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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Now, now, calm down you two

I see that my last two posts have started the internet version of a pub brawl. And I think I should say that the Mike in question is not my son-in-law, in case anyone thinks so.

I have some sympathy with both points of view - and that is what I am getting at. The best characteristics of the English have generally included some sort of tolerance - which should certainly extend as far as tolerating people who don't like jokes about religion, or have no sense of humour at all.

In fact one of the classic humorous books in the English language is "Diary of a Nobody" - all about a man with no sense of humour. And just to make the point that we all differ in our view of what's funny, I never found it funny at all. Same thing with "The Office" - it is impossible to parody the jargon-laden crap that goes on in offices.

The real problem to me is that if people are not integrated into society - which is a baleful consequence of the multicultural approach - this causes lasting and dangerous schisms.

The first awful case of this, which we live with today, took place when the British government invited West Indians to come and work on the buses and railways after the war who, expecting a welcome, were greeted by racism. Pretty much the same thing happened when many came from Pakistan and Bangladesh to work in the textile industry.
As a nation we were not tolerant; we were vile. It is the tragedy of my lifetime and our country.

The funny thing is, I predicted what would happen when I was twelve, together with what seemed to me a good solution. That was when I was first told in my prep school about racism. I vividly recall saying that this would be the worst thing that could happen to Britain and then adding "the solution is for all the black people and the white people to make love and have children."

Well, I have done my best in that respect, and ended up helping to bring up (rather ineptly, I'm afraid) a lot of mixed race children, but it doesn't seem to have helped enough. My epitaph: "could have done better if he had tried". But I certainly enjoyed trying.

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