Ms Bunting may have left Demos, after a reign of Clough-like brevity, but "you can't kill the spirit".
They've just produced a pile of waffle (pdf file) on "Community-based approaches to counter-terrorism", promoted as ever by the BBC, which positively reeks of the old, appeasement days before the Jack Straw putsch, when multiculturalism was laid to rest and 'community cohesion' replaced it.
What qualifications have the three authors, Rachel Briggs, Catherine Fieschi and the fetchingly tilted Hannah Lownsborough ?
Hannah has produced such insights as "For the integration of services to work at a local level, the implementation of the new policies must be truly local. In part, that requires central government to take a genuinely "hands-off" approach to its introduction, trusting the local knowledge of officials to shape solutions tailored to meet local need. Every Child Matters represents one of the most important changes to children's services in the last 20 years"
Catherine Fieschi's finest hour is undoubtedly her 2004 Fabian essay "the resistable rise of the BNP" in which the Director of the Centre for the Study of European Governance at the University of Nottingham explained why the BNP threat was overblown - just as they got 4.8% in the Euro elections, quadrupling their 1999 vote.
Rachel Briggs advises on corporate security, so you might expect her to be a little reality based. Alas the link to "Viva La Revolution - An article in Renewal, November 2005, on the social revolution taking place in Spain" doesn't work. I'm assuming she sees the coming replacement of the Spanish people as a triumph for feminism. Her blog entries show standard Guardianista attitudes :
After the usual questions about think tanks - independence, funding, government influence - the penultimate questioner caught me off guard.
Did I, he asked, believe that the 'axis of evil' is actually an anti-Chinese policy in disguise?
Without further consideration you might think he's just as barmy as Bush.
Don't hold back - tell it like you see it. Just the kind of person we need at the FCO-funded Wilton Park, 'established in 1946 as part of an initiative by Winston Churchill to help re-establish peace and democracy in Europe'. I'm sure she'd get on well with him.
"Ms Briggs has declared that she has no involvement in any political activities." Really ?
There are a few rough and uncut gems to be found in the liberal alluvium.
One of the reasons that the government is getting things wrong is because it has a shallow and partial understanding of the communities with which it needs to engage, which makes it behave schizophrenically.
On the one hand ‘communities’ are the stuff of multicultural Britain – they are benign exotic groups that add a cultural je ne sais quoi to the UK. The priority for policy-makers is not necessarily to understand the differences, but to celebrate them.
Well, yes. The whole point was to import lots of exotic people to prove how cool and multicultural you were - and to cheese off the evil Right. The actual culture of the people you were importing was irrelevant - the point was that it wasn't 'ours'.
Maybe tonight I'll get round to a proper fisking. Suffice it to say that the conclusions amount to 'you know what you did before - after 9/11 - that didn't work ? Do more of it. And make the process of foreign policy formulation totally transparent. That'll be fun. And institute ethnic policing for ethnic areas. And fund more enquiries like this one.'
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