Friday, September 22, 2006

Phillips and Reid

Melanie Phillips is cheering up a bit as this diary entry shows:

"The most telling interjection from the Islamic extremist who heckled the Home Secretary John Reid today in East London was the cry ‘How dare you come to a Muslim area’. There it was, the territorial challenge implicit in the ongoing attempt to Islamise Britain both by stealth and by force, that areas where British Muslims live are by definition no-go areas for the British state — and, by extension in the cultural sphere, Islamic values are equally no-go areas to which the British state must give way.

This was of course, as Reid immediately observed, an intolerable assertion. It would spell the Balkanisation of Britain. It was good to hear him slap it down; such is the government’s usual craven approach to the problem of Islamic extremism in Britain, it was quite a shock to hear the Home Secretary taking for once such a robust approach."

Indeed, good news. Of course, one cannot escape the feeling that Reid is setting himself up as the natural alternative to Gordon Brown. Scuttlebutt has it that Reid will be straight out the door should Brown become God's New Labour's anointed. Nevertheless a firm grasp of principle is a good sign in a politician.

"Of course, the predictable reaction duly followed: from the Muslim community, general outrage that parents were being asked to ‘spy’ on their children to prevent them from being indoctrinated by a death cult which would send them to murder untold numbers of their fellow citizens, for goodness’ sake; and from the chattering classes, shaking of heads over the reckless unwisdom of the Home Secretary— through his apparently utterly outrageous request to parents to prevent their children from being brainwashed by fanatics into becoming human bombs — in doubtless provoking previously moderate Muslims into militancy (with no acknowledgement of the blindingly obvious contradiction in that particular proposition)."

And this is where the problem really starts. This attitude is what New Labour has been promoting throughout its tenure - the withdrawal of support for any form of active parenting.

For years children have been threatening their parents with calling Childline or the police should the parents dare to forbid the children anything or (heaven forfend) set out to chastise them or restrain them.

Labour has encouraged an attitude of witless and irresponsible dependence on social services and other organs of the state to compensate for inadequate parenting and now Reid tries to turn 'round and suggest that the parents do more. I think it's a good idea. I think it's essential if our culture is to survive, but I don't think it's going to win Reid many supporters in the Labour party.

Of course, expect a resounding lack of support for the sentiments in the next paragraph:

"It seemed to me that what Reid was doing, by addressing the Muslim community in this way, was not merely making a plea to parents but also, for the first time, drawing a line in the cultural sand. In effect, he was saying: this is one country, and it will not be fragmented but everyone has to observe the same basic rules; and also that we will no longer engage in the dialogue of the demented in which we have been forced to participate. We will no longer put up with the moral and intellectual inversion, the shifting of blame onto the victims, the disavowal of communal responsibility for a phenomenon which arises directly out of that community; we will no longer tolerate the cultural dismemberment of Britain."

Finally, even if New Labour support this volte face, will the civil servants? I think not. They have far too much invested in the status quo. Most of them owe their livelihoods to this attitude. How can they possibly implement its rejection?

Whether this tentative throwing down of the cultural gauntlet in the face of creeping Islamisation does mark a more general shift away from the Whitehall strategy of appeasing extremism that has obtained until now remains to be seen. There is still a huge distance for the government to travel before it emerges from its state of collective denial. What is urgently needed, for example, is much more robust action against the fanatics doing the brainwashing. It is beyond belief that individuals are still able to parade on the streets of Britain calling for the murder of the Pope, or inciting hatred and murder against Jews or – in the words of the shiny new law on the statute book — glorifying terrorism. But despite such persistently high levels of paralysis within the establishment, there are now also signs in various quarters of a growing movement towards reality."

It may be beyond belief, but it's still happening and I suspect the police are too busy arresting people for calling their horses gay to deal with this petty stuff.

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