Saturday, September 27, 2008

Contender for "nit wit of the year"

Domnic Grieve makes some comments about multi-culturalism in the Guardian today. He says: "We've done something terrible to ourselves in Britain".

Breathe in....count to ten....breathe out.

First of all I would say that Mr Grieve represents Beaconsfield, a town with a 4% non-white ethnic population, about a third of the national rate.

So, let's just say that Mr Grieve may lack day-to-day experience of what he speaks of.

In passing, I would also point out that Dominic Grieve spoke French as a child before he spoke English. I'm not sure what that has got to do with this, but it must have some relevance.

The key flaw in his attack on multi-culturalism, as with all attacks on it, is that he seems to assume that a group of woolly lefty academics sat down and drew up a plan called "multi-culturalism".

Of course they didn't. It just happened, for goodness sake! If there is any one word which defines Britishness it is "tolerance". We have had a tolerant immigration policy over the last hundred years. We have welcomed Empire and Commonwealth citizens and we have been a haven for people fleeing dictatorships.

People have lived where they felt like it. In this country people are free to rent or buy houses where they want to. So if they choose to live with people who have a similar ethnic origin to themselves then - fair enough. It happens.

If they choose to eat certain food and wear certain clothes then - fair enough. It happens. The only duty of a British citizen is to obey the law. Not deny their origins and culture.

Grieve says:

In the name of trying to prepare people for some new multicultural society we've told people, particularly long-term inhabitants, 'Well your cultural background isn't really very important, or it's flawed, or you shouldn't be worrying about it'

Has someone actually said this to anyone? Of course not. Is there any government pronouncement over the last hundred years that could be characterised as such? Of course not. He is making it up. No one has said "Your cultural background isn't really very important" to anyone. It is total and complete cobblers.

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