When you hear musicians talking about their country of origins with impoliteness about its cultural make-up you have to consider that something is not quite right.
Either the person in question has been misquoted or has a misunderstanding of what the make-up and heritage situation / circumstances of the United Kingdom is today.
Times change, migrants become part of a culture and therefore, what is deemed to be British changes.
The UK has one of the highest number of curry houses outside of India.
At our nearest supermarket I can buy a variety of foods, from Polish Bread to Mexican tortilla wraps and also a packet of Bombay mix.
The recent outburst from a musician about his view of the UK cultural situation is not new. It does however suggest a mockery of what these people attempt to believe in. It has sparked a debate about immigration, e.g.: The Tory’s have expressed a desire to impose quotas.
A quick history lesson.
During the very early settlement of the British East India Company employees in India, there was a acceptance of the Indian lifestyle.
Over time this situation reversed and a segregated attitude prevailed. Although the British left some infrastructure, e.g.: Buildings, bridges and railways, they did not attempt to understand or appreciate the richness of the culture. An apartied society resulted. A fascinating book and movie is The Far Pavilions. The movie depicts a superiority complex within the British institution of the time.
Today the UK has a wide variety of settlers, travelers, workers and they bring with them the desire to enrich the country they now adopt as their home – investing in housing, savings and both public and private employment. The settlers contribute heavily to the economy. In the case of migrant workers, they may enrich the UK and at the same time the UK is assisting them in building their own European countries in return.
Maybe there is something else going on? A sense of scare mongering. A suggestion that to ‘rock the boat’ is healthy rather than considering the optimistic perspective of communities living together and respecting each others customs.
NB There is a separate argument about the combination of ‘white flight’ and repeated poor investment in selective areas.
So what if you, ‘cannot hear a British accent’ on the streets of London. We live in a world where we need to enjoy the cultural mix.
In addition, we have too many issues to resolve, hunger, poverty and global warming. At a time like this we need to unite around common causes, for example: to harmonise the world from a trading perspective or missing children at home.
I have always considered that there is a hidden in danger in flying the flag to the extreme.
It is interesting that the musician that made the derogatory comments about the UK’s current cultural mix is no longer a British resident.
Singing songs of peace and hope is better than apparent discourses of negativity.
Categories: 2007, Anti-Fascism, anti-racism
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