Letter From Londonrnby Derek TurnerrnBlair’s Ditch ProjectrnTonv Blair’s regime manages to be simultaneouslyrncomic and tragic, with arnslight tilt toward tragedy. The governmentrnis made up of chinless ChristianrnSocialists, Anglophobe Scots, aggrievedrnproletarians, shrewish women, and militantrnhomosexuals —most of whom seemrnto detest each other. The members of thernCabinet all have grandiose schemes,rnwhich tend toward unfeasibility andrnnever work out as planned. It’s all veryrnCilbert and Sullivan.rnBut this ragtag collection of bores andrnmonomaniacs is now in charge of a realrncountry (thanks to the foolishness of a fewrnthousand swing voters in key constituenciesrnin 1997), and their personal differencesrnfade into insignificance in theirrnjoint determination to do away with thernlast vestiges of British independence, integrit}’,rnand identity. The latest skirmishrnin their inchoate campaign of Anglocidernis the Parekh Report.rnIn February 1998, Home SecretaryrnJack Straw created the 24-member Commissionrnon the Future of Multi-FthnicrnBritain. The Commission is a subdivisionrnof the Runnymede Trust, a racerelationsrnbrain trust named —perhapsrnhumorously —after one of the mostrnimportant places in England, the Thamessidernmeadow v’here the Magna Cartarnwas signed. Tlie Commission was chargedrnwith devising ways in which relations betweenrniirdigenous Britons and postwarrnimmigrants could be improved, in a formerlyrnplacid country that has begun tornfeel severe intestinal pains thanks tornrapid, large-scale immigration of both thernlegal and illegal varieties, combined withrnaggressive “multiculturalism” and politicallyrncorrect censorship. The Commission,rnsaid Straw, with an eye on the innerrncities, was setting off “with a strong wind.rnWe are going to take it very seriously.”rnThe more uterine segments of the pressrn”oohed” and “aahed” in approval.rnThe deliberations of the Commissionrnwere published in a 400-page report inrnOctober 2000. Known formally as ThernFuture of Multi-Ethnic Britain, the findingsrnbecame generally known as thernParekh Report, after the chairman. LordrnParekh, an Asian peer and political scientistrnof the ultra-left variety.rnA Daily Telegraph columnist notedrnthat the job titles of the Commission’srnmembers were just like the satirical tidesrnmade up by Michael Wliarton, the LondonrnTelegraph’s “Peter Simple,” in hisrnprescient cohmins over 20 years ago.rnWharton foretold the growth of a massive,rnself-perpetuating “race relations industry”rnat a time when Conservativesrnwere saying such myopic things as “Atrnleast it will never get like America overrnhere.” Examples of Commission members’rnjob titles include: “research professorrnat the Centre for Research in EthnicrnRelations”; “chairman of the race relationsrncommittee of the Association ofrnChief Police Officers”; “professor of ethnicrnhealth”; “former equal opportunitiesrnadviser to the Creater London Council”;rn”head of equality and diversity policy,rnHaringey Council”; and “founding commissioningrneditor for multicultural programmesrnfor Channel 4.”rnSeveral things are apparent immediately:rnFirst, the Commission is a conservative-rnfree zone, in true “liberal” stvle.rnSecond, the intellectual caliber of thernCommission’s members is not the highest.rn(These are people whose minds werernset in aspic, circa 1968.) Third, the sort ofrnpeople who contribute to such reportsrnhave little experience of real jobs or evenrnreal people beyond their immediate —rnand, frankly, atypical—circles. Fourth,rnwhen one looks at some of the more importantrnpeople on the commission —rnmany of whom work for the police, iir thernmedia, and in serious universities —it becomesrnclear that p.c. pathology has affectedrnever)’ corner of national life.rnBearing in mind the prejudices of thernCommission, the content of the reportrnwas predictable. The text was full ofrngems for connoisseurs of cliches tornmine—lots of talk about crossroads, rainbows,rnmultiple identities, being inclusivernand diverse, and all the rest of thernpreachy, glutinous jargon that is customaryrnwhen discussing such matters. Partsrnof the report demonstrated how far its authorsrnare removed from reality: “The attitudernto asylum-seekers sends a shiverrndown many spines.” That may be truernfor 24 easily shocked spines, but thosernwho actually come into contact with thernhordes of economic opportunists whornhave come to Britain in massive numbersrnfeel differenriv—often with good reason.rnThe section that received the most attentionrnin the press read: “Britishness, asrnmuch as Englishness, has systematic,rnlargely unspoken, racial connotations.rnWhiteness nowhere features as an explicitrncondition of being British but it is widelyrnunderstood that Englishness, andrntherefore by extension, Britishness, isrnracially coded.” The implication isrnsomewhat amusing: Do, say, “French,”rn”Nigerian,” or “Indian” lack racial connotations?rnTo avoid the newly offensivernword “British,” the report suggested that arnblander collective noun might be usedrn”similar in power to the unifying wordrn’Nordic’ in Denmark, Finland, Norwayrnand Sweden.” A racialist term such asrn”Nordic” is “unifying”? Houston StewartrnChamberlain, thou shouldst be living atrnthis hour!rnThe tabloids claimed that the reportrndeemed the concept of “Britishness” tornbe racist. This characterization is slightlyrnunfair, as the extract shows, bitt therntabloids were only anticipating the realrnviews of the authors, to whom “racial”rnand “racism” are virtually indistinguishable.rnThe same section of the reportrnwent on to say thatrnRace is deeply entwined with politicalrnculture and with the idea of nationrnand underpinned by a distinctivelyrnBritish kind of reticence—torntake race or racism seriously orrneven to talk about them is badrnform, not done in polite company.rnUnless these deep-rooted antagonismsrnto racial and cidtural differencerncan be defeated in practice, asrnwell as symbolically written out ofrnthe national story, the idea of arnmulticultural post-nation remainsrnan empty promise.rnOther segments of the report declaredrnthat British history should be rethought,rnreconsidered, or jettisoned completely—rnpresumablv to be replaced bv firesidernchats and bedtime stories about racism.rnThe report made over 100 recommendationsrnthat would help the authors perpetraterntheir scheme to erase Britain.rnThese included suggestions that Britainrnbe formally declared a multicultural societyrnby the government, that an all-encompassingrnEquality Act be passed torncover all forms of unlawful discrimination,rnthat a Human Rights Commissionrnbe created, that vouchers for asykun seekersrnbe abolished and full appeal rightsrnagainst deportation granted, that “citi/en-rn40/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn