Friday, February 11, 2011

Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Something or Other

And on the general subject of empty-headed, meaningless governmental babble, a quick look at David Cameron's "Multiculturalism has failed" speech...

What's he actually saying?

First, that the government shouldn't fund religious dingbats.  Hooray!  Except...  The government isn't funding religious dingbats; it doesn't intend to and wouldn't have the cash to do so, even if it wanted. 

He's saying that allowing immigrants to retreat into their own areas and communities, which have a tendency to cut themselves off from wider society to the apparent detriment of all, is Bad.  Let's make everyone British!  Hooray!  Except...  The government is cutting off funds to help immigrants learn English, and it's encouraging free, community-organised schools, a large number of which are likely to be run by religious dingbats.  Maybe they'll be dingbats with a strong interest in promoting Britishness?

As far as I can tell, this is about it, beyond vague appeals to Britishness and "muscular liberalism".  It's a speech that announces exactly fuck all but pushes a lot of buttons with people who would like to see some hard crackdowns on the behaviours of recent immigrants. 

For making what seems to be a declaration of some very vague principles with no tangible, real-world effects, he's been rewarded with vast acres of positive press.  The message I take from this is that the legacy of Tony Blair is alive and well, and is making a grand living by penning editorials and opinion pieces in The Times.

No comments: