Thursday 30 July 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
Let’s talk about extremism. Now there’s an elephant sitting squarely in the middle of the room. You began your recent speech at Ninestiles School in Birmingham with the following, “Over generations, we have built something extraordinary in Britain – a successful multi-racial, multi-faith democracy. It’s open, diverse, welcoming – these characteristics are as British as queuing and talking about the weather.”
‘We’ haven’t ‘built’ anything of the sort, more of an ad hoc process, although neither London Transport or the NHS could have been created without sought help from abroad. This country, though, is so steeped in racism it beggars belief and it is impossible that you are ignorant of the depth of institutionalised and socially divisive racism that is as British as queuing and talking about the weather. If we are, as you put it, ‘without a shadow of doubt, a beacon to the world’, it is not for our tolerance. Merely as a exercise, try walking into any supermarket and asking people what their opinions are on immigration.
Some of us with memories longer than our thumbs well remember the 2013 government Home Office racist vans on the streets of London telling illegal immigrants to ‘GO HOME OR FACE ARREST’ National Front style and immigration officers spreading peace, harmony and racial tolerance by making random checks of non-whites on several London Underground stations.
Whatever bright spark came up with the idea of grandstanding illegal immigration on the streets of London wasn’t employing any investigative power or law to actually do anything, it was purely a stunt to stir up public tension and create fear in the citizenry who were targeted for the colour of their skin.
In your speech you further said, ‘We respect democracy and the rule of law’ and ‘Ideas – like those of the despicable far right – which privilege one identity to the detriment of the rights and freedoms of others’. It was you who said in May of this year, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’.” Just how far to the ‘despicable far right’ is that in using your privileged identity to the detriment and rights of ordinary people and the rule of law?
Whatever problems we may face on extremism, it is government extremism that is far and away the greatest threat to the security of the people of this country. In your speech you ruled out ‘poverty and hardship, as reasons for complaint or activism, calling it ‘grievance justification, (which) must be challenged’. I am afraid the violence of poverty and hardship must always be challenged especially when it is driven by government policy and, like it or not, it will continue to be challenged, as it rightly should.