Before we get stared, let’s confirm an absolute fact.
Peter Hitchens is not a racist, a bigot, a misogynist or just an idiot.
No, Peter Hitchens is a journalist with a wealth of experience. He spent a notable part of his early career as a correspondent in Eastern Europe, writing about the multitude of revolutionary flash points from Poland to Romania. He was also present when Apartheid fell in South Africa, so the guy has credibility when it comes to understanding how society can only take so much in the face of oppression.
Peter knows what he is talking about.
When it comes to the fence of politics, Peter is a bit on each side. He describes himself a “Burkean conservative” who apparently was an Irish man from the 1800s who believed in having virtues with manners at the forefront of society combined with maintaining religious institutions for the wellbeing of the state. At the other end, Peter also fancies himself as a social democrat, which is funny when you sometimes consider how draconian he can be in his views on social democrats. Peter can be a man for himself a lot of the time, and maybe his political leanings are keys to unlocking his freedom to move between discussion points during the time he is with us.
Some people would call that an opportunist. Maybe not, but one thing is clear, Peter is employed as a journalist so he needs to make a living; and let’s be honest, he’s a bit too old to be running around Gaza or Kiev for the Mail on Sunday anymore.
So now that Peter’s legs aren’t as good as they used to be, he’s got to be on top of his game and pick a model that will sustain his income for a few decades. That model has changed over the years from soft left to middle conservative – throwing in the odd rant against established politicians on both sides of the so called left and right; but generally, he’s been there or thereabouts in the shock jock English style – not too harsh, using big words and taking on students and members of the public in college debates and TV programs.
At the moment, Peter is working with the white boys and heroes’ concept: an English take on the Proud Boys in the US but focused more on an element of male abuse rather than the aggressive tone found at Trump rallies. Peter is of the opinion that ‘gentlemen’, mainly white, are now the abused, struggling and losing against the torrential wave of feminism, gender balance and minority empowerment but still maintaining a quiet majority and sucking it up. Under this crusade, Peter’s latest take is both astounding and quite audacious.
He’s running with his adage of women being guilty of neglecting their children while at the same time taking the line that these very same women are not really to blame because it’s all modern society’s fault.
Surely Peter should know better than to accuse women of being guilty of mass gender neglect? How is that possible? Well, he’s trying it and you’ve got hand to him for his sheer guile.
Peter has compared modern liberal society to the Taliban.
In a recent column for his blog in the Sunday Mail, Peter claimed that “Our liberal Taliban – who claim to worry so much about the fate of Afghan girls – drove millions of women out of homes where they would happily raise their own children if they could, to drudge all day in call centres and such places for a pittance that pays for the ropey ‘childcare’ they must then use.”
He goes on to say that “They destroyed lifelong marriage, depriving uncounted British boys of their fathers and dumping multitudes of children in ‘care homes’ whose very names are a mockery.
Our liberal Taliban destroyed rigorous state education, depriving the British working class of skills and of ladders upwards into real careers.”
We could do what the entire liberal multitude on Twitter is doing right now and try to unpack the impressive amount of twisted logic in this piece. But to be honest is it worth it?
Are we giving Peter just too much attention? Just because he has a lifelong career in political journalism and still needs to be relevant in order to get paid, should we react when he writes this kind of stuff?
Or maybe we should be looking at this type of journalism with more honest eyes and seeing it for what it really is: a blatant ploy by the likes of Peter to pick a subject and run with as much a controversial opinion as possible because despite is ridiculousness, it will get paid subscribers. Maybe it’s the case that Peter, despite decades of incredible experience and intellect, is now nothing mare than some snake oil salesman who is cashing in on the rise of right-wing movements across the world, seeing a quick buck in grifting his nonsense rant book published alongside his subscription only YouTube podcast and the dwindling invites to debates with ever younger students.
Or maybe Peter genuinely believes in what he writes.
Either way, and whatever his convictions, the results are pitiful.
Featured image by Enzo Abramo on Pexels.