Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Inclusive or diverse - it's one or the other

Ever wondered about those words? We hear them all the time in politics - the need to be inclusive and celebrate diversity - but what do they actually mean.

The fact is they are mutually exclusive. You can not encourage diversity without affecting inclusiveness because, by doing so, you encourage one group or another to be different and different groups are incapable of being inclusive. It is entirely natural so there is no point in trying to enforce it - that will just deepen the divide.

If you doubt what I am saying then just look at teenagers.

They are ALL teenagers, but they belong to different factions. You've got your hoodies, goths, emos, punks etc. Sometimes their paths cross and they appear altogether - in school, for example - but even then like tends to stick to like. There is no doubt that teenagers are very diverse, but inclusive? Not a chance! But not that long ago - before the term "teenager" was invented - they were essentially all the same. Teenagers were mono-cultural.

This is the essential fault with multiculturalism - you can not encourage a diversity of cultures without it resulting in groups which, because of their diversity, can not include outsiders. Those diverse groups stick with their own - excluding those who do not belong. Then to put the onus on the hosting culture to make more effort to "include" a different group who make no effort on their part to do likewise is not only bound to fail, worse still it is certain to loosen the cohesion of identity which originally brought that nation together.

What results is a number of factions all competing for their slice of the pie - in this case, Britain. Devolution was not the thing that started the collapse of British national identity - multiculturalism was. So when Gordon Brown et al start talking about how they intend to restore "Britishness" you know they do not mean it unless and until they start talking about Britain as a mono-cultural nation.

Diverse OR inclusive - we can be one or the other, but we can not be both.

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