Monday, 16 April 2012

Patriotism and Scoundrels

Muscular Liberalism; a headline – grabber for Cameron, or a sea-change for relations in the UK?

David Cameron chose to reopen the debate on Multiculturalism with a speech espousing the new philosophy of ‘Muscular Liberalism’.

"Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism," the prime minister said.

Something else happened on that day – Saturday 5th February – The EDL, the right-wing fascist group which is almost interchangeable with the British National Party, was holding one of its biggest demonstrations in Luton.
A coincidence, or was Cameron doing the age-old pander by the Conservatives to to maintain their standing on the right-wing. Hard to believ that Cameron’s advisors at least weren’t aware of the demonstration. If they did, why wasn't some form of reference to it made in his speech? But no, not a word for them from Cameron; nothing about their non-Britishness, etc. Which once again makes it appear that Muslims are being singled out with the label of extremism, whilst publicly declared extremists walk the streets, with often Muscular protectionism from the Police (I know, cos I’ve been there).

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim youth group The Ramadhan Foundation, said: "The speech by British Prime Minister David Cameron MP fails to tackle the stooge of the fascists EDL and the BNP. Singling out Muslims as he has done feeds the hysteria and paranoia about Islam and Muslims.’

This is a live debate, and one that can have a deep impact upon the daily lives of all those living in the UK.

That’s why writing on the Wall, always keen to keep people informed of relevant, cutting edge issues, has invited one of the UK’s greatest poets, Benjamin Zephaniah, to deliver its 2012 festival Rebel Rant on ‘Multiculturalism or Muscular Liberalism’

Benjamin contacted us a couple of days ago after picking up on some of the news from Liverpool that there are three right-wing candidates standing for Mayor.

Benjamin writes:

‘I’m really looking forward to being back in Liverpool.  I was Writer in Residence at the Africa Arts Collective back in 1987 and I have a real fondness for the city.  It’s kind of ironic that I will be speaking on Multiculturalism on the day of the Mayoral Elections.’

I understand there is a NF candidate, no doubt calling for British jobs for British people and all that rubbish.  Don’t  get me wrong I’m angry  at rising employment and the fact that a whole layer of young  people are being consigned to the scrap heap but immigration is not to blame.’

‘If people really understood the facts and the benefits of multiculturalism and what it’s done for this country they would know it’s a good thing. Can you imagine the NHS without immigration?  I accept that people are angry. So am I, but we need to focus that anger on the people who’ve caused the current economic mess with their infinite greed and not on each other.’

Join the debate with writing on the Wall and Benjamin Zephaniah on Tuesday 1st May at St Georges Hall, 7.30pm.

Venue: Small Concert Room, St Georges Hall
Tickets are available from
The Unity Theatre box office,
1 Hope Place,
L1 9BG
Tel: 0844 873 2888 or Click Here to buy online.

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