Politicians Say Race And Colour Don’t Matter In 2018. I Think They Are Wrong. I Have Never Felt So White, And So Outnumbered
Something’s been bothering me.
A little niggle at the back of my mind – like the sort you get when you aren’t sure you actually took the key out the door after you locked it, or have bad news to tell someone and know it isn’t going to go well.
It’s about the little girl, the five year old, sent to live with a Muslim family in Tower Hamlets after being taken from her mother by police over concerns for her safety.
Reports said she was sent back to the foster home sobbing, scared of the woman in her nicab with her face covered, isolated in an Arabic-speaking home where no one understood, or cared for the person she used to be.
We heard how she was forbidden from eating pork, her crucifix necklace removed and her Christian upbringing slung out the door, to be replaced with her new Islamic one.
And it triggered something in me, and many others.
More indoctrination. More take-over. More of the new, trampling rough-shod over everything we were.
And in we all waded, yelping like dogs on hot coals, outraged that even our children are not safe from the Muslim takeover of Britain.
How dare Tower Hamlets take ‘one of ours’ and turn her into ‘one of theirs’? What the hell is happening to our country when we are prepared for foster parents to indoctrinate our own kids? As if it’s not hard enough that our schools try to brainwash kids, in Tower Hamlets foster parents are at it too.
I can’t pretend I didn’t think these things. They aren’t pleasant things to write. But I think they are honest.
And I was right there alongside, tub-thumping at Tower Hamlets council for letting our daughters down, demanding the child be returned, celebrating Judge Khatun Sapnara whose clear thinking restored calm, allowed the press into the court and created a clear judgement, published in full for all to see.
She was the cold water on the flames. She was the sort of law I believe in. She was an example of how leadership works. No agenda, only honest listening, clarity and answers.
And with a cooler heads I saw less red. And more truth;
A little girl who had spent six months with two Muslims families, one providing respite for the other to go on holiday,
A little girl rescued from her own mothers addiction to alcohol, possible cocaine addiction and arrest for prostitution to finance her habit,
And a little girl now to be placed in the care of her maternal grandmother, a (non-practising) Muslim who does not speak English, who will require a translator and wants to return to her country of origin.
And us all, clamouring for her to be returned to her rightful religion, her rightful home. Satisfied when she was back in the cuddly arms of her grandma. Only to find out, that picture wasn’t quite as cosy as we thought.
It is all very well her mother wanting a Christian upbringing for her baby girl, and speaking of a little cross on a necklace being confiscated, or her favourite carbonara dish being disallowed, but were those really the truths of that little five year old? Carbonara and crucifixes?
If the Christianity she had known was the answer, why did the police need to take her away for her own safety?
And if fostering to a Muslim family was really so problematic, with their inability to speak English and curious dress, why does the maternal grandmother need a translator. And why is she not resident in the UK?
Nothing really added up. And that’s because it couldn’t. We took one little girls life, and extrapolated it out into every bit of hurt and anger we feel about Britain today. There is no logic to be found there.
I know where my anger comes from. It is the feeling of being under attack in my own country. It is the 2012 census showing white Britons are become a minority in their capital and the Muslim population doubled. And that in nearly three million homes in England and Wales not one person speaks English as their main language.
It is the remarkable disappearance of Christianity from Britain, where Muslim births outnumber Christians by 4 to 1.
This turnaround driven in part by the fact that Christian populations are ageing. In Europe, deaths are expected to outnumber births in the years to come. In Germany alone there were an estimated 1.4 million more Christian deaths than births between 2010 and 2015.
It is the history of electoral fraud at Tower Hamlets, challenging any faith we may have held in the role of public office. And it is the wider context of a malevolent London where terror only ever feels one lucky escape away, no matter how much we ‘carry on as normal’ or ‘refuse to be beaten by terror’ as the leaders with their 24/7 security and intelligence briefings purport.
And yet none of these worries can be spoken about, openly. So they are squashed into an angry corner, waiting to flare. Just like they did when a little five year old girl somehow became symbolic of all of that, scratching a thin veneer covering deep hostilities.
I know where my anger is directed. It is not at any one religion. Shouting ‘islamophobe’ is lazy at best.
It is at the politicians, leaders and public figures who refuse to acknowledge the glaring divide in this country, between the old-think and new. Between patriots and globalists. Between Zones 1-4 and real Britain outside. Between trying to pretend multiculturalism is the solution. And acknowledging tolerance is worn past thin.
It is directed at Sir Martin Narey, the government’s official adviser on fostering who says he is publishing a report which will make ethnicity and religion a secondary issue. ‘Skin colour and religion do not matter in 2018’.
Yes they do, Sir. They matter more than any time I have known precisely because of people like you refusing to listen outside the echo-chamber of London.
Just because you are writing a report with ‘approved thought’ for recipients who have swallowed the ‘approved thinking’ handbook whole, does not make it the reality of regular Brits in England today.
Race and religion really matter.
I have never felt so white in all my life. Brilliant white, mayo-jar white. Becky with the not-so-good-hair-white. ‘All whites are racist’, (according to one ex L’Oreal Model). Perhaps anyone of colour maybe feeling the same way about their colour too.
And religion really matters too. Not because I am a Christian, far from it. I’d burst into flames if I set foot in a church. But because I am not Muslim – and that matters to me for mundane reasons. As an outsider, I don’t subscribe to the habits or norms of a faith that I observe in daily life.
I don’t agree with women being covered, or homosexuality being frowned on. And I don’t think girls should marry their cousin or a man have twice the say, or four times as many partners. And segregation of girls in places of learning or worship makes me crazy. And that’s before the endless terror threat which sits squarely with extremist Islamist beliefs.
Religion matters. Colour matters.
Not because of anything I think or say. The opposite in fact, it is because of the things we are no longer allowed to say. Mandatory multiculturalism has manifest in our society as a series of ruptures and fault lines, where hot thoughts seethe through.
Instead of a melting pot of everything, it has forced the way we identify, the truths of us, to be asserted more strongly.
Suddenly I am more white. And the family over there seems more Muslim. And one report from a man with Sir for a title is not going to change that.
And my anger is also directed at the mother of the child. Not a shouty anger, but the sort of anger that makes you cry instead. Not for being an addict or arrested for prostitution, drugs have made life complicated and cruel. I am angry that she was just not good enough at being mum. And that has to matter.
And I am also pointing the finger at myself. Asking myself, how it is OK to shout about the indoctrination of a child in Tower Hamlets, when the reality was far more bleak much closer to home. Whatever home may mean to that child.
She’s five. And what is she certain about?
That adults are useless? That home is not one place? That big people will always let you down?
I look at my own children, who come down after a bad dream and cuddle up on the sofa. Or have known two houses, two parents, and two grandparents nearly all their little lives. And have never been left because they are my best thing, and I feel sad.
Sad because in all the big stuff; terror threats, anger at self-serving politicians, enforced multiculturalism and resurgent identity politics – on both the left and right – we lost sight of the thing that actually mattered. Trying to find a safe place for a little girl without a home.
Christianity wasn’t the answer. And religion wasn’t the question. At least it shouldn’t have been.
I strongly believe children should be placed in settings and routines that feel and look familiar – colour and religion are undoubtedly part of that mix, and do matter.
We have learned to our cost that parking un-vetted adult migrants with elderly couples is a bad idea too, even if they do have MBEs.
But they can matter in a good way. Like routine. Or comfy shoes, or music that connects you. Or a smell that makes you think of home. How we chose to identify can be a short cut to finding a place to belong.
The honest truth is that we feel more confident surrounded by people like ourselves – whether that’s an emotional, religious, colour or political thing. It’s why despite Muslims being only 12.4% of the total population, the figure in Tower Hamlets is much closer to 40%. Or why I grew up in a school where, for many years, every child was white.
And that’s kind of fine too, as long as we are are tolerant at the margins and don’t try to change each other. Or hurt each other. Or blow each other up for no reason. That bit definitely needs work and honest conversations right now in the UK.
If we started talking about the anger regular people feel, instead of approved-think repeated over and over by those living securely in splendid isolation from knife and acid, we might be able to solve the problem or reduce the tension.
I say to my children, ‘if you’ve got a problem what do you do?’ ‘Tell mum’.
I’d say the same to the little five year old, who became the centre of a fight that was never really about her, but about big stuff that no one was talking about.
I say to our politicians, Theresa May, Sadiq Khan, we’ve got a problem and we need to start talking about it, and fast.
It is not OK. We are not carrying on as normal. We have no option but to get on with life. That’s not defiance, it is resignation to the failings of people elected to protect us.
People are scared. I am scared for my children, all our children – including that five year old little girl. For god’s sake, stop repeating the same empty lines, and start listening.
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