Saturday, 5 February 2011

If the Left is to rise again, it must lift the official silence on race and culture

[...] The failure of successive governments to deal with what is euphemistically called "social cohesion" is precisely what leads to extremism. The complete inadequacy of particular kinds of multiculturalism is yet to be properly acknowledged. In education, for instance, many "multicultural" approaches have been entirely top-down and imposed in increasingly inept ways. The EDL can exploit ignorance and fear because in many of the places they find support different communities are still leading "parallel lives".

The EDL slogan of No Surrender, a Loyalist slogan (or just possibly the title of a Bruce Springsteen song) also tells us a lot about their roots and influences. Far-right movements will, of course, thrive during a recession. Certainly, one of the things we need to do is to understand the new right. For the left to rise again in any meaningful way, we have to deal with the concept of Englishness, and stop the official silence around race and culture. The crude stereotyping of the EDL plays into their hands. As with their Dutch counterparts, they are using a language of libertarianism, modernity and fake inclusiveness. They know what they are doing, just as Al-Muhajiroun does. Such groupings may in fact be mirror images of each other. Any anti-fascist movement cannot take on one without the other. That is indeed complicated. But any other way is indeed surrender. Read more

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