Ray Honeyfords kritikk av flerkulturalismen er idag anerkjent som korrekt. Men til tross for at mange har våknet, fortsetter dens virkninger å grave stadig dypere kløfter mellom samfunnsgrupper.
Det skriver Alasdair Palmer i et tilbakeblikk på Ray Honeyford som nylig døde. Han så i 1984 hva flerkulturalismen ville føre til: et fragmentert samfunn.
Almost every serious politician now recognises that Honeyford was correct to maintain both that multiculturalism is a recipe for the segregation of communities and that it would work against the development of a single set of basic values that could bind members of British society together. But while multiculturalism may have been abandoned as government policy, its legacy is everywhere.
Its principal effect has been to harden dividing lines between ethnic groups. This is not just a matter of whites living in different areas from non-whites, but also of (for example) Pakistanis living in one neighbourhood, Bangladeshis in another, Sikhs in a third, and so on.
The highest levels of segregation recorded anywhere in the UK are those between Indians and Pakistanis in towns in the north of England. Those towns also exhibit a markedly higher degree of segregation between blacks and Asians than between whites and blacks. This suggests that the explanation for the division is not white racism, but rather the lack of a common culture that would allow different groups to share anything significant. The isolation of communities helps to perpetuate beliefs and practices that are opposed to British values.
But ministers, judges, and officials are reluctant to insist that the first condition of British citizenship for any immigrant should be to adopt British values – such as speaking English, accepting all citizens’ equal rights, and recognising that the only procedure for deciding on legitimate political authority is free elections to Parliament.
As we dither on this, multiculturalism continues its divisive work. And it will soon be too late to do anything about it: Britain will have permanently fractured into factions united by nothing except mutual incomprehension and antipathy.
Multiculturalism has left Britain with a toxic legacy
Its principal effect has been to harden the lines between ethnic groups.