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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Now I know that the headline alone will give many conservatives the creeps, but I think this is something that requires some thought. That liberals and the left have a somewhat formulaic anti-racism agenda is undeniable. That this agenda is fed by a Gramsci-inspired loathing of “normal” society, which sees a culturally hegemonic group using a discourse of oppression against “the Other” is something I don’t need to point out to anyone who doesn’t share this world view. Often the right, whether conservative or not, has just dismissed anti-racism politics as socialism-by-other-means. There is certainly a point to be made, that particularly the BBC has a tendency to only give treatment to racist incidents in which the perpetrators are native, white and nominally Christian. This has certainly been the view voiced by Laban, DumbJohn and others.
But that can’t be it. We can’t just say, because the left has so far monopolized this field of policy, the right shouldn’t touch it. This is even more indefensible given that the leftwing approach to combating racism is not going to work in the long-run. We are after all an increasingly multi-cultural society, so racism that doesn’t exclusively originate from white English men is going to be an increasing issue. Non-whites can be racist too, you know. And there is no reason to think that this would in any way be directed against whites either. The recent rioting between blacks and Asians in Birmingham is a good case in point. Conservatives can’t just pretend the problem doesn’t exist. It’s time we had something serious to say ourselves.
One thing that got me thinking was this post by Clive Davis that made it clear again, if it ever needed to be, that the left is right when it says that bigotry excludes. If you normally scoff at this sort of thing, think about how you feel at attempts to dilute and distablish any vestiges of traditional Britishness. Then accept that someone of minority background will feel the same when he is confronted by bigotry. What is always happening in these instances is that people are being excluded from the group they belong to. And this is where the Left gets it wrong.
So what group are people being excluded from here? The nation. And what’s the Left’s answer? Destroy the nation. Being polemical here, but there it is. Anti-racism should really be all about national unity, natural conservative territory. Conservatives in future should play more on this point. This is after all a big issue and a great potential strenght. It is something this country seems to long for from time to time. And I think it is fair to say that a lot of racism stems in fact from insecurities about national identity, so this policy approach is effectively coherent as well.
Time to flesh this out then.

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