|Alma mater||University of York|
|Notable work(s)||The Abolition of Britain|
The Broken Compass: How British Politics Lost its Way
A Brief History of Crime
The Rage Against God
The War We Never Fought: The British Establishment's Surrender to Drugs
|Relative(s)||Christopher Hitchens (brother)|
Peter Jonathan Hitchens (born October 28, 1951 in Sliema, Malta) is a British journalist, author and broadcaster. A reporter for the Daily Express for most of his career, he left the paper in 2001 and currently writes for the Mail on Sunday.
Personal and political history
Peter Hitchens was educated at The Leys School, Oxford College of Further Education, and the University of York. He married Eve Ross in 1983; they have three children. Although raised as an Anglican, Hitchens learned soon after his marriage that his mother, who had committed suicide when he was in his twenties, was of partly Jewish ancestry. Hitchens is a confirmed and communicant member of the Church of England. Hitchens' older brother, Christopher Hitchens, was also a prominent journalist, author and critic.
Hitchens was once a Trotskyist who was a member of the International Socialists from 1969 to 1975, and joined the British Labour Party in 1977, campaigning for Ken Livingstone's parliamentary candidature for Hampstead in the 1979 general election "with some reluctance". Hitchens left the Labour Party in 1983 when he became a political reporter at the Daily Express and thought it "no longer appropriate to carry a party card". He studied politics at York University from 1970 to 1973. He dismisses as untrue a story that he arrived late at a lecture with the excuse that he had been "too busy starting the revolution", on the grounds that he seldom attended any lectures at all.
He joined the Conservative Party in 1997, but concluded that the Party had no idea what it was facing and would never be able to challenge New Labour, and subsequently left in 2003. He is now politically independent, and believes that no party he could support will be created until the Conservative Party disintegrates. He also dismisses the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) as "amateurish" with "a blazer-and-cravat feel to it which limits its appeal to the same sort of areas where the Tory Party still stumbles about in its prolonged death throes, the Southern English middle classes."
Liberalism and Antiracism
Hitchens frequently criticises political correctness, which he calls a manifestation of Cultural Marxism. But He supports antiracism and also praises the Left; claiming they have been correct in their opposition to racism; He describes the word "nigger" as immoral and obscene. He attacks Cultural Marxism but agree with its goals, putting him in line with kosher conservatism for the most part. He argues, however, in opposition to the Left, that genuine good manners, tolerance and decency are impossible, in the long term, without the foundation of traditional morality and religious faith. But he argues that opponents of political correctness will fail unless they accept that it has some good elements and that it is attractive to many because of its promotion of simple good manners. He has attacked the British National Party and called them "outside the rules of reason," and a "delusional cult." Lawrence Auster said of Hitchens:
- A "conservatism" that rejects with scorn and contempt these commonsensical realities of human nature and human culture, and that seeks to banish from the civilized company anyone who acknowledges them, is not conservatism but a type of liberalism--and an extreme type of liberalism at that.
Hitchens is the author of The Abolition of Britain (1999, ISBN 0-7043-8140-0) and A Brief History of Crime (2003, ISBN 1-84354-148-3), both critical of changes in British society since the 1960s. A compendium of his Daily Express columns was published under the title Monday Morning Blues in 2000. An updated edition of A Brief History of Crime, re-titled The Abolition of Liberty (ISBN 1-84354-149-1) and featuring a new chapter on British national identity card|identity cards, was published in April 2004.
- Lawrence Auster on Peter Hitchens http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/009402.html
- Seeing the trees but not the wood http://www.bnp.org.uk/columnists/joepr2.php?joeId=9
- A review of The Abolition of Britain http://turnabout.ath.cx:8000/node/14