The Corner

Cartoons: Blair’s Britain

Geoffrey Wheatcroft takes a look at the situation in the UK:

But in Britain the debate has now widened into other and maybe more ominous fields: the limits of multiculturalism as a basis for public policy and especially for policing, and the place of Islam in pluralist societies. For years the London tabloids the Sun and the Daily Mail have been grumbling about “political correctness gone mad” and the pussyfooting methods of our multiculti police. Now liberals are uneasily facing the possibility that they might be right. Not only did the police make no arrests at last Friday’s grotesque demonstration, which openly incited murder; they actually sheltered the fanatics. Two men who tried to stage a peaceable counterdemonstration were hustled away for questioning. A working-class Londoner who got out of his van to say something to Choudary and his friends was told in violent language by a cop to get back in his van and go away. Just when my exasperation was ebbing, on Wednesday morning I heard Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei of the Metropolitan Police explaining himself on the radio through a spume of modish jargon: gently shepherding that mob had been “a judgment call” and an example of “smart policing.” …Apart from the demands of multiculturalism and “sensitivity,” there is a factor of which Americans may not be aware: The Labor Party in general and some MPs in particular, Cabinet ministers among them, are gravely concerned about the Muslim vote. There are now 1.6 million Muslims in Great Britain, concentrated in a relatively small number of parliamentary constituencies. This helps explain why the government has often looked ignominious.”

“Ignominious” is too kind a word. Far too kind.

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