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The White Season - Rivers of blood (BBC Doc) 5/8

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Uploaded on Mar 27, 2008

Enoch powell's speech about immigration

...Who can wonder why the white working classes have got themselves a bad name? Who can wonder why they are angry, why they are despairing, why they carry knives, fight and drink themselves into oblivion? BBC2's White season says little in their defence. They are just observed at a distance, like the animals they are perceived to be by the snobs. WLMC academics at this point like to bring in the concept of "The Other". The WLMC know that the WWC hate "The Other" -- the blacks, the Asians, the Muslims. But it does not occur to them that they themselves are the greatest Other-haters of all, in their revulsion of the WWC who are too close to themselves for comfort, and whom they use to project upon their own sins, their own real and reverse racism.

Watching the first programme in the White season -- the very sad Last Orders set in a working men's club in Bradford -- I was driven to the conclusion that the WWC are a deeper, far more intimately connected part of the national family than many of the more recent arrivals. They are us, English, in the way a Farsi-only speaker in a chador can never be -- or not without many generations of effort and willing assimilation (the willing part being crucial). To say otherwise is the great multicultural myth. And the WWC feelings of betrayal are valid. This is not about blood or race. It is about roots. It is about identity and culture, all the issues the colonial diaspora has itself understandably agonised about for generations.

Do I look down on the WWC now that I am middle class myself? Probably. But I don't hate them, not in the way I hate the people who destroyed and abandoned them, the ideologues and meddlers that have left them without a meaning and without a home and without an escape. I'll keep voting Left because I can't imagine voting Tory, and the Lib Dems are a wasted vote. But I know that, in the end, I am voting for a double-talking mealy-mouthed enemy of everything they purport to be promoting -- equality, opportunity, fairness. They are the living embodiment of Lao Tse's greatest truth and the source of the white working classes tragedy -- that "goody goodies are the enemies of virtue". Lott,T.

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