Coffee House The Spectator Podcasts

Podcast: The lure of the crowd, anti-Semitism and Cameron’s uncertain future

31 July 2014

10:34 AM

31 July 2014

10:34 AM

Hell, as one of Jean-Paul Sartre’s characters said, is other people. Unless, that is, you happen to be British and born after about 1980, in which case hell is the opposite: being alone for more than about five minutes. In this week’s View from 22 podcast, Ross Clark looks at the rise of crowd culture. We have succumbed to the lure of the crowd, he says. Lara Prendergast suggests social media is to blame.

In this week’s Spectator, Melanie Phillips argues that anti-Israel protests over the Gaza war have convulsed Europe in the worst scenes of open Jew-hatred since the 1930s. The silence from the political class in the face of this is appalling. Douglas Murray and Ben Soffa, secretary for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, discuss the rise of anti-Semitism, and how it is linked to the events unfolding in the Middle East.


And finally, could this be David Cameron’s last summer in politics? In his column this week, James Forsyth suggests it might be. Once the Scottish referendum is over, the party leaders face a battle for which none seems fully prepared. James discusses both the election and the Scottish referendum with Alex Massie in the final section of the podcast.




Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • misomiso

    Its quite interesting to note that the Spectator hasnt really taken any position on Israel Gaza, or what the final settlement should look like.

    As the UK’s foremost political magazine, why is this? Does the Spectator believe that Hamas is the same as ISIS? Does the Spectator support the settlements? Does the Spectator believe Israel is destroying tunnels or ‘mowing the grass’?

    Im the most pro Israel person I know but we have to be realistic about things, and being pro Israel doesn’t mean thinking that ANY of the settlements are legitimate.

    Would be interested to hear what you think Fraser.

    • Penny

      I’m late to the party but reading your comment, thought you might be interested in Eugene Rostow’s assessment of the settlements. Rostow was, of course, one of the co-authors of Res 242.

      You could also look up international lawyer, Eugene Kontorovich. He has a video on YouTube called “The legal case for Israel”

      The question of legitimacy is not set in stone.

  • English Majority

    Also, did anyone else notice Lara’s seductive lower leg, ankle and foot action?

    Sexiest thing I’ve seen in the Specworth.

  • dado_trunking

    “Being alone for more than five minutes”
    Outright impossible in McCann’s 24 hour party people surveillance Britain.
    This is one reason why WeiWei’s S.A.C.R.E.D series resonates here.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …and you Levesonista fascists love you some surveillance, don’t you, laddie?

      By the way, where’s the goat?

  • Blindsideflanker

    Isrtael vs Pallestine.

    A couple of weeks ago I said a plague on both their houses, and was going to ignore their beastliness to each other from there on. but god is their perpetual war tedious, more so when they seek to marshal everybody else into their binary conflict.

    To object to Israel’s killing of Palestinians make them think they have the right to call you anti Semitic, to object to Palestinian terrorism makes you Uncle Sam’s stooge.

    To suggest there is some 1930 Jew hatred going on is absolutely ridiculous, and the people who think they are advancing the Israeli teams prospects by peddling such exaggeration don’t do their side any favours.

    From what I understand about anti Semitism ( though Arabic is a Semitic language) is that incidences of this kind have risen from 70 cases to 120, using that to claim we are on route to the concentration camps is a joke.

    • HookesLaw

      One can object to the govt of Israel’s actions but to attack individual jews and jewishness is bigotry.
      Ignoring Hamas and their actions is prejudice

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …so should we ignore your other islamofascist buddies in Libya, Syria and Iraq, lad?

        They’re murdering islamofascists just like Hamas. Shouldn’t you condemn them all, rather than support them as you Camerluvvies do?

  • First L

    Oh dear. There’s some anti semitism going on is there? Well in that case let’s ignore the whole scale illegal mass murder of children going on in Palestine that isn’t being perpetrated by Jews then.

    • MaxSceptic

      It is – if at all – being perpetrated by Israelis (whose army includes many non-Jews). But being anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist has become a convenient new moniker for a very old pathology.

      • First L


        Tell you what – you go out and murder 500 kids and see how many friends it wins you.

        It really doesn’t matter what happened in the past. What is happening right now is that Israel is perpetrating a pogrom. It thus deserves every damnable thing it gets.

        • MaxSceptic

          Ah, now it’s “Israel” rather than “the Jews”…..

          Good. I shall award you a star. (But not, obviously, a yellow one).

    • Damaris Tighe

      No chance of that.

  • Blindsideflanker

    Don’t blame the lure of the crowd on social media, when politicians have been polling the crowd for years to find out what they should believe.

  • Guest

    Europe’s immigrants, Europe’s politicians and Europe’s MSM have shown in the last 3 weeks why the existence of Israel is non negotiable.
    The open and proud display of antisemitism all over european capitals and town has been shocking and saddening to watch, but hardly surprising.
    Surprising was only the weak and appeasing politician’s responses and the trivialisation by the press, as if it is acceptable to run around european squares and scream ‘jews to the gas’ or ‘Israeli babykillers’. What’s next, burning flags and attacking embassies, like these savages do in their own cesspits?
    I wonder what would happen if somebody stood on a european square screaming and chanting ‘Mohammed pedophile’ which other ‘protestors’ cheering and clapping.

    Europe is finished. When they burned and gassed their jews, they burned and gassed their own culture, and sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. They killed 6 Mio EUROPEANS, and replaced them with 20 Million Mohammedans. And some blame the jews for even that!

    Bye bye Europe, it was nice knowing you, but I know you will never protect me or my children, so I’m out of here. Good Luck with your imports.

    • Span Ows

      I agree with you for the most part (although I do not think Europe is finished…yet) especially the end of the first paragraph: that person would be immediately arrested and charged with hate crime. The ridiculous hypocrisy and double standards is so so clear to most normal people.

      • English Majority

        Ah, my friend, but even NOTICING it is an Hate Crime.

        We live in the most sinister times in our history. The revolution, should it happen, will need to be ferocious, relentless and savage to do what needs to be done, such is the depth to which the enemies have buried into every level of our society, government, institutions, politics, telly and media.

        • HookesLaw

          Crass bigotry. Keep polishing your jackboots.
          its amazing how many neo nazis this place attracts

          • English Majority

            *Phones HookesLaw’s Carers*

          • Span Ows

            Crass bigotry

            …although I note you refrain from trying to claim it isn’t true.

        • Shazza

          There will be no revolution. For the first time in the history of these islands, the indigenous population has been prevented from defending themselves from a hostile invasion.

          They are now so brainwashed by perceived ‘white guilt’, history rewritten to fit the narrative, dumbed down education and encouragement of shallow celebrity worship.

          The result of all of this is apathy – the ‘can’t be arsed’ to get off the sofa and turn off the football; more concerned about Corrie and the Rooney’s holiday in Las Vegas than face up to let alone notice, the imminent destruction of Western secular values and civilisation.

          The multiculti mantra of all cultures deserving equal respect, indeed foreign cultures been given special status has led to this sad sorry state of affairs.

          The chickens have come home to roost.

          • English Majority

            All true, of course.

            But I’m thinking what’s going to happen in a decade or two, when the Muslim and Third World population is much bigger, thus totally collapsing our economy and social services. Alongside that, they’ll be exerting their Islamic, multicultural mission in an even more aggressive, violent manner.

            Surely at this point it has to break. Imagine the repressed rage and violence residing in the English population right now. Surely this will come out at this point.

            • Shazza

              It is just a numbers game. Already indigenous British people are in a minority in London, Birmingham, Leicester etc.

              Our leaders fete the moslem vote, blind eyes are turned to all islamic horrors and the myth of ‘moderate’ islam is forced upon us. Any dissent is ruthlessly put down as has happened to Tommy Robinson. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up now.

              Within a decade or so we will have been completely absorbed into the EU, and have no doubt, they are building an EU Army. Why else would individual European countries be slashing their armed forces? I would imagine this would be sent in to quell any insurgencies should the need occur.

              However, the aims of the emerging majority will be realised by stealth – halal, Trojan Horse, Minaret Towers, loss of freedom of speech unless you are Choudry, etc. Salami slice by slice, slowly the country will be islamified.

              Our own democracy is self-defeating. Eventually we will have the smaller share of the vote and then it will be game over.

              • English Majority

                Our ‘leaders’ really are scared of the Muslim population. I’ve noticed they (Muslims) now focus, intimidate and campaign against individual politicians, commentators etc. Rather than take the state on directly, which they know they’re not yet strong enough to do, they zone in on individuals, powerful individuals, and use various methods to break them/change them.

                It does take a lot of courage and nothing-to-lose character to speak out now. Tommy Robinson was openly physically and mentally destroyed by the Muslim population, our own vile ‘leaders’ and the deranged police. He was everything they deeply, deeply despise: A totally normal White working class bloke publically saying what all White working class think and want. The hatred towards him – from the Muslims and the parasite, traitorous political class – was murderous and relentless. To finish him off, they had him locked up yet again, and deleted his platform – his 150,000 strong Twitter account.

                Anyone who speaks out knows that is what they’ll be subjected to, whoever they are. We have ceded total control to the Muslim and Third World population. As a civilised people, we cower to the foreign, murderous nature of the foreigners.

                You’re right. Everything you’re saying will come to pass. What’s for certain though is that a reckoning will take place. An uncontrollable reckoning. I fully expect our own army and police to gun us down when we snap.

                • Shazza


    • English Majority

      A few slightly oddish sentiments in there, but of course you’re generally right: We (Europe) is finished. Violent wars on our streets and cities is now just a matter of quite imminent time.

      The only way out is to deport in very large numbers the religious group causing it all.

      • greggf

        “The only way out is to deport in very large numbers the religious group…..”

        I doubt that will be possible or effective English.
        During the coming depression I fear history is going to be repeated.

        • global city
          • redsquirrel

            wow. thats amazing. Whenever i see a policeman i’m a bit nervous for for no real reason. Apparently i need to calibrate. Are you really allowed to shout at them and push them about ? That was bonkers. ukip guy a bit of a prat but still… why aren’t they in jail?

      • Ordinaryman

        Damn it EM, you’ve given me a real problem now. I was going along with you until the last paragraph when you said “this’d only be an essential starting point”. My mother’s English but my father’s Polish and I don’t know which half to send back to Poland; the top half or the bottom half. What puzzles me even more is I have only ever thought of fighting for English customs, traditions and way of life. Is the half that I send back going to have difficulty fitting in?

        • English Majority

          No, my friend. You’re an English and a White brother.

      • Lydia Robinson

        Erm, rivers of blood – anyone remember?

    • Shazza

      I agree with you completely.

      However, where will you go? Australia is on the same course as we are and I would not be surprised if they become an islamic state before us. It did not take too long to change the cultural face of the UK and that was with a base of circa 60 million in 1997 – by 2010 Labour had changed the ethnic mix dramatically. Australia has a far smaller population and they have a rapidly increasing moslem population. It is just time and demographics.

      Canada is going the same way; it will take a little longer and it will happen to the USA as well.

      So .. China? Russia? Seems to me they are the only ones to recognise the great peril we all face.

      • HookesLaw

        What a load of hysteric rubbish, by someone whose demographic knowledge is gleaned from the pages of the beano.

        • Shazza

          Obviously my ‘beano’ is more factual than the comics you choose.

    • Augustus

      Those Muslims in al-Qaeda, in ISIS, in the Muslim Brotherhood and all the rest of these so-called extremist groups are actually the good Koran following Muslims. Those Muslims you might know in Birmingham, Bradford or Slough, would be killed just like ISIS is doing in Iraq to all those weak, peaceable type Muslims there, if these groups ever get the upper hand further West.

      • English Majority

        Additionally, and more importantly, its the former and their supporters who are clearly, evidently the vast majority within the domestic and global Muslim population…

    • MaxSceptic

      Did you write this before the Palestinian flag was raised above the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets?

      • Lydia Robinson

        I remember a few years ago saying to some friends “and the next thing will be beheadings on the street” and my friends choking with laughter. They’re not laughing so much now.

    • you_kid

      Ohohoho, bless.
      I think it’s rather: “Goodbye Guest, I was our pleasure straightening you out.”

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …where’s the goat, lad?

  • Corinium

    I have a theory about the Gaza conflict, or war to give it it’s proper title, and why Israel is condemned as she is yet Hamas is not.

    Some people think that those pesky Jews in Israel really ought to just roll over and let people kill them like they used to. Some, more than we would like to think I suspect, are just plain anti-semitic. Some think that for a ‘quiet life’ Israel should withdraw behind Iron Dome and into their bomb shelters. And some are pro-Israel but think that Jews should be a beacon of behaviour to the world and just avoid killing innocent men, women and children.

    So why is this criticism of Israel not aimed at Hamas? Whatever defects there have been in reporting, no-one can be in any doubt that Hamas are a bunch of Islamic Nazis who hide their rockets and munitions in houses, schools and mosques and want to destroy Israel and then all the Jews in the world.

    It’s because everyone, more or less, recognises Hamas as a bunch of, shall we put it politely or this post may not get through, barbarians of whom proper standards of behaviour cannot be expected.

    • First L

      “Jews in Israel really ought to just roll over and let people kill them like they used to.”

      1,500 Palestinians dead, including 700 children. Including those who have had white phosphorus dropped on them.
      50 Israelis dead.

      A few dead Israelis does not give Israel the right to gas children.

      Israel will reap what it has sown. It has sown death and destruction. Its defenders grow fewer every day.

      • HookesLaw

        Israel is not gassing children.
        phosphorous is part of a smoke shell.
        hamas should stop hiding amongst the general population. It is against the geneva convention.

      • MissDemeanor


        you lot have been screaming for 70 years how you going to destroy Israel – what’s taking you so long?

        too busy slaughtering each other, ey?

        • First L

          I haven’t been screaming anything.

          Up until last week I was pro Israel and pro Palestinian. I condemned the violence on both sides and hoped for a peaceful two state solution.

          Today – F*ck Israel. You baby murdering war criminal genocidal scumbag Nazis.

          Well done. You’re really winning friends and influencing people.

          • Span Ows

            “Up until last week I was pro Israel and pro Palestinian. I condemned the violence on both sides and hoped for a peaceful two state solution.”

            A peaceful two state solution is impossible as STATED by those that lead the Palestinians who have turned down every opportunity to have peace or their own state.

            “Today – F*ck Israel. You baby murdering war criminal genocidal scum.”

            This belies your first sentence (which no-one believed anyway)

            • First L

              Yea – kind of ignoring the 700 dead children aren’t you.

              I wonder how you’d feel if it was 700 dead Jewish children?

              • MissDemeanor

                the only reason there are no 700 dead Israeli children is because jews CARE AND PROTECT their own, unlike Muslims who run around killing each other and use their own children as slave labourers to build death tunnels, and kindergardens and schools as arms depots and missile launching pads, and teens as suicide bombers

                sure you care about ‘dead children’, that’s why you’re on a flotilla on the way to Syria, where hundreds of thousands have been killed…….

              • Span Ows

                ??? How am I ignoring them? I am answering your crazed jabberings. Do we need to mention dead children in every post to pass the ‘we are not ignoring them’ test?

                • Damaris Tighe

                  Or to pass “I’m displaying my humanity & caring on my sleeve” test.

          • Augustus

            That’s exactly how Hamas want you to feel, and want you to think, stupid. Dim-witted and morally sinful Palestinians are promised s*x and wine in paradise as a preferable alternative to their current lives of depression and shame. But Hamas’ lust for death doesn’t stand the test of reality. If Hamas leaders actually sought death as much as they claim they do, they would have led their fighters onto the battlefield, rather than sought shelter in deep bunkers, surrounded by a human shield of Palestinian civilians. Those civilians who cannot escape, and are criminally forced to serve as a protective human layer for Hamas leaders, despite IDF warnings.

          • MissDemeanor

            ‘baby murdering’

            are your talking about your ‘religion of peace’ Mo?

            without Hamas attacking Israel, there wouldn’t have been no ‘murdered babies’

            the only nazis are the muslims. they can not live in peace with anybody, not even each other, and with friends like those….LOL

      • MissDemeanor

        gassing children?

        you must be talking about the syrian ‘rebels’ (muslims of course like yourself surely), they also ate human organs did you know?

        nothing like a little cannibalism advertised on youtube to promote the religion of peace…

      • The Masked Marvel

        “A few dead Israelis…”

        Right, how many Jews need to die before you would permit Israel to respond with force? It’s a numbers game, so show us your work.

        • First L

          Israel is allowed to respond with force. What it isn’t allowed to do is unilaterally and indiscriminately target, bomb or shoot civilians (war crime under the Geneva Convention), bomb UN shelters (war crime under the Geneva Convention), drop white phosphorus (war crime under the Geneva Convention), drop flechette shells (war crime under the Geneva Convention).

          Maybe if it hadn’t committed these war crimes, then people would be slightly more sympathetic towards Israel. But it has. It has chosen to give up the moral high ground that it is so fond of preaching. Hamas might be a nasty, nasty group. But they aren’t hypocrites and they haven’t aimed the regions biggest and most powerful military at 6 year olds.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Yes, they have.

            That’s why this is all happening. Your murderous islamofascist buddies Hamas launched volleys of rockets at 6 year olds .

            • First L

              Oh look. Comical Ali, you escaped Iraq then.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …oh look, another troll is trying to make a funny!

          • The Masked Marvel

            Ah, war crimes. Hamas are hypocrites. They claim to love their women and children but use them as human shields and use all that humanitarian concrete to build tunnels and not bomb shelters. Israel does not willingly target children, despite your claims.

            If you shoot at me with a gun whilst holding your daughter in front of you, I can assure you I will shoot back and it will be your own choice that caused your daughter to die. I will simply roll my eyes when you blame me for deliberately targeting children.

            Hamas will not stop using these tactics. They will not protect their children and will continue to deliberately place them in harm’s way and continue to launch rockets and the rest of it. With this in mind, how many Jews should die before you would permit Israel to respond? And how would you permit them to use force, knowing that there will never be a way to avoid these casualties?

            The UN has allowed this to happen, has overseen schools which teach children to hate and kill. Who are they hypocrites, really? Who is directly responsible for perpetuation this situation, really?

          • Lydia Robinson

            And how many civilians were killed by the occupying American and British forces in our disastrous interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan?

      • Lydia Robinson

        Yet when Assad gasses and even tortures babies, people just shrug.

    • mightymark

      I think there is another point. One obvious upshot from the Gaza conflict is the failure of many in the West to understand what Israel is up against. I suspect much of this is willful ignorance because if they were to face up to it they would also have to accept the danger of international Islamist extremism.

      Many – by no means only on the left as is sometimes stated – have convinced themselves that all such problems arise from what “we” did to “them” – hence the ritual and totally OTT denunciations of Bush and Blair. They see what happens abroad along with the dangers of home grown extremism, and because they can’t face the sheer potential awfulness of this they devise coping mechanisms many of which end up as a kind of patronising “uberniceness” to Muslims which Muslims have told me they find patronising. So for example we get documentary programmes where we always hear of the undoubted intellectual advances of Islam in medieval times but the question “so what went wrong” is utterly taboo.

      In this context the “two minute hate” against Israel, whose present explosion merely continues at a higher (lower?) level a media demonisation that has been growing for many years but especially since 9/11, becomes perhaps explicable. It is about firstly being seen to be “nice to muslim causes”, and done in the expectation (though with what evidence heaven only knows) that somehow if we solve the I/P problem even (especially?) if it means Israel lying down and dying, we and our kids won’t get blown up on London streets.

      It is quite unfair to call this anti semitism necessarily, though a smidgin of that may well be part of the mix. Rather I’d describe it as appeasing, cowardly, ignorant, and delusional wishful thinking.