Melanie Phillips

Melanie Phillips is a Times columnist.

A major defeat in the war to defend the free world

Shortly after the release of Alan Johnston from Gaza the website of Conflicts Forum, a group advocating engagement with Islamists and which is run by the former MI6 officer Alastair Crooke, posted a fascinating transcript. Under the title ‘Hamas briefing’, it was a conversation between Michael Ancram, the former Tory Northern Ireland minister, and Osama

The wizards of Oz have got it right

Coming from Britain to Canberra to interview members of the Australian government is like leaving a fetid malarial swamp to be douched with fresh cold water from a mountain spring. These guys are so onside in the great fight for civilisation against barbarism that they make ‘Bush’s poodle’ Tony Blair sound like a Harold Pinter

A terror so great we forgot it at once

Dhiren Barot’s case faded because it revealed unbearable truths Dhiren who? Mention Dhiren Barot to anyone and the chances are that you’ll be met with a blank look. At best, some might say, ‘Oh, wasn’t he that guy who, er, that trial recently, yeah, bit worrying….’ Thus the British have somehow failed to register the

Hezbollah cells await Iran’s orders

At a recent Stop the West rally (yes, I know, but that’s their real agenda) demonstrators waved placards proclaiming ‘We’re all Hezbollah now’. Really? If so, why were they allowed to parade in Trafalgar Square? In a sane society they should surely all have been arrested as a self-proclaimed army of holy warriors whose explicit

Diary – 29 October 2004

I am currently sporting a plaster cast on my left arm which is further encased in a sling. People wonder solicitously whether I have been attacked by enraged human-rights lawyers or serial adulterers. Alas, the truth is rather less heroic. Having had a swimming lesson, I slipped on the changing-room floor; putting out my hand

Let’s bring back stigma and shame

The Turkish government recently announced that it intended to make adultery a criminal offence. This was not altogether surprising, since the Turkish government adheres to the principles of Islam, under whose laws adultery is a crime punishable by flogging or execution. Nevertheless, it caused such uproar among more progressive Turks, not to mention horrifying the

Why do politicians lie? Because they have to

Tony is fighting Gordon while fending off Robin and Clare and trying to shaft Geoff while Jack beats him up about David. Iain is being knifed by Michael and Vanessa, egged on by MPs who are furious that he hasn’t laid a glove on Tony and has made them vulnerable to Charlie, so that instead

Honest Tony

Tony Blair told us the truth. There, said it. Shocking, isn’t it? Something you would never dream of reading in a family publication. Especially The Spectator – the paper that supports Andrew Gilligan. Everyone knows, after all, that Mr Blair is a liar. We wouldn’t believe him, would we, if he told us the time.

Road-map to Hell

Colin Powell has said that he can see signs of progress over the Middle East road-map. Israel, he noted, had taken measures which ‘constitute the beginning of the road-map process’. Well, that’s just terrific, Mr US Secretary of State, because we all know that the big issue is that Israel has not accepted the road-map,