David Cameron last night launched his most outspoken attack on the doctrine of multi-culturalism, which he said had undermined Britain.
He criticised “clunking” government initiatives designed to redress the balance. He said it was “time for a more British approach” and he promised that a Tory administration would wage a “crusade for fairness”.
The Tory leader said: “Yes, we need to ensure that every one of our citizens can speak to each other in our national language. Yes, we need to ensure that our children are taught British history properly. And I do think it is important to create more opportunities for celebrating our sense of nationhood.
“We will set out a clear and consistent path to ensure these things actually happen, starting with our policy review, which will make specific recommendations this week.”
The report by the Conservatives’ policy commission on national security will highlight the issue of segregation in Muslim communities and call for forced marriage to be made a criminal offence. It will also criticise the removal of Asian girls from sixth forms and question whether some Muslim parents are supporting their daughters’ desire for education. It will warn that in some parts of the community women are being denied access to education, work and involvement in the political process and even denied access to mosques.
Mr Cameron will say in a speech tomorrow in Birmingham that a Tory administration would be “bold and not hide behind the screen of cultural sensitivity to say publicly that no woman should be denied rights which both their religion and their country, Britain, support”.
In an article for the Observer, he said: “The doctrine of multiculturalism has undermined our nation’s sense of cohesion because it emphasises what divides us rather than what brings us together. It has been manipulated to entrench the right to difference, a unifying [sic – should read ‘divisive’] concept.”
In a veiled attack on ministers such as John Reid and Gordon Brown, who have both championed Britishness, he said: “It’s no use behaving like the proverbial English tourist abroad, shouting ever more loudly at the hapless foreigner who doesn’t understand what is behind said. We can’t bully people into feeling British – we have to inspire them.”
See also David Cameron, “No one will be left behind in a Tory Britain”, Observer, 28 January 2007
A classic example of two-faced Cameronism – presenting a liberal image by criticising the government for “instructing Muslim parents to spy on their children” while appeasing his core supporters with a right-wing attack on multiculturalism.