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May 09, 2007

Skepticism About Multiculturalism

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

It's quite amazing how quickly it has become acceptable to denounce multiculturalism in Britain, isn't it? Ignore what's said in this Norman Tebbit piece for The Guardian and focus instead on the fact that this is a respectable public figure talking openly about the failings of multiculturalism. You don't see or hear that yet in the States. But maybe the dam has finally burst, and perhaps the public discussion in the U.S. will soon be opening up.

Link thanks to GNXP commenter Omar Khan, who points out that when elite attitudes flip, they usually flip super-quickly. On Monday, no one acknowledges the existence of a given topic. On Tuesday, all the smart set thinks of it as urgent, and shares the same urgent opinion about it. How does this happen?



posted by Michael at May 9, 2007


Perhaps this is because the US has been a multi-cultural society almost since inception, whereas this has occurred in Britain only in the last 50 years or less.

It's a fact of life in the US, in Britain it's a conscious political decision.

Posted by: James Dudek on May 9, 2007 4:30 PM

You don't happen to know where Omar is from? I went to school and played Hockey with an Omar Khan in Middletown, NJ.

Just Curious.

Posted by: Ian Lewis on May 9, 2007 4:34 PM

Uhh, it ain't because the new "Britons" are protestants or catholics!

Isn't that wonderful? Multi-culturalism is no longer the preferred philosophy of England. Now they should have monoculturalism. The new "Britons" will have to assimilate to british culture.

Sure, that will happen. Already muslims there want to have sharia law in their areas. What the dunces who run that country have done can't be undone with a proclamation. The new "Britons" will not assimilate. They don't need to--they now have numbers enough to take over small areas which conform to their tastes and traditions. The clashes are now inevitable. Congratulations, oh wise and morally superior heads of state. You have just brought unending internal strife to your country and put your native population in peril. Like all multi-cultural societies, England will either lose its freedom to the totalitarian state needed to keep the different cultures from warring (by redistributing wealth and power), or it will undergo a low grade civil war and ethnic displacement into segregated factions. As sad fate for a great country, but that's what you get with leftists who ignore the natural order.

Posted by: BIOH on May 9, 2007 5:39 PM

Britain I thought gives asylum like movie passes. Correction!

Posted by: Brian Hadd on May 9, 2007 6:12 PM

Ian - From the British Isles, but it's a common name.

Tebbit has always been skeptical of the whole multi-everything experiment, but as Michael says he is a public figure (former MP and Thatcher Minister) and this is in the GUARDIAN, a paper that makes the New York Times look like Fox News.

The fact that this newspaper would print an article which uses tribal language (literally) and states that Britain can only be united under a strong leader, is pretty amazing.

"Perhaps this is because the US has been a multi-cultural society almost since inception, whereas this has occurred in Britain only in the last 50 years or less.""

I'd imagine a lot of 2blowhards commentators would disagree with that first assertion, but the UK chatterati was a carbon copy of the American one until a couple of years ago. The r-word crushed all debate, with the Guardian as Great Eye. Almost overnight everything has changed. Enoch Powell was shunned for saying what is now uttered in the British media, and by British politicians (Labour at the forefront), every single day. The important question: is it good that elite opinion changes with such speed?

I think Keynes said 'when facts change, I change my mind,' which is a OK philosophy. But the speed with which Britain has abandoned multiculturalism makes me wonder; are all the other secular pieties without foundation as well? will they topple as quickly as multiculturalism? The Bell Curve worried that once elites accepted the Truth about group differences in IQ, they would go full circle and become bluntly racist.

The strange death of multiculturalism shows that Charles Murray was onto something - elite opinion can be a dangerously fickle thing.

Posted by: omar on May 9, 2007 6:14 PM

Interesting that in that whole courageous article Tebbit couldn't bring himself to use the M(uslim) word.

Posted by: ricpic on May 9, 2007 6:45 PM

Better read this before celebrating the end of multiculturalism in Britain...

Posted by: Bob Grier on May 9, 2007 8:18 PM

It's all fiddling as long as immigrants keep flowing in.

Posted by: PA on May 10, 2007 7:21 AM

The main trouble with "multiculturalism" is that it means so many different things, from the benign (It's your duty to be tolerant!) to the horrible (It's your duty to be a relativist!). I would say that no multi-anything can live together in peace unless they accept a common framework of individual rights, especially those recognized by duty number one: tolerance. This means sharia is off the menu. But it does not mean we all have to belong to the same tribe. Historically, most tribes have been massively intolerant.

Posted by: Lester Hunt on May 10, 2007 10:33 AM

This programme linked below about racial/religious divides in the northern town of Blackburn aired on BBC1 last Monday. Not exactly the most in depth and comprehensive by Panorama's standards (notice how they never questioned any Muslims about their obvious prejudices) but the fact that the liberal Beeboids even considered commissioning a programme of this sort indicates that something drastic has happened here in the UK

Posted by: Jeff on May 10, 2007 5:53 PM

"something drastic has happened here in the UK": perhaps a series of explosions stopped its being a problem only for Proles in the North. After all, ones own children travel on the tube.

Mugged by reality, as they say.

Posted by: dearieme on May 11, 2007 9:33 AM

"Interesting that in that whole courageous article Tebbit couldn't bring himself to use the M(uslim) word."

With an article of this tone what is NOT said is most important - ie. it is IMPLIED with hard, Tolkien-style words. The refusal to explicitly mention Muslims made this article even more frightening to me, the implication being, 'I don't even have to mention them, you KNOW who I'm talking about... them...'

"It's all fiddling as long as immigrants keep flowing in."

True. I would agree that immigration is a barrier to integration at this stage in the game. I have come to believe that chain migration, the process by which minority groups can marry people (in many cases first cousins) from the old country, is a severe barrier to interaction with the wider community. British people are so tolerant, you've no idea, but even they have trouble engaging with 15 year old girls from Pakistani villages with nary a word of English.

"It does not mean we all have to belong to the same tribe. Historically, most tribes have been massively intolerant."

I agree, it was frightening language. But we must unite around something. At present there is nothing to really unite around, British culture, as is, doesn't really exist. A grim combination of crass Americanization, Guardian-BBC-West End elitist leftism, and lager loot soccer hooliganism. A Russian friend who came to London recently was severely disappointed, she said one word, 'America'. Tolerance is important, but not really something that a country can unite around through hard times.

"Mugged by reality, as they say."

London at present is The Bell Curve proven beyond all doubt. The things I see in London, every sight just reinforces every word of Murray's book. London is a caste system. High IQ Oxbridge city boys, the current Masters of the Universe (literally - London will soon overtake New York as the worlds financial capital), live a life at the top along with the journalistic culturati and a splattering of South/East Asian doctors etc, then you have a few remaining lower Middle Class whites, and then a vast, and I mean VAST, underclass of whites, Muslims (Tower Hamlets) and especially blacks (who have now descended into gang warfare - see Ross Kemp on South London Gangs">>Gangs).
The British elite is singularly unwilling to discuss the things I see every day. Charles Murray's analysis of the way Britain was heading in the early 90's has pretty much come true (although he didn't properly analyze the immigration dimension). As I said, I think of the Bell Curve on every trip to London, it explains so much. But nobody has a clue, even if they are 'mugged by reality.'

Britain's immigration policy, geared towards former colonial territories, has had mixed, but overly negative effects over time. Eg. it began with a smallish number of Carribean blacks, then attracted high-IQ Indian/Pakistani doctors etc to work in the expanding NHS, but gradually came to embrace the worst members of all the colonial territories. Eg Many of the recent crop of Pakistani immigrants are anomalous by PAKISTANI standards, ie. their culture is weird and backward in PAKISTAN (I don't have time to provide sources, but trust me) Same with some of the recent African immigrants, many of whom come from the Congo, and are not exactly the most savory of characters.

Posted by: omar on May 11, 2007 6:25 PM

Fyi - I know Congo was never a British colony, but the random wars there have spiked the number of Congolese Asylum seekers to the UK (Many of whom I suspect were fighters themselves, only they lost their battles - in Congo, nobody is innocent)

Posted by: omar on May 11, 2007 6:53 PM

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