UK Politics

Identity Politics Is Dead

Well it isn’t, but it should be.

Sunny surveys a week of whinging by “community leaders” and finds it distinctly dull. I’m rather taken, though, by the observation of one commentator that:

The point upon whining is that it is a very British habit, so you could say that the more you whinge and moan the more us pale-skinned natives will take you on board as part of the furniture.

Ted Cantle – the chair of the Institute of Community Cohesion – is also sparring with chubby Islamist, Faisal Bodi:

I think my main concern about Bodi’s approach, however, is his assertion that there is an “iron law that birds of a feather will flock together”. Some respondents to his column have gone so far as to suggest that such a view is “racist”. It is certainly a view that he appears to share with Nick Griffin of the BNP, who talks a lot about “people like us” and seems to depend upon the idea that people have a primordial or natural affinity to each other based on skin colour.

What really matters is what values we hold in common, not what we happen to look like, and the idea that all white, Asian, and black people share a common bond with one another that trumps all others at all times is ridiculous. So too is the notion that there is a “black community” or a “white community”, any more than a “Christian community” or a “Muslim community”. There is as much variation within such groups as between them.

“Identity politics” has had its day. More than 300 languages are spoken in London schools and over 100 in most of our principal cities. We must always try to maintain and protect cultural identities, but we now also have to promote what we hold in common. I do not support a top-down view of “Britishness”, which will inevitably homogenise, but we do need a stronger bond created by shared values.

By actively promoting interaction and shared experiences, we ensure that we can build a society that is by definition and of necessity also shared.