A few years back I read an essay by some free market activist (whose name escapes me entirely now) about apathy and why it was every politician’s worst nightmare. They can survive hostility and, of course, they bask in adulation but lumpen public indifference is the tar-pit that will gradually delegitimise them and drag them under to irrelevance and obscurity.
A nice theory but wholly untrue. Public indifference is by far the most powerful ally of the political classes. How else can they possibly get away with such a sudden, one hundred and eighty degree volte face?
The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) is blocking grants to ethnic minority projects that fail to promote “Britishness” and integration.
Last week, CRE chairman Trevor Phillips sparked a debate when he said the term “multiculturalism” should be scrapped.
What is all this? ‘Multiculturalism’ should be scrapped? ‘Britishness’ should be promoted? Do mine eyes deceive me or have the cultural revolutionaries at the CRE suddenly been transmogrified into blue-rinse, little Englander, prehistoric, sexist, facist, racist, Tory types? Does Mr.Phillips not appreciate that Pim Fortuyn was branded a ‘Nazi’ and subsequently assassinated for expressing precisely the same sentiments about his native Holland? Does he merit a posthumous apology now? Tempting as it is to cast myself headlong into a whirlwind of malicious, satirical glee this does say something quite serious (and altogether disturbing) about the phrenology of our society. Mr.Phillips & Co clearly believe that they sit so assuredly in the social driving seat that all they have to do is to slam the cultural gears into reverse to send the whole society careering into a sharp handbrake turn.
And they are right, in truth. For while the CRE may not be government they are most certainly a pillar of the establishment. It is they who get consulted about the nature of laws to be enacted and policies to be implemented so why should they believe anything other than that they can spin us around like tops? (Though watch out for whiplash, that’s what I say).
So yesterday we were all happily chugging down the winding lanes of MultiCulti and today we are proceeding in an orderly manner down Britishness Boulevard. For why, one might reasonably enquire. There is more than a clue:
“In the wake of what is happening globally – global events – we feel a new emphasis is needed.
Hmm…what ‘global events’ could they possibly mean? The Kyoto Treaty? The rapid industrialisation of China? The African AIDS crisis? No, I think it reasonable to posit that the ‘global event’ they are referring to is the rise of radical, violent Islamism which has gone and shoved a spanner in their previous works. Persuading everyone to ‘embrace’ that was simply impossible even by the lights of the ‘NuLabour’ vanguard.
That was always the major structural weakness in the post-modernist construct. It is very easy, and even rewarding, to celebrate diversity but the feelgood factor only works so long as everyone agrees to play nicely. It only takes a few people to become incendiary for the whole damn tinder box to go up in flames.
Fawning over authentic Central Asian cuisine is fun and bedecking one’s house with African ju-ju dolls is a really neat fashion statement but the prospect of “streets running with blood like rivers” is, shall we say, a diversity too far. Let’s not got there shall we, dear.
So new situation = new history. Out with the old party line and in with the new, better party line that will be welcomed by many and resented by a few. Of course, nobody will remember that there was ever a time when the party line was any different. They will not care to. No-one will be so rude or so ingracious as to recall that, as recently as a few weeks ago, saying the things that Mr.Phillips has said could get you fired from your job or even investigated by the police. That is how it goes in a country without memories.
So now we are at war with Eastasia. We have always been at war with Eastasia.