Cameron’s attack on multiculturalism evoked sharp criticism

Assertion comes as opinion on Britain gaining from multiculturalism is gaining credence
08 February 2011: Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend, virtually attacking multiculturalism, has evoked sharp criticism and disagreement.
In fact, his statement is being interpreted to say Cameron believes multiculturalism has failed.

Cameron has asserted: `In the UK, some young men find it hard to identify with the traditional Islam practiced at home by their parents, whose customs can seem staid when transplanted to modern Western countries.

`But these young men also find it hard to identify with Britain too, because we have allowed the weakening of our collective identity. Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream.

`We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong.  We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values’.

The assertion comes at a time when the opinion on Britain benefiting from multiculturalism is gaining credence. Only recently, former Downing Street adviser Andrew Neather had claimed mass migration was encouraged by Labour ministers over the past decade to make the UK truly multicultural, and plug in the gaps in the labour market. He had asserted the policy has made London a more attractive and diverse place.

Neather, who worked as a speechwriter for Tony Blair and in the Home Office for Jack Straw and David Blunkett, had asserted the mass influx of migrant workers was neither a mistake, nor a miscalculation. It was rather a policy the party preferred not to reveal to its core voters.

Interpreting the statement, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants says: `The theory goes like this — there’s effectively a group of disconnected second generation immigrant descendents who struggle with their identity.
`They can’t relate to the ways of their parents nor in fact mainstream British society. Egged on by the state, though the doctrine of multiculturalism these individuals have been led down the dangerous path to radicalisation’.  

The JCWI goes on to add Cameron’s solution largely photocopies that of his predecessors – a ban on proscribed organisations, and preachers of hate together with the strengthening of national identity.

`So far as new proposals for strengthening national identity go, the emphasis is on altogether abandoning multiculturalism, and shifting the ‘balance of power away from the state and towards the people,’ the JCWI says.

It adds that Cameron’s analysis is not free from problems. The idea is entirely misconceived that contemporary terrorism by some who adhere to radical Islam is the result of a particular psychological profile, which has been permitted to flourish through multiculturalism.
Even if one accepts contemporary terrorism is the result of some kind of identity crises, Cameron’s approach for tackling terrorism, dispensing with multiculturalism and cutting down the size of the state, is not quite right.

Migrants’ Rights Network’s director Don Flynn says David Cameron thinks multiculturalism has failed and wants to get back to a simpler tale of what it means to be a Brit. But they do not agree with the line of reasoning.

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