Cameron’s neighbourhood-friendly, pub-going, ‘good’ immigrant
Cameron’s comments are aimed at integrating Muslims into secular Britain
On April 14 2011 in a speech to party members Cameron highlighted that there should be a tightening of the rules for immigration and that sham marriages and bogus colleges should be monitored more closely. He went on to state that he wanted to cut immigration to ‘tens of thousands’ a year.
Although Cameron gave token praise for the part immigrants play in keeping Britain functioning the more notable parts of his speech were not about statistics but about values.
Cameron was clear on the effect ‘mass’ immigration was having on the very fabric of Britain, he said it was ‘wrecking’ communities. He said communities are bound by “common experiences, forged by friendship and conversation, knitted together by all the rituals of the neighbourhood, from the school-run to the chat down the pub”
He continued “These bonds can take time, so real integration takes time. That’s why, when there have been significant numbers of new people arriving in neighbourhoods – perhaps not able to speak the same language as those living there, on occasions not really wanting or even willing to integrate”
Cameron admitted himself he wanted ‘good immigration’ and not ‘mass immigration’.
From his comments it is clear what a ‘good’ immigrant is – someone that not only speaks English but someone one can have a pint with. It seems Cameron is dictating the bounds of integration or ‘Britishness’ and whether your neighbourhood friendly immigrant frequents the local pub is a nice rule of thumb to judge his tendency to integrate by. The only community that would find such a thing offensive is the Muslim community, which is regularly accused of not integrating.
The prejudice against Muslims is so pervasive that there is no longer any need to even mention the words Muslim or Islam. Indeed, Islam or Muslims were not mentioned once by Cameron yet from the issues he addressed it was self evident that these comments were in large part directed at the Muslims. It is ironic that only a few months ago Cameron’s party chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi warned that prejudice against Muslims has “passed the dinner–table test” and become socially acceptable in the UK.
These comments are just a continuation of the pressure being applied on the Muslims of Europe to secularise – that is Muslims must adopt western values if they want to be accepted by the wider society. With the Burqa ban in France and Cameron’s vision for a good immigrant it is clear that only a non-Islamic personality is socially acceptable.