sound you hear is of screeching brakes and the smell
is burning rubber.
Not since Starsky and Hutch sped off into the sunset
has there been such a profusion of spectacular handbrake
One by the one the nostrums of New Labour are being
ground into the Tarmac in a Gaderene stampede for
the moral high ground.
Whether it's Muslim women in veils or sex education
in schools, ministers are throwing the gears into
Reading the papers these days is like being a witness
at one long show trial as Left-wing politicians line
up to recant just about everything they've ever believed
Yet it's entirely consistent with the Government's about-turn
on multiculturalism in the past few weeks. It was Jack Straw,
the honourable member for Bangalore East, who kicked off
the debate about the veil.
This was a man who had previously missed no opportunity
to jet off to the Indian sub-continent for a photo opportunity
in a headscarf intended to ingratiate himself with his Muslim
I can remember him, when Foreign Secretary, being asked
on television if some deal or other was in the offing in
Brussels. "Inshallah [if Allah wills it]," he
Meanwhile Peter Hain, the Cuprinol Kid - once the very incarnation
of right-on, overgrown student politics - has described
as 'loopy' the refusal of British Airways to let a devout
Christian female employee to wear a cross, even though Sikhs
can wear turbans and Muslims are allowed scarves.
The Government has also woken up to the dangers of Islamic
societies in higher education being used to foment radicalism,
something of which Melanie Phillips has been warning for
donkey's years while being dismissed as a Zionist madwoman.
If John Reid moves any further to the Right, he'll have
to start turning up at the Home Office in a peaked cap,
blackshirt and jodhpurs, clicking his calf-length boots
and cracking his riding crop.
(Mind you, in Reid's case the spiritual leap from Communism
to Fascism is but one short step.)
On the morality front, we've had the Pensions Minister observing
that maybe a stable marriage is the best way to bring up
children and a report on sex education calling for the notion
of restraint to be taught at long last.
This is straight from the Daily Mail song sheet, but until
recently was considered heresy.
I first noticed this peculiar trend back in August, when
I returned from a week's holiday to discover Polly Toynbee,
the Guardian's high priestess of bien-pensant cant, declaring
that perhaps unfettered, uncontrolled immigration wasn't
such a good idea after all.
In the space of a few days, the Director of Public Prosecutions
announced that the justice system was skewed in favour of
criminals and that the legal establishment should stop patronising
the public in general and victims in particular.
This was followed by the head of the Health and Safety Commission
admitting that all this risk-assessment business had got
a bit out of hand, just as the skies were darkened by a
squadron of flying pigs banking steeply to the right.
You could have found any of these opinions in this column
and this newspaper at any time over the past decade. But
the Mail is routinely vilified and, for my trouble, I find
myself smeared as a beyond-the-pale, BNP recruiting sergeant.
So should we celebrate this startling change of heart on
the part of New Labour and the Guardianistas?
Not so fast. I suppose if any of this were sincere it might
be an occasion for a couple of large ones. But I suspect
that it's just so much opportunist expediency.
These are, after all, the very people who got us into this
mess in the first place. When some of us said that multi-culturalism
was a disastrous doctrine, which meant always having to
say you were sorry, we were called 'racist'. Now even the
head of the Commission for Racial Equality agrees.
outrageously offensive 'when did you stop beating
your wife?' campaign, the clear implication was that
those who refused to sign the document were officially
The same politicians who are now scratching their
heads over the evils of multi-culturalism and the
rise of Islamic extremism are those who for the past
20 years have ruthlessly pursued a 'diversity' agenda,
encouraging cultural apartheid, elevating foreign
religions and practices - however odious - and treating
Christians as pariahs.
I can't recall the Cuprinol
Kid ever denouncing Labour councils tearing down Christmas
trees and banning hot cross buns as 'loopy' even though
that was the clear policy of his own party. Perhaps
I might be able to summon a smidgen of respect for
Jack Straw if, instead of grumbling about the veil,
his craven government conjured up the courage to prosecute
Islamist maniacs preaching death on the streets of
Race Card Again!
It all started when the
mischievous Commission for Racial Equality
(CRE) approached the leaders of the political
parties and asked them jointly to sign a declaration
that they would not "exploit" the
race issue during the election.
What all of these leaders should have done
was tell the CRE to "get stuffed"
However, we could hardly expect Labour or
the Liberal Democrats to do this.
We might - just might - in saner times have
hoped that the Tory leader would have done.
Hague just was not up to it.
He signed too.
What we're seeing is a bunch of cheap headlines and 'eye-catching'
initiatives because Labour is rattled
and worried about losing the next election. So while Call
Me Dave pitches his tent on the pink pastures of the mythical
'centre ground', Labour embarks on a cynical populist path
designed explicitly to appeal to Middle Britain.
Are we going to see a dismantling of the burgeoning 'diversity'
industry, or a genuine revival of morality in sex education,
or Budget measures to reinforce the traditional family?
Of course not. The Guardianistas who run all our institutions
from the police to the adoption agencies aren't going to
make themselves redundant.
Under the radar, the relentless assault will advance apace,
the ratchet will be wrenched back still further and that
squadron of flying pigs will come crashing back to earth
with a very nasty thump before being run over by an illegal
immigrant in a hoodie executing a handbrake turn in a stolen