The Gazette gives space to an opinion piece by Darra Singh this morning covering his role as Chairman of the Government’s Commission on Integration and Cohesion. The piece is clearly a straight lift from the Department for Communities and Local Government website of his speech on 24th August. If the Gazette was a student it would be accused of plagiarism rather than laziness. They don’t say the piece came from Darra so we can assume it did not.
The Gazette also shows laziness of thought in its Voice of the Gazette piece. They suggest that “Recent reactions to mass migration as well as terrorist attempts on transatlantic flights show a worrying move by society to the right”. Apparently “This must be stemmed urgently”. The writer of this piece, the editor presumably, would be taken apart by any 6th form debater. It is lazy and insulting to equate racism with the right. If migration is currently a political issue there are many voices on the “right”, at least in business and commerce, that are all for it. Last year’s 7/7 massacre has pushed security up the agenda which is hardly a “right-wing” response, it is self-preservation.
I am sure that the Gazette gets lots of cranky calls from silly old racists. I have an old boy in my ward who usually makes negative references to coloured people as soon as he gets warmed up. I have yet to point out to him that people like him, with such heavy Eastern European accents, might be viewed in a similar light by some people. We are all different. Great!
The Gazette asks that Darra Singh “must do what it takes to stabilise and enhance multiculturism (sic)”. The list of people that are disowning multiculturalism now includes Ruth Kelly, Trevor Phillips, Michael Nazir-Ali and George Alagiah. Multiculturalism has not allowed us to take our differences and build an unassailable unity. This is the challenge for Darra’s commission. Maybe the Gazette needs to move on if it is to contribute towards the debate.