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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Wanted: a Winston Churchill for the culture war

1st posted here 
Wanted: a Winston Churchill for the culture war | Melanie Phillips

The story sounds just too idiotic and outrageous to be true. A Rotherham couple, by all accounts exemplary foster parents for nearly seven years, took on two children and a baby in an emergency placement.
Eight weeks later, social workers came and took the children away — despite the fact that they were thriving — on the grounds that because the couple belonged to the UK Independence Party this was not ‘the right cultural match’.
Astonishingly, the official in charge is still unrepentant. Joyce Thacker, the council’s director of children and young people’s services, has said that the children, who were from ‘EU migrant backgrounds’, had been removed to protect their ‘cultural and ethnic needs’ from UKIP’s ‘strong views’ and apparent ‘opposition to multiculturalism’.
This is as ludicrous and illogical as it is sinister.
This apparently splendid couple have been treated as criminals merely because social workers disapproved of their political views — which happen to be shared, incidentally, by millions of fellow citizens. This is the kind of behaviour we associate with a totalitarian state.
The clear implication is that they were racists. But there is nothing racist about opposing multiculturalism. Indeed, many immigrants themselves oppose it. To damn this couple in this way is an appalling smear.
In any event, this was merely a short-term emergency foster placement. These children clearly needed as a matter of urgency a safe and loving environment — which by all accounts this couple gave them.
Ms Thacker said: ‘I have to think about how sensitive I am being to those children.’ Is this woman for real? Clearly, she is actually doing them harm by putting ideological dogma above the children’s own needs.
The whole thing sounds beyond parody. But, alas, this goes far wider and deeper than this one incident. 
In the early Nineties, I unearthed what it is no exaggeration to say was a climate of totalitarianism in social-work training.
Anti-racist zealots had captured the social workers’ training body, and built into the social-work diploma the explicit assumption that society was fundamentally racist and oppressive.
What followed was an utterly chilling degree of intimidation and thought control. Blameless social work students were forced in tears to ‘confess’ to their own racism; some failed to qualify unless they identified racist attitudes even where none existed.
These and other politically correct dogma, and the requirement to enforce them, remain stamped into social-work culture like the name of Blackpool in a stick of rock.
As a result, the needs of vulnerable children and other social-work clients have been junked in favour of the overriding requirement to impose an ideological view of the world in which minorities can do no wrong while the majority can do no right.
Over the years, this has given rise to one horror story after another. Twelve years ago, an eight-year-old Ivorian child, Victoria Climbié, was tortured and murdered by her guardians under the noses of social workers who believed such behaviour had to be respected as part of African culture.
In the early Nineties, Islington council was revealed to have ignored the systematic sexual abuse and prostitution of children in its care because it was terrified of being called racist or homophobic if it disciplined black or gay staff perpetrating such crimes.
In Rotherham itself, the sickening sexual enslavement of under-age white girls by organised prostitution and pimping rings was largely ignored for more than two decades, in part because the abusers came overwhelmingly from Pakistani Muslim backgrounds.
And for years, would-be adoptive parents have been turned down by social workers because they are deemed to be too white, too middle class or in some other way fall foul of the politically correct inquisition. 
All this goes far wider and deeper even than the failings of public sector professionals.
The grip of the Left on our culture has meant not just that many perfectly reasonable things are now deemed to be unsayable in civilised society.
 Worse still, since political correctness stands truth and lies on their heads, people are vilified as extremists or bigots simply for telling the truth, connecting to reality or standing up for right over wrong.
Let us be clear: the claim that it is racist to oppose multiculturalism is the opposite of the truth. This is because multiculturalism does not, as is so often mistakenly believed, mean being tolerant of other cultures. It is a creed which holds instead that no one culture can trump any other.
That means you can’t uphold human rights, equality for women or freedom of religious belief over cultures that don’t uphold these values.
So multiculturalism inescapably involves abandoning certain ethnic minorities to violence, inequality and persecution. And that is truly racist.
Clearly, this row is an electoral gift to UKIP, coming as it does just days before the Rotherham by-election. And now it has spawned another similar accusation that a UKIP member was barred from volunteering for the charity Barnardo’s.
Whether this is all an amazing coincidence of timing, or whether UKIP sympathisers are deliberately leaking the stories at the moment they will gain most attention, the issue at the heart of this controversy is all too real.
For what it illuminates is nothing less than our ongoing culture war, in which political correctness — which should really be called cultural Marxism — is being used by the Left to revolutionise society by undermining and subverting its core beliefs.
So, fundamental values embodied in issues such as immigration, national identity, marriage and family and many others are under systematic assault, while all who seek to defend them are vilified as bigots, swivel-eyed extremists and lunatics.
This has not been achieved by any one organisation imbued with mythical and conspiratorial powers. It has occurred over decades as a result of two main factors.
The first was the steady rise into power, across the universities, media, professions, political parties and civil service, of those whose opinions were shaped in the Sixties and Seventies by the New Left, which believed in the cultural transformation  of society.
The second was the demoralisation of the institutions which should have defended our culture — in particular, the Church and the governing class, which had become convinced of their own and their country’s inevitable decline.
The result was what far-Leftists have called ‘the long march through the institutions’ — which all fell like dominoes.
Since this culture war has been fanatically prosecuted by the Labour Party — which consigns anyone who commits a politically incorrect heresy to the third circle of hell — Ed Miliband’s condemnation of Rotherham’s Labour council is the most arrant hypocrisy.
But the real problem is that David Cameron, in his obsession with rebranding the Tories, has not only failed to recognise that fighting the culture war is the great conservative cause of our time, but has even positioned himself on the wrong side.
Recent figures have shown that under Mr Cameron even more Labour ‘cronies’ are being appointed to quangos and charities than under the last Labour government.
And in 2006 he called UKIP ‘a bunch of fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists’ — thus helping legitimise the kind of demonisation that has emerged in Rotherham.
In the wake of this row, Downing Street said the Prime Minister had not intended people to understand that all UKIP members were racist. ‘Not all’, eh? Well that’s nice of him! Talk about missing the point.
What’s needed is not just root and branch reform of social-work training. It’s a leader who will halt this onslaught on Britain’s core values and its terrifying descent into cultural tyranny. We need nothing less than a Winston Churchill for the culture war.