There's very little written regarding an explanation why, although Phillips writes: "Those interested to learn more can do so in the update on this CiF Watch post, the original quote from which led to this apology." The apology issued was to Alastair Crooke, Director of Conflicts Forum, "an international movement which engages with Islamist movements broadly ..."
Given Mr. Crooke's background, folks probably have an inkling as to what happened: Melanie blogged about Crooke, he got mad, launched legal action, harming the Spectator financially, and Melanie Phillips felt it necessary to resign.
That just the line of logic, but let's see if I can piece some of this together. For one thing, reports indicate that Alastair Crooke, a former member of Britain's MI6 intelligence agency, had direct and ongoing contacts with Hamas as part of his official business at the British consulate in East Jerusalem. A 2007 blog post by Israeli Eliyahu m'Tsiyon has the details, including a quotation from Melanie Phillips which is no longer available elsewhere. And London's far-left Guardian reported on this, "UK recalls MI6 link to Palestinian militants." These are some really sinister dealings, and Phillips wrote about them. See Jihad Watch, "Melanie Phillips on Alistair Crooke." And following the links takes us to FrontPage Magazine, "Alistair Crooke's Meeting with Sheikh Yassin." I don't see the exact date of Crooke's departure from MI6, but even left-wing sources report on his deep ties to global terrorism. See Mother Jones, "The Spy Who Loved Hamas. And Hezbollah. And Iran."
Now note that the Spectator published an apology to Alastair Crooke, cited by Roy Greenslade at the Guardian:
A blog by Melanie Phillips posted on Jan 28 2011 reported an allegation that Alastair Crooke, director of Conflicts Forum, had been expelled from Israel and dismissed for misconduct from Government service or the EU after threatening a journalist whose email he had unlawfully intercepted. We accept that this allegation is completely false and we apologise to Mr Crooke.Again, I'm piecing things together, but it looks like Spectator issued the apology as part of a legal settlement, which has the New Statesman's Mehdi Hasan jumping for joy:
... was this a voluntary or enforced departure? The blogger Guido Staines beat me to it, but I can't help but notice how the Spectator has had to apologise to Alastair Crooke, director of Conflicts Forum, on its website this week, after a blogpost by Phillips made "false" allegations about Crooke's past. Phillips's decision to move on might just be a coincidence but a well-connected source tells me that the payout to Crooke cost the Spectator "tens of thousands of pounds" and left Fraser Nelson and Andrew Neil "furious" with her.So we're now back to Melanie Phillips' blog entry, where she writes, "For legal reasons, I cannot go into the details."
The legal reasons appear to be (further) threats of legal action, but Melanie Phillips has rejected the premise of the apology. And CiF Watch says Phillips made "no such" allegation regarding threats from Alastair Crooke.
Well, we know that Alastair Crooke's collaborating with terrorist organizations, and as Melanie Phillips was writing about it, my sense is that someone made threats, and since this controversy involves people at the highest levels of British power, clearly some pro-jihadists had strong incentive to destroy Melanie Phillips. And what's more fascinating is that so called right-wing outlets are simply crippling under threats and apparent litigation. Indeed, Mehdi Hasan can't contain his glee:
Blinded by their monomaniacal obsession with Islamists under every British bed, members of the UK media's neoconservative faction have been the subject of other (successful) legal complaints and libel actions in recent years.
These legal complaints look sketchy, "successful" or not, given all that we know about Alastair Crooke. Clearly, if Melanie Phillips was speaking truth to power her own health and livelihood became increasingly at risk. And this is something I've been writing about quite a bit, since Scott Eric Kaufman and Carl Salonen launched campaigns of workplace intimidation against me, including libelously false allegations of sexual harassment, with potentially very damaging personal consequences, simply for speaking truth to their evil deeds. And while I'm not an author of such prominence as Melanie Phillips, some allegations against me have gone all the way to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat. So the similarity is to the lengths at which progressives will go to literally destroy those who speak the truth. Remember, for radical leftists and jihad enablers, "truth is the new hate speech." And I want to remind people of my report on Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who announced on Canadian television:
The thing is, you don't care about freedom of speech until you've lost it. But I'm here to tell you that I will never, ever give up the fight for freedom of speech.Neither will I.