“One reason we face our current difficulties is that the so-called progressive elements, which dominated politics and much of the media, failed for too long to understand the damage they were inflicting on our country through the concept of multiculturalism.
“In the Nineties, when many of the problems with which the Government is now grappling were taking root, not only were the extremist tenets of fundamentalist Islam rarely challenged, the multiculturalists even coined an insult – Islamophobia – to damn those who did. And no one took seriously enough the report into the 2001 riots in some northern cities, that exposed the “parallel lives” being led by different ethnic and religious communities.
“When four British Muslims perpetrated the worst act of terrorism on British soil in July 2005, the country was finally shaken from this state of denial. Now, Labour ministers – once ardent cheerleaders for multiculturalism (not least because they imagined there were votes in it) – espouse respect for the monarchy, demand that immigrants learn English and praise British history and identity.
“It has taken a long time for the Government to assess properly the nature of this threat and there are signs that ministers remain unwilling to ditch their old instincts and grasp that, in a battle for hearts and minds, it is important to emphasise the superiority of your own values.”