Saturday, September 27, 2008

Multicultural ideal 'terrible' for UK - Tories

In today's UK Guardian Shadow minister issues controversial warning;
In the name of trying to prepare people for some new multicultural society we've encouraged people, particularly the sort of long-term inhabitants, to say 'well your cultural background isn't really very important'." He adds: "In this vacuum the BNP rise and Hizb ut-Tahrir rises. They're two very similar phenomena of people who are experiencing a form of cultural despair about themselves, their identity. And it's terribly easy to latch on to confrontational and aggressive variants of their cultural background as being the only way to sort of reassure themselves that they can survive and have an identity."

The shadow home secretary said multiculturalism was inspired by the "understandable" desire to make people feel comfortable. But he added: "The idea behind it was [to] create the melting pot. But the melting pot needs the ingredients of people's confidence in themselves as they come together. And if it isn't there I think we've done ourselves huge damage."

He also raises fears that "fundamental Islam" is restricting debate. "Our country has adapted because people have been tolerant which has often required a lot of forbearance and acceptance of things they didn't like. We all have to accept things we don't like. That is how Britain has evolved. When I go and address an Islamic audience I always point this out."

An Anglican, Grieve praises the contribution all the major religions have made to Britain. But he says that people should not forget Britain's Christian heritage. "The role of Christianity is really rather important. It can't just be magicked out of the script. It colours many of the fundamental viewpoints of British people, including many who've never been in a church."