There are some conferences and enquiries that you just know are going to be totally useless and achieve nothing - like Helena Kennedy's enquiry into political disengagement. I wrote at the time :
I think it unlikely that she'll register the truth - that the high levels of disengagement are due to the fact that people like Baroness Kennedy have been running the country for the last 30 years.
Fabian conferences are always good for a (hollow) laugh - one look at the speakers and you'll see that if the guests are part of the problem, solutions will be thin on the ground. Can you take seriously any organisation that organises conferences on 'Mainstreaming Social Justice for the 21st Century' ?
Last year the theme was 'The State And Human Happiness". Here's my take on it - you can probably get an idea of my views if I tell you that the Richard Littlejohn link no longer works.
This year will be a hoot.
"Who do we want to be? The future of Britishness"
Featuring a gallery of true Brits - Yazza, Madeleine Bunting, Iqbal Sacranie, Tariq Ramadan, Nick Cohen, Trevor Phillips, Tristram Hunt, Shami Chakrabarti, Stephen Twigg.
Not forgetting of course Mr England (except those who should be duffed up) himself - Billy Bragg.
We know what the trouble is, of course. Forty years of cultural destruction have done a pretty good job on 'social cohesion' - to the point that signs on buildings proclaiming 'Community Centre' or 'Community School' are a sure indicator that the area is certainly uncontaminated by community.
But the ruling class are pretty easy about lumpen natives - they keep social workers employed and they only make other poor people's lives a misery. Besides, we can stamp on them if we have to. Look at the passport and other controls on football fans - nary a protest on restrictions which would have been an outrage applied to, say, murderous Irish republicans.
But 7/7 has just awakened one or two people. Just the odd chap thinks that :
"One of the things that makes this country work is a deep-felt respect for a democratic way of life. I'm not sure some recent immigrant groups have absorbed that ethos."
Although for many speakers the only problem on the horizon is some 'backlash' from those evil natives, I'm prepared to accept that some of them are actually coming to the realisation that some kind of national identity is a good thing. For 'British' of course, not English.
Too late, mate. The solutions will be the entertaining bit. Having knocked down Britishness over 40 years, they're arrogant enough to believe they can rebuild it with a few citizenship lessons, a rebuild of the history curriculum and some media pressure. They'll find destruction is much easier than construction.
On the broad and pleasant road that leads to hell, this conference is a delightful wayside hostelry.
UPDATE - I'm not against the teaching of 'black history' per se, as part of British history. Children should be taught about the Indian divisions in the WWI trenches, even more so the gallant havildars and sepoys of Victorian Empire. These soldiers fought for Britain, or the Queen-Empress. That is their historical importance. But our liberal rulers are incapable of teaching that. To Yazza or Iqbal Sacranie, those soldiers fought on the wrong side. The children will be taught that what is historically important was their skin colour. Not a recipe for cohesion.
And as for the native Brit kids, especially the English ?
As Misty In Roots used to sing :
"Teach the youth the truth"
"Let them know their history"
"Let them know their culture"
White working class Brits, once heirs to one of the great cultures of history, have been the main victims of the triumph of 60s counterculture and the rise of the polytechnocracy. The social pathologies of the UK underclass, as described by Dalrymple and logged at this site, are characteristic of any society that's lost its culture and been offered welfare payment in compensation. An anthropologist coming to study the UK underclass would be best advised to read about Native Americans, Inuit, Aborigines first.
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