It’s multiculturalism that’s to blame!

It’s so nice to know that it is tolerance that is breeding radical terrorists , not feminism.   Let’s thank the British PM for this bit of insightful analysis:

In what aides described as one of the most important speeches in the nine months since he became prime minister, Mr. Cameron said the multiculturalism policy — one espoused by British governments since the 1960s, based on the principle of the right of all groups in Britain to live by their traditional values — had failed to promote a sense of common identity centered on values of human rights, democracy, social integration and equality before the law… He called on European governments to practice “a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism,” and said Britain would no longer give official patronage to Muslim groups that had been “showered with public money despite doing little to combat terrorism.”

Perhaps most controversially, he called for an end to a double standard that he said had tolerated the propagation of radical views among nonwhite groups that would be suppressed if they involved radical groups among whites.

Opps!  What’s this about suppressing radical views among whites??  I thought the British National Party was doing a pretty good job of spreading radical views??  Maybe some of our British writers or readers can sort this out.

10 thoughts on “It’s multiculturalism that’s to blame!

  1. Take away the adjectives and we have a call for “less of the tolerance… and much more liberalism”. A strange statement when you consider that tolerance is high on the list of almost all of the definitions of liberalism.

    But when you look at the adjectives “less passive and more muscular” you see the appeal to the gut feeling of many white Britons. That this speech came on the same day as a march by The English Defence League, and articles discussing the abolition of the 40- plus year tradition of the May Day Bank holiday, with a possible ‘UK day’ being mooted as a replacement, is surely not coincidence. Add to this the regular news stories of the need to revise the teaching of history in state schools to emphasise the great achievements of Britain and forge a ‘stronger sense of national identity.’

    So we are looking at a stronger, more muscular Britishness over a tolerant, inclusive one as the remedy to a declared threat of radicalisation by disaffected British Muslims who, it is claimed, don’t feel rooted. How this will make them more rooted is not at all clear.

    Clearly this is not a plan with the either the welfare or the identity of British Muslims at its centre. Rather it is a message to white Britons that although we a facing a time of economic hardship, this is still their country. And that the government is willing to stand up to minorities in a way that it is not prepared to stand up to the banks…

  2. Darren, thanks so much for the context and interpretation.

    If you read the article I was quoting from, one muslim leader says something like “Muslims are positions as part of the problem, not part of the solution.” As a strategy that seems quite silly, though as a political slogan I guess it could get a lot of people on Cameron’s side, which I think you are suggesting is a main point.

  3. I always thought multiculturalism *had* failed in Britain–as in, Britain’s not all that multicultural. Maybe multiculturalism’s failure in Britain is due to the failure of multiculturalism in Britain.

  4. Cameron actually spoke against intolerance, saying that just as white intolerance – such as racism – should be opposed so too should intolerance in minority populations. He was particularly referring to extremist Islam which commonly is racist (particularly anti-Semitic but also commonly anti-black) sexist and homophobic. He spoke in favour of promoting core liberal values among all in the UK. This is not something that moderate, mainstream Muslims should feel threatened by.

  5. Tina, it seems to me hard to get to your interpretation even with the most favorable and superficial interpretation of Cameron’s comments. He clearly speaks against the tolerance of difference. What’s not threatening about that if in fact one is different?

  6. Hi

    I have just managed to find the text of the speech online. It is here.

    http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/speeches-and-transcripts/2011/02/pms-speech-at-munich-security-conference-60293

    He says, ‘But I believe a genuinely liberal country does much more; it believes in certain values and actively promotes them. Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality. It says to its citizens, this is what defines us as a society: to belong here is to believe in these things. Now, each of us in our own countries, I believe, must be unambiguous and hard-nosed about this defence of our liberty.’

    And

    ‘It will also help build stronger pride in local identity, so people feel free to say, ‘Yes, I am a Muslim, I am a Hindu, I am Christian, but I am also a Londonder or a Berliner too’. It’s that identity, that feeling of belonging in our countries, that I believe is the key to achieving true cohesion.’

    He is not against all difference. He is against those who disagree with: ‘Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality.’

    Where is the problem?

    Best wishes

    Tina

  7. Hi Tina,

    You say “He is against those who disagree with: ‘Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality.’ ”

    Freedom of speech
    Is he against those who refuse funds to groups who speak out against Israel policies? Labour did this through its Prevent strategy, Cameron didn’t complain.

    Freedom of worship
    Is he against the UK law that insists that all state schools have a daily act of collective worship of a Christian nature? I doubt it as I’m pretty sure his party introduced it.

    Democracy
    Is he against the continuation of the monarchy (to which he is related)? No, as fundamentally anti-democratic as it is, it ties with his conception of Britishness.

    The rule of law
    Is he against those who protest at the current hunting ban? Nope – and laws are constantly being changed, that’s what government is for.

    Equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality.
    Is he against the many public and private institutions (his own cabinet included) where white, Christian, heterosexual males are over-represented at the expense of those who do not fit these categories?
    Or does he believe that the current state of affairs is due to us all having these equal rights (but that really white blokes are just better at stuff)?

    These examples are off the top of my head. I offer them only to illustrate that he is being very selective in what he claims to be for and against. And that ‘muscular’ liberalism denotes nothing and connotes a lot.

  8. Darren, I really don’t see how you can disagree with the content of the
    speech. It seems admirable.

    So I guess you are agreeing with the content of the speech – is that correct?

    You are simply suggesting that someone who believes and supports the content of the speech should do certain things, which he does not, such as eliminate school worship and the monarchy. I doubt this is correct. I respond to your points in turn:

    You say:
    Freedom of speech
    Is he against those who refuse funds to groups who speak out against Israel policies? Labour did this through its Prevent strategy, Cameron didn’t complain.

    Tina: Are you talking of public funds? I don’t really see why taxpayers should fund anti-Israeli protest. And that taxpayers do not fund anti-Isreali protest does not mean there is not freedom of speech. There is plenty of free anti-Israeli protest as you well know.

    Freedom of worship
    Is he against the UK law that insists that all state schools have a daily act of collective worship of a Christian nature? I doubt it as I’m pretty sure his party introduced it.

    Tina: You don’t know who introduced it – but doubtless when it was introduced it would have had the support of all parties. It is not compulsory for children to attend – they can withdraw. Most schools don’t make it headbangingly Christian. And it hardly means there is not freedom of worship.

    Democracy
    Is he against the continuation of the monarchy (to which he is related)? No, as fundamentally anti-democratic as it is, it ties with his conception of Britishness.

    Tina: The monarchy is a complex notion, which there is not time to discuss now. But anyway, has no explicit power in governing the country, so can hardly be said to make this an undemocratic country (they don’t even have a vote!). The monarchy is though a safeguard against the destruction of democracy: witness the role of the king of Spain in rallying opposition to the coup a few years after Spain democracy after the death of Franco.

    The rule of law
    Is he against those who protest at the current hunting ban? Nope – and laws are constantly being changed, that’s what government is for.
    Tina: Protest against laws is not against the law. So to be happy for people to protest against laws does not mean one does not support the rule of laws.

    Equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality.
    Is he against the many public and private institutions (his own cabinet included) where white, Christian, heterosexual males are over-represented at the expense of those who do not fit these categories?
    Or does he believe that the current state of affairs is due to us all having these equal rights (but that really white blokes are just better at stuff)?

    Tina: I’ve no idea. But his government on 1st October 2010 implemented the ‘Equality Act’ equal rights legislation drawn up by Harriet Harman, which they did not have to do. So there is no reason to think he does not support equal rights, especially given that he is putting it centre stage in an important and influential speech.

  9. Tina,

    I think my first post above explains in reasonably clear terms what I think about the speech and the wider context in which it was made. If you can’t see what is not to like, you could open any UK broadsheet in the last few days and find a commentator attempting to highlight that. Of course, you may well disagree with them, but it does seem worth investing a bit of time listening to alternative points of view.

    In my last post, I tried to illustrate that the terms that Cameron is positioning himself as a (perhaps the) defender of, are not as straightforward as he implies. Neither, is his commitment to these principles. The discourse of ‘they are against our values’ is effective even when it is inaccurate.

    I have already alluded to the muddled thinking within the speech and how the ‘less passive… more muscular’ discourse appeals to the gut feelings of many white Britons. The quotes from EDL members in the papers in favour of Cameron would support this view. I do not think this merely unfortunate coincidence.

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