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©Ellie Foreman-Peck

At the launch party for Melanie Phillips's new ebook venture last month you could be forgiven for thinking that the controversial columnist had finally arrived in the bosom of the establishment. It was hosted by Sir Rocco Forte at his flagship London hotel, Brown's, in the heart of Mayfair, while among the guests were the Cabinet ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Owen Patterson, the editors of The Times and Sunday Times, and many other movers and shakers from politics, business and the media.

But being embraced by the establishment is certainly not Phillips's ambition, except as a further step in spreading her message: that Western civilisation is in terminal decline unless it restores its belief in its historic values, such as the primacy of the family, a rigorous and demanding education system and an end to multiculturalism. Her new business, Melanie Phillips Electric Media (EM), will, she hopes, extend her influence further afield than her main current platform, a weekly column in the Daily Mail, allows. In particular, she hopes to penetrate further into the American market. 

Among the five launch ebooks is her own memoir, Guardian Angel, in which she reveals much more about herself and her political journey than she has ever done before. It is both honest and moving: what will surprise many is that this apostle of the family is herself the product of a highly dysfunctional one: the only child of a lower-middle-class Jewish London couple, in which her mother was the dominant personality whom the young Melanie adored while her father was a distant, uninvolved figure.

The other dysfunctional relationship she explores is that with the Guardian, for which she worked for more than 20 years and whose writers — along with those from other papers — now queue up to insult and demonise her, apparently unable to come to terms with her gradual move away from the Left to a more conservative (or in their terms, extreme right-wing) viewpoint. Phillips herself details some recent press comments about her: "routinely insane" (Caitlin Moran, The Times); "the simplistic authoritarian commentator" (Dave Hill, Guardian); "depths of ignorance and bigotry that can scarcely have been matched, even in the Mail" (Greg Wood, Guardian).

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Lorna Salzman
February 25th, 2016
7:02 PM
I heard Phillips speak to a Zionist organization in NYC a couple of years ago, and her proposals for saving the UK and Europe emphatically called for a strong renewed reliance and revival of CHRISTIANITY! When I confronted her afterwards she ignored me and turned away quickly, refusing to respond. (Some time back I recall her promotion of nuclear power and couldn't figure out what that had to do with Islamism or terrorism)

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