Mr Irresponsible Strikes Yet Again

I really don’t know what our esteemed Prime Minister, Mr Irresponsible, thought he was doing (beyond echoing Angela Merkel) when he said multiculturalism had failed in the UK.

To me he seemed to be saying that all minorities ought to become the same as the rest of us.

This demands the question, what rest of us?

For there is no single British culture. For a start there are four distinct national areas in the UK and the “culture” of each differs from the others. Even within each of the four areas culture differs from place to place. It differs within any city. Even within a town. Or village.

Now, I would agree that people who fail to learn English are going to struggle to come to terms with life in the UK and they should be encouraged to do so, by all means. (If I went to live abroad I would make every effort to learn the language.)

I would also agree that anyone who seeks to commit, or carries out, acts of indiscriminate murder (or murder of any stamp come to that) ought to be prosecuted – but that applies to anyone, not just to “minorities.”

In any case, the problem – if it is a problem – is not existential. A few disaffected, and misguided, youths are not a threat to the fabric of the UK nor to the British way of life; whereas laws implemented in over-reaction most certainly are. Neither have the 7/7 attacks on London Transport nor any subsequent actions been as extensive as those of the IRA were.

[By the way, we are all immigrants. There were no humans in Britain till our ancestors migrated via Europe from Africa. As a consequence, none of us has the right to say that others should not come to make their homes here. What we do have is the right to expect and insist that they obey our laws.]

As for the rest of it, the Prime Minister seemed to me to be suggesting that perhaps everyone should be (let’s take an example) members of the Church of England. This is a strange way to try to win over people who may be disaffected as a result of their perceptions of the prevailing attitudes of most Britons towards them and their religious affiliation. To tell them that to be accepted they must abandon what they think defines them is not going to persuade them that they are wrong. Quite the opposite.

This is a Tory playing to the Tory right – and giving succour to the more extreme right wing. I am strongly reminded of the remarks of Margaret Thatcher (of unblessed memory) about “swamping.”

I have two words here for David Cameron.

Guy Fawkes.

Four hundred years ago it was Roman Catholics who were disaffected and the terrorists of their day (albeit the then government knew every detail of the Gunpowder Plot.) Excepting Northern Ireland (and there any dissidents’ wishes are particular not general – and not in any case dedicated to the overthrow of the British state) most British RCs no longer have a grievance against the government – no more so than any other Britons anyway – and would not resort to violence to relieve themselves of it.

Just give it a few hundred years; problem solved.

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  1. Simon Barrow

    *Excellent* comment and analysis, Jack. Thank you.

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