The best description of culture and one which gives an unintended nod to our view that economics underpinning it comes from the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain. We were critical of the Liberal Elite and their stupidity in not really understanding why in modern Britain we have people with a temperament and opinions which cut across the freedom and humanity we have created in the west over the last five hundred years but which we are now quickly undermining.
In the Parekh report culture is described as “The habits of mind, the intellectual-reflexes and the professional sensibilities which are historically ingrained and typical of the behaviour of a particular group of people…the unconscious understanding and assumptions concerning politics, social life and justice”.
This report seems to understand the right things and offered the hope that there would be a greater understanding of why for example anti Semitism exists in the Labour Party or why certain groups take a biblical view of adultery as a “crime”. However, it didn’t deliver what it promised. The reason seems simple to us. Firstly it has no idea where culture comes from. We at Blue Revolution know culture comes from the economic realities of life all over the planet and at various historical periods. And secondly, the report seems to have enshrined within it a belief that moral relativism and liberal bureaucracy are somehow vectors for change amongst various immigrant communities. We have seen that in too many situations this integration just hasn’t happened.
The reasons are simple. Traditional values hark back to an area (Pakistan for example)or an era (7th century Arabia) where rigid values around gender etc helped to preserve society. In the modern free market not only is there no need for rigidity around what is acceptable behaviour for men and women and what is not but the free market itself throws up many moral challenges to people of all faiths and many of no faith.
The solution to the problem of lack of integration and tolerance of western values is therefore very simple. Accept that western culture is in many ways appalling and also acknowledge why some people of faith harbour intolerant views about the legitimate behaviour of others……and don’t shy away from the debate!