Consistent phobias are evident - John McLellan

Lee Anderson MPLee Anderson MP
Lee Anderson MP
By definition, phobias of any kind are dangerous; irrational fears which skew judgement and power conspiracy theories where none exist.

Therefore, ex-Conservative deputy chairman Lee Anderson has fuelled Islamophobia by refusing to back down from his claim that London and Labour leader Keir Starmer are controlled by Islamists. There is little doubt Islamists are very much part of aggressive pro-Hamas, anti-Israel protests, but that’s not the same as presuming every pro-Palestine demonstrator is an Islamist.

But consistent phobias are evident in the many protests which regularly disrupt everyday life, but you’ll not hear much condemnation, certainly not in Scotland.

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One is, of course, Anglophobia, the loathing of all things British, and there is Westophobia, irrational attacks on market-driven economies, despite clear and irrefutable evidence of their success in taking millions out of poverty every year, unlike disastrous central planning.

Anglophobes and Westophobes will hijack any movement, be it Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil, or Black Lives Matter if it’s an opportunity to attack Great Britain. Yesterday the target was an Edinburgh University careers fair because defence company BAe Systems had a stand.

They didn’t block streets when the Iran-backed Assad regime presided over 600,000 deaths in the Syrian Civil War, but they celebrated attacks on Western ships by Iran’s Houthi proxies who have killed hundreds of thousands in the Yemen rebellion. Picket the Chinese consulate when a new coal-fired power station opens? No chance.

For people who take full advantage of the freedoms afforded by a liberal democracy, it’s remarkable how they find common cause with totalitarians and terrorists.