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As France burns, the far-Right rises Emmanuel Macron has ignored the plight of the suburbs

The burning car represents impotent rage(Alaattin Dogru/Anadolu Agency via Getty)

The burning car represents impotent rage(Alaattin Dogru/Anadolu Agency via Getty)


July 3, 2023   6 mins

What the street barricade was to France in the 19th century, the burning car has become in the 21st: a preferred means of violent protest, and a key theatrical symbol of political defiance. In 2005, after two boys named Zyed Benna and Bouna Traoré died while running from police, rioters burned close to 9,000 cars across France in unrest that ultimately led President Jacques Chirac to declare a state of emergency. This year, after an officer shot and killed a boy named Nahel who was trying to drive away from a police stop in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, thousands more cars have gone up in smoke, while shops and police stations have been attacked in hundreds of cities and towns across the country. The wave of violence has swept through the weekend.

But if the barricade remains a symbol of revolution, the burning car mostly represents impotent rage — and France’s political petrification. Street barricades had an important and clear purpose — to take control of neighbourhoods and to prevent the forces of public order from circulating through cities. True, the builders of 19th-century barricades usually went down to defeat, at least in the short term. In June of 1848, the army killed thousands in Paris, spelling an end to the radical phase of the short-lived Second Republic. In the spring of 1871, conservative republican forces slaughtered thousands more as they crushed the radical Paris Commune. But, in both cases, the people had shown their power, and in subsequent decades French governments moved to grant at least some of their demands. In the decades after the Commune, French workers gained paid vacations, a minimum wage, old-age pensions, the right to strike, and public works programs. Church and state were separated, and the educational system put under state control.

By contrast, the burning car of the 21st has done little for the communities in question, or to help advance the rioters’ professed goals. Quite the contrary, in fact. Most immediately, the cars themselves belong overwhelmingly to members of the same communities as the rioters. And in the longer term, the events of the past week are most likely to benefit the far-Right, possibly even bring it to power in the next presidential election. This is not the fault of the rioters, who have desperately few options for constructive action. It is rather the product of France’s changing political landscape in the 21st-century.

The rioters’ professed goals are easily summarised. They want an end to police violence against members of their community, and more broadly an end to discrimination against them. They wanted the same things in 2005, even if hooligans took advantage of the unrest for their own purposes, as they are doing now.

The communities in question are, as the French put it, “issued from immigration”, principally from North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. When they started arriving in France in large numbers in the Fifties and Sixties, they followed many other waves of foreign immigrants to the country: of Italians, Jews, Poles, Spaniards, Portuguese and others. It is often forgotten, but between the wars France was the leading country of immigration in the Western world, and by the Eighties fully a quarter of the French population could count at least one grandparent born elsewhere. These earlier immigrant groups often met with discrimination, violence, and even — under the collaborationist Vichy regime of World War II — deportation to Nazi death camps (a fate that also befell Jewish families with French roots going back centuries). But after the war their story gradually turned into a French success story, as assimilation took its course. The process was aided by the state’s heavy-handed insistence, implemented above all through an authoritarian school system, that groups could only gain acceptance if they wholly abandoned their earlier national identities and embraced a French one. Today, it is not unusual to find people with Italian, Polish, Jewish or Iberian surnames in the wealthiest and most visible strata of French society.

But this process has, so far, happened far more slowly and less completely with the newer immigrant groups, especially those from North Africa. Cultural differences have been greater than with the earlier groups, while the schools lost much of their earlier zeal for turning students into model French citizens after the uprising of 1968 led to a massive overhaul of the French educational system. Most importantly, the new groups have been shunted away into suburban housing projects — the so-called cités — out of sight and out of mind of the country’s ruling elites. Numbers are hard to come by, because the French state, in the name of treating all its citizens equally, refuses to keep statistics on the relative economic performance of different ethnic and religious groups (or even their numbers). But every major French city is ringed by cités where people of North African and black African descent dominate, and where rates of unemployment, poverty and crime far exceed national averages. The government does admit that nearly six million people, or a tenth of the country’s population, inhabit so-called “urban policy priority districts”.

Writing after the 2005 riots, I concluded that “the French Republic… desperately needs to find some way to offer the youths of the suburbs a meaningful form of integration into broader society.” Needless to say, this has not happened. True, even before 2005, a steady stream from the new immigrant populations was escaping the cités and joining the French middle class, and that pattern has continued. President Emmanuel Macron’s cabinet today includes Rima Abdul-Malak, from a Lebanese Christian background, as Culture Minister, and Pap Ndiaye, son of a Senegalese father, as Education Minister. But the cités themselves remain as miserable as ever. Meanwhile, the horrific Islamist terror attacks of 2015, which killed hundreds, led the state to grant expanded powers to the police — in particular, loosening the restrictions in use of fatal force when officers feel threatened — which did nothing to reduce social tension.”

Since Macron’s election in 2017, several things have only made the situation worse. Macron himself initially insisted that he would balance his plans for liberalising the economy with ambitious social policies aimed at relieving the cités’ problems. But he never fulfilled the promise. At the same time, the continuing threat of Islamism — as seen notably in the 2020 beheading of a suburban schoolteacher after he had shown a class cartoons of the prophet Mohammed — reinforced the vision that much of the French white population already had of the cités as occupied territory in need of “reconquest” by the Republic (Prime Minister Manuel Valls already used the word, redolent of Spanish crusades against the Moors, in 2015). Further strengthening this vision has been the growing influence of the conservative cable news channel CNEWS — France’s equivalent of Fox News.

In both the presidential and parliamentary elections last year, this vision helped the French far-Right achieve its greatest political successes since the 19th century (at least, when not helped by the Wehrmacht). First, it bolstered the presidential campaign of hardline journalist, and former CNEWS commentator Éric Zemmour, who founded a political party called “Reconquest”, committed to ending immigration, expelling existing immigrants who supposedly resist assimilation, and placing Muslim houses of worship under strict state surveillance. When Zemmour’s performance faltered, his supporters moved over to Marine Le Pen of the National Rally, who won over 41% in the second-round presidential vote against Macron — the greatest for any far-Right candidate in the history of the Fifth Republic. Then, in the legislative elections in June, the National Rally gained 89 seats in the National Assembly, the most for any far-Right party since the 1880s.

The effects of these victories can be seen in the reactions to the killing of Nahel in Nanterre. While the Left-wing party La France Insoumise has condemned the police violence (which onlookers’ videos clearly showed to be excessive), National Rally politicians and police unions have called the rioters “savage hordes” and even “vermin”. In comparison with 2005, there are more public figures ready to speak in these terms, and to dismiss both police violence and the condition of the cités as irrelevant to the principal task of restoring public order. And that position is gaining traction in the population at large. In a poll conducted on June 28-29, the politician whose reaction to the crisis received the most positive score was Marine Le Pen with 39%, compared to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin with 34%, and Macron with 33%. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of La France Insoumise, scored only 20%.

The riots will doubtless burn out over the next few days. And Macron will most likely survive the crisis, just as he survived the widespread strikes and public anger this spring. The situation in the cités remains explosive, though. And Macron has already exhausted the political capital he gained after his reelection. But unlike in the 19th century, and the case of its barricade-builders, no reforms will be enacted that might alleviate the frustrations and anger of the car-burners. On Friday, Marion Maréchal, Le Pen’s niece, and the vice-president of Reconquest described the riots as “civil war” and warned Macron’s government against any such measures. She characterised them as a form of “appeasement of the cités”, as if these parts of France were indeed the redoubts of foreign enemies, and the year was 1938.  But as she knows very well, the more that violence consumes the French streets, the closer the far-Right comes to power.


David A. Bell is a history professor at Princeton with a particular interest in the political culture of Enlightenment and revolutionary France. His latest book is Men on Horseback: The Power of Charisma in the Age of Revolution.

DavidAvromBell

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Peter D
Peter D
11 months ago

For too long the West has been taking in far too many people. Because we did not roll out the red carpet and prostrate ourselves, we have been bullied as racists. If life was really so terrible, then why are they still there?
Multiculturalism just does not work. It creates a society even more divided than the homogeneous ones. We are living in the most miserable era in history even though we are at the most prosperous. “The community” is dead, and it has been replaced by tribes. The aristocracy has been replaced by the technocrats and political elite. The indifference is still there, so it should come as no surprise if Marine LePen wins the next election.
To be allowed to live in another country is a gift, yet it is all too often taken for granted.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

Whatever the merits of your more general point, to subscribe to the idea that we’re “living in the most miserable period in history” wrecks any chance of it being taken seriously. As if you’d know how miserable or otherwise general populations were in previous eras? Concepts around mental health are a fairly recent addition to mainstream discourse, giving an entirely ahistorical perspective on the daily grind of previous generations.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I’d say you should let Peter enjoy a bit of rhetorical hyperbole. Perhaps, belabored a bit more, what he’s saying is that, given the material prosperity we enjoy, we are more miserable than we should be. Far more miserable. You’ve seen the stats for suicide, mental illness and now trans — the ultimate in misery and insanity combined.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

You’re probably right, and my criticism of his “miserable” point was a little harsh, but i think it’s important to keep these things in proper perspective; it’s far too easy to simply doom-monger when our ancestors have been through hell and back and survived.

james elliott
james elliott
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I would say it is the most miserable era *relative to material conditions* – and I suspect that may be his point.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Because our ancestors have been to hell and back we should have learned something. We haven’t.

Paul Castle
Paul Castle
11 months ago

Right Lesley , the younger generation appear to have regressed because of the medias push for communist propaganda . We know Biden works for and is paid big money by China and he has just undone decades of help and guidance to Taiwan from the U.S. by announcing no more help and support .
The Biden crime family has enriched themselves by many more millions from the CCP , no question about it .

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul Castle
Paul Castle
Paul Castle
11 months ago

Right Lesley , the younger generation appear to have regressed because of the medias push for communist propaganda . We know Biden works for and is paid big money by China and he has just undone decades of help and guidance to Taiwan from the U.S. by announcing no more help and support .
The Biden crime family has enriched themselves by many more millions from the CCP , no question about it .

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul Castle
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yeah. Poor old me philosophy doesn’t usually work, but there is obviously a big problem there which cannot be ignored. Immigrants mostly bring their own worldview with them. Some do mix in quite well but others, depending on the culture, don’t. These cultures usually come from places which are violent and where they would not have the priveleges, justice and safeguards that they get in their new country.

james elliott
james elliott
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I would say it is the most miserable era *relative to material conditions* – and I suspect that may be his point.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Because our ancestors have been to hell and back we should have learned something. We haven’t.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yeah. Poor old me philosophy doesn’t usually work, but there is obviously a big problem there which cannot be ignored. Immigrants mostly bring their own worldview with them. Some do mix in quite well but others, depending on the culture, don’t. These cultures usually come from places which are violent and where they would not have the priveleges, justice and safeguards that they get in their new country.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

You’re probably right, and my criticism of his “miserable” point was a little harsh, but i think it’s important to keep these things in proper perspective; it’s far too easy to simply doom-monger when our ancestors have been through hell and back and survived.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I’d say you should let Peter enjoy a bit of rhetorical hyperbole. Perhaps, belabored a bit more, what he’s saying is that, given the material prosperity we enjoy, we are more miserable than we should be. Far more miserable. You’ve seen the stats for suicide, mental illness and now trans — the ultimate in misery and insanity combined.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

Defining a unity by difference makes no logical sense – a multicultural society. A unity requires a definition that unites: identifies common characteristics.

John Croteau
John Croteau
11 months ago

This is the root of the problem. I’ve been an American expat in Ireland for one year, another in the Netherlands, and two years in France. Tourists and immigrants need to behave as visitors to others’ home land, attempt to speak the language and behave respectfully in that culture. Over time, the locals may appreciate certain traits that you bring to the table, or they may not. Either way you need to make an attempt to assimilate. Multiculturalism implies multiple cultures can coexist. The melting pot that is America accepts many nationalities, but only one culture. Diverse influences far from its British roots, but one set of values nonetheless. Europe is learning that hard lesson real time.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  John Croteau

Which culture is that? Baseball caps? McDonalds?

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
11 months ago

E Pluribus Unum

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

Perhaps it’s the novels of Henry James, Edith Wharton, Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Yana Way
Yana Way
11 months ago

Why be so nasty? It is a culture of fierce individualism, exploration, invention and optimism. Or, at least, it has been and that is the dream. Culture exists today, not just in the art and buildings of those long dead.

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
11 months ago

E Pluribus Unum

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

Perhaps it’s the novels of Henry James, Edith Wharton, Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Yana Way
Yana Way
11 months ago

Why be so nasty? It is a culture of fierce individualism, exploration, invention and optimism. Or, at least, it has been and that is the dream. Culture exists today, not just in the art and buildings of those long dead.

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
11 months ago
Reply to  John Croteau

But is the US a haven of interracial peace and harmony?

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  John Croteau

“The melting pot that was America accepted many nationalities, but only one culture.” This corrected description is more accurate of America today. We are now a salad without enough dressing to hold it together.

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

Canada is the only nation that has officially accepted multiculturalism, and with enormous immigration it is still rather peaceful.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

Do you think that may be something to do with being the second largest nation on Earth, with a population of only 35 million?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago

Do you think that may be something to do with being the second largest nation on Earth, with a population of only 35 million?

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
11 months ago
Reply to  Kat L

Canada is the only nation that has officially accepted multiculturalism, and with enormous immigration it is still rather peaceful.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
11 months ago
Reply to  John Croteau

There is a strong tendency for people from a Jewish background , like myself , and the writer of this article, to think of immigrants as victims and any movement to curb immigration as nationalist and racist , and even neo -nazi .
David A Bell is also a US citizen and , despite being seemingly a (Princeton) historian of Napoleonic France , has a typically American perspective on these riots , saying they are about justice and an end to police brutality . However the rioters in France were not the descendants of slaves and were part of a quite recent voluntary migration . Nevertheless he sees them as merely defending themselves from a racist and oppressive state .
Thus the experience of US blacks is mixed up in his mind with the experience of Jews in the holocaust to bring about a distorted take on what is happening , with the threat being not from the rioters themselves but supposedly from a potential far -right reaction .

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  John Croteau

Which culture is that? Baseball caps? McDonalds?

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
11 months ago
Reply to  John Croteau

But is the US a haven of interracial peace and harmony?

Kat L
Kat L
11 months ago
Reply to  John Croteau

“The melting pot that was America accepted many nationalities, but only one culture.” This corrected description is more accurate of America today. We are now a salad without enough dressing to hold it together.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
11 months ago
Reply to  John Croteau

There is a strong tendency for people from a Jewish background , like myself , and the writer of this article, to think of immigrants as victims and any movement to curb immigration as nationalist and racist , and even neo -nazi .
David A Bell is also a US citizen and , despite being seemingly a (Princeton) historian of Napoleonic France , has a typically American perspective on these riots , saying they are about justice and an end to police brutality . However the rioters in France were not the descendants of slaves and were part of a quite recent voluntary migration . Nevertheless he sees them as merely defending themselves from a racist and oppressive state .
Thus the experience of US blacks is mixed up in his mind with the experience of Jews in the holocaust to bring about a distorted take on what is happening , with the threat being not from the rioters themselves but supposedly from a potential far -right reaction .

Niels Georg Bach Christensen
Niels Georg Bach Christensen
11 months ago

The young islamist generation at least in Scandinavia loves segregation, they seek it. Many not so islamist in thinking just prioritize their culture, the clan and family even if they re employed in the public sector. The result is sabotage, and corruption.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago

There is a chance that Sweden may be learning their lesson and be more discerning as to who they allow in.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
11 months ago

Water and oil don’t mix, neither do Islam with Western Culture.

Paul Castle
Paul Castle
11 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

It is not “far right” that rises in France it is just the right who are their only bulwark against the French communists who really are very radical and many of them were illegals who brought their extreme communism with them when they invaded .

Paul Castle
Paul Castle
11 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

It is not “far right” that rises in France it is just the right who are their only bulwark against the French communists who really are very radical and many of them were illegals who brought their extreme communism with them when they invaded .

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago

There is a chance that Sweden may be learning their lesson and be more discerning as to who they allow in.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
11 months ago

Water and oil don’t mix, neither do Islam with Western Culture.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
11 months ago

Multiculturalism was never the intention . It was assumed all migrants would integrate into mainstream society . When it became obvious many migrant groups had no desire or intention to do so ‘multiculturalism’ was wheeled out to describe and validate the unlooked for new reality .

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

Some immigrants are bringing in partly a better culture than that we have drifted into. The uprising against schools that are grooming their children here and in Canada was headed up by Islamic families whilst most western families, not all, who agreed with them couldn’t find the courage to do the same.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Didn’t stop the ‘superior culture’ they came here with encouraging the grooming of thousands of white girls most infamously in Rotherham , but elsewhere too .

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Didn’t stop the ‘superior culture’ they came here with encouraging the grooming of thousands of white girls most infamously in Rotherham , but elsewhere too .

Marissa M
Marissa M
11 months ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

This. “It was assumed all migrants would integrate into mainstream society”.
Exactly. Welcome and peace.
But don’t try to change the place that welcomed you. YOU change to fit in.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

Some immigrants are bringing in partly a better culture than that we have drifted into. The uprising against schools that are grooming their children here and in Canada was headed up by Islamic families whilst most western families, not all, who agreed with them couldn’t find the courage to do the same.

Marissa M
Marissa M
11 months ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

This. “It was assumed all migrants would integrate into mainstream society”.
Exactly. Welcome and peace.
But don’t try to change the place that welcomed you. YOU change to fit in.

John Croteau
John Croteau
11 months ago

This is the root of the problem. I’ve been an American expat in Ireland for one year, another in the Netherlands, and two years in France. Tourists and immigrants need to behave as visitors to others’ home land, attempt to speak the language and behave respectfully in that culture. Over time, the locals may appreciate certain traits that you bring to the table, or they may not. Either way you need to make an attempt to assimilate. Multiculturalism implies multiple cultures can coexist. The melting pot that is America accepts many nationalities, but only one culture. Diverse influences far from its British roots, but one set of values nonetheless. Europe is learning that hard lesson real time.

Niels Georg Bach Christensen
Niels Georg Bach Christensen
11 months ago

The young islamist generation at least in Scandinavia loves segregation, they seek it. Many not so islamist in thinking just prioritize their culture, the clan and family even if they re employed in the public sector. The result is sabotage, and corruption.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
11 months ago

Multiculturalism was never the intention . It was assumed all migrants would integrate into mainstream society . When it became obvious many migrant groups had no desire or intention to do so ‘multiculturalism’ was wheeled out to describe and validate the unlooked for new reality .

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

I’ve come to the same conclusion. Until fairly recently, I was still defending multiculturalism. The last 8 years have led me to the conclusion that this has been Western Europe’s biggest mistake. Taking in vast numbers of people from other countries will only work long term if they are close enough to the home culture that living side by side doesn’t create parallel societies. See: the refugees from the former Yugoslavia who came to Austria in massive numbers in the 90s. Close historical and cultural ties meant that they have slotted right into life here. Just a generation later, they are holding leading positions in economic and political life (e.g. Alma Zadic, the Minister for Justice).
I just don’t see the same thing happening for the people who have come in in the past 8 years. A study was done recently about the attitudes of different groups of immigrants in Austria. It found that 50% (yes, you read that right) of new immigrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria thought that Austrian women are “too free”. How are we supposed to deal with that? This is too far away from our own culture to accept and hardcore assimilation measures will just provoke a backlash.
At the end of the day, it’s our culture, our equality, our rights – we shouldn’t have to budge an inch to be accomodating or be called racists for that refusal. But it’s a forlorn hope to think that all of those entrants will simply say en masse “oh yes, you are right!”, abandon their original belief systems and slot right in. Social tension will be the result, 10-15 years down the line. I think many people in Germany and Austria are looking at the unrest in France and know that we are looking at our own future.
Ironically, one of the main drivers behind my change of heart about multiculturalism was my own experience of integrating in a foreign country and living side by side with Vienna’s immigrant groups (10th district).
When you’ve been through integration yourself, you a) get VERY tough indeed in your attitudes to people who don’t bother to engage with their adoptive home and its culture, and b) realise that any talk of the state somehow being able to influence integration is utter rubbish. Integration is a personal decision, the state cannot control it. If members of a certain group are consistently failing to integrate and causing trouble, you have to stop them coming in. It is that simple.
My goodness, 25-year-old me would not believe that 41 year-old-me would write such things. And yet here we are.

Last edited 11 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Don’t despair!
Wait until you reach 80+ before coming to any meaningful conclusions!

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
11 months ago

Well, I’m 83 and am glad she has put away childish things and recognized hard reality. Better late than never… except when it’s too late.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
11 months ago

Well, I’m 83 and am glad she has put away childish things and recognized hard reality. Better late than never… except when it’s too late.

Peter D
Peter D
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I had the same experience when I moved to Germany. I did not speak a word of German at the time and I got on very well with migrants of various backgrounds. I was appalled at how hateful they were to the Germans and yet they themselves made no effort. Luckily I persisted and picked up the language and with it the culture. Being an Australian made it easier because the core beliefs were similar. I would not have to betray anything to fit it.
And there you have it Katherine, you are correct in saying that some cultures just don’t fit together. Far from being a horrible thing, it is in fact a wonderful thing. It is a big planet and there is room for different belief systems. Bringing people in from Africa or the Middle East or Asia is not the answer.
The time has come to speak up with kindness and acceptance. The time has come for a lot of people to head home.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

Well done for making the effort. We English speakers have an advantage that other immigrants don’t, in that our native language is the global language. And plenty of English-speaking expats therefore think that they don’t have to bother learning the local language. Such an arrogant and disrespectful approach. The same demands for language fluency should apply to everyone, and 3 years in a country is enough to absorb enough of the language to do the basics independently (going to the supermarket, the doctor, getting stuff done with the authorities).
I’ve met immigrants in Austria that have been there for 30+ years and still can’t put a decent sentence together in German and I honestly have no idea how that is possible.

Last edited 11 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Nicola Zahorak
Nicola Zahorak
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Good point, Katherine and Peter D. I’ve lived in Hungary for several years, and while I do make a lot of mistakes when speaking the language, I use it as much as possible outside of my job (I’m an English teacher) I feel it’s a must to learn the local language. While many younger people speak English, lots of older people do not, and I would be unable to communicate with my neighbours, kids’ teachers, shopkeepers and many others. In the capital, Budapest, a lot of people don’t bother, as it’s such a multicultural city, where many speak English, but where I live (a village) you need to know at least a basic level of Hungarian. I also feel incredibly grateful for living here. Despite what the media say, it’s a great place to live, very safe with lovely people.

Last edited 11 months ago by Nicola Zahorak
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Nicola Zahorak

I loved Budapest as well although I was only there for a week with my wife. They don’t seem to have any immigrants, so it is easier for them at the moment.

Nicola Zahorak
Nicola Zahorak
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Yes, Budapest is a beautiful city and much safer than many other capitals. Hungary has become much more multicultural, even in smaller cities and towns, but definitely more so in Budapest. There is still a sense of social cohesion, though (although I’m not sure about Budapest, as I don’t live there) I think a lot of it is down to Hungarians not being willing to sacrifice their culture. People are generally expected to integrate and learn the language (again less so in Budapest, which is more of a melting pot and where many people speak English) Also, the immigration being slower probably allowed for better integration.

Nicola Zahorak
Nicola Zahorak
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Yes, Budapest is a beautiful city and much safer than many other capitals. Hungary has become much more multicultural, even in smaller cities and towns, but definitely more so in Budapest. There is still a sense of social cohesion, though (although I’m not sure about Budapest, as I don’t live there) I think a lot of it is down to Hungarians not being willing to sacrifice their culture. People are generally expected to integrate and learn the language (again less so in Budapest, which is more of a melting pot and where many people speak English) Also, the immigration being slower probably allowed for better integration.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Nicola Zahorak

I loved Budapest as well although I was only there for a week with my wife. They don’t seem to have any immigrants, so it is easier for them at the moment.

Terry Davies
Terry Davies
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Correct…try learning Greek though!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

Ancient or Modern?

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago

The great advantage the British had was that Latin and Greek was taught from the mid 16th century. The rigour of the training to learn Greek made learning semitic Arabic relatively easy and the Aryian languages such as Persian( language of the Mughal Empire ) , Urdu and Hindi were straightforward. Many of the SOE officers who fought in Greece and the Balkans were classicists which helped them learn the languages.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Indeed, and it is little short of a national disgrace that we have virtually given up on teaching these languages.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

e.g. Enoch Powell.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Indeed, and it is little short of a national disgrace that we have virtually given up on teaching these languages.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

e.g. Enoch Powell.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
11 months ago

The great advantage the British had was that Latin and Greek was taught from the mid 16th century. The rigour of the training to learn Greek made learning semitic Arabic relatively easy and the Aryian languages such as Persian( language of the Mughal Empire ) , Urdu and Hindi were straightforward. Many of the SOE officers who fought in Greece and the Balkans were classicists which helped them learn the languages.

Kathy Hix
Kathy Hix
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

Child’s play! Give Welsh a go!!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

It sounds like Greek to me!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

My husband is trying to learn Greek. Ho hum.

Kerie Receveur
Kerie Receveur
11 months ago

Efkaristo!

Kerie Receveur
Kerie Receveur
11 months ago

Efkaristo!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

Ancient or Modern?

Kathy Hix
Kathy Hix
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

Child’s play! Give Welsh a go!!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

It sounds like Greek to me!

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
11 months ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

My husband is trying to learn Greek. Ho hum.

Chuck Pezeshki
Chuck Pezeshki
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I lived in Austria for a year, and outside of work, where communication had to be ‘business clear’ — spoke my bad German. I got corrected constantly (well, they are Austrians!) but also quickly became beloved. I have a quick wit that helped, but the main thing was that I realized that people just will not speak English or another non-native language after 5:00 PM. If you want to drink with people, you have to go all in with your miserable German — which won’t stay that way.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“The same demands for language fluency should apply to everyone, and 3 years in a country is enough to absorb enough of the language to do the basics independently”
Three months.

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

A bumper sticker I saw in Florida: “Welcome to America. Now learn English.”

Betsy Arehart
Betsy Arehart
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

A bumper sticker I saw in Florida: “Welcome to America. Now learn English.”

Nicola Zahorak
Nicola Zahorak
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Good point, Katherine and Peter D. I’ve lived in Hungary for several years, and while I do make a lot of mistakes when speaking the language, I use it as much as possible outside of my job (I’m an English teacher) I feel it’s a must to learn the local language. While many younger people speak English, lots of older people do not, and I would be unable to communicate with my neighbours, kids’ teachers, shopkeepers and many others. In the capital, Budapest, a lot of people don’t bother, as it’s such a multicultural city, where many speak English, but where I live (a village) you need to know at least a basic level of Hungarian. I also feel incredibly grateful for living here. Despite what the media say, it’s a great place to live, very safe with lovely people.

Last edited 11 months ago by Nicola Zahorak
Terry Davies
Terry Davies
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Correct…try learning Greek though!

Chuck Pezeshki
Chuck Pezeshki
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I lived in Austria for a year, and outside of work, where communication had to be ‘business clear’ — spoke my bad German. I got corrected constantly (well, they are Austrians!) but also quickly became beloved. I have a quick wit that helped, but the main thing was that I realized that people just will not speak English or another non-native language after 5:00 PM. If you want to drink with people, you have to go all in with your miserable German — which won’t stay that way.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“The same demands for language fluency should apply to everyone, and 3 years in a country is enough to absorb enough of the language to do the basics independently”
Three months.

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

Peter,
Core beliefs? Do you mean your common Christian heritage?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Vavuris

For some of us that is true although I know that on the whole there is a rejection of the Christian culture it would appear.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Vavuris

For some of us that is true although I know that on the whole there is a rejection of the Christian culture it would appear.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

One thing I find annoying is that when female journaliats go to Muslim countries they wear a scarf out of respect. However, when Muslims come to a non- Muslim country they don’t take it off out of respect. There is female journalist on CNN, living in London, who talks about the persecution of women in Iran if they don’t cover their hair, but she wears a hijab. It seems hypocritical to me.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

It is probably safer for her in Iran if she did wear the hijab. Women have been tortured there for not wearing one.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

That’s my point. She’s not in Iran.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

That’s my point. She’s not in Iran.

David Yetter
David Yetter
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

You don’t understand hijab. It is are a religious observance undertaken by pious Muslim women (cf. also, the yarmulke, a religious observance undertaken by pious Jewish men). The CNN journalist is, evidently, a pious Muslim, so she wears hijab, but she also rightly objects to the persecution of thoroughly or somewhat secular Muslim women who chose not to undertake the observance. How exactly is it hypocritical to undertake a religious observance, while being solicitous of the human rights of those who choose not to undertake it?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

It is probably safer for her in Iran if she did wear the hijab. Women have been tortured there for not wearing one.

David Yetter
David Yetter
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

You don’t understand hijab. It is are a religious observance undertaken by pious Muslim women (cf. also, the yarmulke, a religious observance undertaken by pious Jewish men). The CNN journalist is, evidently, a pious Muslim, so she wears hijab, but she also rightly objects to the persecution of thoroughly or somewhat secular Muslim women who chose not to undertake the observance. How exactly is it hypocritical to undertake a religious observance, while being solicitous of the human rights of those who choose not to undertake it?

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

They fled from those hell holes for good reason. Nothing but force will persuade them to return.

t

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

Well done for making the effort. We English speakers have an advantage that other immigrants don’t, in that our native language is the global language. And plenty of English-speaking expats therefore think that they don’t have to bother learning the local language. Such an arrogant and disrespectful approach. The same demands for language fluency should apply to everyone, and 3 years in a country is enough to absorb enough of the language to do the basics independently (going to the supermarket, the doctor, getting stuff done with the authorities).
I’ve met immigrants in Austria that have been there for 30+ years and still can’t put a decent sentence together in German and I honestly have no idea how that is possible.

Last edited 11 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

Peter,
Core beliefs? Do you mean your common Christian heritage?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

One thing I find annoying is that when female journaliats go to Muslim countries they wear a scarf out of respect. However, when Muslims come to a non- Muslim country they don’t take it off out of respect. There is female journalist on CNN, living in London, who talks about the persecution of women in Iran if they don’t cover their hair, but she wears a hijab. It seems hypocritical to me.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

They fled from those hell holes for good reason. Nothing but force will persuade them to return.

t

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“50% (yes, you read that right) of new immigrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria thought that Austrian women are “too free”.”
It’s probably more than 50%, it’s probably as high even amongst second generation immigrants from that part….
But the most worrying part is, the majority of Austrian women (or other W European or US / Canadian) women would still support “human right” and immigration, and call you racist for suggesting there might be a tiny problem.
While also complaining about “misogyny” and “patriarchy ” in Western cultures.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Misguided compassion not based on truth.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Misguided compassion not based on truth.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Is there a better and worse way to live a human life? Pose that question to almost anyone and immediately you will hear “yes, of course.” But on reflection doubt sets in. One usually doesn’t have to wait terribly long. This is the pickle in which the modern world has situated itself.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago

I thought it was pretty obvious how to live a better life. The trouble is we have a weakness for doing the wrong thing occasionally.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago

I thought it was pretty obvious how to live a better life. The trouble is we have a weakness for doing the wrong thing occasionally.

Clara B
Clara B
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I’ve experienced a similar change of heart, Katherine – I also wonder what the younger (idealistic) me would think of the older me’s current beliefs. In my case, it was teaching students with migrant backgrounds, starting about a decade ago, that prompted a rethink. Many of my students had been here for decades but their English was often poor (and partly explained their tendency to plagiarise – plus many didn’t appear to have a cultural aversion to the idea of cheating), they were insulated from wider society (to the extent that I was often one of the few British people they interacted with), and they were wildly naive about what it takes to become successful in this country. The experience really opened my eyes. Plus, there’s a lot of research on the impacts of migration on social cohesion showing the latter is adversely affected by rapid, mass migration. I could conveniently ignore this like others do but that strikes me as cowardly. If the evidence is staring you in the face and there’s enough of it, then it can’t be ignored.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Clara B

You are quite right but perhaps you are more qualified to speak up than some.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Clara B

You are quite right but perhaps you are more qualified to speak up than some.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Please don’t patronise by using the word ” culture”?! Be honest, this is a racial and Islamic issue, so why pretend otherwise?

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
11 months ago

Culture’s premise is religion.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Vavuris

In America African American culture is different than European culture but it’s not based on religion.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

on raggae , rap and dope?

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
11 months ago

Yes. And reflexive homicidal violence.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago

I was in a nightmare living next to that stuff in London. Their children can sleep through it but mostly we cannot.

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
11 months ago

Yes. And reflexive homicidal violence.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago

I was in a nightmare living next to that stuff in London. Their children can sleep through it but mostly we cannot.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

It is mostly Christian culture I believe but expressed in the way of their culture. A lot of black culture into this country is an asset but not all of course.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

on raggae , rap and dope?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

It is mostly Christian culture I believe but expressed in the way of their culture. A lot of black culture into this country is an asset but not all of course.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Vavuris

In America African American culture is different than European culture but it’s not based on religion.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago

Maybe but one has to tread carefully with that otherwise it is counter productive. I have found in one culture that they do not have the capacity to forgive. It is not taught. If you offend them they might never forgive or forget it. In one sense this is their power over us and why some are afraid to offend them even the government.

Last edited 11 months ago by Tony Conrad
Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
11 months ago

Your kind of blunt honesty is out of fashion. Please adapt to the cringing new mores.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

Nicky isn’t honest he’s mean.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

And almost never constructive.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

And almost never constructive.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

Nicky isn’t honest he’s mean.

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
11 months ago

Culture’s premise is religion.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago

Maybe but one has to tread carefully with that otherwise it is counter productive. I have found in one culture that they do not have the capacity to forgive. It is not taught. If you offend them they might never forgive or forget it. In one sense this is their power over us and why some are afraid to offend them even the government.

Last edited 11 months ago by Tony Conrad
Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
11 months ago

Your kind of blunt honesty is out of fashion. Please adapt to the cringing new mores.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“My goodness, 25-year-old me would not believe that 41 year-old-me would write such things. And yet here we are”
And therein lies the problem. What made you a supporter of multiculturalism? Were you persuaded to believe that having a negative view was low status?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

Probably just lack of experience.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago

Something like that, yes. And for a long time I was afraid to criticise it for fear of being labelled racist or intolerant. I also thought that displaying boundless tolerance was to take the high moral road.
These days I think tolerance is only a good thing in moderation.
And the dilemma we now face is this: because we have driven ourselves into a cul de sac with our own kindness, welcome culture, exaggerated tolerance and naive belief that our liberal societies can withstand anything, we now need to reverse the other way to get out. Be tougher, less permissive, also more authoritarian…in order that our liberal societies can survive. The irony…
Get ready for some unpleasant showdowns.

Last edited 11 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

People’s views tend to mature as they get older. That is why Starmer’s intention to give the vote to sixteen year olds could be a disaster although it will bring him more votes.

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

“Could be” ought to be changed to “will be”. Teenagers are very emotional and apt to follow the bright shiny things even if they are dangerous.

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
11 months ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

“Could be” ought to be changed to “will be”. Teenagers are very emotional and apt to follow the bright shiny things even if they are dangerous.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I understand exactly what you say.
The pressure on individuals to censor themselves and keep quiet has been a very potent weapon

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

People’s views tend to mature as they get older. That is why Starmer’s intention to give the vote to sixteen year olds could be a disaster although it will bring him more votes.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I understand exactly what you say.
The pressure on individuals to censor themselves and keep quiet has been a very potent weapon

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

Probably just lack of experience.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago

Something like that, yes. And for a long time I was afraid to criticise it for fear of being labelled racist or intolerant. I also thought that displaying boundless tolerance was to take the high moral road.
These days I think tolerance is only a good thing in moderation.
And the dilemma we now face is this: because we have driven ourselves into a cul de sac with our own kindness, welcome culture, exaggerated tolerance and naive belief that our liberal societies can withstand anything, we now need to reverse the other way to get out. Be tougher, less permissive, also more authoritarian…in order that our liberal societies can survive. The irony…
Get ready for some unpleasant showdowns.

Last edited 11 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

We all – every community – have been betrayed by the progressives or Leftists who saw multiculturalism as a weapon in their fight to overturn the traditional nation state and its core values and identity (family/Christianity). The UK has proven to be a better more tolerant melting pot than any other state, something magical, but no thanks to the demonic lefty politicians who from the 80s stopped assimilation in schools, branded our own culture as racist, turned a blind eye to horrors like honour killing and religious radicalisation and from the 90s just opened the floodgates to the one thing which always provokes friction – mass uncontrolled immigration and ghettoization. The Fake Blairite-Lite ‘Tories have continued with this EU/Blair Open Border policy for all 13 years, screwing up unplanned for public servives for all. And this unthinking Lab/Tory ‘Elite’ then let another new poison enter the bloodstream; state driven ideological identitarianism, casting the entire white native population as raycist and further appeasing threats like islamism. Our craven elite and the Left has wished this all upon us.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Well said.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

You are right but who is going to listen? Certainly not the Tories who don’t have the will to stop the boat people most of whom are a completely different culture to us.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

You’re a grown-up. Most people your age are still kids.

Yana Way
Yana Way
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Excellent. Thank you for sharing. I think you hit the nail on the head.

I would caveat that by saying mass immigration of cultures vastly different than one’s own is a recipe for disaster. Everything moves along when the immigration numbers are small enough that those with great differences in belief never aspire to force change in the society they chose to join. But when those communities are large, and the country is democratic, they not only aspire to change the country, but demand it as a right.

And, in fact, they are not wrong. By inviting so many of the same opinion in and granting citizenship by the millions to them, in a democracy, they DO have that right.

Our blindness to this reality is the problem.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Don’t despair!
Wait until you reach 80+ before coming to any meaningful conclusions!

Peter D
Peter D
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I had the same experience when I moved to Germany. I did not speak a word of German at the time and I got on very well with migrants of various backgrounds. I was appalled at how hateful they were to the Germans and yet they themselves made no effort. Luckily I persisted and picked up the language and with it the culture. Being an Australian made it easier because the core beliefs were similar. I would not have to betray anything to fit it.
And there you have it Katherine, you are correct in saying that some cultures just don’t fit together. Far from being a horrible thing, it is in fact a wonderful thing. It is a big planet and there is room for different belief systems. Bringing people in from Africa or the Middle East or Asia is not the answer.
The time has come to speak up with kindness and acceptance. The time has come for a lot of people to head home.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“50% (yes, you read that right) of new immigrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria thought that Austrian women are “too free”.”
It’s probably more than 50%, it’s probably as high even amongst second generation immigrants from that part….
But the most worrying part is, the majority of Austrian women (or other W European or US / Canadian) women would still support “human right” and immigration, and call you racist for suggesting there might be a tiny problem.
While also complaining about “misogyny” and “patriarchy ” in Western cultures.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Is there a better and worse way to live a human life? Pose that question to almost anyone and immediately you will hear “yes, of course.” But on reflection doubt sets in. One usually doesn’t have to wait terribly long. This is the pickle in which the modern world has situated itself.

Clara B
Clara B
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I’ve experienced a similar change of heart, Katherine – I also wonder what the younger (idealistic) me would think of the older me’s current beliefs. In my case, it was teaching students with migrant backgrounds, starting about a decade ago, that prompted a rethink. Many of my students had been here for decades but their English was often poor (and partly explained their tendency to plagiarise – plus many didn’t appear to have a cultural aversion to the idea of cheating), they were insulated from wider society (to the extent that I was often one of the few British people they interacted with), and they were wildly naive about what it takes to become successful in this country. The experience really opened my eyes. Plus, there’s a lot of research on the impacts of migration on social cohesion showing the latter is adversely affected by rapid, mass migration. I could conveniently ignore this like others do but that strikes me as cowardly. If the evidence is staring you in the face and there’s enough of it, then it can’t be ignored.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Please don’t patronise by using the word ” culture”?! Be honest, this is a racial and Islamic issue, so why pretend otherwise?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

“My goodness, 25-year-old me would not believe that 41 year-old-me would write such things. And yet here we are”
And therein lies the problem. What made you a supporter of multiculturalism? Were you persuaded to believe that having a negative view was low status?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

We all – every community – have been betrayed by the progressives or Leftists who saw multiculturalism as a weapon in their fight to overturn the traditional nation state and its core values and identity (family/Christianity). The UK has proven to be a better more tolerant melting pot than any other state, something magical, but no thanks to the demonic lefty politicians who from the 80s stopped assimilation in schools, branded our own culture as racist, turned a blind eye to horrors like honour killing and religious radicalisation and from the 90s just opened the floodgates to the one thing which always provokes friction – mass uncontrolled immigration and ghettoization. The Fake Blairite-Lite ‘Tories have continued with this EU/Blair Open Border policy for all 13 years, screwing up unplanned for public servives for all. And this unthinking Lab/Tory ‘Elite’ then let another new poison enter the bloodstream; state driven ideological identitarianism, casting the entire white native population as raycist and further appeasing threats like islamism. Our craven elite and the Left has wished this all upon us.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Well said.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

You are right but who is going to listen? Certainly not the Tories who don’t have the will to stop the boat people most of whom are a completely different culture to us.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

You’re a grown-up. Most people your age are still kids.

Yana Way
Yana Way
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Excellent. Thank you for sharing. I think you hit the nail on the head.

I would caveat that by saying mass immigration of cultures vastly different than one’s own is a recipe for disaster. Everything moves along when the immigration numbers are small enough that those with great differences in belief never aspire to force change in the society they chose to join. But when those communities are large, and the country is democratic, they not only aspire to change the country, but demand it as a right.

And, in fact, they are not wrong. By inviting so many of the same opinion in and granting citizenship by the millions to them, in a democracy, they DO have that right.

Our blindness to this reality is the problem.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

In the UK, “multiculturalism” means you are only allowed to criticise the British way of life: everything non-British is above reproach. France has tried to follow a different path, by trying to pretend that everyone in France must buy-in to French values. But it has become impossible to ignore the Islamic counter-culture that has been allowed to flourish in France. So centrist politicians, like Macron, have attempted appeasement, but ended up with the worst of both worlds.

Last edited 11 months ago by Peter Kwasi-Modo
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago

Yes and to suggest there is such a thing as an indigenous Brit is a form of blasphemy (hate speech) punishable by excommunication (cancellation or even prosecution).

Last edited 11 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Peter D
Peter D
11 months ago

Try living in Australia where the indigenous population invented everything and it was a paradise until the white fellas showed up. Now we constantly have to acknowledge the elders past, present, and emerging. Have welcomes to country at every event. The Aboriginal flag and the Torres Strait Islander flag flies at every school.
Our kids are taught that Europeans poisoned the Aborigines and raped the women. And this at a primary school level (Elementary school for the Americans).
It is getting a bit much

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter D

There is no balance. The demonisation of the Europeans and idolisation of the Aboriginals (the noble savage). No, maybe that is a kind of balance but not the fruitful, beneficial kind. The attitudes reveal more about the bearer of the attitudes than the object.
Did not many British convicts suffer and die whilst working (hard Labour) on the establishment and construction of modern Australia? Assuming they didn’t die whilst being transported.

Last edited 11 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

‘Transportation’ as it was called, was the alternative to public hanging* and seen as a rather benign policy that had the added advantage of populating the Empire**.

(* In effect slow strangulation.)

(**Albeit with undesirables!)

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago

Reminds me of a joke – no doubt politically incorrect. A British businessman on being asked if he had a criminal record, when going through Australian passport control, replied he didn’t know it was still a requirement.

Last edited 11 months ago by Aphrodite Rises
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Off course those convicts were accompanied by Warders, which some say was the major contributing factor in Australia’s completely ridiculous OTT response to the Scamdemic.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

Good one!

Andrew F
Andrew F
11 months ago