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Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Should Melanie Phillips face legal action for her anti-Druidry article?

Should Melanie Phillips face legal action for her anti-Druidry article? Short answer, ‘Yes’.

The UK Charity Commission recently made the decision to classify Druidry as a recognised religion, allowing associated charities to enjoy the same benefits as those associated with the other larger religions. Phillips took exception to this, but instead of writing a well thought out article on the pro’s and con’s of offering organisations tax benefits whilst the country is in a poor financial state, she proceed to throw out a large list of insults that bore no journalistic merit whatsoever.

Her first fantastical accusation was to accuse earth based and minority religions in general for that downfall of modern society:
“Elevating them to the same status as Christianity is but the latest example of how the bedrock creed of this country is being undermined.”
She then goes on:
“But true religions surely rest on an established structure of traditions, beliefs, literature and laws.”
Like the pagan tradition of bringing evergreen foliage into the home at winter solstice, maybe? Yes, Melanie… shriek! The majority of the western world has been following a pagan tradition all this time… And to think following such practices is, what was it now Melanie? Ah, yes:
“…attack upon the very concept of religion itself.”

Not only is Melanie happy question the Charity Commission about decisions that she is clearly more qualified to make, but also lays into the Pagan Police Association for it’s horrendous crime of even existing. She quotes one unnamed police officer as saying:
“What has it come to when a cop gets time off so he can sit about making spells or dance around the place drinking honey beer with a wand in his hand?”
What I want to know is, what has it come to when ignorant, ill informed bigots are allowed to work as police officers?

Following the articles appearance on the Daily Mail website an online petition was launched to demand a full and public apology. While an apology from the Daily Mail for publishing such drivel would be nice, it just doesn’t cut it for me.

The 2006 Race and Religious Hatred Act was put in place to stop people instigating and encouraging religious tension. I know several individuals and groups who have filed complaints with the police already, and asked to be updated following their complaints. Melanie Phillips wrote this article with the sole intent of causing public ill feeling and negativity towards a minority religion, and should be legally held to account for it.


  1. In the USA, that column would not be actionable, but my impression is that it may well be under UK law. You are absolutely right that it was spiteful, small-minded, and malicious, as well as full of falsehoods.

    I'm not really crazy about laws that limit free speech, but I will not complain if my British brethren succeed in invoking them in this case.

  2. I agree with you about not liking anything that limits free speech. But, if something is presented as 'news' I feel that there has to be some kind of acountability.

    Lily x