of Europe'. You couldn't make it up!!!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Join me for some true blogging

Well, I'm back from a not even remotely well-earned break, and the world of politics and the media has remained as depressing as ever. But what to write about? I missed the chance to publicly giggle at the side-splitting cavalcade of fail that is Nadine Dorries, although I'm sure she'll be back dropping vats of molten stupid over her own numerous left feet soon enough. I was tempted to write something about the grim media treatment of Susan Boyle, but then part of me thinks that even criticising it somehow plays into the press' creepy little game and dirties us all slightly. Alternatively, I could have written something about MPs expenses, but in all honesty I'd rather melt my own cock at this point.

Instead, like a moth to a flame, I ended up back on Melanie Phillips' rip-roaring Spectator blog, which I tend to visit with a sense of morbid fascination in the way others do with 2 Girls 1 Cup, or videos of soldiers getting beheaded. Reading Melanie Phillips isn't like reading your average right-wing rent-a-gob columnist, it's like opening a portal into a fantastical world which shares a language and some names with ours but is fundamentally different, somehow other. If she was officially a fiction writer or a film director you could praise her for the deeply atmospheric but defiantly unearthly world she creates so vividly through her narrative. Sadly, she constrained herself by portraying her baffling hyperbole as a non-fictional commentary on what's happening on the real planet Earth upon which we roam, and thus must be judged against mere journalistic standards instead of being celebrated as the visionary maverick she so clearly is.

One of the central pillars of Phillips' script is the bit about how people such as her, with only a regular newspaper column in the Mail, a widely-read Spectator blog, seven books and frequent appearances on BBC radio and television, are being silenced and denounced as heretics for their far-out views on things like evolution and, in particular, climate change. Phillips doesn't believe that humans have any effect on the climate and that it's all some kind of nefarious scam to raise taxes or something. This is the kind of dangerous opinion that most of us won't get to hear without taking radical action like reading a newspaper or talking to your parents or a bloke down the pub, or catching a taxi, or looking at an internet forum. Brown and his henchmen may have suppressed the "glooooobal warmin'? Do me a fackin' favour! It's pissing it down 'ere!" argument to the point where only a few tens of millions of Britons subscribe to it, but Phillips is here to take on Big Government and Big Science armed with her big sword of principle, revealing to us the Truth.

She did this in two consecutive articles recently; A true scientist in government? Quel scandale!, and yesterday's The modern heresy of true science. Truth and heresy are big concepts in the movie which plays in Phillips' head; on the one hand there are truthers like her, the white knights riding fearlessly into battle to bring enlightenment to the mistreated and misinformed masses, versus on the other hand the armies of darkness, who lie and distort facts to fit their own warped agenda, something clearly anathema to such a journalistic colussus.

To properly get into Phillips' stories you have to discard your old mindset, to try and forget things you thought might have been true, like for example science. Whatever you thought before, Phillips thinks the opposite, and what's more, she's read a book which agrees. The monumentally well-backed theory of anthropogenic climate change s in fact a 'global lunacy' that has spawned a 'hallucinatory propaganda industry', while Phillips' side of the debate constitutes the 'real science' which in sole possession of the 'actual scientific facts and evidence'. Whatever your opinion of the theories, Mel's determination to not so much nail her colours to the mast but to dress up as a mast herself and hammer glorious nails of truth into her own righteous palms with a primal scream of quite messianic zeal is quite something to behold.

She really doesn't let up. In the most recent article ('The modern heresy...'), the theory of man-made climate change 'rests in its entirety upon charlatanry, fraud, ignorance and ideology'. It is 'simply false', 'sheer bunkum from start to finish'. It is categorically NOT science, despite the many thousands of scientists who subscribe to it; it is in fact 'a belief system purporting to be ‘science’ but which is more akin to a religion sustained through the imposition of authority and intimidation'. (Religion in this case apparently a bad thing). At the end, Mel wonders aloud if the 'credulous intelligentsia' who have bought into this web of lies 'still have any capacity to think'. Clearly, Phillips has done enough thinking for all of us.

In the earlier article, she heralds Nicolas Sarkozy's appointment of climate change 'sceptic' Claude Allegre, wondering whether it's the first step towards France once again leading Europ 'into a second Enlightenment and a new age of reason'. If so, the fight begins here, as 'Doubtless the warmist inquisition is already working out how to boil Allegre in Big Oil'. There are no shades of grey in Phillips' universe; the characters are all good or evil, light or dark, wrong or right. I actually wonder if it's fair for me to compare it works of fiction, because most films and novels and comic books have more levels of sophistication, meaning and nuance than Phillips' sledgehammer-fisted pronouncements.

With the battle between science (as defined by large numbers of scientists) and True Science (the kind Phillips believes) thus resolved, we can go back a week and see how Phillips views more complex issues like human sexuality and the strive for equality and human rights, and how we achieve harmony through delicately balancing the competing needs and opinions of our various communities. Whereas science can be falsified and ideas eventually win out, surely such multi-layered, more subjective social issues call for a more tender, introspective stance, one which perhaps wouldn't suit the hectoring 'you're wrong, you idiot, it's like THIS!' tone of her True Science™ pieces?

Pfft! Of course you'd think that, but that's why Phillips is a successful regular guest on The Moral Maze and you're sat here reading this blog like a twat. Where you might have written something even-handed (read: wishy-washy, you unforgivable ponce!), Phillips has the conviction to strap herself into her armoured tank of wisdom and blitz your sorry ass with reality shells, in the wonderfully-titled The Sexualisation of Heresy. There's that word 'heresy' again, to serve as a warning that your mind just might be about to get blown...

Tolerating the gays is all well and good, but come on folks, isn't Mel's view that 'the tolerance of homosexuality that a liberal society should properly show has long been hijacked by an agenda which aims at destroying the very idea of normative sexuality altogether' just that little bit more exciting? Watch and learn, you dreary intellectual peasants:

The true liberal position, that it is right and just to tolerate behaviour that deviates from the norm as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, is deemed to be rank prejudice on the grounds that homosexuality is not ‘deviancy’ but normal. ‘Normality’ is thus rendered incoherent and absurd and accordingly destroyed altogether.
That's so fucking clever that to mere mortals like you or I it may appear to be constructed from a whole field of straw men and weird suppositions, and be bereft of any internal logic.

Oh yeah, destruction, that's another word she loves to piss forth wildly from the comfort of her Truth Tent. You may think gay rights are okay, but not only have they gone a bit too far, they're actually 'destroying the very idea of normative sexuality altogether', destroying, in fact, the very idea of the word 'normal' with their 'de-normalising agenda'. THEY'RE KILLING WORDS! GAYS ARE ACTUALLY BUMMING WORDS OUT OF THE DICTIONARY! How do you people get through the day without screaming at the very injustice of it all? For Mel, what was once liberal tolerance is now 'illiberal coercion against mainstream moral values', which has put in place 'new sexual and moral anti-norms'. Hey, would you like to see gays treated equally in the church? Let Mel take you to school:

But what about the unfair treatment of traditional Christians and other faith groups? The doctrine of equality means they have no right at all to uphold their belief that certain types of sexual behaviour are wrong. This is simply trumped by gay rights, which allows them no space at all to uphold their religious beliefs. This is not progressive. It is totalitarian.
Warming to her theme, she continues:

One of the key tenets – possibly the key tenet – of a liberal society is that it grants religious groups the freedom to practise their religious faith and live by its precepts. Preventing them from doing so is profoundly illiberal and oppressive – and it is not made any less so by the fact that ‘progressive’ voices inside the church themselves deem such precepts to be ‘homophobic’. This is merely the sexualisation of heresy. And what follows from heresy, whether religious or secular, is persecution.
Persecution, totalitarianism, these may sound like strong words for the concept of letting existing employment laws apply to the religious in pursuit of some kind of fairness, but there you go. You have to decide in the end whether the world Phillips describes sounds like the one you live in. If it does, I'm truly sorry for you, and if my musical alter-ego ever starts selling merchandised rope appropriate to its pseudonym, I'll be sure to give loyal readers of this blog a hefty discount if you decide to take the ultimate step to finally get the peace you deserve. Until then, I leave you with this epic and not-at-all hyperbolic conclusion from dear brave Melanie:

Truly, as the joke goes, what was once prohibited has now become compulsory. Once, homosexual practice was outlawed. Now, it appears that Christian practice is to be afforded the same fate. This is a matter of fundamental civil rights. So where are the upholders of progressive values on this? Where are the human rights lawyers? Where is the voice of Liberty, Britain’s powerful human rights NGO? And where are the supposed defenders of core British and western values? Where (don’t laugh) is the Conservative Party?

Marching in the ranks of the secular inquisition, every one of them.

Well, I wasn't expecting the secular inquisition, to be fair.

So, I'm off to join Mel's Army Of Light, because if we don't save Christians from being slowly OUTLAWED as they CLEARLY ARE right now, she might be forced to spiral even further beyond the outer reaches of parody and satire. Do you really want to see Phillips' anger continue to well up like this until either her brain explodes or she teeters off the precipice into pure insanity, and spends her old age hectoring passersby in the high street with Biblical tales of humanity's imminent damnation by firey apocalypse?