We Should be More ‘British’ Says Tory Cameron – So Should Americans!
By: Warner Todd Huston
Several years ago, I wrote an article in which I urged our school systems to teach Americanism so that we could reestablish our American culture. I remember several letters scolding me for this notion, but I got far more agreeing with my main point; without our shared American culture we cannot stand as a nation.
I got one letter from a Brit extolling the virtues of his country saying that they didn’t “need to be British.” He said that it was fully accepted that being British was a meaningless construct and they didn’t need to be “British” there like we need to be “American” here. He was proud that they were somehow past all that “stuff and nonsense.”
Then came the bombings of 7/7.
Now comes the young leader of the British Conservatives, David Cameron, making the self-same argument I made back in 2002, but for his own countrymen. He feels they must be taught “Britishness” once again.
According to The Daily Mail, Cameron said that History should be taught properly in schools as a way of teaching immigrants what it means to be British. “You do not earn respect by constantly denigrating and repudiating your own culture,” Cameron said.
“This does not mean we have to gloss over all the things we are not entirely proud of, but we should at least celebrate the many positive things Britain has achieved both at home and abroad,” he added.
Cameron made his remarks in a keynote speech to a high-level seminar on Islam to expound upon his ideas of what to do about their internal problem in preparation for his run for Prime Minister.
And he isn’t alone, the call has been echoed by Tory leader Gordon Brown and Labour ministers, too.
Cameron pinpointed the trouble with radical Imams specifically.
But he hit out at Muslim preachers who “actively encourage cultural separatism”, saying: “Such encouragement is nothing short of passive resistance to our values deliberately designed to keep the Muslim community detached and separate as outsiders in their own country.”
And he warned that separatist Muslim communities are bad for everyone. “Those Muslim communities that choose to hold themselves apart will struggle to prosper and thrive in this country.”
As the Daily Mail continued, â€œMr Cameron blamed the rise of multiculturalism for undermining the British sense of identity, saying: â€˜It has instead fostered indifference by treating faith communities as monolithic blocks rather than individual citizens.â€™â€ Cameron went on to say that a â€œdeliberate weakening of our collective identity in Britainâ€ had been the result.
He said: “The challenge now is to create a positive vision of a British society that really stands for something and makes people want to be a part of it.”
Hear, hear Mr. Cameron. Now if only we could get him to stop pandering to the hate the USA crowd over there and we might have an ally to replace Tony Blair!
Still, Cameron urged Britain to follow the example of the U.S. that had succeeding in achieving a real sense of “what it means to be an American.” The first nice thing I ever heard him say of us!
Several days later The Daily Mail revealed a new plan to try and bring some “Britishness” to immigrants and natural citizens alike.
Teenagers may be called on to attend citizenship ceremonies side by side with immigrants under plans to improve relations with the newcomers.
They would be asked to go to their local town hall to pledge allegiance to the Queen, just as immigrants must do to win British citizenship.
The idea is to establish a bond between those born here and those who choose to make Britain their home.
In this story, Her Majesty’s Government is trying to inculcate a feeling of belonging and inclusion, a feeling of being British to immigrants who are flooding into too many areas turning those areas into virtual foreign enclaves inside Britain.
The importance of newcomers learning English was also highlighted in the report.
The commission wants lessons for those who speak only their homeland language to reduce isolation among some minority groups and encourage integration.
The commission, set up by Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly in the aftermath of the July 7 bombings two years ago, condemned many of the practices carried out for years in the name of anti-racism – which have cost millions in taxpayers’ and lottery money.
Unfortunately, the Labour Party seems to think that the problem is that government subsidies are the problem all too often, but at least there is an admission that “Britishness” is a requirement for the safety, health and wellbeing of the nation.
Now, if this idea has finally been broached and talked about seriously in what some ridicule as Britainistan, let us hope that the left leaning Democrat Party in the USA can get a hint of this concept and join American Conservatives in an attempt to revive our own flagging culture.
If the UK can teach â€œBritishnessâ€ there is no reason why we cannot teach Americanism.