On last night's Moral Maze, I was most surprised to hear Steven Rose say that he would not appear on an edition of that programme if it featured a witness from the BNP, since I distinctly remember him splendidly wiping the floor with the BNP's "Dr Phil Edwards" (whose real name is Dr Stuart Russell) over genetics and "race" a while back.
But nowhere near as surprised as I was when Melanie Phillips informed us that she "cannot get published", and that her neoconservative position (although she didn't actually use the n-word) struggled to secure a hearing in Britain. Thus spoke Melanie Phillips, of the Daily Mail and The Moral Maze!
Which brings me to my promise to Neal yesterday that I would post something on how, effective though the Zionist lobby in the US certainly is, it is an amateur operation compared the one in Britain. Zionism and neoconservatism are connected, of course; indeed, although one can (or, at least, one used to be able to) profess the former but not the latter, one cannot (never ever could) profess the latter but not the former.
And just look at the British neocons, by definition Zionists all. Take out every copy of the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Sun, and just how many newspapers are actually bought in Britain on any given weekday? Not very many at all. Yet how many Telegraph or Mail readers, in particular, really are as pro-American or as pro-Israeli as all that? Quite a lot, no doubt. But, equally doubtless, quite a lot most certainly are not.
Ah, you may counter, what about the BBC? Well, what about it? Particularly on the mighty Radio Four, much of its coverage of the Middle East now seems to consist of extended discussions (not least featuring Melanie Phillips) of allegations of bias on its own part. A recent internal report of its own referred to the disproportionate representation of "ethnic minorities" in its upper echelons. Yet, especially strikingly for a London-based organisation, those serving the food and drink or those mopping floors are the only "ethnic minorities" in evidence at the BBC. Apart from one, that is.
And then there is political influence. Both main parties are completely controlled by neocons. Zionism's most energetic British proponent and benefactor bankrolls the ruling party within the Labour Party, not least by means of an illegal slush fund selling seats in the very legislature, a flagrant criminal offence for which he was long ago arrested but with which, astonishingly, he has still yet to be charged. And the overwhelming majority of Tory MPs (including David Cameron and most, if not all, of the Shadow Cabinet) is now made up of members of Conservative Friends of Israel, whose website denies the existence of the Palestinians as a people while using and advocating the vocabulary of "Disputed Territories" instead of "Occupied Territories", positions now abandoned by most Israeli Jews themselves, never having been held by many of them. Meanwhile, the same tendency is on the rise in the third party, too.
All in all, then, it is no wonder that the Blair Government has been significantly more Zionist than the Bush Administration. Bush has little to commend him in international affairs, but it is largely thanks to him that the idea that there might ever again be no semblance of a Palestinian state is now simply off the agenda. Left to Blair, Brown, Cameron, Osborne and those with whom they are surrounded, that agenda would still be dominated by that idea, regardless of the opinions of Israelis themselves. Such is the power of the British Zionist lobby, the mightiest in the world, including in America, and even including in Israel.