So the time has come to end the Tory war on multiculturalism. Le’s repeat the three reasons why. First, because the word covers so many sins and virtues, and means so many things to so many people, as now to be almost meaningless. Second, because it isn’t helping the Party win votes: winning votes isn’t everything in politics, of course, but it’s more often an aim worth pursuing than not.
Third, because the M-word has become a distraction, a diversion, a dissipation of energies better focused “like a laser beam” on the struggle against extremism and the ideology that underpins it. Tell a group of a hundred people in a mixed-ethnicity marginal that you oppose both, and most will agree. Tell them you oppose multiculturalism – state or otherwise – and you’ll begin an argument that will end on judgement day.
Don’t be against multiculturalism – be for integration. Be for teaching English history in schools. Be for teaching migrants English (even at this time of tight budgets). Be for cutting immigration to the tens of thousands. Be for a national holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday. I should have seen before the Munich speech that a single word in it would compromise the effectiveness of all the others.