All right, so it was only a straw poll conducted among viewers of yesterday’s BBC Sunday Morning Live debate programme: 95 per cent of Britons think multiculturalism has been a failure.
But as majority verdicts go, it was a pretty resounding one – and it was delivered despite the BBC’s best efforts to muddy the waters, first by wheeling out two of the nation’s Multi Culti Apologist big guns Owen Jones and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, and second by pretending that multiculturalism means something other than what it actually means.
Multiculturalism is a very specific political philosophy which could scarcely be further removed from the idea that we should live in one big, happy, multi-ethnic melting pot and all just get along. That’s because it means the exact opposite. It’s about separatism, not integration.
It was championed from at least the 1970s onwards by effete bien-pensants like Labour MP turned Social Democrat Roy Jenkins and is essentially a manifestation of the cultural guilt and self-hatred that afflicts the left-wing chattering classes. Rather than accept the truth which to most of us is glaringly obvious – that some cultures are manifestly superior to others – it urges us all to celebrate our differences and to accept values that we may personally find alien or even abhorrent in the name of creating a fairer, more tolerant and inclusive society.
So, for example, we in liberal Western culture generally take a dim view of marrying members of your own family, female genital mutilation, forced or arranged marriages, second-class status for women, voter fraud, systematic political corruption, honour killings, the organised grooming, trafficking and rape of underage girls, and so on.
In some of our immigrant communities, though, such practices are considered more or less acceptable. (And I’m only using that “more or less” modifier out of politeness).
David Cameron’s Munich speech on the failure of multiculturalism and the threat of Islamism is his best and most important since becoming Prime Minister.
What are puzzling me are some of the reactions. Of course, an opportunist leftie like Sadiq Khan MP could have been expected to play the minority grievance card. (Though as Toby Young notes, many on the left are so far playing a very cautious game; see eg today’s mealy-mouthed editorial in The Observer) What surprise me far more are some of the responses I’ve seen from avowed libertarians, such as the mighty, deliciously outspoken blogger Old Holborn.
Q: When is the sexual abuse of children culturally, socially and politically acceptable?
A: When it’s committed with industrial efficiency by organised gangs of mainly Pakistani men in English Northern towns like Burnley, Oldham and Rotherham, of course.
But obviously you’re not allowed to admit this or you might sound racist. That’s why, for example, in today’s BBC report into the fact that at least 1400 children were subjected to “appalling” sexual abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, you have to wade 20 paragraphs in before finally you discover the ethnic identity of the perpetrators.
And even then, the embarrassing fact slips out only with the most blushing mealy-mouthedness:
By far the majority of perpetrators of abuse were described as “Asian” by victims.
Well hang on, a second. What this phrase seems to be hinting at is the possibility that the men involved weren’t “Asian” (note to US readers: Asian is UK PC-speak for Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, not orientals) but that the victims mistakenly took them to be so. Is that actually the case or not?
Let’s have a look at the names of the Rotherham men found guilty by Sheffield Crown Court in 2010 of raping or sexually abusing girls as young as 12 shall we. Maybe that’ll help.
- Zafran Ramzan
- Razwan Razaq
- Umar Razaq
- Adil Hussain
- Mohsin Khan
Nope. Absolutely no clues there, then…