A/c/t the Green Party "Mr Cameron’s aim is simple as it is crude - to deflect the anger against his government’s cuts from the bankers and onto the Muslim community" - a theory rather undermined by the following "The prime minister is aping attacks by other European leaders like France's Nicolas Sarkozy, who passed legislation banning the veil, and Angela Merkel, who has also made statements denouncing multiculturalism in Germany." Now call me naive, but thought Germany was doing rather well in the credit crunch, and didn't need to deflect anything onto anybody. The French haven't done too badly either - their main economic worry being the performance of the Euro periphery. Maybe they had reasons which weren't concerned with finding scapegoats.
Three observations from a look at the transcript:
1) Cameron (or his speech-writer) is completely signed up to the post-Cultural Revolution settlement.
Hmm. So if you're a Christian couple running a bed-and-breakfast, you should get back wherever it was you came from.
"So we should properly judge these organisations: do they believe in universal human rights – including for women and people of other faiths?"
"Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and a much more active, muscular liberalism. A passively tolerant society says to its citizens, as long as you obey the law we will just leave you alone. It stands neutral between different values. But I believe a genuinely liberal country does much more; it believes in certain values and actively promotes them. Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality. It says to its citizens, this is what defines us as a society: to belong here is to believe in these things."
2) It's a funny old liberalism that says "to belong here is to believe in these things". Even in the days of Good Queen Bess, when practicing the wrong religion could lead to the stake or the block, she made no windows into men's souls regarding their beliefs. I thought that "as long as you obey the law we will just leave you alone" was pretty much the contract that Old England made with the subjects of the Crown, saving only times of national emergency - almost the definition of what it was to live in a free country .
3) the rest of the speech was pretty anodyne, once you've swallowed Cameron's remarkable insights into where Islam ends and political ideology begins. I had no idea he had studied these issues so deeply. The man's a second Hazel Blears ! Only a far-left or Green Party activist could take serious issue with most of it. You never know, he may even believe some of it, and be (as some in the Labour Party appear to be) genuinely concerned for social cohesion.
IMHO it's a bit late for that. All the Cameronian Highlanders aren't going to undo the work of the last 13-odd years, let alone the 30 before that. Over large areas of our cities (and smaller areas of our towns) there's no native culture left to assimilate to. If Cameron thinks that Human Rights Culture aka 'The Religion Set Forth By The Prime Minister' is going to unite anyone when push comes to shove, I fear he's sadly mistaken. The chances of developing a new, over-arching culture, inclusive enough to include a myriad subcultures and ethnicities, is long gone. That's why Trafalgar Square, heart of what was formerly the capital city of England, was full of Kosovans stabbing each other on Thursday afternoon :
"Violence broke out when rival groups of Albanian-Kosovans, armed with knives and hockey sticks, began to fight in one of London's most popular tourist destinations. Officers arrived at the scene on Thursday to discover running brawls between what is thought to have been Albanian-Kosovan gangs, gathered to "celebrate" the third anniversary of Kosovo's independence.Hmm. Does that come under 'equality for all before the law', or 'equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality', Mr Cameron ? I can't but think the bar has come down on the Cameronian dream, if dream it be - and it came down a good many years ago.
Groups of Albanian-Kosovan teenagers have met on Kosovo National Day as a "show of force" for the last couple of years. "It usually results only in fist fights rather than stabbings but it is hard to concede that this event was spontaneous because it seems that people came armed with necessary tools to commit a serious assault," said a source."
"He that will not when he may, when he will he shall have nay".
We had a perfectly good British culture once, half a century back and before, which covered three-and-a-half nationalities - but as the half (Ireland) could witness, it was not a perfect relationship even when all components were Christian and all looked pretty much the same. And, imperfect as it was (although it was functionally pretty effective), it was forged over centuries of dispute and struggle. The results of future disputes and struggles are IMHO unlikely to look like Cameron's script. How long did Gordon Brown's script last?