The speech that David Cameron gave today at the Munich Security Conference on multiculturalism and our national response to domestic extremism was both important and timely.
As well as specifically addressing the current international and domestic terrorism threat the PM also spoke about our internal national relationship and the increasing unwillingness of reasonable people to recognise and defend those elements of British culture that we value. Fairness, tolerance, rule of law, free speech etc. are important to us as a society and it is both right and reasonable to say that those living under our national protection and sharing in our country’s prosperity should also abide by these norms.
The speech was measured in its tone and calm in its delivery, yet it did not stop the Shadow Justice Secretary describing it as “propaganda for the EDL“, it really come to something when saying that we should not tolerate extremism is called “far right propaganda”. You can watch elements of the speech here, and you can draw your own conclusions as to how much comfort the EDL can take from it.
The racist organisations like the EDL or BNP are fearful that other races, religions or cultures are destroying Britishness, this demonstrates a fundamental failure to understand the very nation that they believe themselves to be defending. As I wrote back in 2006 “We have managed to stay British through immigration from the Romans, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Huguenots, Jews, Irish, West Indians, West Africans, East Africans, Indians, Pakistanis etc. etc. etc. Britishness evolved but it did not diminish.”
So, why the cake? It’s a metaphor. The different races, religions and cultures that make up the population of the UK are like the ingredients in a cake recipe, on their own they are a list of disparate elements, it only becomes a cake when they are mixed together.