All right, all right, I’ve learned my lesson. No more commending our government for anything. Every time I say something nice about it, it instantly rubs my face right in the dirt.
Just the other day I welcomed a speech on immigration and multiculturalism by Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who is familiar with the subject not just from hearsay.
Actually, I still think the speech was good. Where I went terribly wrong with my precipitate praise was in suggesting that perhaps the speech signalled a volte-face in government policy. No such luck.
First, Rishi-washy sanctimoniously repudiated his Home Secretary’s correct statement that multiculturalism is a “misguided dogma” that “has failed”. Not at all, said the PM. We are proud of our “fantastic multiculturalism”, and Britain had “done an incredible job of integrating people into society”.
Rishi-washy should put the incredible job of integration to a test by walking through the back streets of, say, Leeds, ideally at night. He could then testify to the delights of multiculturalism, provided he lives to tell about them.
The Times called Mrs Braverman’s speech “incendiary”, leaving the really bad epithets for The Guardian to utter. That was followed by an outburst of indignation from the two groups she had mentioned specifically, women and homosexuals. Belonging to either group in places where they are held in low esteem, said Mrs Braverman, isn’t sufficient reason to claim refugee status in the UK.
Oh yes it is, screamed the so-called ‘pink wall’, a group of more than a dozen homosexual Tory MPs. They accused Mrs Braverman of “bigotry” and, like kindergarten children, rushed to the chief whip to complain, smearing tears over their contorted faces.
Oh yes it is, echoed the MeToo types, who complained both to the chief whip and to every medium willing to listen and report.
Mrs Braverman seemed to think she was on safe grounds there, being a woman herself, and a child of refugees to boot. Well, she has another think coming, that traitor to her sex. Like Maggie Thatcher in the old days, she no longer qualifies as a woman. And if she really means to be conservative, then, to quote Joe Biden, “she ain’t black” or any other minority.
Nor was it just secular fanatics. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, anathemised Mrs Braverman, or rather would have done if she weren’t a Buddhist. Earlier he denounced the government policy (introduced by Mrs Braverman) to deport all illegal migrants to Rwanda as being “against the judgement of God”.
Since I no longer belong to the Church of England, I can’t confirm or deny that God Our Lord spends his valuable time evaluating British immigration policy and then communicating his feelings to His Grace. Suffice it to say that Christians who worship God rather than fly-by-night political fads tend to believe that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world.
That doesn’t mean God has washed his hands of his creatures’ actions. It does, however, mean that prelates who remain oil traders at heart shouldn’t invoke the deity to justify their own woke heresies.
Apparently, His Grace has sought an appointment with Mrs Braverman on several occasions, but so far she has refused to see him. That raises her even higher in my estimation, but unfortunately my feelings have no bearing on her career.
The rumour mill in and around Westminster insists that Mrs Braverman’s days in her Great Office of State, possibly even in politics altogether, may be numbered. She has offended the God of Multi-Culti, the one Welby worships, and that God is athirst.
However, to the extent to which Mrs Braverman’s beliefs can be inferred from her statements, she is right in her basic assumptions. A major country that has developed organically over millennia may have multiple ethnic groups within its population. But it can only have one culture recognised as her own.
If it’s multi-cultural in any true sense of the word, it no longer has any culture worthy of the name. Whatever it used to have has been fractured and diluted into oblivion.
English culture is a ganglion of hundreds of synapses finely honed and attuned since pre-Roman times. It is a fundamentally Judaeo-Christian culture, but with an idiosyncratic twist. The Venerable Bede (d. 735), writing shortly after St Augustine baptised England, already spoke of the specifically English Church, as distinct from any other.
Just as the English Church, with the culture it spawned, has had its distinct character from the early days, so has the country’s secular culture. Talking specifically about high culture, England reminds us of the biological law that a tree produces its best fruit towards the end of its cycle. Our best music, that of Byrd, Gibbons, Tallis and other polyphonists, and our best poetry, that of Shakespeare and his great contemporaries, were produced towards the end of the Christian period.
But England’s unique contribution to Western culture isn’t so much in arts but in politics, and it continued to thrive even when Christianity stopped being a dominant force.
While they destroyed the political and social structure of their own country, even French revolutionaries were casting envious glances across the Channel. And their American disciples (in practical terms, precursors) constituted their own revolutionary state largely on English principles going back to Saxon times and refined by sage men since then.
Such is the core of English culture, and there exist hundreds of layers around it. This is the only culture that can sustain Britain qua Britain. Any cultural exotica can exist strictly on the margins, and I for one am happy that they should exist. London would be dull without some ethnic presence.
However, when ethnic presence amounts to 60 per cent of London’s population, the core culture of the capital, indeed of the whole country, is under threat of erosion.
The threat becomes a deadly reality when some ethnic groups not only refuse to accept the traditional culture but are actively hostile to it. When major cities have whole boroughs declaring their allegiance to a legal system other than the English Common Law, we don’t have multiple cultures. We no longer have any.
I don’t know whether Mrs Braverman genuinely realises this or merely angles for Tory leadership by appealing to the traditionalists within the party. Either way she says all the right things and gives every impression of wishing to do them as well, if allowed.
Yet there is every sign that she won’t be allowed to act on her putative convictions. The shamans of the Multi-Culti cult have already started their pyres, kindling them with whatever is left of our culture. I hope Mrs Braverman won’t have to step into them.