Further to our last couple of posts, it was revealing that Tuesday night's Newsnight held a discussion of the findings of the 2011 census, with emphasis on those demographic changes. What was so revealing is that it was a discussion that sounded unlike any discussion I've ever heard outside of a BBC studio - the sort of discussion which has been going on in BBC studios for many, many years.
Three of the four guests (Bonnie Greer, Daniel Knowles of The Economist and A.C. Grayling) were enthusiastic about the changes that have come about as a result of the massive influx of new immigrants over the past ten years and only one guest (Douglas Murray) raising the caveats and concerns which vast swathes of the general public share.
In no way representative of public opinion, it was just the sort of thing guaranteed to have set reactionary panicmongers everywhere rolling their eyes. Understandably.
I totally agree, I actually felt that Douglas Murray seemed the most sincere and humble and careful in his words, but perhaps that is because I myself am biased against the other three. One of the guests I felt was basically saying to me, "this is how it is, just accept it". Quite disturbing when she didn't sound like a British person to me, but what she liked was the fact that our identity wasn't so strong as say American identity, that we do absorb many different cultures. That worries me. Yes we may absorb many cultures, but that cannot be the most predominant quality of being British is it? If that is so, then by default I must be British, but then why am I beginning to feel less British? It is a question I now regularly ask myself. It is in internal divide in myself. I suppose by default I must be British as that is the country I am most associated with. Hence the guest may be right : to have an identity where by it is so by default seems quite weak to me. It saddens me.ReplyDelete