Saturday, September 03, 2005

Home thoughts from abroad

This is a fruitful time for fascists. We are fortunate that our would-be Hitlers lack his charisma.

It seems that the July 7 bombers had a leader. This "soldier" of Islam left a bowel-wrenching video message, duly broadcast on Al-Jazeera. In a homely "Last of the Summer Wine" voice - the sort of voice British advertisers favour to sell financial services - he justified his planned terrorist attack on innocent civilians by citing the "wrongs" visited on his people. His people, I need hardly say, were emphatically not us, however Yorkshire his accent and however fully we had accepted him as British.

Meanwhile, in New Orleans, the black citizens of the drowned historic centre make the Lord of the Flies seem like a picnic at Glyndebourne. As they murder, rape and pillage, their leaders offer all the ratiocination of a spoiled toddler demanding an ice cream. A leader with one-tenth of Hitler's charisma would make much of that. To keep myself positive as I read of these horrors, I am constantly keeping the image of the intelligent, accomplished and industrious Condoleezza Rice at the front of my mind. I hope the looters’ and rapists' fellow-Americans are making similar efforts.

In Britain, we have fought the good fight on racism. In 1976, for long-forgotten reasons, I and other students took to the streets of Birmingham with anti-racist leaflets. All our provocations could only produce one racist response from many hundreds of bored shoppers. Most white Brummies, their city full of black immigrants, were cheerfully indifferent. This, however, was before the Commission for Racial Equality built an anti-racist industry with quotas to fill.

A year or two later, I gave one of my fellow students a lift to his home in Handsworth, Birmingham. He tried to persuade me to drop him off miles away but I insisted on driving him to his door. While he explained to neighbours in the street that my car should be left alone, his mother and brother received me into their home for coffee; their first-ever white guest. They did so, to the embarrassment of my fellow student, with naked hostility. I left as soon as one-way politeness permitted. I thought of it again years later when I heard a black activist explain that racism was a white problem and that black people could not, by definition, be racist. I thought of it again when I heard another activist explain that, consciously or unconsciously, all white people were racist.

If Britain were racist, would Chinese and Indian pupils achieve the best results in our schools and universities? Would our Chinese and Indian businesspeople prosper so well? Those communities that do less well academically and economically need another explanation. The rest of us are tired of being an all-purpose excuse for their failures. Whatever the real reason, I don’t believe they fail because their ethnic group lacks the potential. I suspect that if the CRE-sponsored search for excuses were to stop, so would the failures. The exceptions in our society, like my long-lost law school colleague, or like Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell in America, prove that there is a way forward for those prepared to stop feeling sorry for themselves.

As for our alienated and under-achieving Muslims, remember that the Muslim world once led us all in knowledge. There is a reason for the “Al” in “Algebra”. However almost all the energy once devoted to the sciences is now channelled into rote learning of the Koran. Such study develops the memory but inevitably (as it is believed to be the unchallengeable word of God) not the critical faculties. Our Muslims don’t need us to oppress or disadvantage them. They do it themselves, not least by discarding the talents of half their population.

Anti-racism means striving to ensure that no one is unfairly disadvantaged by his or her ethnic origins. It does not mean legitimising uncultured behaviours under the aegis of "multiculturalism". It does not mean holding back from attacking evil – such as the oppression of women or the suppression of the critical faculties of the young – because it originates from a particular ethnic group.

The CRE-led forces in Britain have created racism where there was none. Since their careers depend on racism, what else did we expect?

Please understand me aright. I dislike racism as much as I did that long-ago day in the Bull Ring. I certainly don’t want the fascist right to gain ground. Those people are as much the enemies of liberty as Blair and his thought police. I am merely pointing out that the vice of political correctness has closed so tightly that many ordinary people would currently be tempted to shock the Establishment – and frighten into silence those who trade false accusations of racism for privilege – by supporting fascists. The present crop of fascist leaders are personally repellant. That's lucky, but how long will our luck hold?

As long as the voice of the legitimate right is silent in the land; as long as everything uttered by politicians is “politically-correct” (i.e. a transparent lie that may not be challenged); we risk the loss of the silent majority to the forces of political evil.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good piece. Agree wholeheartedly with what you say there. I grew up in a totally white place and moved to a mixed place, still predominantly white, but with a good 20% of mixed race when I was 10. No problems whatsover. Now due to quotas, news stories on immigration and the like there is a new generation who are not so tolerant. There is much distrust and uneasiness. It would not take much to trigger a backlash.
I personally feel that voting for the BNP or similar is a good step. Not because they would get in power. There are enough sensible people and moron who always vote the same way to stop that. It might shake up politics if there were a few shaking up the establishment. It might be the only way. God help us.