Wednesday, August 03, 2005

"Why Cultural Tolerance Cuts Both Ways"

Writing in the Telegraph DD says:

'Searching questions now have to be asked about what has been happening inside Britain's Muslim communities, and how the perverted values of the suicide bomber have been allowed to take root. Britain has pursued a policy of multiculturalism - allowing people of different cultures to settle without expecting them to integrate into society. Often the authorities have seemed more concerned with encouraging distinctive identities than with promoting common values of nationhood... Above all, we must speak openly of what we expect of those who settle here - and of ourselves.'

Rights and responsibilities: this is a measured piece dealing with some very difficult issues. And it has substance, as opposed to the usual flannel we got from Hazel Blears on her PR tour of Oldham yesterday.

Five years ago, a piece like this would have brought down a storm of righteous condemnation, and might well have got its writer the sack. But now we've all learned the hard way. We must grit our teeth as yet another bit of sixties socialist wishful thinking is slowly, painfully reversed. And mealy-mouthed triangulating New Labour will simply never grip it.

It will be interesting to watch reactions, particularly from those arch-multiculturalists at the state broadcaster.


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