Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Towards a grievous failure of British democracy [Către un eşec dureros al democraţiei britanice]

Six years ago, in that blazing autumn that saw France engulfed by violence (to a degree not seen since 1968 or even 1871), what is happenig today in many British cities (London + its suburbs, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham) seemed utterly inconceivable.

The French had granted citizenship to immigrants, irrespective or nationality and religious background, therefore they should have considered the ‘risk’ implied by this more or less forceful integration, many British thinkers were probably imagining.

Whilst on the contrary, multicultural Britain had offered homes that retained all ethnic and religious peculiarities (from the fartherst corners of Asia and Africa to the Carribean and Eastern Europe) to millions of people.

The British model was deemed superior, many believed, because newcomers were not forced to adhere to abstract values such as those of the French Republic

Instead of that, they were likely to become law abiding citizens of a country that let them live their way, with little-to-none interference of the state in their lives.

The presumed solidity of this approach was hailed during the time when T. Bliar and his gang were in power (1997 – 2010), and every now and then Britons (and friends of Britain, like me :-) were exposed to ‘success stories’ about multiculturalism.

They sounded good: communities were interwoven by racial harmony, peace, understanding, respect for diversity, a climate of political correctness and allegiance to democratic values. All of these and economic prosperity overlapping.

Then the economic crisis struck Britain, followed by severe public spending cuts, and in early 2011, PM David Cameron openly acknowledged the failure of multiculturalism.

In theory, multiculturalism looked great – as appealing to the eye as these pictures of little streets from the City of London, a melting pot that, since the late 1600s to our days has been home to French Huguenots, Jews, Irish, Africans, African-Americans, Indians, Chinese, Pakistanis etc.

In practice, the often questioned multicultural achievements of British democracy lie shattered among the broken windows, broken skulls, and burning shops in British (only English, no Scottish, Welsh or Irish so far!!!) cities that no long before were ‘dream destinations’ for people from all over the world.

The mobs are not ‘united in diversity’ (as the EU motto claims) on the streets of British cities that I have so often praised as beautiful; there’s but a sort of ‘unity’ in discontent, rage, and meaningless devastation.

Not that I would find a political claim excusable, however, any political stance supported by the people on the streets could be at least understandable. Yet there is no such thing.

Just like the blitz riots in Canada’s most liveable city (2011), like those in France (2005), in the USA (1992), what is happening in the UK these days can’t be understood without taking into consideration the moral abyss into which Britain has been sucked for the past decades.

Unlike the localized Brixton Riots (of 1981, 1985, and 1995), these widespread events may have farther reaching consequences, in spite of (or precisely because of…) the hoodlums’ having no official agenda.

From one perspective, this makes the riots very convenient for everyone. Firstly, they look like a difficult (on the short term) but politically rewarding (on the long term – if dealed with wisely) task for the UK Government, which is very unlikely to draw any opposition to a massive crackdown.

Apart from Trotskyists and other weirdos, plus Tony Bliar’s former friend in Lybia, it’s hard to believe that anyone agrees with the violence in Britain.

Nevertheless, it is difficult to say whether UK’s law enforcement agencies, crippled by budgetary cuts, could come up with a swift response to the violence.

It appears that the summer of discontent has still reached Britain, and I wonder whether Cameron and Clegg have the strength to deal with a prolonged crisis (such as Margaret Thatcher’s miners’ strikes) in case the British riots will last as long as those in France.

Secondly, hordes of unorganised (?!) looters with no demand (albeit as skilled at using new technologies as those that ignited the so-called Arab Revolutions), and acting like mere Pavlov’s dogs, are also very convenient to Britain’s enemies. 

As the cradle of ancient democracy (Greece) is faltering, it’s sad – but not surprising, for a great nation where atheism is in full bloom – to see that the egg from where democracy as we know it today hatched (Great Britain) is crumbling.

[For all the posts on this blog go to/Pentru toate postările de pe acest blog mergi la: Contents/Cuprins]


Gregor said...

Hi Bogdan

Have to disagree with your analysis here. Whilst I;m no fan of ghettoised, politicised multiculturalism, this isn't what's happening here.

Basically, this is about an underclass that the British government has created (Tory as much as New Labour) expressing its contempt for the order that created it.

Not that I agree with what they're doing. Just pointing out that they have little to thank society for and no career prospects to destroy.

The racial/multicultural angle is wrong with the Afro Carribean community. They were encouraged to come to Britain en masse in the 50s and 60s to help take power away from Britain's unions.

Now they are totally assimilated into the native working class. In fact half of children of Afro Carribean ancestry in Britain have one white parent. But they are both passed over for employment in favour of East Europeans for exactly the same reasons their parents/grandparents were invited: to weaken trade unions and empower both a ferral middle class and a plutocratic government.

In half a century, there will probably be a good chunk of Britain's native born underclass with surnames like Petrescu and Kieszlowksi but they'll have no luck finding jobs because the government will import third world labour to destroy any chance of a stable job market and to foster an underclass.

Hope this doesn't sound racist. I'm all for generous immigration, but think it should be tied to employment and housing.

Gregor said...

Incidentally, some very depressing figures:

77% of Brits want the army to patrol the streets. Seems like, if anything, Big Brother is too liberal for the Brits,

MunteanUK said...

Good to find you here again, my dear friend from Scotland!

First of all, let me thank you for disagreeing with me :-) I find your point of view very interesting and (hopefully) helpful for any other readers that could land on this page.

As a matter of fact, by the time I had finished writing the article, I realized that it was somehow exaggerate to put all the blame on multiculturalism.

The causes of these unprecedented (as far as I am familiarised with British history - but you are the historian :-) are multiple, and it seems to be more an outburst of anger of a growing 'underclass'.

Many of its members may happen to be part of ethnic minorities, however, there are also white Brits among them.


I assume that many of the looters, rioters, thugs, hoodlums (we must admit that the English language has no shortage of terms :-) are part of the 6-7 million Brits (citizen or legal immigrants, irrespective of ethnicity) living on state handouts.

Unlike them, many immigrants are hard working, and there have been many accounts about Sikh, Turkish, Polish and even Romanian migrants defenting the shops that were under assault.

I personally find racism stupid, and I am inclined to believe that the average (civilised) Briton is not racist.

Actually, this topic - are Britons racist or not? - was discussed here:


It's intersting that even in the survery you quote, only 5% of the respondends see 'racial tensions' as causes of what has happened.

Nevertheless, I think it will be unavoidable (on the longer term) that the rioters will be regarded as an 'alien entity'.

Will immigrants be the scapegoat, as so often in history?

Will the deepest causes of the riots (a generation devoided of any spiritual meaning and any professional perspective) ever be dealt with?

I really don't know...


Apart from the huge public debt and gloomy economic prospects (like much of the world) Great Britain has many hidden political disfunctionalities.

There is a British democratic model that has been 'hyperinflated' - the more I learn about it, the more I see it's a myth :-(

I fully agree with you that there is a 'plutocratic government' in charge of the country or an 'elected dictatorship', as we discussed here:

I also began to realise that the 'class system' is still in place (in England), and I will continue to believe that Britain's electoral system really sucks.


In regards to the "depressive figures" that you mention, I also find them worrisome.

In less than a week, the Brits have convinced themselves that army patrols on city streets may not be such a bad idea?!

As I told you before, I think Britain (a progressive country,a flag bearer of democracy, home of the Industrial Revolution etc) is a huge laboratory (with 60+ million lab rats).

If some social engeneering and brainwashing experiments succeed in the UK, there's a high likelihood that they will be successful in other parts of the world.


Having all of the above in mind, what about Scotland, my friend?

How are the violences in England seen above the border?

What has Alex Salmond said so far?

Imagine if a referendum on Scotland's independence had been scheduled for the beggining of Sept 2011! :-)