Years ago, I was at school with a chap named Paul Vallely who is now a writer and occasional broadcaster. He has written in The Independent about the success or otherwise of multi-culturalism in Luton. It seems that the people there mostly have a positive outlook but that there is an underlying wariness about problems being exaggerated and distorted by extremists and the media. But his article highlights the rapid social change there has been in the last forty years or so, which I think is probably reflected throughout the UK. In any case, Paul is clear about where reponsibility for the current social decline lies:
- 'The globalisation of economics has been driven by a distinctly Anglo-Saxon form of capitalism. The individualism which flourished with the affluence of the 1960s after a decade of postwar austerity had nothing to do with ethnic minorities. The decline of forms of social solidarity including the family, trade unions and the church are greater among the white than minority communities. The ethic of materialism which has undermined notions of society and the common good – and turned us from citizens into consumers – has been led by whites. So was the rise of secular scientific rationalism. So was the Thatcherite elevation of the free market above traditional values in conservatism. So is the tabloid culture of sex, fear, greed and speed evidenced in everything from the Sun to the loathsome Jeremy Clarkson.'
He's got a point there. Discuss.