Bend over...

May 30, 2024By Pete North


I think a lot of the debate about integration is wrong. 

Dr Rakib Ehsan (@rakibehsan) is close to the mark, pointing out that Muslims have no desire to integrate with metropolitan social liberalism (any more that the rest of the silenced majority do!), and their political power is born from their community solidarity, which is ultimately rooted in family - which makes them closer to British conservatism than anything that wears conservatism as a skinsuit in British politics.

As such, if we had a functioning doctrinal centre-right conservative party, it would be the natural home for British Muslims. 

There are those who say Muslims don't integrate. And I've certainly been one of them, and there's a lot of justifiable criticism that can be levelled at Pakistani Muslims in particular. But the case in point is Bradford. Bradford has a reputation of being one of Britain's top contenders to be the location where the Great British Enema hose is to be inserted. 

It is, but not for the reasons you might think. The poor city planning choices of Bradford council did more damage to Bradford than the Blitz on the east end of London. In the inner city suburbs, though, Muslims have gradually transformed Bradford.  If Britain is a "nation of shopkeepers", then they've integrated just fine (to a point, at least). 

In fact, they've done more to regenerate places like Bradford than any central government funded schemes, largely through their own enterprising nature. All we hear from pundits is about  "death of the high street" - but that's just not true of Muslim areas, which now have thriving proto-high streets, with modern anglicised shopfronts. Rows of shops that were derelict when I was a kid. 

The point @rakibehsan makes is that there's not much about British culture they would actually want to integrate with. Certainly that's true when white lower working class culture has a dangerously unhealthy relationship with alcohol. But actually, I think the problem is that it's the white working class who are no longer integrated into anything.

Community, faith and nation have been gutted by post-nation liberals, and much of the resentment towards Muslims is rooted in the fact that they seem to have the community and political coherence that we used to have, but can no longer aspire to. 

The question, therefore, is how we rebuild it. I think only National Conservatism can do that, because it's the only ideology willing to attack the causes of our social disintegration. Namely, the welfare state, which substitutes family bonds for the managerial state. It's our cradle to grave dependence on the state that robs us of our political powers. It's also our lack of aspiration, content with being employees rather than business owners. We need a new spirit of entrepreneurialism and a tax regime that lets small businesses keep what they make. 

That is not to say there isn't a problem with integration among Muslims, but as I keep saying, the problem is white middle class liberals whose multiculturalist dogma has created, encouraged and exacerbated political separatism, and abandonment of borders has basically chucked petrol on the bonfire.

I keep thinking about that Rayner clip in which she grovels at the feet of Muslims. We hear a lot of talk about "British Muslims" (and there are plenty of them who are soundly integrated) but what we're dealing with here isn't British Muslims at all. Rayner is pandering to foreign squatters. They are foreigners with foreign accents who shouldn't even be here - who not only contribute nothing to British life, they contribute nothing to the Muslim communities they nest in.

As such, policy must address itself to the specific problems. We have a lot of "appropriate outplacement" to do, and we have to set boundaries on what we will tolerate from incomers, but we also need a conservative social programme of "levelling up" for the white working class, because ultimately, social mobility starts in the family. On that basis, there is something we could learn from Muslims. I think a lot of the debate about integration is wrong.

Last word to Dr Rakib Ehsan:: "Labour is being hoisted by its own identitarian petard. If you fail to challenge views which claim that Britain suffers from rampant institutional racism and minorities are routinely victimised, don't be surprised when your own institution gets dragged into those accusations." aims to provide efficient and common sense government without the millstone of dogmatic politics