‘Integration, integration, integration’

‘Integration, integration, integration’


Written by: Jon Burnett

Does Eric Pickles’ integration speech last week foretell an emphasis on a new patriotism?

Communities secretary Eric Pickles gave his first speech on integration last week, at an event hosted by the think-tanks British Future and Policy Exchange. Arguing that language was the cornerstone of Conservative integration strategy, he vowed to tackle the ‘statist’ policies which, he said, had effectively held people back from learning English. Up to £140 million a year is spent by the public sector on translating documents into foreign languages, Pickles claimed. And ‘instead of millions lost in translation services, next year [the government will be] ploughing millions into an English language service’. On the same day that the speech was delivered, he announced the launch of a competition in which businesses, charities and groups can bid to deliver English language lessons. These will be whittled down to four deliverers, which will eventually share £6 million between them.

According to Pickles, this is about ‘remov[ing] the bureaucracy’ and ‘us[ing] people power so people can do things for themselves’. ‘We all miss out, our country is the poorer’, he said, when people cannot speak the language, deftly sidestepping the fact that he is part of the same government that attempted to force massive cuts on English for Speakers of Other languages (ESOL) provision. This is about letting ‘localism loose’, Pickles maintained, but this is a localism which sees no contradiction between making money available for four key organisations to deliver language programmes while local community-based language classes up and down the country are collapsing as a result of local authority cuts.

Pickles’ conception of integration parallels the coalition’s welfare reforms, relying as it does on a mythology that welfare rewards idleness. The insinuation is that translation services are for the feckless, and its provision acts as a disincentive to learn the language. Praising the ‘success’ of Britain’s immigrants of old – ‘from the Jews of the East End to Leicester’s Ugandans’ – he said that it was ‘Their ambition … Their determination … To come to the party … To grab success … To pick up a dictionary rather than relying on a translator … That made them a vital part of the British family.’ The implication is that by tearing down the ‘old Whitehall walls’, and putting integration services in the hands of social enterprises, the ‘good’ immigrants, the entrepreneurs, the go-getters, the immigrants with values will benefit.

And how else to instill these values? That remains to be seen, but ironically, despite all the talk of localism, the signs are that these will be centrally framed. For Pickles, they reside in a patriotic fervour which will be built upon the ground which was laid last year. ‘No-one in this country will ever forget 2012’, he explains. ‘Jubilee jamborees, street parties, music marathons.The special magic Olympian and Paralympian gold rush.’ Last year was the year that the voiceless found their voice, he says. It was the year that ‘demonstrated why we can celebrate the common threads that unite us’; the year ‘we seized the union flag from extremists and thugs’.

Integration, judging by Pickles’ speech, is to be aligned to the construction of a new sense of the ‘British family’. This is a definition of integration which will champion faith communities and defend ‘British liberties of freedom of religion’, he says, especially at a time when ‘Christians are under attack for their beliefs in different parts of the world.’ The armed forces are some of the standard bearers for the values which Pickles wants instilled, as ‘Few people have a greater sense of responsibility than our brave armed forces and it’s been another of my priorities to build that sense of responsibility – particularly amongst our young people.’ Meanwhile, projects which bring people together – ideally, it seems, those prompting jingoism – are held as the key to uniting communities. ‘The Jubilee Hour’, for example, ‘offered a perfect demonstration of integration in action. Millions gave up 60 minutes, to mark 60 years worth of service by Her Majesty. Just like our Majesty, they often went above and beyond.’

‘Integration. Integration. Integration’ will be the mantra of 2013, Pickles says. It is a year when patriotism will be firmly back on the agenda.


Read an IRR News story: ‘Learn the language – how?

Read an IRR News story: ‘Small victory for ESOL learners

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

2 thoughts on “‘Integration, integration, integration’

  1. This is part of the neo-assimilationist trajectory long been pursued by Cameron (speech attacking multiculturalism in Germany), and New Labour, with Black entrepreneurs and placemen co-opted

  2. Anyone from this planet who thinks immigrants of different colours, creeds, religions can mix and integrate really is deluded and deranged. Interestingly God sent different colour, creed, religion people to separate regions of the world to survive and flourish in peace, this is written in the Holy bible and the Holy Quran. We were taught it in school Religious lessons, as they were then known. Strange how no religious leaders ever mention this but it also shows just how wise God is and what fools have now become our leaders. ”Multiculturalism just erodes a country’s identity and kills the native population’s morale” I would love to see you make that comment to an Aboriginal Australian and hear what their reply to you would be! Now multi-culturalism doesn’t work??? Once upon a time our forefathers went into the third world and taught them to accept multi-culturalism coz it suited them at the time. Now it doesn’t work coz it is at our door step and its our turn to accept it. The fact is that some of us here are pure racists. Multiculturalism is the tool used by multinationals (globalists) to divide and conquer

    What does integrating mean? Muslims are not embracing western life’. What do we do? In our free time us English go down the pubs and get smashed, do the same in clubs, sleep with random people and as a result have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe. Can anybody please tell me what integration means? other then speak English!!! The Jews did their best to integrate in Germany. They even took German names! Look how far it got them. If the Muslims try to integrate, the Germans/British will complain about the ‘pollution’ of their identity once again. I wonder how many English people were saying “Multi-Culturalism does not work” when they were busy invading and taking over other people’s countries!? India, the Africa, the Americas, Australia, to name but a few. I wonder how many English people are saying “Multi Culturalism does not work” when they are busy sunning themselves in the south of Spain, speaking only English, eating in English restaurants, drinking in English bars, and complaining that not all Spaniards speak English!? Monkey see? Monkey do? And what is English culture, anyhow!? Our football teams are full of foreign players and some are owned by foreign owners, Christian Church attendance has dwindled, we love our curries (influenced by Indian food), we holiday abroad often…so I really would like somebody to define to me what is English culture, these days. If you mean by integration going down to the pub with the lads, getting drunk, picking up a few girls, and then on Sunday maybe going to church – then I’m sure that Muslims will not integrate.

    There are about seven million foreign residents living in Germany. Some 4.3 million of these are Muslim and there are more than 3,000 mosques across Germany.’ just look at what European immigration has done to the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa etc. Not to mention the expat Brit ghettos and communities in Spain and France who try tirelessly to get British television and British food and hang out with Brits, all because immigrants came to Britain. The German method of integration is to invade and occupy. Oh so integration and multiculturalism has failed ? Have you ever visited Leicester, Manchester, Birmingham or Coventry ? I see lots of different nationalities getting along just fine, and a wonderful cultural nightlife with different types of restaurants, people, and clubs. “multiculturalism is destroying Britain’s culture and heritage”. What does that mean? And what does F. Merkel mean by, “we feel bound to the Christian image of humanity- that is what defines us. Those who do not accept this are in the wrong place here”. How many people go to church on a regular basis in the UK? How many people believe in God and his Son, Jesus Christ? Would it be fair to force someone settling in the UK to give up their religious beliefs just because we have collectively lost our own faith? As for our culture and heritage, what is that? Is it gawping at “The X Factor” on a Saturday night and debating who was the best turn? Do the folk of the sprawling council estate have anything in common with the folk of Wentworth Estate? To me it is a breathe of fresh air mingling with different creeds and cultures in public spaces. The British white majority isn’t a unified group – always squabbling and bickering. Some live on council estates with a couple of thousand others with a net worth of about a fiver, and others on country estates with spouse and a couple of kids with a net worth of tens of millions – the former do not mix well with the latter and vice versa. In fact in the UK, the better off go to great lengths to segregate themselves from the impoverished – different schools, neighbourhoods, gated communities, different hobbies and clubs etc. In no uncertain terms, different cultures. We have been living in a dysfunctional multicultural society for centuries the thing being it is not religion or skin colour that differentiates, rather wealth.

    Immigrants didn’t come on their own, people here have very short memories, the very people you blaming helped defend British empire on Burma front against Japanese and on many African fronts in WWI&II, further after devastating destruction in WWII, people were invited from combined India and West Indies to help with reconstruction and people migrated from early 50s and some have their 3rd and 4th generation in here, yet total migrants from India don’t make 5% of total. But with E.U. borders open, 600,000 just Polish moved in and that only with in 5 years, that surpass the number of original migrants lets say from Pakistan in 60 years. Furthermore, common wealth countries were part of British empire and helped G.B in many ways, I always think how fair it is migration door closed on them and were opened on Europe esp. E.E.U states many of which fought against Allied and had no participation in construction of Britain rather destruction. Yes It was OK when the English occupied most of the world and we could impose our own culture at the expense of destroying the cultures and heritages of others. This was OK but when the boot is on the other foot? Multiculturism is only a disaster when you want it to be. I definitely agree that they should be encouraged learn English when they come here to help everyone integrate. However, they shouldn’t be forced to speak it in public. I wonder how many people just confuse foreign people choosing to speak in their own language with them actually being unable to speak English.

    Perhaps Merkel has forgotten the role that the Turkish immigrants played in rebuilding Germany after the war. Talk about being un grateful. Same applies to some of our own population – a few decades ago we were begging people to leave their homelands and come and help us rebuild. Okay, we did leave that door open for a bit too long in recent years. They are here now, and we need to make the best of it. As for the ‘go back home’ brigade, if everyone ‘went back home’, then the UK would be swamped to a much greater extent than now with people from the Americas, New Zealand and Australia to name a few.

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