Thursday, 7 January 2010

Responding to Lord Carey's Times Opinion

The UK should have an effective immigration policy and those who migrate to these Islands should respect our values and diverse traditions – including our Christian heritage. Abiding by our laws is also a must.

Unfortunately, Lord Carey has ventured unwisely beyond such issues in today’s Times to discuss the supposed ‘DNA of our nation’. Paradoxically, for someone so intent on putting others through hoops as they arrive on our shores, he seems to be remarkably unaware of the cultural and political diversity of modern Britain.

His sense of the ‘DNA of our nation’ will not be shared by many good British citizens of different faiths and of none. The UK now also has three devolved Governments containing parties with a sense of national identity that isn’t primarily British. This reality impacts increasingly on faith communities. The notion that migrants to Wales should be made to believe that they live in a country with an established church is as quaint as it is erroneous. Wales has no established church.

Lord Carey’s discussion around matters of faith is deeply problematic. Migrants who wish to enter the UK lawfully cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their religion or belief. His comments regarding Sharia Law and ghettos are also unhelpful. If the right of the established Church of England to regulate its own affairs through Canon Law belongs to the very DNA of a nation and if Judaism’s use of Beth Din Courts to resolve civil disputes is deemed beneficial, the lawful exercise of Sharia Law by Muslims cannot be demeaned merely as an exercise appertaining to a 'ghetto'. If faith communities are to be viewed mainly through the prism of their extremists, most will stand condemned.

Crucially, the campaign for Balanced Migration has missed the point in seeking to counter the BNP. It’s not the 70 million too many that bother the BNP: it’s their view of the ethnicity of the one that’s too many. Conversations around the supposed ‘DNA of our nation’ and the ‘nature’ of those who wish to come here have now provided an already obese creature with the comfort of a slightly larger belt.

Lord Carey's Opinion:

1 comment:

Peter said...

Thanks Aled, you make the point with cogent argument and passion. Lord Carey seems to be unable to retire from the media spotlight.