You were warned…

Away from the wall to wall coverage of the late Queen’s funeral, other things have been happening. Things that when you take a few steps back to try and put what’s happening in a broader context, are pretty bloody worrying. We’re referring to the outbreaks of inter-communal clashes between Hindus and Muslims which have flared up in Leicester: Police diverted from Queen’s funeral to deal with tensions in Leicester 18.9.22 and: Mayor blames Leicester unrest on social media disinformation 19.9.22. Inter-communal disorder which looks to be spreading as this report from the West Midlands indicates: Protest planned outside Hindu temple in Smethwick 20.9.22.

To be precise, the inter-communal disorder is emphatically not the entirety of one community against another. The majority of Hindus and Muslims in Leicester and Smethwick simply want to get on with their lives in peace, without any disturbance. However, there are significant minorities in both communities who have allowed themselves to be sucked into these clashes. There’s evidence that on both sides of the divide, outside elements have been coming in to stir things up.

We’re in the early stages of trying to get our heads around what’s happening and why. So far, this is one of the more useful pieces we’ve found that offers some interesting analysis and background:

Disorder in Leicester is a reminder that we can’t take social cohesion for granted 20.9.22

But there’s something much deeper at play here too. Governments of all stripes have been sleeping at the wheel when it comes to integration. State-backed multiculturalism has empowered self-appointed ‘community spokesmen’ who put their own narrow identitarian interests ahead of social cohesion.

You can read the rest of this piece here

As has been noted by a number of commentators, the causes of these clashes are complex. However, it can’t be denied that one of the components leading to this worrying situation has been state sponsored multiculturalism. This is what we wrote in a different political existence in the Independent Working Class Association (IWCA) just over fifteen years ago, about the dangers of multiculturalism:

Stanford East & Corringham Town Independent – Spring 2007

Multiculturalism has failed – where do we go from here?

Originally anti-racism placed a strong emphasis on fairness and equality, with the aim of uniting people rather than dividing them. Multiculturalism, which insists everyone be treated differently, undermines the concept of fairness.

Examples abound: calls for the state funding of religious schools, money going into projects that benefit one particular ethnic or religious group at the expense of the whole community, and increasingly segregated schools and housing.

It is now clear that promotion of multiculturalism was never intended as a stepping-stone to universal social justice for all. It is instead a replacement for it. It stems from the desire to ensure the working class remains divided and demoralised while a devastating neo-liberal agenda is driven through.

For us, the choice for the future is stark. Either we draw together in pursuit of our common interests, or we sit back and allow multiculturalism to produce its bitter fruit – the disintegration of our communities and the growth of political and religious extremism.

If elected, we will submit the following motion to Thurrock Council at the first opportunity:

Fair allocation of council resources

‘This council agrees that using taxpayers’ money to fund projects aimed exclusively at one ethnic or religious group only serves the cause of those who wish to see society fragmented and polarised on racial and religious lines. Therefore, in the true spirit of anti-racism, this council agrees to no longer support projects based along, ethnic or religious grounds.’

This is what other comrades in the IWCA had to say about the dangers of multiculturalism:

Message to all liberals: ‘you’re in a hole—drop the shovel!’ April 2008

Our position – which simply argues that to divide people along ethnic and religious lines through segregated housing, youth clubs and schools etc. runs contrary to the interests of the working class – is one which most people, black and white, would see as pure common sense. Yet much of the ‘educated’ middle class left seem incapable of grasping this obvious and simple concept.

You can read the rest of this piece here

Trust us when we say that we take absolutely no pleasure in our stance on multiculturalism being vindicated by the events in Leicester which look to be spreading. Watching neighbourhoods being torn apart by street clashes instigated by significant minorities on both sides of the divide with outsiders from both sides stirring things up even further is bloody depressing. Particularly when a lot of this could have been avoided by fostering integration instead of encouraging people to cling to the identities they or their parents or even grandparents had in their homelands. Those on the left who over the years have supported various aspects of multiculturalism really need to do some serious soul searching as we reap the bitter harvest of it’s failure. Particularly when that bitter harvest looks to be re-energising some of the more unsavoury elements on the far right. A grown up conversation on the failure of multiculturalism is now an absolute necessity. As is one about immigration…

Offering up this piece we wrote a while back before revising it earlier this year may be seen as going off on a bit of a tangent but, it raises points about how our identities are not fixed and can change and adapt with the circumstances we find ourselves in:

Cultural identity, class and change 18.2.22

Is cultural identity fixed or is it something that’s always evolving, adapting and changing? There are elements on the right and in particular, the far right, who see cultural identity as something that’s more or less fixed and only evolves slowly. What follows is an outline of why the notion of cultural identity as something that’s pretty much fixed stems from a flawed understanding of how humanity has evolved. It then moves on to start the process of explaining why this is dangerous, particularly when it’s applied to some notions of class, and why it needs to be debunked…

You can read the rest of this piece here

To conclude, it’s early days when it comes to getting our heads around the dynamics of what is a volatile and dangerous situation. This piece is essentially us thinking out loud and asking for a mature discussion about the failure of multiculturalism and where we go from here. As ever, we’re open to constructive criticism and comradely debate.

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