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Peter Hitchens

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Title: Peter Hitchens  
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Peter Hitchens

Peter Hitchens
Peter Hitchens
Born Peter Jonathan Hitchens
(1951-10-28) 28 October 1951
Sliema, Malta,
British Colony of Malta
(now the Republic of Malta)
Occupation Journalist, author
Nationality British
Education The Leys School
Alma mater University of York
Spouse Eve Ross
Relatives Christopher Hitchens (brother)

Peter Jonathan Hitchens (born 28 October 1951) is an English journalist and author. He has published six books, including The Abolition of Britain, The Rage Against God and The War We Never Fought. Hitchens writes for Britain's The Mail on Sunday newspaper and is a former foreign correspondent in Moscow and Washington. He continues to work as an occasional foreign reporter and in 2010, in recognition of his foreign reporting, he was awarded the Orwell Prize.

Hitchens describes himself as theist and a Burkean conservative.[1] He is a frequent critic of political correctness. He is the younger brother of the late writer Christopher Hitchens.


  • Early life 1
  • Journalism 2
    • Foreign reporting 2.1
    • British broadcast media 2.2
  • Public image 3
  • Beliefs 4
    • Morality and religion 4.1
    • The political parties of the United Kingdom 4.2
    • Liberty, security, crime and drugs 4.3
    • International relations and national sovereignty 4.4
    • Education 4.5
  • Relationship with his brother 5
  • Publications 6
  • Bibliography 7
  • See also 8
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Early life

Peter Hitchens was born in 1951 in Malta, when his father, a career naval officer,[2] was stationed on the islands with the Royal Navy as part of the colonial garrison when Malta was then a colony within the British Empire. He was educated at The Leys School[3] and the Oxford College of Further Education[4] before being accepted at the University of York, where he studied Philosophy and Politics and was a member of Alcuin College, graduating in 1973.[5] He later commented that he "must have been a severe disappointment" to his parents after making sure he "would never get into Oxbridge" by breaking into a government fall-out shelter.[6] Hitchens began on the far left of the political spectrum before moving to the right. He was a member of the Trotskyist International Socialists from 1969 to 1975 (in 2010 he dismissed the "cruel revolutionary rubbish" he promoted as a Trotskyist as "poison").[7]

He joined the British Labour Party in 1977, but left it in 1983 when he became a political reporter at the Daily Express, thinking it wrong to carry a party card when directly reporting politics.[8] This also coincided with a culmination of growing personal disillusionment with the Labour movement.[9] In 2009, Hitchens wrote of this period, "Against the Labour Party, which I knew to be penetrated by all manner of Marxists, and soaked in the ideas of the revolutionaries, it was increasingly necessary to support the Tories. This was partly because of the strikers' lies, but much more because of Poland and Czechoslovakia. On the Cold War, I knew she [Thatcher] was right and the Left were wrong".[10]

He married Eve Ross, the daughter of left-wing journalist David Ross, in 1983.[11] They have three children, a daughter born in 1984 and a son born in 1989 and a third child born c 2000. Hitchens originally hoped to become a naval officer, but an eye defect prevented him from doing so.[12]


Hitchens worked for the Daily Express between 1977 and 2000, initially as a reporter specialising in education and industrial and labour affairs, then as a political reporter, and subsequently as deputy political editor.[8] Leaving parliamentary journalism to cover defence and diplomatic affairs, he reported on the decline and collapse of communist regimes in several Warsaw Pact countries, which culminated in a stint as Moscow correspondent and reporting on the final months of the Soviet Union in 1990–91. He then became the Daily Express Washington correspondent.[13] Returning to Britain in 1995, he became a commentator and columnist. Hitchens continued to espouse a conservative viewpoint, despite the publication's move towards the political centre in the mid-90s and its decision before the 1997 general election to support the Labour Party under Tony Blair. In 2000, Hitchens left the Daily Express[14] after its acquisition by Richard Desmond; Hitchens stated that working for Desmond would have represented a moral conflict of interest.[15] Hitchens joined The Mail on Sunday, where he has a weekly column and weblog in which he debates directly with readers. Hitchens has also written for The Spectator and The American Conservative magazines,[16] and occasionally for more left-leaning publications such as The Guardian, Prospect, and the New Statesman. In 2010, Hitchens was described by Edward Lucas in The Economist as "a forceful, tenacious, eloquent and brave journalist. He lambasts woolly thinking and crooked behaviour at home and abroad".[17]

After being shortlisted in 2007[18] and 2009,[19] Hitchens won the Orwell Prize in political journalism in 2010.[20] Peter Kellner, one of the Orwell Prize judges, described Hitchens's writing as being "as firm, polished and potentially lethal as a Guardsman's boot."[21]

Foreign reporting

Hitchens first became a roving foreign reporter in the early 1990s while working for the Daily Express, when he reported from South Africa during the last days of apartheid, and from Somalia[22] at the time of the US-led military intervention in the country. He continued his foreign reporting after joining The Mail on Sunday, for which he has written reports from all over the globe, including Russia,[23] Ukraine[24] (described by Edward Lucas as a "dismaying lapse"[17]), Gaza,[25] a visit to Iraq in the wake of the 2003 invasion,[26] an undercover report from Iran,[27] (described by Iain Dale as "quite brilliant"[28]) China,[29] and North Korea.[30][31]

In 2009, Hitchens was shortlisted for Foreign Reporter of the Year in the British Press Awards,[32] and in 2010, in recognition of his foreign reporting, he was awarded the Orwell Prize.[20]

British broadcast media

A regular on British radio and television, he has been described as "a formidable interview subject, with a hostility simmering just beneath the surface – perhaps because, in his words, he is used to having to "hit hard" whenever he is given the chance to air his unfashionable views".[33]

People like me – though still allowed to speak – are allowed on to mainstream national broadcasting only under strict conditions: that we are 'balanced' by at least three other people who disagree with us so that our views, actually held by millions, are made to look like an eccentric minority opinion.[34]

Hitchens, 2011

In 2011, Hitchens was booed by the audience for a Question Time programme, on which he appears regularly, when he said that the expansion of sex education had been followed by increased numbers of teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.[35] During the same programme, chairman David Dimbleby quoted to Hitchens comments made by John Bercow that The Mail on Sunday was "a bigoted, sexist, homophobic comic strip".[36] After his appearance, Hitchens wrote "Is there any point in public debate in a society where hardly anyone has been taught how to think, while millions have been taught what to think?"[37] Hitchens is also heard on Any Questions?,[38] This Week,[39] The Daily Politics[40] and The Big Questions.[41]

Hitchens has authored and presented several documentaries on Channel 4, including critical examinations of Nelson Mandela[42] and David Cameron.[43] In the late 1990s, Hitchens co-presented a programme on Talk Radio UK with Derek Draper and Austin Mitchell.[44]

Public image

In The Guardian, James Silver described Hitchens as "the Mail on Sunday's fulminator-in-chief"[8] and his columns as "molten Old Testament fury shot through with visceral wit".[8] In The Daily Telegraph, Ed West wrote of Hitchens, "I'm a great admirer of Peter, a decent, kind and deeply compassionate man with the air of a prophet about him; and like all prophets, doomed to be scorned by so many. I think a lot of people affect to despise his archaic value system while suspecting that there's something in it, and would say so if only more influential people would stick their head above the parapet".[45]

Hitchens has said of his reputation: "I know a lot of people consider me to be disreputable or foaming at the mouth, but you have to learn not to care, or at least not to mind. I don't like being called 'bonkers' and I think to some extent it demeans people who use phrases like that. But I take comfort from the fact that most totalitarian regimes tend to classify their opponents as mentally disordered."[8]


Hitchens joined the Conservative Party in 1997, but left in 2003. He challenged Michael Portillo for the Conservative Party nomination in the Kensington and Chelsea seat in 1999, accusing Portillo of "washy moderation".[46] However, he claims that he had "no interest in securing the nomination" and "no chance" of doing so, his real reasons having been to gain book publicity and "to draw attention to Michael Portillo's non-conservative politics".[47]

Hitchens believes that no party he could support will be created until the Conservative Party disintegrates, an event he first began calling for in 2006.[48] From 2008, he claimed that what would facilitate such a collapse would be for the Conservative Party to lose the 2010 general election.[49] In 2012, Hitchens announced he was once more considering standing as a member of parliament[50][51] and called for British citizens to form "small exploratory committees in existing constituencies, under the 'Justice and Liberty' motto".[52]

Hitchens mainly comments on political and religious issues, and generally espouses a social conservative viewpoint. In 2010 Michael Gove, writing in The Times, asserted that, for Hitchens, what is more important than the split between the Left and the Right is "the deeper gulf between the restless progressive and the Christian pessimist",[53] and in 2010 Hitchens himself wrote "in all my experience in life, I have seldom seen a more powerful argument for the fallen nature of man, and his inability to achieve perfection, than those countries in which man sets himself up to replace God with the State".[54]

In 2009, Anthony Howard wrote of Hitchens, "the old revolutionary socialist has lost nothing of his passion and indignation as the years have passed us all by. It is merely the convictions that have changed, not the fervour and fanaticism with which they continue to be held".[55]

Morality and religion

While Peter Hitchens used to be an atheist like his older brother Christopher Hitchens,[56] he became a Christian later in his life. Accordingly, he became a member of the Church of England and is now an advocate of moral virtues founded on Christian faith and institutions such as marriage.[57] Today Hitchens defends the use of the Church of England's 1662 Book of Common Prayer and of the King James Bible. Of the latter, he has written "it is not simply a translation, but a poetic translation, written to be read out loud... to lodge in the mind and to disturb the temporal with the haunting sound of the eternal".[58] He argues Christianity has been systematically undermined by social liberals and cultural Marxists. "The left's real interests are moral, cultural, sexual and social. They lead to a powerful state. This is not because they actively set out to achieve one," Hitchens writes.[59] "It is because the left's ideas – by their nature – undermine conscience, self-restraint, deferred gratification, lifelong marriage and strong, indivisible families headed by authoritative fathers."[59]

The political parties of the United Kingdom

Himself a former Trotskyite, Hitchens now says that he is "in character, puritanical, and glad of a reason to be so".[60] He describes his political philosophy as "a conservative position flowing directly and inevitably from a theist position. I'm not saying you can't be a conservative without being a theist - it seems much more difficult, I'm not certain I can work out why you would want to be."[60] Hitchens contends the modern Labour Party was formed by struggles in the 1980s and a programme of "social liberalism, egalitarian education and the sexual revolution" envisaged in the 1950s by figures such as Anthony Crosland and Roy Jenkins.[61] Hitchens criticised New Labour for "attacks on the constitution", and described its Prime Minister Tony Blair's constitutional reforms as a "slow-motion coup d'état".[62] Hitchens believes the most significant changes introduced by New Labour concentrated power in the hands of the executive, with Blair effectively chief executive,[63] and Orders in Council installing Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell in Whitehall.[64]

In his columns Hitchens mocked Blair's public relations, calling him "Princess Tony" in reference to Blair's calling Princess Diana "the people's princess", and latterly making a point of calling him "Anthony Blair".[65] Also, he has cast doubt on the accepted account of Blair's early legal and political career.[65][66] Hitchens described Blair's successor, Gordon Brown, as a "dismal Marxoid",[67] but criticised what he saw as "prejudiced, shallow" attempts by the media to destroy Brown after he became Prime Minister in 2007,[68] and praised Brown for, in his words, "saving the pound".[69]

At the same time, Peter Hitchens has been consistently dismissive of the modern [72]

Hitchens has mixed views on the [73] and he has criticised UKIP leader Nigel Farage's personal support for drug decriminalisation,[74] viewing UKIP itself also as "not a conservative formation, but Thatcherism in exile".[71] However, he also said of the 2015 general election, "If you feel for some odd reason that voting is a duty, vote for UKIP",[75] and he has defended UKIP from "smear" attempts and has called Nigel Farage "in fact England's answer to Alex Salmond".[76] He has also said that "only a UKIP breakthrough offers the poor, betrayed British people any hope of real change. The [other parties] must lie, because they know their real aims are hateful to us."[77]

Liberty, security, crime and drugs

Hitchens advocates a society governed by conscience and the rule of law, which he sees as the best guarantee of liberty. He believes that capital punishment is a key element of a strong justice system,[78][79] and he was the only British journalist to attend and write about the execution of Nicholas Ingram in America in 1995.[80]

Hitchens is critical of the British government's desire for  .

An updated edition of A Brief History of Crime. 2003. " , about what he sees as the non-existent war on drugs, was published by Bloomsbury in the autumn of 2012.[113] Writing on his blog in 2013, he expressed his desire to write a book on what he sees as the national myth of the Second World War, which he believes did long-term damage to Britain and its position in the world. In June 2014 he published his first e-book, 'Short Breaks in Mordor', a compendium of foreign reports.[114]


See also



  1. ^ "Five Minutes With Peter Hitchens". UK: The BBC. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Hitchens, Peter (19 July 2010). "The House I Grew Up In". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Hitchens 2010, p. 8.
  4. ^ "Toffs at the top". Press Gazette. 16 June 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "York space" 
  6. ^ "Peter Hitchens | Nigel Farndale". Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  7. ^ Hitchens 2010, p. 10.
  8. ^ a b c d e Silver, James (14 November 2005). "Look forward in anger". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 April 2007. 
  9. ^ Hitchens 2009, p. 79.
  10. ^ Hitchens 2009, p. 84.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "The Boy Can't Help It". The NY Mag. 26 April 1999. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  13. ^ Silver, James (14 November 2005). "Look forward in anger". The Guardian. 
  14. ^ Hodgson, Jessica (7 December 2000). "Hitchens quits Express". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "Veteran columnist quits Express" (report). BBC News. 9 December 2000. Retrieved 2 November 2006. 
  16. ^ Hitchens, Peter (8 September 2008). "Back in the USSR".  
  17. ^ a b Lucas, Edward (29 September 2010). "Foggy at the bottom". The Economist. Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  18. ^ Martin Moore for the Frontline Club. 1 May 2007 The Orwell Prize 2007. Quote: "...judge Francis Wheen congratulated a strong field that included ...Peter Hitchens – more for his delightfully frank foreign dispatches than his ‘fire and brimstone’ Mail columns (read, for example, his article on ‘Iran – a nation of nose jobs, not nuclear war’)."
  19. ^ Amos, Owen (26 March 2009). "Shortlists announced for Orwell Prize for political writing". Press Gazette (UK). Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. .
  20. ^ a b Trilling, Daniel (20 May 2010). "Peter Hitchens wins the Orwell Prize". New Statesman. Retrieved 25 May 2010. 
  21. ^ Goligher, Kate (25 May 2010). "University of York graduate Peter Hitchens wins Orwell prize for foreign correspondence". UK: Nouse. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  22. ^ Hitchens, Peter (15 March 2010). "In the Soviet suburbs of Hell and the blasted avenues of Mogadishu, I saw what our society could become". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  23. ^ Hitchens, Peter (10 November 2002). "From Marx to Martini". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 30 April 2009. 
  24. ^ Hitchens, Peter (27 September 2010). "As Ukrainians force Russians to turn their back on their language and change their names, I ask, is this the world's most absurd city?". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 29 September 2010. 
  25. ^ Hitchens, Peter (11 October 2010). "Lattes, beach barbecues (and dodging missiles) in the world's biggest prison camp". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 11 October 2010. 
  26. ^ Hitchens, Peter (18 May 2003). "Iraq's Year Zero". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  27. ^ Hitchens, Peter (21 April 2007). "Iran: A nation of nose jobs, not nuclear war". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  28. ^ "Peter Hitchens & Iran". Iain Dale's Diary. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  29. ^ Hitchens, Peter (16 November 2003). "To get rich is glorious". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  30. ^ Hitchens, Peter (8 October 2007). "North Korea, the last great Marxist bastion, is a real-life Truman show". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  31. ^ Hitchens, Peter (19 November 2007). "Prisoners in Camp Kim". The American Conservative. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  32. ^ "A bumper crop of Mail on Sunday nominations". The Mail on Sunday. 28 February 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2009. 
  33. ^ "In Confidence". The Daily Telegraph. TV and Radio (UK). 15 April 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2012 
  34. ^ Hitchens, Peter (29 May 2011). "Wherever there's trouble, you'll find Human Rights". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  35. ^ "Peter Hitchens: Sex education causes teenage pregnancy". Question Time (UK: The  
  36. ^ "Question Time". UK: The  
  37. ^ Hitchens, Peter (13 June 2011). "The Deserving Poor, and being booed in Norwich". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  38. ^ "Any Questions?". York,  
  39. ^ "Peter Hitchens". This Week. News (The BBC). 6 October 2006. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  40. ^ "David Aaronovitch and Peter Hitchens on Tony Blair". News (The BBC). 29 January 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  41. ^ "The Big Questions". One (UK: The BBC) 4 (5). 6 February 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2012 
  42. ^ Sampson, Anthony (15 May 2004). "Mandela is not a saint, but he could teach Blair and Bush about peace-making". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  43. ^ "Cameron: Toff At The Top". Channel 4. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  44. ^ "Hear me roar". The Guardian. 3 April 2000. Retrieved 17 March 2008. 
  45. ^ West, Ed (30 August 2012). "Libertarians and conservatives – an odd couple". The Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  46. ^ Ward, Lucy (17 September 1999). "Byelection contender denounces 'liberal' Portillo". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  47. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "Victorian Virtues, and another thing". The Mail on Sunday. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  48. ^ Hitchens, Peter (23 March 2006). "Kilroy was here, and failed". The Mail on Sunday (UK). Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  49. ^ Hitchens, Peter (14 January 2010). "Manifestos, and replacing the Tories". The Mail on Sunday (UK). Retrieved 25 January 2010. 
  50. ^ Hitchens, Peter (7 April 2012). "George Galloway elected: I said I'd never stand as an MP... Well, I've changed my mind". The Mail on Sunday. UK. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  51. ^ Feeney, Matthew (9 April 2012). "Peter Hitchens, a Possible Member of Parliament?". The American Conservative. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  52. ^ "And They're Off...". The Mail on Sunday. UK. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  53. ^  
  54. ^ Hitchens 2010, p. 111.
  55. ^  
  56. ^ Hitchens 2010, p. ix.
  57. ^ Hitchens, Peter (30 July 2006). "Mothers in pinnies, a price worth paying to save society". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 25 January 2008. 
  58. ^ Hitchens, Peter (6 January 2011). "The King James Bible versus the Sid James Bible". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 
  59. ^ a b White, JT. "Why I respect Peter Hitchens" Spectre|27 December 2014.
  60. ^ a b "Interview: Peter Hitchens | The Cambridge Student". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  61. ^ Hitchens, Peter (11 January 2010). "Whatever happened to the Labour Party?". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  62. ^ Hitchens 1999, p. 343.
  63. ^ Hitchens 1999, p. 357.
  64. ^ Hitchens, Peter (3 December 2000). "Comment: The monarchy debate". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  65. ^ a b Hitchens, Peter. "Tony or Anthony?" The Mail on Sunday. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  66. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "Am I too soft on Anthony Blair?". The Mail on Sunday. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  67. ^ Hitchens, Peter (27 March 2007). "Is this war?". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 22 August 2008. 
  68. ^ Hitchens 2009, p. 40.
  69. ^ Hitchens, Peter (June 2012). "On being nice & how Gordon Brown saved the Pound". The Mail on Sunday ( .
  70. ^ Hitchens, Peter (16 October 2007). "The Tories are still useless, and if you really want to get Labour out, you should not vote Tory". The Mail on Sunday (UK). Retrieved 25 January 2009. 
  71. ^ a b Hitchens, Peter. "It's Too Late To Say You're Sorry, Mr Slippery". The Mail on Sunday. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  72. ^ a b White, JT. "Why I respect Peter Hitchens". Spectre|27 December 2014
  73. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "Please stop trying to get me to endorse UKIP". The Mail on Sunday. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  74. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "Odd People, Dad's Army and can UKIP rob the Tories of Victory?". The Mail on Sunday. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  75. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "It was soft policing that killed this boy, not being too tough". The Mail on Sunday. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  76. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "They've killed off marriage - and our hopes of a happy life". The Mail on Sunday. 4 May 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  77. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "The Dave diet: hair gel, snake oil and terminological inexactitudes" The Mail on Sunday. 5 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  78. ^ "Amnesty TV: Peter Hitchens and the death penalty". The Guardian. UK. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  79. ^ Says, Sharon (19 May 2011). "Hitchens on the death penalty". Oxford student. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  80. ^ Hitchens 2000, p. 2.
  81. ^ Rockwell, Lew (10 April 2004). The Spectator. UK Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  82. ^ "Innocent until proved guilty". The Mail on Sunday (Web log). UK. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  83. ^ "How about a trivial, disorganised crimes agency?". The Mail on Sunday. UK. 6 April 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  84. ^ Sutherland, Keith (31 March 2000). The Rape of the Constitution?. Google Books.  
  85. ^ Jack Staples-Butler 27 June 2013 (27 June 2013). "The Yorker Meets... Peter Hitchen". Retrieved 7 June 2014. 
  86. ^
  87. ^ Hitches, Peter. "Drug Culture". IAI. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  88. ^ "The Cannabis Cult". The Mail on Sunday. UK. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  89. ^ "Arguments against legalising drugs". The Mail on Sunday. 9 November 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  90. ^ Hitchens, Peter (26 September 2011). "What Labour won't do, and ought to do". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  91. ^ "Home Affairs Select Committee – Drugs". Parliament live TV. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  92. ^ "Hitchens urges tough drugs policy". UK: The BBC. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  93. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "PETER HITCHENS: My TV clash with Matthew Perry and why I was right to challenge this cosseted Hollywood star's demands (and why his 'drug addiction' is no more real than Chandler from Friends)". The Mail on Sunday. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  94. ^ "'"Hitchens on Iraq: 'slow decline. News. Channel 4. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  95. ^ "Troops out of Afghanistan Now". The Mail on Sunday (Web log). UK. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  96. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "We're being dragged into a new Cold War by a puffed-up bullfrog (and I don't mean President Putin)". The Mail on Sunday. 23 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  97. ^ a b Hitchens, Peter. "Why Don't we Want Democracy and Self-determination for Crimea?". The Mail on Sunday. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  98. ^ "Where does the EU get its power from?". The Mail on Sunday (Web log). UK. 25 June 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  99. ^ "British jobs for British workers". The Mail on Sunday. UK. 3 February 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  100. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "The Liberal Elite Shifts -Two Important Speeches on 'Rights' and Open Borders". The Mail on Sunday. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  101. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "Will London one day Secede from the United Kingdom?". The Mail on Sunday. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  102. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "PETER HITCHENS: We ask the Scots to be 'loyal' - but we're the ones betraying Britain". The Mail on Sunday. 16 February 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  103. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "Reflections on the Rule of Law, on Scotland and on an astonishingly cruel portrayal of Lady Thatcher". The Mail on Sunday. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  104. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "Down with the Special Relationship". The Mail on Sunday. 10 February 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  105. ^ Hitchens, Peter. "Zionism: A Defense". The American Conservative. 6 October 2003. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  106. ^ Hitchens, Peter (21 February 2008). "Why do people still pretend that exams have not been devalued?". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 17 May 2008. 
  107. ^ Hitchens, Peter (9 April 2011). "From draper's son to judge... That was social mobility". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 9 April 2011. 
  108. ^ Hitchens, Peter (17 January 2007). "Ripostes, retorts and responses". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 17 January 2007. 
  109. ^ On Doing Your Homework - a Riposte to a Bog-Standard Attack on Grammar Schools The Mail on Sunday, 13 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  110. ^ Hitchens 2009, p. 125.
  111. ^ Hitchens, Peter (3 March 2010). "More sex education means more teenage pregnancies... always". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  112. ^ Katz, Ian (31 May 2005). "When Christopher met Peter". The Guardian. 
  113. ^ Hitchens, Peter (31 January 2011). "The Feminine Mystique and the Unattainable Dream of Sex Equality, plus some more controversial matters". The Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  114. ^ Aspinall, John (24 July 2014). "A Misunderstood Man: Short Breaks in Mordor by Peter Hitchens". The Telegraph. 

External links

  • Hitchens (31 December 2000). "The Abolition of Britain"On (interview). .  
  • Hitchens, Peter (January 2005). "City New Year Service, The Parish Church" (PDF) (address). .  
  • Hitchens, Peter. "Articles".  .
  • Hitchens, Peter. "Drug Culture".  
  • Peter Hitchens at the Internet Movie Database
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
Hitchens's book,

, was published in Britain in March 2010, and in the US (Zondervan, ISBN 978-0-310-32031-9) in May.   Hitchens is the author of


Peter's elder brother was the writer and atheist Christopher Hitchens. Christopher said that the main difference between the two is a belief in the existence of God.[112]

Relationship with his brother

Hitchens views comprehensive education, the Plowden reforms, and modern child-centred teaching methods as misguided egalitarian political projects that have diluted educational standards and decreased social mobility.[106][107] To address these issues, Hitchens advocates a return to academically selective grammar schools.[108][109] He devotes Chapter 11 of his book The Broken Compass to these developments and themes.[110] Hitchens opposes sex education in schools, which he argues has led to increased sexual activity among the young and a rise in teenage pregnancies and abortions.[111]


Hitchens supports Israel and denies the notion of occupied Palestinian territory, viewing the British exit from Mandatory Palestine as having left a legal vacuum. He also praises Israel's "European" culture, which he says makes Israel "the permanent ally, in the Middle East, of the world's lawful and free countries", and which he suspects is the main reason for the perceived hostility of the Arab governments. However, he condemns past Jewish terrorism and some Israeli military actions.[105]

Hitchens has stated his "love" for the United States and his support for the US's being the successor to Britain as the world's leading power, but he has denounced "sentimental" attitudes towards the alleged "Special Relationship", arguing that the United States rightly follows its own self-interest to the detriment of the United Kingdom.[104]

Hitchens has described London as "the fifth state in the United Kingdom" and as having "an explicitly republican form of government".[101] He views Northern Ireland's referendum on the Good Friday Agreement as "manifestly unfair", arguing that the Protestant community was "browbeaten" into voting for it, and that the British government was put "under huge duress, both from IRA violence and from the White House".[97] He opposes Scottish independence, because of his affection for Scotland and because he believes that independence within the EU would not be independence at all, but he also says that, having itself ceded power to the EU, the British government cannot argue against Scottish independence.[102] However, he supports devolution for Scotland, having changed his mind, but he is ambivalent about devolution for Wales, and still "completely against" it for Northern Ireland, while predicting that the province will eventually be absorbed as a "special autonomous zone" of the Republic of Ireland.[103]

On Europe, Hitchens argues that the United Kingdom should negotiate an amicable departure from the European Union, whose laws and traditions he regards as incompatible with the laws and liberties of Britain,[98] and with the national independence of the United Kingdom as a whole.[99] Likewise, he opposes the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights.[100]

Hitchens opposed the Kosovo and 2003 Iraq Wars, on the grounds that neither was in the interests of either Britain or the United States,[94] and opposes the British military presence in Afghanistan, arguing that it has no achievable aim.[95] He urges better relations between the West and Russia, viewing conflict as unnecessary, and, while condemning the old Soviet Union as an "evil empire" and Vladimir Putin as corrupt, he states his "strong affection for post-communist Russia".[96] Also, he endorsed the 2014 Crimea referendum.[97]

International relations and national sovereignty

Hitchens is well known for his anti-cannabis views,[85][86] and is opposed to the decriminalisation of recreational drugs in general.[87] He argues that the legal prohibition of drug use is an essential counterweight to "pro-drug propaganda".[88][89] He has stated that attempts to combat drug use by restricting supply and prosecuting drug dealers are futile, unless possession and use are also punished.[90] In 2012, Hitchens gave evidence to the Parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee as part of its inquiry into drugs policy,[91] and called for the British government to introduce a more hardline policy on drugs.[92] Hitchens describes drug addiction as a "fantasy", stating that drug abuse is a choice.[93]

[84] and facets of a constitutional revolution.liberty Hitchens views these developments both as an attack on [83]

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