The Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday challenged “the doctrine of state multiculturalism”, which he claims to have been misguidedly introduced by the previous British government. In an address to the 47th Munich Security Conference, after taking the utmost care to repeatedly stress the differences between the peacefully practiced faith of Islam and the political ideology of Islamic extremism, the PM proceeded to conclude that the “hands-off” and “passive” tolerance contained within the ideal of multiculturalism in fact seeds tensions between groups by allowing them to live “separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream”. The PM demanded that the Islamic population in Britain begin to adopt British values, a position he named “muscular liberalism”. Unsurprisingly, the attack on multiculturalism has provoked angered responses, not least because it coincides with the anti-Islamic protests of the nationalist English Defence League in Luton this weekend.
This week’s political headlines in the UK have been dominated by the emergence on Sunday of reports that a number of staff working at No.10 Downing Street in the office of the Prime Minister had contacted the National Bullying Helpline in response to treatment by their employer. Alongside these reports, the media has widely covered stories recounted in the book of political commentator Andrew Rawnsley, who describes a number of incidents involving Mr Brown, his staff, and apparently toys being thrown out of prams.
Despite Gordon Brown’s temper already being well-known, political debate has, quite predictably in an election year, focussed on the potential for character assassination of the PM. Continue reading “On the Naughty Step, Mr Brown…”