British Values Day, One More Time

The people who grouped themselves together under the New Labour brand identity had many, many stupid ideas, one of which was the proposal for British Values Day (also, especially) which they served up from time to time.

But even New Labour’s stupidest ideas aren’t too stupid for the Coalition, which is now making plans to abolish the Virtual Stoa’s favourite bank holiday–May Day–and replace it with a BVD-themed UK Day, appropriately enough in October, when everyone’s beginning to feel cold and miserable.

H/t, Simon.

5 thoughts on “British Values Day, One More Time”

  1. The Coalition Prime Minister has also been telling the Germans that multiculturalism has “failed” (around the same time that a major EDL demonstration is taking place in Luton, incidentally).

    Angela Merkel of course said the same thing last year. It does make one especially worried that our leaders do not have enough of a basic grasp of modern politics and society to understand why to even talk of multicultralism as “failed” in the context of present society is to wholly misunderstand the phenomenon in question, and to completely fail to grasp the historical legacies and political situations of early-21st century west European states.

    I’m keen to know what they think will “succeed”, and what should therefore “replace” multiculturalism.

    Assuming, of course, that this isn’t just thinly-disguised xeneophobia playing to a mild-to-middling racist gallery. Which is probably a bad assumption to be making.

  2. The only mention of the M-word in Cameron’s speech is this:

    *** Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values. ***

  3. 1. That will teach me to trust BBC headlines and articles to be accurate summaries of political speeches.

    2. Nonetheless, I think I have a point. I guess Cameron could be interpreted as urging a renewed attempt to “make multiculturalism work”. But given who he’s addressing, and where, and the fact that generally he’s trying to suck up to Merkel after what his stupid party did re EU Parliament alliances, and what was said in Germany last year…I rather suspect that the “illocutionary force” (if you like) of what Cameron is saying is broadly in line with the intentions I’m attributing to him.

  4. I’ve always thought of multiculturalism as living in harmonious diversity, and not, as Cameron seems to think, some form of apartheid.

    And of course they can’t abolish May Day. The first of May is both an age-old spring festival and a day for celebrating worker’s rights and struggles. But I suppose that’s too multicultural for some?

  5. Abolishing May Day is an idea that toryboy types often like to come up with, usually in a year with a late Easter, when it does end up clustering holidays in a way that offends small minds. The idea tends to last about five minutes, which is just enough time to find out how many village May Fairs there are in the home counties (answer: bloody millions), and how much trouble their organisers can make in their local Conservative parties (answer: quite a lot).

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