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Cameron and Multiculturalism – Let’s Unwrap the Word

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Pudge Gets One Right

In most senses David Cameron is the worst kind of Tory an oily, pudgy, acceptable-to-the-people, snake oil salesman for regressive, wrong-headed Thatcherism. But the other day, he got one right. His speech about the failures of multiculturalism was very nearly pitch-perfect.

There are only two problems. The first is theoretical. The second is very, very practical.

First, the theoretical concern.

The use of word “multiculturalism” is a PC derived misnomer which couches the problem in a self-defeating concept. It suggests that in any given country all cultures operate on a level playing field.

They don’t.

There is always a dominant culture. The issue is whether states enable other cultures to exist alongside it, or whether one of the duties of citizenship is to assimilate to an acceptable level to the dominant culture. When the culture is that of an enlightened, free society, such as 21st century British society, borne as it is from hundreds of years of development, then an acceptable level of assimilation must be the goal.

The first world has to fight back. In order to protect its future it must express what it has to offer in explicit terms. But it must also be bold. It must make clear that citizenship is a contract. And part of that contract is to fulfill and contribute to the high standards of liberalism and free thinking that a first world culture offers to its citizens and expects in return.

Secondly, the practical issue.

Nice speech, Dave, but what exactly are you going to do about it?


Written by coolrebel

February 6, 2011 at 12:06 am

Egypt: Another Pakistan in the Making?

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As Cairo explodes, it’s worth looking more closely at Pakistan for one potential trajectory that Egypt could take. Pakistan is deeply unstable, an impoverished nation torn asunder by clashes between militancy, the middle class, the army and a ruling elite.

The similarities between the two nations is quite striking.

Both Egypt and Pakistan…

…were born out of British colonial rule.

…are intensely religious states.

…have an educated elite with limited political power.

…have spent decades surpressing and appeasing their Islamic militants.

…share a border with a militarily powerful state with whom they have an uneasy peace.

…are seen as strategic lynchpins in the worldwide fight against Islamism.

…are dominated by their armies, which are the source of political power in the country.

…have limited natural resources and rely greatly on aid (Egypt’s tourism gives it the edge)

…have profound levels of poverty that no government can fix in anything like an acceptable period of time.

…have or will have weak civilian governments.

Does all this mean that Egypt will become as unstable as Pakistan?

Hopefully not, but it’s very, very possible. The one – very big – positive is the absence of nuclear weapons in the equation.

The most likely outcome in Egypt is profound instability as the major power players clash and maneuver. The Muslim Brotherhood, worryingly quiet so far, is almost certain to assert itself soon, and the Army, straddling its role as guardian of the status quo and icon of Egyptian popular nationalism, will have no choice at some point but to pick one over the other.

Finally, the West is playing a delicate game of ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room – which is Islamism. They want ‘democratic’ change in Egypt, but they don’t want ‘freedom’ to open the door to Islamic rule as it did in Algeria and Gaza. These two examples have no serious strategic implications for world stability. An Islamic state on Israel’s doorstep is quite another story.

The only difference between Egypt and Pakistan is this. Pakistan, the fortunes and future of which keep US strategic planners up at night, is frequently democratic. Egypt is quite profoundly not.

For Washington, no matter what they say, or even what they’d like to believe, the cold hard truth about democracy is this. In many under-developed nations, particularly Muslim countries, it’s rarely in the interests of the United States.

Written by coolrebel

January 30, 2011 at 10:03 am

9/11 Is A Right Wing Weapon

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The wave of 9/11 remembrance on the 9th anniversary is far, far greater than on the 8th. Why? Thank the totally manufactured “ground zero mosque” & “Koran burning” controversies. Yet again the right wing and their blogging stormtroopers manipulate the zeitgeist, and wag the dog. They know that 9/11 plays far better for them, than for liberals. General David Petraeus, whose politics are as thinly disguised as his buzzcut, dutifully raised the stakes by warning that burning the Korans would endanger US troops – as if it was possible to put them more in harm’s way than they already are.

And all this 7 weeks before crucial mid-term elections that could put Obama out of business. The Republicans said that they’d go after the “Ground Zero Mosque” trope as a campaign tactic. They couldn’t have formulated a more effective and more insidious approach to it.

To make matters worse, the Progressives are willing dupes, rending their hair in the name of Islam (on the anniversary of the very moment when a derivation of extreme Islam attacked us to our great cost), while actually reinforcing Muslim victim-hood, and alienating the left and the Democrats in the wider political context.

The GOP must be loving this.

Written by coolrebel

September 10, 2010 at 11:18 pm