The politics of hope (but mostly fear)
"Muslims feel the reverberations from the Middle East. Wider global trends have an impact."So despite all the previous denials, foreign policy DOES affect British muslims' attitudes? Glad we've finally got that one sorted.
There's also a nice nod to Godron Brown's recurring desire to define what it means to be British with questions about "who we are and what we are as a country" - and even an acknowledgement that multiculturalism may encourage "separateness" to keep the Daily Mail on board. There's also a subtle adoption of one of the Tories' most controversial slogans from the last General Election:
"We must not be censored by political correctness"In other words,
Believe me, I'd love nothing more than to be able to find something positive in politics again, but for the last few years there's been nothing about HOPE in the rhetoric of any of the parties, merely fear. Fear of the Tories, fear of terrorists, fear of Europe, fear of economic collapse, fear of immigrants. The few times our politicians have appealed to our aspirations rather than our night terrors, their promises have proved to be either empty or ill-founded, their policies soon either abandoned or altered in the face of adversity.
Even Kelly's speech, which seems to be trying to promise a brave new world of cross-cultural harmony, focusses more on the current negatives than the possible future promises. She asks about "who we are and what we are as a country". I'm rather worried that the answer to both may be "distrustful wannabe-isolationists" - and that refers as much to the Don't Attack Iraq brigade as the Little Englanders...