Multiculturalism: What the Left Would Prefer You Didn't Know...
All right, so it was only a straw poll conducted among viewers of yesterday's BBC Sunday Morning Live debate programme: 95 per cent of Britons think multiculturalism has been a failure.
But as majority verdicts go, it was a pretty resounding one - and it was delivered despite the BBC's best efforts to muddy the waters, first by wheeling out two of the nation's Multi Culti Apologist big guns Owen Jones and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, and second by pretending that multiculturalism means something other than what it actually means.
Multiculturalism is a very specific political philosophy which could scarcely be further removed from the idea that we should live in one big, happy, multi-ethnic melting pot and all just get along. That's because it means the exact opposite. It's about separatism, not integration.
It was championed from at least the 1970s onwards by effete bien-pensants like Labour MP turned Social Democrat Roy Jenkins and is essentially a manifestation of the cultural guilt and self-hatred that afflicts the left-wing chattering classes. Rather than accept the truth which to most of us is glaringly obvious - that some cultures are manifestly superior to others - it urges us all to celebrate our differences and to accept values that we may personally find alien or even abhorrent in the name of creating a fairer, more tolerant and inclusive society.
So, for example, we in liberal Western culture generally take a dim view of marrying members of your own family, female genital mutilation, forced or arranged marriages, second-class status for women, voter fraud, systematic political corruption, honour killings, the organised grooming, trafficking and rape of underage girls, and so on.
In some of our immigrant communities, though, such practices are considered more or less acceptable. (And I'm only using that "more or less" modifier out of politeness).
We know, for example, that two thirds of Pakistani mothers in Bradford are related to the father of their child.
We know that every year about 20,000 girls in Briton are considered "at risk" of female genital mutilation (FGM). (Somalis, mainly)
We know that among certain cultures - Pakistan's, for example - that corruption is endemic. As Rod Liddle noted, Pakistani is 139th on Transparency International's list of most corrupt countries - the higher the number, the more corrupt. And as Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has corroborated, these practices have been "imported" into some of our "northern towns and cities."
We know that in Britain every year at least a dozen women are victims of "honour killings" - and that the justice process is often hampered by the refusal of family members or people in the local community to testify in court.
And we can, I think, take with a fairly hefty pinch of salt the notion that the rape gang phenomenon is something which the broader Pakistani-Kashmiri community in Britain finds unacceptable. If this is really the case, how come it has been allowed to persist, unchecked for up to fifteen years, across Britain on an epic scale, without the perpetrators being named and shamed by their friends, families, colleagues, their community elders or their imams?
The failure of multiculturalism is not, of course, a new thing. Some of us have been warning for years that it is a disastrous policy for various obvious reasons: it militates against social cohesion; it violates the principle that all should be equal before the law and no groups - as contra the parallel Sharia courts now operating in Britain - should be singled out for special treatment; it strains Britain's culture of tolerance to breaking point, while simultaneously diluting the national character and rejecting those qualities which once made (and still do make, up to a point) Britain such a desirable place to live; it makes it that much more likely that FGM, honour killings, voter fraud, rape gangs and the rest can carry on unchecked.
But these sensible arguments against multiculturalism have often been drowned out by the liberal-left either with the cry of "racist" or through the more subtle, but no less effective methods of distraction and dissimulation.
We saw both the latter techniques being used on BBC Sunday Morning Live. Owen Jones - fluent political operator that he is - tried to claim the moral high ground by arguing that blaming the Rotherham gang rape phenomenon on "multiculturalism" not only lets the perpetrators off the hook but also ignores the plight of the victims. (Short answer: it does neither and if you believe it does Owen, you're thick and if you're only saying it for effect then you're wicked. You choose).
Worse still, almost, was the way at one point during the multicultural debate, the show decided to canvas the opinions of two festival organisers at Mela 2014 ("Europe's biggest outdoors South-Asian festival"), both of whom assured us that they thought "multiculturalism" was a jolly good thing without for one second grappling with the philosophical or cultural implications of the term. The impression given was that to be against multiculturalism is like being against chicken tikka masala, or bhangra, or arts festivals or smiley brown skinned people or fun generally.
But multiculturalism isn't and never was a handy synonym for "multiethnic". And at last, it seems, the majority of British people have twigged.
Multiculturalism is the philosophy that says the grooming, trafficking and mass rape of underage white girls by Muslim gangs is not as bad as being thought Islamophobic.
Multiculturalism is the philosophy that says it's better to let a little African girl get tortured to death by her relatives than it is to be thought culturally insensitive or judgemental.
Multiculturalism is the philosophy whereby when, say, a grant application is made to try to save for the nation an object of incalculable heritage value like the Fourteenth Century illuminated prayer book the Macclesfield Psalter, some politically correct gimp of a grants officer asks: "And how would this be relevant to the owner of the local Chinese takeaway?"
People have had enough of this nonsense. Finally.