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'Failure' of multiculturalism

Gavin Hewitt | 11:05 UK time, Monday, 18 October 2010

In a speech to young members of her party, Chancellor Merkel at the weekend broke a taboo. She said multiculturalism had "utterly failed".

Up until now mainstream politicians have largely shied away from "identity politics". No longer. The German chancellor was explicit. "This multicultural approach, saying that we simply live side-by-side and live happily with each other has failed. Utterly failed."

Kurdish women in Berlin, 21 Sep 10

To understand this intervention it is worth scrolling back a few weeks. Over the summer the former Bundesbank member Thilo Sarrazin caused a storm of protest with his book Germany Abolishes Itself. His comments about Jews and genetics meant that his views were immediately condemned and he eventually had to resign from the bank.

But the main argument in his book was that Islam did not fit comfortably with Western values. He packed audiences and his book has sold over a million copies. Suddenly Germany was discussing how well its five million Muslims had integrated.

Then the German President, Christian Wulff, stepped into the argument. "Islam," he said, "has become part of German culture". It was right, the president said, for the Muslim religion to be taught alongside others at German schools.

The reaction was not what he may have imagined. The paper Bild splashed a headline asking "Mr President, why are you sucking up to Islam?" Polls suggested the public did not share the views of the president. Of those polled 66% rejected the president's view that Islam was part of Germany. Other politicians began speaking out. The conservative Bavarian Interior Minister, Joachim Herrmann, said "Germany does not want to integrate Islam but to retain its own cultural identity".

This has been the message that has enabled anti-immigration and overtly anti-Muslim parties across parts of Europe to enter mainstream parties.

The Dutch anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders visited Germany and according to reports told a large audience that "we do not deserve to become strangers in our own land". There was loud applause.

Angela Merkel has decided that the argument cannot be left to those parties. She told her audience at the weekend that "immigrants are welcome... they must learn the language and accept the country's cultural norms".

Gradually across many parts of Europe the old concept of multiculturalism is being challenged. That had allowed new arrivals to essentially live within their own communities without taking steps to integrate into their new societies. The problem was that separate parallel communities sprang up.

What politicians like Angela Merkel want is for closer integration, for newcomers to take on Germany's "cultural norms". In her view, it is no longer just enough to arrive and to cling to the values and customs of the country they have come from. She is not promoting assimilation, but she is suggesting that newcomers "have obligations" and need to do more to become "German" or "European".

The new thinking is less to celebrate what makes societies different and more what binds them together. The Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, spoke of the need for Turkish migrants in Germany to speak German "fluently and without an accent".

Many migrant communities are understandably wary of "identity politics" and would argue that the barriers to integration often come from society itself, which makes it difficult for them to find jobs. Some in Germany have pointed out that the funding to help migrants learn German has been cut.

But - after the economy - the issue of immigration in country after country is influencing the outcome of elections and mainstream politicians are starting to pay attention.

Comments

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  • 1. At 11:31am on 18 Oct 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    Germans are clearly fearful of their future.

    A more than just substantial 13% of Germans would approve of the return of a "Fuhrer" type of leadership and Bavarian State President, Horst Seehoffer, goes further than Angela Merkel stating "Multiculturism is DEAD!"

    http://www.thelocal.de/society/20101016-30535.html
    Link

    Clearly the rise of austerity, frugality and regression is leading to a mindset of nationalism, racism and supremism becoming prevalent across Europe.

    Such a mindset is not held in check by the EU seeking to spend more on partying, hospitality and expansion of the EU Foreign Service at a time when austerity at national level is seriously going to hurt individual citizens financially. A 2.9% increase in EU Member State Contribution let alone a 5%+ were that may be approved by Qualified Majority Vote under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty is indefensible.

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  • 2. At 11:45am on 18 Oct 2010, Victor wrote:

    Finally a leading European politician said what most Europeans have known for a long, long time. Congratulations, Mrs Merkel is catching up with her electorate.

    Multiculturalism has indeed utterly failed. The reason why it has failed is that it could never have worked in the first place. Multiculturalism stipulates that immigrants do not have to adopt the norms and values of the society into which they immigrated. This is a clear recipe for discord and conflict, since the immigrants are encouraged to retain their cultural identity no matter how contradictory, incompatible or even hostile it might be to the mainstream values and cultural norms.

    Multiculturalists in the media and among politicians and leading academics have lied to the public when they claimed that multiculturalism was the only ethical way to deal with mass immigration (which was never accepted by the European public in the first place). In fact, the country they most often mention as an example of how to deal with immigration, the United States of America, had until recently pursued a clearly assimilationist policies toward the immigrants - immigrants were expected to adapt and incorporate themselves into the American mainstream and their children were vigorously indoctrinated with American values at school. The state made no allowances for people who wanted to segregate themselves and refuse to become part of the American nation.

    It's about time Europe adopted this very attitude towards its immigrants, especially those from Muslim countries. They must adopt the core values of our society: liberalism, secularism, gender equality, etc. Their children should be educated in secular public schools, not faith schools where they're only taught to hate the Western civilization and the people who created it. The authorities should vigorously investigate and punish things like female genital mutilation, incitement to violence, the so-called honour killings (I call these hideous murders) and other things that go completely against the very essence of our culture. The state must stop pandering to certain religious/cultural groups which are demanding limitations of free speech (for instance by making blasphemy illegal), exemptions from law for some people (sharia courts in the UK) and legislation that gives adherents of certain religions unfair benefits or advantages (extra breaks for prayers, halal meals, exceptions from dress codes for policemen/women, etc.).

    In short: immigrants who arrive to Europe must assimilate, or not come at all (or return where they came from if need be). Multiculturalism as a failed policy needs to be abolished and replaced by more sensible assimilationist policies and reaffirmation of our European cultural identity of which we should be fiercely proud and protective, not ashamed.

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  • 3. At 12:06pm on 18 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Anyone else see the BBC 'Doha Debate' on France's banning of the Bhurka?

    An audience packed with male & female Muslims voted 78% to 22% against the France ban.

    It was not a European audience; so, we might assume the case was a little difficult to present from the 'pro-ban' side. However, there were several erudite male & female Muslims who spoke supprting the ban.
    All the same, it was interesting to watch & hear so many male & female Muslims stating what was wrong, bad, prejudiced etc. about Europe's social-cultural & now in part political view on what is acceptable in society.
    The result it seemed suggested the concept of Democracy did not extend to accepting an Elected Government has a right to make policy when it affects Islam.

    A Muslim female spoke-person supported the ban (another opposed it) and made many good points (from my male, western, liberal, pro-democracy, perspective): Other Muslims made points for & against in a lively and well-informed debate.

    A fair debate & the result did not come as a surprise: Afterall, it was held in a Muslim nation.

    No, my surprise, consternation and in the end my grounds for deep foreboding about all attempts at 'Multi-culturalism' is the following:

    The leading male, Muslim spoke-person who led the anti-ban side and was evidently university educated, an intellectual, passionate on the topic, displaying considerable expertise and using every facet of 'democratic' values to make the point followers of Islam should be left entirely to make their own choices in the western World was an...

    Englishman!

    Born & bred in England this fine example of UK 'integration' at every level was completely opposed to one of the most obvious, basic & fundamental social requirements of British society - - that in any inter-action between peoples the 'faces' are on display!

    I imagine this is the disillusion Merkel, Sarkozy, the Belgians, Dutch, Swedish etc. are all rapidly having to confront: For all the marvellously good intentions of 2 to 3 decades of 'multi-culturalism' (with disquieted indigenous populations roundly labelled & condemned for prejudice) the followers of Islam do not want to 'integrate' unless it is on their terms.

    A realisation ordinary 'western' Citizens could have told any Politician some 20 to 30 years ago, had any of the social-engineering wretches bothered to ask & listen.

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  • 4. At 12:24pm on 18 Oct 2010, Richard35 wrote:

    It is always true that difficult economic times lead to this sort of move. After all the credibility of Europe's leaders has been affected by the various crises of this year in what is their project. This is most difficult for Angela Merkel as Germany is seen as the paymaster.So she is moving her psotion to try to survive.

    It reminds me of a critique of Ireland's Finance Minister I read on notayesmanseconomics.

    "For example the Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan was very critical and indeed scathing of Standard and Poors when it suggested only a month ago that total aid to Anglo-Irish Bank might reach some 35 billion Euros. In a fairer world Mr.Lenihan should now apologise."

    Our leaders very rarely apologise or change course and Mrs.Merkel should be congratulated for at least having some flexibility and beginning a debate...

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  • 5. At 12:31pm on 18 Oct 2010, ggggdddd wrote:

    Whatever you do , don't mention the muslims or you will be censored by the BBC.

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  • 6. At 12:37pm on 18 Oct 2010, Roy wrote:

    @Victor
    Hear! Hear! absolutely right.
    I have a simple test. If my partner and I were to go and live in any Muslim country would I be allowed to openly practice my Christian religion; send my children to Christian schools; my female partner walk around with her head uncovered or wear a bikini at the beach; have any court case against me heard in a British Law based court and so on??
    Yet we in the UK and the rest of Europe are expected to allow Muslims to have their way on all these issues. One day the Muslim population will realise that unless they assimilate our culture, learn our language and behave according to our cultural norms they will always be resented, and worse, by the indiginous population.

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  • 7. At 12:41pm on 18 Oct 2010, pablomedia wrote:

    This is such a senseless and hysterical debate.

    Germany is going against time, or how are the european countries going to keep their social states(not to mention state pensions) without immigration and with the minimal birthrate they´re having? Germany´s politicians should know better as a third of their country´s population is already over 60 years old.

    This is purely demagogy and populism, something the region I´m from (Latin America) has seen in excess and therefore we know exactly the risk of abusing it. I cannot believe that a country with a history like Germany is playing like these with fire, fueling people´s fears and resentment while they happily dismantle the social state to save money for the next Banks bailout.

    I wonder how far they have to go before we start seeing "concerned citizens" paramilitary groups beating up immigrants as it´s happening already in many regions of Eastern Europe where nationalism, xenophobia and racism had grown well beyond governments control.

    Germany has to set aside their anachronistic cultural barriers and politicians should encourage and help building a respectful multicultural society where everyone has its place, regardless of their trade, faith or the language they choose to speak at home. Other countries such as the US, Australia or Canada have successfully done this and I don´t see them "abolishing themselves".

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  • 8. At 12:52pm on 18 Oct 2010, Josh Comley wrote:

    Isn't this exactly what everybody cursed Enoch Powell for saying?

    I've always maintained that "multiculturalism" is just another word for "segregation". Far from encouraging living together with our immigrant friends, it encourages separation.

    There is a song by Nitin Sawhney in which a New York cab driver goes on about how wonderful New York is because of all the wonderful neighbourhoods, "you get Jewish neighbourhoods, French neighbourhoods..." etc. he explains. Why is this good? Must we segregate ourselves to get along?

    History tells us that to live in harmony everyone must abide by one set of rules - *everybody*. Pushing people to live by their own ideologies and agenda is not tantamount to a "harmonious" society.

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  • 9. At 1:05pm on 18 Oct 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The processes are generational and as both or many sides make adjustments the cultures become more tolerant and people learn to live together, marry, and become friends in neighborhoods and in schools. As the governments of Europe realize that the bankers have done nothing for the economies and are in fact extorting them with interests on loans, they need someone to distract from the political decisions to save the banks. The Muslims are available so they become the target to distract the public from their real enemies, the bankers and their political allies. Politicians will generally stoop top any level to save themselves. Never underestimate how low they can go. I believe there is some kind of history in Germany using this approach.

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  • 10. At 1:17pm on 18 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #7. At 12:41pm on 18 Oct 2010, pablomedia

    You continue to spout the PC left wing claptrap of yesteryear, I was sent a French PPS file Yesterday about attacks from immigrants in France on French people, very scary watching.

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  • 11. At 1:18pm on 18 Oct 2010, RantingMrP wrote:

    Assimilate, assimilate, assimilate.
    Why is that so difficult to understand? Probably because so many immigrants wont bother to learn the language of the country they are moving to? If you really want nothing to do with the language and culture of a country, why move there? Go somewhere else where you feel more at home!

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  • 12. At 1:22pm on 18 Oct 2010, Victor wrote:

    pablomedia wrote:
    "I wonder how far they have to go before we start seeing "concerned citizens" paramilitary groups beating up immigrants as it´s happening already in many regions of Eastern Europe where nationalism, xenophobia and racism had grown well beyond governments control."

    -> Oh, then by all means, educate me. Where exactly do "paramilitary groups" beat "immigrants" and where has "xenophobia and racism" grown out of government's control? Be concrete, please.

    As an "Eastern European", I am seeing no such things here in the Czech Republic - the only country in "Eastern" Europe which has experienced anything similar to the Western European mass foreign immigration in the past decade (though most of our immigrants are not Muslim, thank the Gods).


    As for your other ridiculous claim that Germany can't do without immigration, it is

    a) not what this debate is about - we're discussing how to handle immigration and whether the multicultural model is the best for Europe or anyone else for that matter.

    b) not factually true. Germany suffers (like most W. European countries) of long-term chronic unemployment and even worse, alarming levels of joblessness among young people (in France in particular). Merkel argues that these people should be properly trained, educated and helped to get a job BEFORE the country lets in immigrants to fill their place, thus condemning its own citizens to perpetual unemployment. Immigration should only serve to fill in the gaps in demand that can't be filled using domestic human "resources". With that I can't agree enough.

    c) the benefits of immigration from certain cultural areas (chiefly the Islamic world) are dubious at best. Unemployment levels among the immigrants are higher than among native Germans and the immigrants claim a disproportionate amount of welfare benefits. Not factored in are other negative side costs connected with crime, integration policies and so on. What follows is a logical question - if immigration of certain kind of people doesn't benefit Germany, why should Germany put up with the immigrants' anti-social behaviour?

    d) as far as I understand it, Germans are not opposed to immigration in general, they're opposed to the lack of willingness of certain immigrants (mostly Turks and Arabs) to adopt the German language and the German way of life, which is what the previous waves of immigrants did (ever wondered why so many Germans have Polish/Slavic sounding names? Think about it.) That's again perfectly legitimate and your allusion to Germany's Nazi past are thus completely off the mark and tasteless.

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  • 13. At 2:23pm on 18 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    ghostofsichuan

    Re #9

    I'm afraid You are way off the reality with the suggestion Capitalist-western Governments are scapegoating their Muslim communities.

    This 'multi-cultural' clash has been going on in 1 form or another for 3 decades (or through much of History, but lets stick to post-1945):

    The most obvious & brutal elements being the Islamic Fundamentalist terror attacks that date back to the 1980s (& vice versa the 'west' support of issues such as Israel, Iraq-Iran war & more recent conflicts) as well as Economic events, e.g. Nationalisation of Suez Canal, 1970s Oil-Energy Crisis.

    However, over a far more widespread cultural area there has been the evolution of disparate political-social aims that have prevented the 'integration' that is at the heart of the 'western' policy ambition of multi-culturalism.
    IMO most of this social/cultural conflict can be placed as the direct responsibility of Islam in & out of the 'west' and of the majority of western Leadership.

    What must be realised & faced upto is that Islam is more than just a Faith: Its Teachings are a 'Way of Life' and every Muslim is enjoined to place nothing above their 'Submission to God' and therefore that lifestyle.
    This Religious commitment sets Islam apart from any Secular society and prevents integration/assimilation and makes compromise between Faith & Secularism all but impossible. Islam has no terrestrial leadership like a Pope, so, interpretation is open to anyone in the Muslim community: It therefore follows that whilst there are many great, learned & wholly constructive Teachers/Interpreters of the Qur'an, there will conversely by the nature of things be many who are not. There is nothing & no one in Islam to give a clear lead.

    The on-the-surface laudable, liberalist agenda of the Western Leaderships' 'multi-culturalism' policies is also totally at odds with Islam's basic tenets: For 'multi-culturalism' to succeed the western Secular societies must abide by the equivalent of a secondary lifestyle existing alongside its own. One in which the Political & Legal 'will' of Democracy is deemed of secondary value/importance to the 'will'/'Teachings'/'interpretations' of Islam. It appears no one in the 'west' Leadership bothered for 3 decades to examine how their 'multi-culturalism' would be interpreted by Muslims: No surprise then that Frau Merkel etc. are suddenly shocked to find Muslims interpreted 'multi-culturlaism' as their Right to assert their Faith over Western 'political'-social'-'cultural'-'legal' values because that is what Allah demands in his 'Submission to God'.

    'Multi-culturalism' never existed and it will not do so until and unless the core split between the Secularism of the Democratic 'west' and the fundamental Faith requirements of Islam are brought into an agreed perspective.
    Unrealistic it maybe, but that is what the ongoing conflicts as well as those 'hot' & 'cold' of the last 3 decades have been about. I cannot see it changing anytime soon as just from my own viewpoint the idea of any Sharia Law or Islamic practises such as the full face veil taking the place of Law enacted by the Majority 'will' of Democratic Government is anathema to me.

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  • 14. At 2:33pm on 18 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Victor

    Re #12

    Well said.

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  • 15. At 2:53pm on 18 Oct 2010, geoff wrote:

    I never really had the feeling Germany even tried for integration, in the sense of meeting immigrants halfway: making it easy to learn the language, etc.
    It's a rather alarming analogy, but if we consider that the onus is only on the immigrants to integrate (ignoring such success stories as non-integrated "Chinatowns" in many western countries), then we have the risk of the Jews in Germany: up until the 1930s they had converted to Christianity, served in the military and civil service, and still weren't "German" enough. If it's always only a matter of integration and never also of acceptance, then they will always be reasons to argue that they are not "integrated" enough.
    There were also problems in that most of the Turks who arrived here in the 1960s seem to have assumed that they, like the Spanish and Italians before them, would only be temporary, and that they'd go home again someday. Since that doesn't seem to have happened, they haven't really planted roots the way immigrants in the Americas or Australia have always done.

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  • 16. At 3:22pm on 18 Oct 2010, gerard wrote:

    The problem with this argument with integration is that it's founded on some perception that people emigrate to European countries for cultural reasons. They don't. They come to Europe for the same reasons that people have been emigrating for thousands of years-Economic-to have a better life. If I was an Afghan coming to Germany or Sweden or Ireland or somewhere, I would wondering why I'm expected to adopt the cultural values of those places when I'm just there to earn a better standard of living for myself and my family. We Europeans have to shed this illusion that our culture has something intrinsically valuable to offer immigrants. It doesn't. That's not to say there's nothing at all, but it's up to immigrants for themselves to decide which aspects they want to adopt and if they decide they want to build mosques and wear the burqa, no amount of legislation is going to stop them expressing their cultural values. If it's banned it will just move underground in some alienated, far more sinister fashion.

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  • 17. At 3:28pm on 18 Oct 2010, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    not factually true. Germany suffers (like most W. European countries) of long-term chronic unemployment and even worse, alarming levels of joblessness among young people (in France in particular). Merkel argues that these people should be properly trained, educated and helped to get a job BEFORE the country lets in immigrants to fill their place, thus condemning its own citizens to perpetual unemployment. Immigration should only serve to fill in the gaps in demand that can't be filled using domestic human "resources". With that I can't agree enough

    ***************************************************************************

    Actually it is true, the figure of 400,000 is the number of medium to highly-qualified employees, like engineers that are just retiring without being replaced and with no sign of anyone jumping in to fill the skills gap.

    One of the main problems about Germany (and consequently its labour market)is the (let's call it arrogant) policy it has regarding foreigners.

    There are many highly qualified people (immigrants) already living in Germany, it's just that they are often forced to do work like driving Taxis, as the attitude is that a qualification attained abroad isn't a qualification. People sometimes have to wait years to get any recognition of their professional status, even people from the former East Germany have had their degrees removed or been assigned lower grades.

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  • 18. At 3:44pm on 18 Oct 2010, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    @ geoff.

    That's pretty much right IMO, Merkel, despite having been on the other side of the fence (GDR) until 1990 admits that all Germany wanted was the migrants to work hard and then return to their home countries, having given a large portion of their productive lives to German industry. The fact that Germany was booming at the time and had very high standard of living (which they helped build up) can you blame them for staying?

    It is not the multi-cultural society that has failed it is successive governments denying that Germany was a country of immigration and having no policy at all on it. She was in power with Helmut Kohl in the nineties and in the current and last parliament as senior partner in government, approximately six years this time around, so why have her governments "utterly failed" as she put it.

    With a statement like that, the next line you expect to hear is "I resign"

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  • 19. At 3:55pm on 18 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    3.cool_brush_work wrote:
    The leading male, Muslim spoke-person who led the anti-ban side... was an... Englishman!

    Born & bred in England this fine example of UK 'integration' at every level was completely opposed to one of the most obvious, basic & fundamental social requirements of British society!


    No surprise there, then. You see, mainly (but not exclusively) western 'progressives' and assorted left wingers have for years operated on the premise that 'diversity is always good'. So naturally, muslims understood this to mean 'diversity of opinion on whether women are equal or not'.
    I too have had experiences with encountering such people. Seemingly very nice people, pleasant to work with or discuss things. But once the conversation turns to the topic of islam, suddenly they seem very different people. You get nothing but religious dogma and they all say exactly the same things. What westerners usually fail to understand how deep islam has been 'brainwashed' into those people, very few indeed manage to be resistant. It used to be like this in christianity, too.

    Leftists tend to see islam as a 'persecuted minority' that needs special protection. Which is why they are willing to make all sorts of concessions. Example: the Dutch Labour (PvdA) party agreed to separate lines for men/women in some municipal offices, with the womens line closing an hour earlier so the women can go home and cook supper. The left wing crowd and even feminists actually went to extreme lengths defending this!!! Of course, the idea of islam as 'persecuted minority' is ludicrous, since its inception islam has largely been doing a lot of 'persecuting' others.

    The cynic in me says that left wing parties pander to muslims in exchange for votes. Which is also why left wingers tend to support 'more immigration' (more immigration = more voters). My opinion is that our freedoms and emancipation of women and gays are no longer safe with the left wing.

    And lets get one thing perfectly straight, wearing a 'burka' or whatever it is called has nothing to do with emancipation. Zero, nothing, nada. It has to do with willingly and knowingly (and often under social pressure) separating yourself from the rest of the community. This is totally unacceptable.

    Also, the idea of separate legal systems is also something that should not be allowed.

    My belief is that all cultures are NOT equal and some aspects of some cultures are not an enrichment to society at all. This is the chief flaw of 'multiculturalism', when the left thinks it is a sweetshop where you can pick what you want and leave what you don't want.

    @15 geoff
    Chinatowns tend to not make a nuisance of themselves and do not continually insult our culture and freedoms and don't demand to be pandered to in terms of demanding legislation that suits their 'beliefs'.

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  • 20. At 4:04pm on 18 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    7.pablomedia wrote: Germany is going against time, or how are the european countries going to keep their social states(not to mention state pensions) without immigration and with the minimal birthrate they´re having?

    You don't see the flaw in the economic model we have now, based as it is on 'perpetual population increase'? The answer to your question about 'social states' is: they cannot be afforded much longer, certainly not to current extent. Much of the 'social state' is paid for with borrowed money. See the problem here?

    Germany has to set aside their anachronistic cultural barriers and politicians should encourage and help building a respectful multicultural society where everyone has its place, regardless of their trade, faith or the language they choose to speak at home.

    We in Europe will not make concessions to inferior cultures that demand we respect the 'right' to oppress women and gays. Some politicians might have made concessions, but those are not supported by the people.

    Remember: islam is a decidedly MONOcultural ideology.

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  • 21. At 4:05pm on 18 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    geoff (15) wrote:
    There were also problems in that most of the Turks who arrived here in the 1960s seem to have assumed that they, like the Spanish and Italians before them, would only be temporary, and that they'd go home again someday. Since that doesn't seem to have happened, they haven't really planted roots the way immigrants in the Americas or Australia have always done.


    The idea was they were going home. Until left wing parties suddenly saw 'oppressed minorities' and of course 'new voters'.

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  • 22. At 4:27pm on 18 Oct 2010, pablomedia wrote:

    Hey Victor, I don´t have anything against Czechs or Eastern Europeans in general, but just to put an example of what might be happening in your own backyard.

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/feature-stories/europes-roma-community-still-facing-massive-discrimination-20090408

    Let´s face it: Europe has a long standing debt with culturally different minorities as it has been recently demonstrated by the French deportations of Roma people. The impression this actions from politicians give the rest of the world is that some European countries are far from tolerant with anything different of what they consider their "native" culture.

    I know that´s not the reality for the majority of people, and let´s even see what some German papers (not Bild, of course) have to say about the lack of skilled workers in Germany: [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    People will continue to migrate for economical reasons and the reality is they will always keep their original culture up to a certain degree, like it or not. It´s fact and you can reject as much as you want but it won´t change reality.

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  • 23. At 4:28pm on 18 Oct 2010, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    7.pablomedia wrote: Germany is going against time, or how are the european countries going to keep their social states(not to mention state pensions) without immigration and with the minimal birthrate they´re having?

    You don't see the flaw in the economic model we have now, based as it is on 'perpetual population increase'? The answer to your question about 'social states' is: they cannot be afforded much longer, certainly not to current extent. Much of the 'social state' is paid for with borrowed money. See the problem here?

    Germany has to set aside their anachronistic cultural barriers and politicians should encourage and help building a respectful multicultural society where everyone has its place, regardless of their trade, faith or the language they choose to speak at home.
    *********************

    Firstly, you won't find a head of industry/commerce that supports Merkels appraisal of the situation, even members of her own party/government have come out against this position.

    Secondly, who gets to decide what's inferior around here?

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  • 24. At 4:31pm on 18 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    The multi-cultural society is on the verge of collapse. I could have told you that! If you bring in hundreds of thousands of migrants, those migrants have less need to integrate because tens of thousands of the same migrants share the very same culture i.e. they do not need to integrate!

    I do not mind other cultures. Europe was diverse before the influx of foreigners. It could hundreds of years and millions to be murdered and killed before we learnt to get along. However it's the other violent aspects of foreign culture that really creates the racism and kneejerk reaction by the natives.

    How can we be told to respect anothers persons views on homosexuality, treatment of woman, teaching of science, others with different religous views?

    Just because we live in a tolerant society does not mean that other peoples opinions are to be treated equally to our own. There opinions are wrong, backwards and darn right sick. Europe has moved forward and we should look forward to seeing 2011, not go back to 1400!

    Times are changing and if the most influential country in Europe has called for change you can bet it won't be long till France and Italy (with Great Britain being dragged into line) also begin making their moves.

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  • 25. At 4:49pm on 18 Oct 2010, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    The idea was they were going home. Until left wing parties suddenly saw 'oppressed minorities' and of course 'new voters'.

    ***************************

    I think not, the point being, German industry saw fit to import a workforce, but the government denying that people were entering the country as immigrants, and not as "slaves", ignored them and in part created "ghettos" by placing these groups in certain districts.

    The thing is, we are talking about people and not machines, you don't just trade them in like a car. You can't expect people to come and them having worked hard just leave after having paid into the tax and benefits systems for decades.

    If that is what was wanted then they should have been honest from the start and given these people 5 or 10 year contracts. They didn't because they knew not enough people would come.

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  • 26. At 4:50pm on 18 Oct 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To gerard (16):

    The reason why some countries are developed and prosperous is because of their underlying culture. Europe, USA, Japan, South Korea, etc.. are developed and prosperous because they have a modern culture that draws lessons and practises from science and philosophy, not from fairy tales, not from man-in-heaven fantasies and not from tribal practises.

    Immigrants that come to developed and prosperous countries have to understand that these countries work because of their underlying culture. If they want to succeed in these countries, they have to abandon more or less many parts of their native culture because it doesn't work in a modern society with a modern culture.

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  • 27. At 5:00pm on 18 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Letsbe_avenue:

    #23.

    "Secondly, who gets to decide what's inferior around here?"

    It's the left-wingers gone crazy! Yes, I say that those with views supporting the 2nd class status of homosexuals and woman are inferior.

    Europe has battled long and hard for the freedoms we have today. We want to go on and see 2020, not go back to 1400!

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  • 28. At 5:08pm on 18 Oct 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #1 - Menedemus

    Unless it is your case that multiculturalism is not only more expensive than integration but that the proposed EU budget increase is required in order to pay for it, there is no possible connection between the two.

    There is, however, a symptom at the root of both. In austerity times, everyone is looking for someone to blame and minorities are a relatively soft target. A handful of Muslims get radicalised and take to violence and that is, it seems, cause to have a pop at all of them. Some illegal campers in confrontation with French police get out of hand a nasty incident occurs. Suddenly, it's 'chuck the Roma out' time.

    There are issues. Of course there are. There are Muslims districts on the Paris outskirts which are effectively 'no go areas', cities in West Yorkshire where you would think you were in Belfast during the troubles or Berlin in the Cold War with walls keeping communities apart. This is not acceptable and I do not argue that it is.

    But associating EU expenditure with cultural integration issues is dangerously close to scaremongering. Both issues need to be addressed - but separately.

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  • 29. At 5:17pm on 18 Oct 2010, TaiwanChallenges wrote:

    I'm a Brit currently living in Taiwan - in fact I'm an economic migrant who makes a better living here than I ever did in the UK. I enjoy the lower taxes, better healthcare, and absence of violence.

    I'm a foreigner with an unpronouncable name and ethnicity that makes me stand out in any crowd. (white skin and blond hair, gasp!)

    I don't really like the local food, most of my friends are immigrants, I'll never master the language, and I occasionally come into conflict with local cultural norms. I live in one of those parrallel communities that would be of concern to Angela Merkel or the BNP if I was on their turf.

    So, should I assimilate? Should I eat noodles and MSG for every meal, speak in a language that has no past tense, find my place within the Confucian social hierarchy, stop spending my time with people who like rock music and football? Or should I remain the person I was born and brought up to be?

    Is there anything innately superior about being British that entitles me to insist on my cultural identity while living on the other side of the world? Is there anything innately superior about being British that entitles my compatriots to insist that immigrants to the UK give up their cultural identities?

    I like living in Taiwan, and I like the people. Mostly, they like me too. And I'm not alone. According to the National Census, there are millions like me - somewhere. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/3601493.stm

    Should we all assimilate, or are we racially superior?

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  • 30. At 5:26pm on 18 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Letsbe_avenue:

    #25.

    "The thing is, we are talking about people and not machines, you don't just trade them in like a car. You can't expect people to come and them having worked hard just leave after having paid into the tax and benefits systems for decades."

    However according to recent reports we are seeing certain groups in society claiming more then contributing. Some may have paid into the system but we are seeing and ever increasing amount of people withdrawing.

    You should say SOME have paid into the system but you must accept that MOST have not.


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  • 31. At 5:27pm on 18 Oct 2010, stanilic wrote:

    At the practical level multiculturalism was a philosophy used to justify an economic need. Now that the economic need no longer applies then the philosophy has outlived its usefulness.

    Western Europe has absorbed immigrants from countries all over the world under several pretexts until the credit crunch. Now there are more than enough people to fill the available jobs.

    Many of the immigrants have outwardly accepted the norms of European society and we can include most Moslem immigrants within this criterion.

    However, the credit crunch has happened at a time when Islam has entered an assertive phase and certain immigrant communities feel under external pressures to assert their separate identity. This is not a wise strategy as such separateness becomes a reason for exclusion, which increases the need for immigrants to claim welfare which leads in turn to an assumption that the immigrant is only here for the handouts.

    For my part if you intend to settle in another country it is only decent that you learn the language before you arrive and once you are there you outwardly adopt the culture of the natives as how else can you make a living in that country? Sadly, many immigrants, including British people in Spain and France, have failed to meet such a simple set of criteria and so inhabit ghettoes. This is the worst thing of all.

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  • 32. At 5:27pm on 18 Oct 2010, Agedsage wrote:

    I think many of the comments I have read (so far) are missing the primary issue. Some, cool_brush_stroke for one, clearly understand the issue and offer sound comment.
    Simply stated, the underlying issue is that the Muslim people, when adhering to their religious dictates, are precluded for the integration that host countries and its citizens desire and , it now seems, demand.
    And why not? The argument that Germany "owes" something to foreigners because they invited the "guest worker" after the war is invalid and ludicrous. The men (and women) who answered that call were not sent home when no longer needed, rather many remained, became German citizens, educated their children in the German schools and assimilated and integrated rather well. They made NO demands about clothing and dress; the learned the language, and they paid taxes. They practiced their religion without any public demonstrations or demands of any kind.

    The problem, as cool_brush_stroke described, is the issue about the current Muslim immigrant's unwillingness or inability to accept and abide by the host country's cultural paradigm. In this case, they should stay home in their native land and enjoy their native customs/laws/culture, etc.
    As Islam has no singular" leader; and is not only a religion but a political body, of sorts, there exists no "authority " with whom a dialogue can be initiated. It is not possible to have any progressive dialogue with the "multitude"; especially when the multitudes are whipped into a frenzied "mob" buy some (agendized) radical cleric(s).
    I would propose , as example, if a foreign person, Muslim or otherwise, desires to immigrate to another Country, they must agree to a) learn the language, b) subscribe to and embrace the culture and customs of the host country, c) adhere to , support and defend the laws,social mores and constitution of the host country, d)be financially independent , and/or secure gainful employment within a stated period and agree not to be a financial burden on the host country.
    And, in the case of Muslims specifically, they should agree that Shari'a law is invalid and irrelevant in the host country. In my opinion, that would be true integration and assimilation. Then I have little doubt that only a small few would care about the color of their skin or from which country they originated.
    Non assimilation and non integration remains a problem in many countries. The tail cannot expect to "wag the dog".

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  • 33. At 5:42pm on 18 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Threnodio_II:

    #28.

    "There is, however, a symptom at the root of both. In austerity times, everyone is looking for someone to blame and minorities are a relatively soft target. A handful of Muslims get radicalised and take to violence and that is, it seems, cause to have a pop at all of them. Some illegal campers in confrontation with French police get out of hand a nasty incident occurs. Suddenly, it's 'chuck the Roma out' time."

    I disagree. In some cases people are growing more aware of the immigrant groups in society. Those immigrant groups, in some cases have growing influence too, so people are uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. Let's look at Egypt, Indonesia or even Nigeria for examples of what happens in politics. I would even suggest we research the current administration of Turkey.

    The Roma too. The Roma have a history, not all good. Politicians are unable to promise much because of the economy so are forced to 'fix' other problems. However who is to disagree with the French action? I am not allowed to build a house on land I do not owe and sub-standard, I might add. It's that simple.

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  • 34. At 5:45pm on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    I have seen no rush for Brits living in North Cyprus (some living in Greek property) to learn Turkish or Greek.

    --- another culture refusing to integrate or assimilate.

    --To follow the popular view --throw them out ?

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  • 35. At 5:52pm on 18 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    TaiwanChallenges:

    #29.

    "Should we all assimilate, or are we racially superior?"

    Your misguided in your attempts to play the 'race card'. The real question is, are we morally superior?

    What do you believe?

    I would also say. You should do your best to learn the language. You have the benefit of having others like you (I raised this point earlier as reason why people fail to integrate) but you have a duty to be able to communicate to your fellow man.

    How can you help others or be helped if no one can understand anyone? You'd waste time and money getting a translator.

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  • 36. At 5:53pm on 18 Oct 2010, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    It's the left-wingers gone crazy! Yes, I say that those with views supporting the 2nd class status of homosexuals and woman are inferior.

    Europe has battled long and hard for the freedoms we have today. We want to go on and see 2020, not go back to 1400!
    ***************************************************

    You're right there, plenty of crusades and colonialism.
    Just because Europe has decided to get its act together in the last 40 years, all of a sudden Europe has the best culture. That's a pretty narrow view, but there, what can you expect.


    ************************************************************
    You should say SOME have paid into the system but you must accept that MOST have not.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    If it hadn't been for these "spongers" there wouldn't have been any wealth to redistribute in the first place.

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  • 37. At 6:05pm on 18 Oct 2010, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    In some cases people are growing more aware of the immigrant groups in society. Those immigrant groups, in some cases have growing influence too, so people are uncomfortable, very uncomfortable
    ******************************************************

    Yet another misnomer, there's one MP in the German parliament with a turkish background, a Green - Cem Özdemir.
    So much for the swamping of the political system by immigrants...

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  • 38. At 6:19pm on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    Any visitor to North Cyprus can see the willingness of Brits to integrate or assimilate.

    Of those who live in previously owned Greek Cypriot (or Turkish Cypriot ) property - the idea of giving up Britishness--is the last thing on their mind !

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  • 39. At 6:20pm on 18 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Letsbe_avenue:

    #36.

    "You're right there, plenty of crusades and colonialism.
    Just because Europe has decided to get its act together in the last 40 years, all of a sudden Europe has the best culture. That's a pretty narrow view, but there, what can you expect."

    I didn't say Europe had the best culture. Where did I say that? I see you writing that.

    I said that I enjoyed other cultures. I said Europe had a diverse culture beforehand. I also said that there are aspects of foreign culture that we do not like and this can lead to racism and kneejerk reactions.

    I then went on to say while naming some topics that we should not allow certain views to become acceptable, or even tolerated. Bring cultre here is fine, bringing homophobic, sexism etc is not fine.

    "If it hadn't been for these "spongers" there wouldn't have been any wealth to redistribute in the first place."

    It's not a problem when the population was lower, it's a problem now that the population has grown i.e.e the economic benefits of immigrants is running out.

    Your paying more in then yo uget out. That's a bad investment and that's what governments do. They pay money into schools etc and invest in our futures. That investment is turning sour and we need to learn why certain groups are not as benefiting then others.

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  • 40. At 6:28pm on 18 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Letsbe_avenue:

    #37.

    "Yet another misnomer, there's one MP in the German parliament with a turkish background, a Green - Cem Özdemir.
    So much for the swamping of the political system by immigrants..."

    I didn't say Parliaments were swamped by immigrants. I said their political influence is growing and that means politicians are relying more and more upon the immigrant vote.

    I find your attitude quite childish. How can you write here and either misqoute me or take what I write out of context?

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  • 41. At 6:46pm on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    On a flight from Germany to Turkey a few years ago I noticed a group of fluently bilingual young Turkish people present their German passports at departure --and upon landing presented their Turkish identity cards to the Turkish authorities.

    At the time, no non-Turk could inherit property in Turkey --under Turkish law -- and this was the main hinderance to taking German citizenship and renouncing the Turkish.

    Turkey, with its nationalism and ( newly found) Islam --- is the main cause of integration and assimilation failure.

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  • 42. At 6:53pm on 18 Oct 2010, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    It's not a problem when the population was lower, it's a problem now that the population has grown i.e.e the economic benefits of immigrants is running out.

    Your paying more in then yo uget out. That's a bad investment and that's what governments do. They pay money into schools etc and invest in our futures. That investment is turning sour and we need to learn why certain groups are not as benefiting then others

    *****************************************************************

    Of course, I forgot it's the immigrants fault. First it was the East Germans that should be "thankful" now it's the "foreigners" (that are actually German citizens) that are to blame. Just not the people like Joe Ackermann from Deutsche Bank...???????

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I didn't say Europe had the best culture. Where did I say that? I see you writing that

    You wrote:

    It's the left-wingers gone crazy! Yes, I say that those with views supporting the 2nd class status of homosexuals and woman are inferior

    ++++++++++++++++********************+++++++++++++++++++++++++

    So if you say that Islam is an inferior culture, the converse argument being that the European culture is thus "superior".


    ------------------------------------------///////////////////////////////

    Your paying more in then yo uget out. That's a bad investment and that's what governments do. They pay money into schools etc and invest in our futures. That investment is turning sour and we need to learn why certain groups are not as benefiting then others

    +++++++++++***************************------------------//////////

    Great argument for a Rassentheorie...

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  • 43. At 7:01pm on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #25 Letsbe_Avenue

    ---At least verify your stupidities --before posting them !!!

    Berlin tried to stop the Ghettoes from getting out of control --for that they were called Nazis !

    --- and you claim the opposite --and still Nazis !!!

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  • 44. At 7:04pm on 18 Oct 2010, Majuba wrote:

    The comments on this development raise an interesting series of scenarios

    South Africa has been grappling with peaceful co-habitation and multi-culturism ever since white immigrants arrived on the southern tip of the continent in 1652 (Dutch) and 1806 (British)

    In Canada, the (now) USA, Australia and New Zealand the Europeans simply conquered the indigenous peoples and then outnumbered them by bringing in more and more immigrants. The locals were relegated to territories within their home continents deemed acceptable for them by the new immigrants. The new arrivals then set about imposing a totally new and foreign culture, language, system of government, code of law and religion upon them. Within the European mind this was considered perfectly acceptable within the concept of majority rule Westminster style multi party democracy.

    By contrast European South Africans lived adjacent to the locals in their original lands and left them entirely alone to continue with their tribal ways. Indeed, the British/South African politician Theophilus Shepstone received a Knighthood for pursuing this policy from 1845 in the British Crown Colony of Natal. It was maintained when the British created the Union of South Africa in 1910. Within the Union the British created Native Reserves for the 9 indigenous African nations where they could continue their tribal lifestyle undisturbed. Over time these territories were re-named Bantustans and then Homelands. When the predominantly Afrikaner National party came to power in 1948 they set about creating a territorial model based on the United Kingdom. Like the territories of England, Scotland, Wales and N Ireland the sovereignty of the 9 African nations was recognised and substantial investment was pumped into them to create self administering territories. The intent in the words of ex-President PW Botha was to create "a constellation of states" - i.e a federation just like the UK

    Peculiarly western Governments would not accept this policy. Through numerous forms of pressure the white minority was forced to accept a unitary racially integrated multi cultural state with 11 official languages, 13 distinct cultures and and at least 4 mainstream religions plus Catholic and Protestant Christianity. The fact that a similar construct had recently collapsed in Yugoslavia seemed to escape everyone's attention.

    Now we have a number of European nations throwing their hands in the air in despair as Islam starts making inroads into their traditional lifestyles. In the UK some politicians have raised the issue of "uncontrolled immigration" and have been branded as "racist" by the liberal left who are still firmly set on the multi-culti road.

    Spare a thought for the white Zimbabweans and South Africans who have made the effort to embrace the new order in the lands of their birth. We all know the story of Zimbabwe yet the UK media still valiantly tries to maintain the illusion of a khumbaya-rainbow-nation in South Africa.

    The reality is that 320,000 South Africans have been murdered since "freedom" and majority rule in 1994. Within that figure are about 40,000 white Christians and Jews. Within that figure are 3,700+ Christian farmers. Close on 1 million white Christians and Jews (about 20% of the white population) have decided to forsake the horror that has become the land of their birth and emigrate to safer western democracies. The ANC Government has enacted Affirmative Action and Black Economic Empowerment legislation which has contributed to this exodus. Some are not so lucky and are unable to escape. They are the new unemployed and have to survive on charity. 650,000 live in squatter camps/ghettos and are denied any benefits. The Government has decreed that they were previously advantaged and are denied any jobs or support despite their skills. By contrast uneducated, unemployed, unemployable black teenage girls receive a number of benefits for every child that they produce.

    We have seen some moves by western governments to resist the cultural shift taking place due to expansion of Islam in their countries. It is too little too late. The genie is out of the bottle as the resident immigrants systematically outbreed the indigenous ethnic groups of their new host countries.

    The question thus arises: if multi culturism was good enough for Zimbabwe and South Africa, why is it not good enough for Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK?
    There is enough evidence available today to clearly demonstrate that it does not work, yet left wing politicians, particularly in the UK, are permitted to pursue their policy of multi-culturism unchecked.

    The years ahead will be very interesting as a new generation of European politicians comes to grips with the legacy bequeathed by their predecessors. Perhaps they may even try to undo the damage that was inflicted on their kinfolk in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

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  • 45. At 7:13pm on 18 Oct 2010, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    At the time, no non-Turk could inherit property in Turkey --under Turkish law -- and this was the main hinderance to taking German citizenship and renouncing the Turkish.

    Turkey, with its nationalism and ( newly found) Islam --- is the main cause of integration and assimilation failure

    ****************************************

    Pot kettle black...
    rearrange these words and make a sentence.

    I think you'll find making people choose is the trouble. Dual-citizenship is no trouble is most other countries, just not in Germany.

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  • 46. At 7:23pm on 18 Oct 2010, Victor wrote:

    22. At 4:27pm on 18 Oct 2010, pablomedia wrote:

    "Hey Victor, I don´t have anything against Czechs or Eastern Europeans in general, but just to put an example of what might be happening in your own backyard.
    (...)
    Let´s face it: Europe has a long standing debt with culturally different minorities as it has been recently demonstrated by the French deportations of Roma people."

    -> Since when are the Roma "immigrants" in Central/Eastern Europe? You talked specifically about attacks against immigrants, which according to my knowledge are rather rare in this country, even in comparison to Western Europe. I am certainly not seeing armed bands of skinheads lynching African students in the streets. Such a thing might be happening in Russia (occasionally), but not here. In fact, the foreign exchange students I've talked to at my university mostly praise the Czech attitude toward foreigners as open and tolerant. I believe they're not saying that just to make me happy.


    Roma people have been living in this region for more than five centuries - longer than present-day Americans have lived in both North/South America. Calling these people "immigrants" is absurd.

    If anything, the Roma case illustrates the situation in which a minority consistently REFUSES to integrate and assimilate. Comparable groups (like the Vlachs, who originally came from Romania) have fully assimilated in the centuries following their arrival. Even recent groups of immigrants (e.g. Eastern Europeans from the ex-USSR and the Vietnamese) are doing much better than the Roma - secondary schools and universities are now full of 2nd generation Czech-Vietnamese students, whereas you'd have a problem finding some Roma there. Not because we don't let them in, as the AI likes to claim, but simply because their parents usually totally fail to properly motivate and support their children in their education, which they generally consider an infringement of their "cultural rights". Also, while there is almost zero unemployment among the Vietnamese, even though not nearly all of those from the 1st generation speak a good Czech, there is at least 80% unemployment rate among the Roma, according to conservative estimates by Roma NGOs.

    This clearly proves that no imagined distaste for "foreigners" or "people who're different" is to blame here - the problem is largely a result of the unwillingness of the Roma community to adopt Czech values and obey Czech Republic's laws and customs. Which I think mirrors nicely the problems we see in Western Europe, where it's mostly Muslims who fill this role of "troublemakers" who refuse to integrate and assimilate into the mainstream society.

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  • 47. At 7:24pm on 18 Oct 2010, Illogicbuster wrote:

    If I were to move to another country I would learn the language and try to emulate the culture I was moving to. If I didn't like it why move there? It calls into question a persons motive. I know, that's not a politically correct question even if 100% true.

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  • 48. At 7:28pm on 18 Oct 2010, MichelleMc wrote:

    I am a Brit and have been living in Athens for 25 years. I work here, run a business, raised a family and pay taxes here. Every interaction with the Greek state is done ...in Greek! Tax office, social welfare, health services, police etc..so I slowly but surely learned GREEK...it makes life easier for ME, no-one forced me to, it was just expected. The Greeks didnt push it on me, it was just assumed that as I had chosen to live here, I would make the effort to learn the language, as they have better things to do than to pander to the language requirements of all immigrants, whether its Urdu or English...this is Greece, learn the language if you choose to live here, or dont, figure it out for yourself. No pressure. This attitude is common in most of the Greek interactions with forgeiners.. a bemused respect for us...as long as we respect the Greek way. As for things like Christmas celebrations being renamed Winter Festival so as not to alienate the non Greek Orthodox population...they would just fall about laughing at the absurdity. People integrate if they are encouraged to, and not forced, just check out the Pakistani and Bangladeshi lads, selling chestnuts and balloons for the kids, wearing big smiles and Santa suits at Christmas in Syntagma Square.. !

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  • 49. At 7:29pm on 18 Oct 2010, Letsbe_avenue wrote:

    #25 Letsbe_Avenue

    ---At least verify your stupidities --before posting them !!!

    Berlin tried to stop the Ghettoes from getting out of control --for that they were called Nazis !

    --- and you claim the opposite --and still Nazis !!!

    ***************************************************

    He har de har...

    do make me larf. First of all I was referring to someone else's post and second I was referring to the post 1945 import of immigrant "Gastarbeiter".

    But never mind, you come on the BBC get your hair on back to front and have a pop...

    Cheers then!!!!

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  • 50. At 7:48pm on 18 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Letsbe_avenue:

    45.

    "Pot kettle black...
    rearrange these words and make a sentence.

    I think you'll find making people choose is the trouble. Dual-citizenship is no trouble is most other countries, just not in Germany."

    Wrong again. In most countries (I am yet to find others that disagree) depending on the sector you work for dual-citizenship can be a major, major problem.

    Do you think countries are happy that they have individuals with dual-citizenship working on secret secret projects?

    I just used one example of a sector that does not like dual-citizens.

    I will point out that the poster did not mention Germany. They pointed out that TURKEY didn't recognise the rights of foreign born individuals (at the time) with Turkish family when it comes to inheriting property.

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  • 51. At 8:12pm on 18 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    don't like this subject...

    It will end in tears :)

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  • 52. At 8:17pm on 18 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    All these "new" commenters debating fiercely...very neat:)

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  • 53. At 8:36pm on 18 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Do what China and Russia did :)

    Send Christians to move into "their" neighborhoods and form sizable minorities.

    ex. Tartars in the Ukraine, Russians in Baltics and Han in Tibet and elsewhere.

    Funny, how it sounds Wise, in retrospect. Then, you CAN call it the EUSSR...

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  • 54. At 8:39pm on 18 Oct 2010, Dietrich wrote:

    The whole immigration-blablabla doesn't get the point.

    The problem concerns especially large numbers of Arabs and Turks.
    Most of their parents were born in Germany already.
    Under the shelter of the ideology of multiculturalism they take advantage of our society while in the same time they express contempt for our culture openly.

    They do not respect teachers, policemen and other officials not to mention the normal citizen. They feel superior because their religion is be seen as better or simply because they stay together and act violently against others.

    They refuse to integrate in any way, dont complete school and are going to commit crimes to get the money for their ridiculous big-mouth-lifestyle.

    There are lots of communities of muslims, who have separated in their ghettoes, building mosques in a kind of network all over Europe.

    The mosques are driven by official institutions from Turkey and elsewhere and they helped terrorists as prooved in the past and allow speeches against our rights and values.

    Nobody of their representatives ever liked to admit the problems, but always felt offended and urged a more humanlike attitude from us.

    We are not going to integrate them, because they are going to colonize us!

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  • 55. At 8:42pm on 18 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    Or round 'em all up, send them to Canada, and let the USA deal with it:)))

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  • 56. At 8:43pm on 18 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    ooops, OTT, sorry.

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  • 57. At 8:49pm on 18 Oct 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    threnodio_II @#28

    I was highlighting that austerity measures are the driver for nationalism and racism.

    As people see the money in their pocket lose value and their circumstances depreciate they will turn outward and against the people or organisations that they perceive as contributing factors to their loss of wealth.

    Immigrants are one target and the EU will be the other target.

    What I was trying to suggest was that immigrants have not a lot of choice - other than to integrate or leave - but the EU has everything to lose if it pursues a course of being spendthrift in these more austere times.

    As a by-the-by, this contention is not being anti-EU (I can be that for all the reasons that I have mentioned so often before within this Blog) but a democratic EU is our future and so for it to fail (despite it's current undemocratic construction) for stupidity in the face of the Europeans feeling less able to afford the EU is quite bizarre.

    I find myself willing the EU to come to it's senses about the EU Budget right now!

    Immigrants will have to take the flak or get with the program - that is entirely within their remit.

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  • 58. At 9:07pm on 18 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Dietrich:

    #54.

    I disagree with certain points you made. The issue concerning respect is different but I feel that it's quite typical of those from the lower classes - regardless of backgrounds to behave as you described against authority figures.

    Perhaps someone else from Europe can comment on the issue?

    I agree with you that a false sense of superiority exists. You can see this all the time at a weekend between certain groups and woman who wear revealing clothing. There is no respect for your fellow human being or appreciation for the differences that make us who we are.

    Turkey is a horrible influence. Their current government insisted that integration should be a form of human right abuse because Germany wouldn't allow those of Turkish heritage to be taught in their language etc.

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  • 59. At 9:13pm on 18 Oct 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    It started with a headline on BBC and now this comment.
    Mr. Hewitt has only mentioned 10% of the present German debate or perhaps less than that. He has taken one of Angela Merkel’s remarks and has written a misleading article on it.
    Following Angela Merkel’s remarks her minister of research and her minister of labour said Germany cannot make it without immigration. Today’s news in ZDF (let Hewitt check them) came to the right conclusion: Every possible position in this debate is now being covered by Merkel’s party CDU (-CSU), and as of writing many have difficulties in finding out what the position of the party therefore is.

    I think Mr. Hewitt will agree in this: The demographic fact will prevail, and Angela Merkel can call what she wishes to. Germany will enhance its effort to get foreigners to go to Germany to live and work there. I will add to this: Merkel’s remark is exclusively meant as a mean to keep a certain group of voters and the question is, if theses voters will detect the trick.

    I am not allowed to make links to German sites : Check the sites of the media ARD and ZDF if you are interested in what is facts and what is tricks in this debate. Hewitt has missed it.

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  • 60. At 9:18pm on 18 Oct 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    Does "Multikultur" - (I believe the word that she used), actually have the same conortations as "Multiculturalism" in English? Just wondering if we are reading something extra into her words?

    The mixing of peoples has been very rapid during the last few decades and none of us are really prepared for the challenges that it presents. Less than a century ago most people lived and died within a few kilometres of where they were born everywhere on the planet.

    The key to avoid strife is the old adage to do as you would be done by with a limited tolerance of temporary difference. This maxim of practical advice occurs in all religious texts and we should all strive to follow it.

    The key is living together and being able to communicate - of course being English I think as soon as possible everybody on the planet should speak English (not the other less popular and less successful Saxon related language of German!) I do think that one needs to be able to communicate with ones physical neighbours for very practical reasons and in that Chancellor Merkel speaks some sense.

    Expressions of ones cultural individualism should not be done so as to offend ones neighbours, but neither should ones neighbours take every opportunity to take offence.

    The sounds too like a sermon, sorry! Finally I recall Alan Bennett's oft cited biblical quotation "Esau, my brother is an hairy man, and I am a smooth man" Genesis 27:11 - common to the three religions of the book.

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  • 61. At 9:19pm on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #45 Lettsbe_avenue

    Read again--

    INHERITANCE INHERITANCE INHERITANCE

    If Turkey allowed Germans to inherit property within Turkey-- then Turks would not be under duress by their own government and made feel to be `traitors´by taking German citizenship.

    A few years ago Erdogan was in Germany and made that clear to the Turks living there --integration to help Turkey---But NO assimilation !

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  • 62. At 9:26pm on 18 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    23.Letsbe_avenue wrote: Secondly, who gets to decide what's inferior around here?

    Are you trying to suggest that a culture that specifically considers women to be inferior is somehow equal to a culture that says women are equal?



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  • 63. At 10:06pm on 18 Oct 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    I mean no disrespect to the worthies on this blog with firm ideas about who owns what, in terms of cultural identity, but I find myself a busy man these days.

    All I can think when I am confronted with folks who have the spare time to devote to the idea of owning a country is "Gee, I wish I had so much spare time."

    And then I think "I wonder if those folks draping themselves in a flag work hard, or if they are the sort of people who talk loud as a means of entertaining themselves when they are supposed to be innovating and creating in order to create wealth for their societies."

    I've met a lot of folks. I'm not so young no more.

    If you're young and you've got any sense, listen up to an older man.

    Folks who wear the flag spend their spare time defending the territory of someone else's bar and entertaining those even more repulsive than themselves. They take their cues from party members with no guts, and no common decency.

    Avoid them. They will only drag you down with their spite and their pathetic lack of vision.

    Germany continues to disgust me.

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  • 64. At 10:21pm on 18 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #44. At 7:04pm on 18 Oct 2010, Majuba

    Very good post and whilst it is not PC it is true.

    Likewise #54. At 8:39pm on 18 Oct 2010, Dietrich

    As for #60. At 9:18pm on 18 Oct 2010, John_from_Hendon,

    The Leopard does not change its spots, any more than a Socialist cannot believe it's wrong.

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  • 65. At 10:46pm on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #63 DT

    ´Germany continues to disgust me ´

    ---please, let us share this wisdom of old your age ?

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  • 66. At 11:03pm on 18 Oct 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    34. At 5:45pm on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:


    "I have seen no rush for Brits living in North Cyprus (some living in Greek property) to learn Turkish or Greek."

    EUpris: Neither have I! That is possibly because I have never been there.

    A lot of Germans will not let me speak German in Germany. I spoke to a waitress in Germany in German and she replied in English. I said: "I need to practice my German." She replied: "I need to practice my English."



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  • 67. At 11:08pm on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    Alzheimers is more prevalent than I thought it was.

    The patients forget the armies involved.

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  • 68. At 11:10pm on 18 Oct 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    I don't want to throw foreigners out. I want to reduce the number coming in and just throw out foreign criminals.

    We could and probably should do what Switzerland used to do which is to let foreign workers in for six months.

    I suggest we should tax them in the six months as if they were going to be here all the tome and then refund part of their tax in their own country.



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  • 69. At 11:27pm on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #66 EUpris

    Now you know the difference between courtesy and arrogance !

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  • 70. At 11:31pm on 18 Oct 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    63. At 10:06pm on 18 Oct 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    "Germany continues to disgust me."

    EUpris: There are loads of things in Germany that Germans can and should be proud of. I'm British.

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  • 71. At 11:40pm on 18 Oct 2010, Dietrich wrote:

    # 58. by Tom:

    Of course, it is the behaviour of lower class as its worst.

    But of special quality is the outstanding number of those immigrant childs compared to others like the Chinese, Indonesians and many others, who "behave" much better significantly.

    The percentage of bad boys with muslim backround in relation to there number in total is much to high and higher than that of any other immigrant group or the figures concerning the "original" Germans.

    (You may find a similar situation in the Banlieu areas around Paris.)

    In addition with the massive political will of foreign powers (political, religious) to gain influence in this country this is the reason for Germans going to fed up with them.

    NOT with immigration at all.

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  • 72. At 11:52pm on 18 Oct 2010, Allie wrote:

    All of the arguments against multiculturalism that I have seen here so far drive me crazy. It DOES work, and I'm living proof of this. I am Syrian-Cuban American: my father's family migrated from Syria to Cuba, then to the US in the 1960s, while my mother is from the United States. I'm a US citizen, I love my country, I speak English, but I dearly love culture the food, the music, the culture of my father's family as well. I don't feel like I have to choose one or the other. The trick to making multiculturalism work is letting people from other cultures know that they are welcome. You have to reach out to these groups and let them know that they are part of the larger society, not freeze them out with talk of how they MUST assimilate or go home. This is completely counter-productive, and only serves to make immigrant groups (or anyone who looks like they could be from those ethnic groups, such as yours trul) feel like they can only turn to each other and will never be accepted. Assimilation will happen, but it takes a generation or two at least, and only if these generations feel they have a vested interest in the larger society.

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  • 73. At 11:58pm on 18 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    An addition to #66,

    Mallorca has a German problem !

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  • 74. At 00:33am on 19 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    63 democracythreat writes:
    "Germany continues to disgust me."
    I hope German readers here will view this bile with the contempt it deserves. They are really only a part of the continent of Europe that he loathes and why he has made his life and living here is beyond me. This is one of his previous contributions:

    "Looking at the bulk of the comments of europeans on this blog, it becomes clear that Europeans LIKE fascism. Many here yearn to be associated with bloodthirsty fascists who butcher women and children. Sure, they will say they are not at all like that, but they do so from behind a barricade staffed with party members and adorned with flags.
    This simple minded, vicious, pitiful brutality is the single biggest claim to fame that Europeans have. The idiotic horror of Europe in the 20th century will remain as a testament to the depredation of the human spirit and the miserable weakness of human beings for as long as there are human beings. Vicious European nationalism takes the prize as the single most horrific example of human behaviour on record.
    And yet you will go a long way before you find a European of any flavour who is not busting a gut to wave a flag and preach hate to a minority.
    I am beginning to think Marcus is right. The USA ought never have stopped Stalin, not until he gave the entire continent a complete makeover, and utterly eradicated the old religious institutions and the insane class system of entitlement which blights European politics."

    You will note that he labels us 'bloodthirsty fascists' while himself regretting that Stalin was stopped from finishing us off after WW2. I have a feeling there are few places in the world where he could express those loathsome sentiments against the natives without getting lynched or at least kicked out pronto.

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  • 75. At 01:06am on 19 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    The last time a member of the CDU tried to use the argument that German should be the ´Leitkultur´(main culture) 300,000 Berliners demonstrated against the idea (before the wall fell)--practically no foreigners were there. One should not blame Germany and Germans for not trying.

    Many of the asylum seekers are Palestinians, Lebanese and Kurds who brought their children and war scars with them. Some in this psychologically damaged group appear to be responsible for many of the German social problems.

    The Turks brought a slightly different problem to Germany with their civil war --the ´Gray Wolf´ and the Turkish military secret service. The war was also fought in Germany. The Turkish Left lost the fight for a more humane Turkey --and the vanquished turned to Islam, both in Turkey and Europe.

    To my mind, Germany made a large political blunder by not declaring Erdogan ´persona non grata´after his (private) speech mentioned in #61 --that would have been a much better time to say - ´enough is enough´.







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  • 76. At 01:22am on 19 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    It's just one more example of how the EUSSR failed to successfully copy the United States of America, a society and civilization which Europeans do not understand, cannot understand. Whether it's the EU, a single currency, or bringing in legal immigrants, Europe fails on all accounts where America succeeds.

    Perhaps Europeans overlooked the statement President Obama made during the Presidential campaign when he said the Europe had a ticking demographic time bomb. How interesting I find it that Europeans liked Barack Obama so much but he could not have become a national leader in any European country because of his race. (He's far smarter than any of his European counterparts in spite of his shortcomings.)

    So this aspect of European failure comes out of the drawer on to the front page for a few days only to be put away again until the next time it was needed. And what steps will be taken to fix the problem? Same as always, none. Just talk.

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  • 77. At 04:04am on 19 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Hello everyone,


    I offer this as one of many examples of the evils of foreign culture.

    "Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed, a leading Sharia Law expert and head of the UK's Sharia Council, has publicly claimed that marital rape is "impossible". He claims that, since sex is part of marriage, a husband cannot be said to "rape" his wife, and the idea of marital rape arises from the illusion of female equality."

    The came straight out of the independent newspaper, I may not be allowed to post the link so I will do that in a other comment incase you want to read.

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  • 78. At 04:06am on 19 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Here you all are.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rape-impossible-in-marriage-says-muslim-cleric-2106161.html

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  • 79. At 04:18am on 19 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Allie:

    #72.

    You are one person out of millions. That does not represent a reliable poll. It's illegal in the UK to produce a poll of one person, I am confident it would be illegal elsewhere too because one person is not enough to represent the community.

    I have to ask you though, what business have you in Europe? Have you lived here, worked here or attended school here? How can you understand the situation if you have not experienced the situation first hand?

    There may be something about Cuba or the USA that Europe can learn from. However do not lecture us about what we experience everyday because it steps on your toes.

    You have not addressed ANY of the concerns raised. That's not helpful, not helpful at all, it does not address the issues at hand. You can choose to ignore the problems but politicians have ignored the problems so far and more radical people are being elected.

    It's quite a large gamble and I am sure not all migrants will appreciate you gambling the situation that they have to live with either.

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  • 80. At 07:58am on 19 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Accroding to this report some think there's no room for multicluturalism in, say, France.

    Just for a Sharia-based monocultural caliphate.



    http://downloads.cbn.com/cbnnewsplayer/cbnplayer.swf?aid=17933

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  • 81. At 08:48am on 19 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #12 " ever wondered why so many Germans have Polish/Slavic sounding names? Think about it."


    Just check the composition of the German national soccer team in the last 2-3 years. :) [three ethnic Poles on it]

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  • 82. At 08:52am on 19 Oct 2010, Amit wrote:

    The current management policy is exactly what you would be learning at grad school.50-60 years ago, Europe moved in a direction to become "immigrant free" by going ahead with the "Holocaust" and "Porajmos". It was not met with complete success though and with "human resources" having depleted due to the wars, a new wave of immigrants were called in. The management style to now deal with this problem is that if you scare away the biggest immigrant group, the smaller ones will automatically retreat on their own. Hence the Turks and gypsies (coincidently both also come in shades of Islam and darker skin) have become an obvious target as they account for the largest minorities in EU. With this EU is marching ahead to realise the unfulfilled dream of a united white catholic Europe!! But will it actually succeed and do a majority of EU citizens actually want just this to happen?

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  • 83. At 08:52am on 19 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #16 "If I was an Afghan coming to Germany or Sweden or Ireland or somewhere, I would wondering why I'm expected to adopt the cultural values of those places when I'm just there to earn a better standard of living for myself and my family."




    So stay where you are.

    It's not exactly that someone invites to move to Europe.

    Reform and modernize your own country for a change.

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  • 84. At 08:58am on 19 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "A handful of Muslims get radicalised"


    A handful? A HANDFUL???


    Have you been to UK or France lately?

    Or, for that matter, to U.S.?

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  • 85. At 09:04am on 19 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Of those who live in previously owned Greek Cypriot (or Turkish Cypriot ) property - the idea of giving up Britishness--is the last thing on their mind"






    Many a major Russian company is officially a Cypriot one.

    Although their owners never really set a foot in a Greek or Turkish part of Cyprus. Let alone bothered to learn Greek or Turkish.

    Oh, those pesky Brits! ;(

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  • 86. At 09:04am on 19 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MHoward

    Re #74

    Oh Margaret, You have displayed such a serious lack of judgement!

    The pontificating sage of the Swiss calls the English the "..most bloodthirsty race in history..": That's fine by You and You couldn't wait to write in support.
    That same fine fellow described the "..jews.." of "..Israel.." as the "..dregs of society..": You didn't disagree & You did join with DT when he allocated that label to the British too.
    DT raged on with cruel & malicious accounts of all things American-British-English from over the centuries: You leapt in with Your own harping, carping prejudices against all 3.
    This is a chap who in some contributions wrote opposing Capital Punishment from his pseudo-legal standpoint and in others suggested a UK PM should be hung up by his thumbs until dead.
    I've lost count of the number of times Your comments included praise for the sage depite his contributions often including disguised tirades of bluster that contemptuously dismiss the common man & their role in Democracy.

    Did You really not read any of it, Margaret?

    His politics & his unpleasantness have been obvious for a good while Margaret: Where have You been? What took You so long?

    Now You have the nerve to recommend DemocThreat's 'bile' against 'Germans' is, "..viewed with the contempt it deserves..".

    I would laugh if it were not so pathetically late!

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  • 87. At 09:08am on 19 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Also, while there is almost zero unemployment among the Vietnamese, even though not nearly all of those from the 1st generation speak a good Czech, there is at least 80% unemployment rate among the Roma, according to conservative estimates by Roma NGOs.

    This clearly proves that no imagined distaste for "foreigners" or "people who're different" is to blame here - the problem is largely a result of the unwillingness of the Roma community to adopt Czech values and obey Czech Republic's laws and customs."






    Tht seems to be a case also in Slovakia. And Hungary.

    Countries I've recently visited; just as Czechia and Poland, where the problem is quite similar.

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  • 88. At 09:14am on 19 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #72. At 11:52pm on 18 Oct 2010, Allie

    You, like many, put the onus on the indigenous population to show that immigrants are welcome whereas what should happen is that the indigenous population simply need to treat the newcomers the same as anyone else. It is too pat and PC to put the onus on the indigenous population and far too Socialist as they love to create a mess by creating discord in perpetually claiming there is discrimination, primarily because they consider new immigrants normally are left leaning.

    You may consider I don't know what I'm talking about but firstly I have been an immigrant in Belgium for 20 years and I was treated identically to a local and critically, I believe it should be me that makes the effort to integrate and that is what happened, secondly I came from near to Brixton in South London and saw at first hand how the loony left wound up immigrants for political advantage by pumping up the concept of discrimination, and that resulted in the race riots.

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  • 89. At 09:17am on 19 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    David wrote:
    Do what China and Russia did :)

    Send Christians to move into "their" neighborhoods and form sizable minorities.

    ex. Tartars in the Ukraine, Russians in Baltics and Han in Tibet and elsewhere.

    Funny, how it sounds Wise, in retrospect. Then, you CAN call it the EUSSR...






    There was a reason behind those policies. Both Stalin, and later Mao-tse-tung forcibly moved ethnic Russians and Han peeople to Azerbaijan, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Inner Mongolia, Tibet and Uighuria so that at any point convenient for Moscow and Beijing those new minorities could start claiming ratial/ethnic persecution and ask for military assistance, which Russian and Chinese communist rulers were only too willing to give.

    [And they did: more than once.]

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  • 90. At 10:06am on 19 Oct 2010, Ellinas wrote:


    Let me see what a parody (but true) of a Hewitt's article says about:

    --✄--

    'Failure' of multiculturalism

    In a speech to young members of his party, Tayyip Erdogan at the weekend broke a taboo. He said multiculturalism had "utterly failed".

    Up until now mainstream politicians have largely shied away from "identity politics". No longer. The Turkis "chancellor" was explicit. "This multicultural approach, saying that we simply live side-by-side and live happily with each other has failed. Utterly failed."

    --✄--

    So we see that:

    German Problem:

    Chancellor Merkel: multiculturalism had "utterly failed".

    German Solution:

    Chancellor Merkel: they must learn the language and accept the country's cultural norms

    Turkish Problem:

    Tayyip Erdogan: multiculturalism had "utterly failed".

    Turkish Solution:

    Tayyip Erdogan: One nation, one flag, one motherland and one state.’ They are opposed to this. Those who oppose this should leave

    You see Merkel! Erdogan want them to leave! Why? Because Kurds already know and speak Turkish "fluently and without an accent" and accept the country's cultural Islamic norms but that's not enough...

    Turkish as in the past are one step further than the Germans. They had the problem but turkey has the solution. Turkish "science" as always is a pioneer to such tactics: 151 Kurdish on trial. Among them dozen elected mayors

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  • 91. At 10:27am on 19 Oct 2010, U14613388 wrote:

    This is a curious argument. It amounts to this:

    "We genuinely welcome you to come to our country to help it become more prosperous. However, you must do the work and you must become more like us -- and not the other way around."

    It would seem that, if immigrants were genuinely being welcomed, it would make better sense both perhaps that immigrants be required to take some steps to learn about their adopted homeland, but also that the welcoming country - that has invited immigrants in the first place - take some steps of its own to adapt to the new cultures it has permitted in. It can't be all one-way.

    Besides, has multiculturalism been genuinely tried long enough for us to say it has failed in Germany or elsewhere?

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  • 92. At 10:29am on 19 Oct 2010, U14613388 wrote:

    Of course, many may want to look at the curious questions on the UK's citizenship test. Most I know have been unable to pass sample tests, let alone half the questions.

    http://the-brooks-blog.blogspot.com

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  • 93. At 10:47am on 19 Oct 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #92

    Unashamed & unalloyed personal advertising of on-line sites via these BBC Blog articles is a particularly reprehensible ploy: Kindly desist.

    Mods: You missed this one!

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  • 94. At 11:19am on 19 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #92. At 10:29am on 19 Oct 2010, Thom Brooks

    "Most I know have been unable to pass sample tests, let alone half the questions. "

    That shows simply that these people are unlikely to be suitable to be at a university in the UK (apparently you are at Newcastle University), the entry standards therefore reflect the fact that many overseas students use the courses as a means to enter the UK, and then try for citizenship which is deceitful.

    Before you ask, I am a naturalised Belgian citizen so have a personal experience on how to apply for citizenship in another country.

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  • 95. At 11:24am on 19 Oct 2010, MacTurk wrote:

    The West German state, via treaties with various states, imported workers from Italy(from 1955), Greece(1960), Turkey(1961), Morocco(1963), Portugal(1964), Tunisia(1965) and Yugoslavia(1968). These agreements allowed the recruitment of Gastarbeiter to work in the industrial sector for jobs that required few qualifications. The West German labour shortage was made more acute by the creation of the Berlin Wall in August 1961, which reduced the large-scale flow of East German immigration virtually to zero overnight.
    The initial idea was that all these "gastarbeiter"(guest workers) would only stay for two or three years. There was no interest on either side in integrating gastarbeiter into West German society. This was mentioned by Ms Merkel herself in her recent speech; she used the phrase "We lied to ourselves".
    The other issue was the German citizenship law, which basically mandated two ethnic German parents to get German citizenship(Jus sanguinis). This law was only modified in 2000.

    The Turks became the largest gastarbeiter population after 1961. They could NOT hope to become citizens,effectively, until 2000. Demanding that people integrate, when it was legally impossible for them to do so, seems to me to be just a little illogical.

    And if you do not encourage them to integrate - because they are all going home soon - please do not be shocked if they form a sort of parallel society.

    Amit(no 82)wrote an amazing fact-free farrago of nonsense

    "Hence the Turks and gypsies (coincidently both also come in shades of Islam and darker skin". Please provide some evidence(if any such exists) for gypsies being Muslim? As for this; "EU is marching ahead to realise the unfulfilled dream of a united white catholic Europe", all I can say is "The Stupid is deep here". Where did you get the idea that the EU has any such policy? Again, evidence would be such a wonderful thing.

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  • 96. At 11:29am on 19 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    Funny how the left accuses many who dare to question their 'multicultural'utopia to be nazis and fascists.

    Historically speaking, who sided with Nazi Germany during World War II, the western world or islam?

    Sure, there was plenty of collaborators on the mainland, but those were marginalized and vilified after 1945, whereas in the Middle East local nazi collaborators were glorified for some reason.

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  • 97. At 11:36am on 19 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    72.Allie wrote:
    All of the arguments against multiculturalism that I have seen here so far drive me crazy. It DOES work, and I'm living proof of this.


    It doesn't work and it never has. The USA is primarily a melting pot, ahead of being 'multiculturalist'. Wrong analogy.

    The trick to making multiculturalism work is letting people from other cultures know that they are welcome. You have to reach out to these groups and let them know that they are part of the larger society, not freeze them out with talk of how they MUST assimilate or go home.

    The problem is, the USA tends to get those who WANT to work and assimilate. Europe tends to get those who do not want to work so much and don't care for our freedoms. And a significant minority of those who come to Europe continue believing in feudalist ideas such as the subjugation of woman to man. I for one do not care to make those feel welcome, because the sooner they leave the better it is.

    Assimilation will happen, but it takes a generation or two at least, and only if these generations feel they have a vested interest in the larger society.

    It has been two generations, and it hasn't happened. And their interest is to replace our freedoms with their woman- and gay-hating ideology, namely the monocultural ideology of islam. Monocultural? Yes indeed, for islam does not consider any other culture, belief system or ideology to be equal to islam. And this is where they differ from us.

    I do not hesitate at all to say that a culture, that generally speaking (worldwide) does not consider women to be equal to men, is inferior to our culture that does.

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  • 98. At 11:38am on 19 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    91.Thom Brooks wrote:
    ...but also that the welcoming country - that has invited immigrants in the first place - take some steps of its own to adapt to the new cultures it has permitted in. It can't be all one-way.


    Good, I'll come to your house and will impose some of the rules I have in my house upon you. And if you protest I shall call you a racist.

    When in Rome, do as the Romans...

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  • 99. At 11:39am on 19 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Hindsight is 20-20. If Europeans were really smart, they would have seen this coming BEFORE they allowed all these "immigrants" to come to live there permanently to be exploited as a permanent underclass. But they didn't. They lied as always. They lied to the world, to each other, to themselves. They thought they could just wave their magic European way of life wand around and it would all happen by itself.

    America does not have a "multicultural" society in the sense Europe has. America isn't called the great melting pot for nothing. On the one hand, immigrants and their descendants retain certain aspects of their ancestral culture but often in a diluted form, one which becomes increasingly diluted in subsequent generations. On the other they must conform to American society's norms, its expectations. If they don't they are the subject of ridicule, ostracism, and if they break our laws, prosecution and punishment. Usually they embrace it quickly, eagerly. It is almost unavoidable. Sharia law will never be allowed to supplant civil law in the US because in many ways it is antithetical to the most basic underlying principles of our Costitution and to our statutory laws.

    Isolation and indifference does not equal tolerance. Europeans do not allow "immigrants" to fully integrate into their societies. Whatever the laws say in a particular country, European societies are exclusionary in practice. They basically function on a small clanish or tribal system. That is what makes it so primitive and repugnant to me. Many of these so called "immigrants" were born in European countries and are simply minorites. At times in these tribal societies disenfranchised and potentially dangerous minorities. They have no other country to go back to. So what will become of them? What will Europeans do about the problem they engineered, one more European construct that is an absurdity in the way it was executed, a now admitted blunder that is blowing up in their faces. And what if it continues to be ignored? It seems to me if goes unresolved, it will lead to violence, possibly on a wide scale, possibly eventually sustained voilence that could disrupt the fabric of "the European way of life."

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  • 100. At 11:39am on 19 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Thom Brooks:

    #91.

    "It would seem that, if immigrants were genuinely being welcomed, it would make better sense both perhaps that immigrants be required to take some steps to learn about their adopted homeland, but also that the welcoming country - that has invited immigrants in the first place - take some steps of its own to adapt to the new cultures it has permitted in. It can't be all one-way.

    Besides, has multiculturalism been genuinely tried long enough for us to say it has failed in Germany or elsewhere?"

    I disagree. It is not about learning about the nation, but understanding what that country stands for. I have raised it before and I will say it again that European countries after hundreds of years are finally letting others the freedom to enjoy being who they are whilst others from non-European backgrounds have not went in the same direction as us.

    This is not a matter of simply a difference of opinion but a matter of principal that Europe has moved forward (it's not all a bed of roses but overall we have) and the people who come here should accept that.

    You will find that no one will complain about immigrants who want to enhance the already fairly good freedoms we enjoy in Europe. The real hostility comes when they want to change the system so we move back to the dark ages.

    If you want to come to Europe please leave the out-dated belief and superstitions at the door and work hard.

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  • 101. At 11:47am on 19 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    If the guest workers in Germany were really expected to leave after two or three years, why weren't they issued contracts, carefully documented, and at the end of that time expelled unless they could secure another contract? The answer is because in reality they were expected to stay to form a permanent underclass to be exploited by doing the menial jobs Germans wouldn't. For a long time they were out of sight, out of mind. It was assumed they would never rebel. Same in France and elsewhere in Europe. While America was ending segregation and exclusion, Europe was constructing and implementing it. Now the those chickens along with so many others are coming home to roost all at the same time. Cock-a-doodle doo!

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  • 102. At 12:01pm on 19 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The European motto should be "don't confuse us with the facts, our minds are made up." Europeans are basically irrational. Take the strikes over pensions in France right now as an example. Actuarial science is a branch of mathematics which deals with the sustainability of pension systems. Its principles are simple enough. money is paid in, that money may be invested, money is paid out. If the pension fund isn't to be eventually completely depleted, that is go bankrupt, the amount of money paid out must take into consideration how much is paid in and at what rate, life expectancy, return on the pension's investments, and only then can a satisfactory payout be arrived at. The French system like many others is broken because there is less money being paid in (a demographic shift from contributing workers to collecting pensioners) and greater longevity. Ironically, the very "immigrants" the French like other Europeans detest is one of the few hopes for more money coming into the system. I've always said Americans should welcome legal immigrants who will be paying for our social security checks. Increasing the payout date from 60 to 62 years old is one very modest way to tilt the balance away from bankruptcy. But do the French protestors have another solution to their actuarial problem? If they do, I haven't heard it. They want what they want and don't confuse them with the facts, their minds are made up. Perhaps if they stay out on strike long enough and bring the French economy to a screeching halt, they can deplete the pension fund even faster. Towards that end, this is working even better than the American initiated financial crisis. I wonder if this is how the French Revolution started. All we need now is for some high up French politician to say "let them eat cake."

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  • 103. At 12:07pm on 19 Oct 2010, U14613388 wrote:

    #94 - Buzet

    No, this is not a reflection on students, but on the wider public. It would be interesting to see how many citizens could pass the "Life in the UK" test. You may have experience passing tests in other countries, but the test in this country is instructive.

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  • 104. At 12:08pm on 19 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The great American cartoon philosopher Pogo famously said: "we have met the enemy and he is us." To those Europeans who see their multiculturalism as a problem, what are the options to solve it, what are your recommended solutions? (Europeans rarely have solutions, just grumblings and when they do have and actually implement them, they mostly don't work. If they do, it's usually just on a token basis, the heart of the problem goes unsolved.) Do you send them packing? Packing to where especially if they were born in the country they are a problem for? And to those who don't see a problem, then don't complain. By your assessment there is nothing to complain about. Only don't be surprised when there is a militant backlash from the majority. They seem very angry all over Europe. America is an island of racial and ethnic tranquility by comparison.

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  • 105. At 12:16pm on 19 Oct 2010, U14613388 wrote:

    #100 - Tom

    There are at least two problems with this view:

    1. I suspect you have a questionable understanding of what "Europe" is. Nevertheless, if Europeans are substantively similarly, then there should be no problems with immigration by EU citizens to other EU countries. When we speak about immigration in Europe, it is they that are by far the greatest number.

    2. Leave beliefs and superstitions at the door and work...? You then suggest your image of immigrants are people with questionable religious beliefs. Why? If this had happened, then Christian missionaries might never have been permitted to cross the Channel. Yet, I suspect the beliefs of current UK citizens is not a problem for you. If a country asks for -- even courts -- immigrants from elsewhere to come and work for its benefit, then it should treat people with greater dignity: people are not work horses, but human beings with customs, etc. If you want immigrants, then you should respect difference. Isn't tolerance one of the values that modern liberal democracies herald?

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  • 106. At 12:21pm on 19 Oct 2010, U14613388 wrote:

    #98 - resistance35

    A country that seeks immigrants to maintain and develop its economy is akin to house guests in some regards. Yes, house guests should be expected to follow certain house rules, but also the host should act with consideration. It would be a lousy dinner party where everyone had to dress and look the same, repeat the same jokes, and offer the same prayers.

    If you do invite someone over who you know is a vegetarian, then it would be bad manners to serve meat. Likewise, if a country seeks immigrants, then it should have respect for different customs and vice versa.

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  • 107. At 12:25pm on 19 Oct 2010, Justin150 wrote:

    The problem with multi-culturalism and assimilation is definition - can you really define everything that counts as being "British" in a culture sense.

    I am not going to talk about Germany but the UK. The traditionally woolly liberal multiculturalism as shown by renaming Christmas as a Winter festival so as not to offend is clearly dead in the water. So lets try and define what would be acceptable:

    1. Immigrants should learn English. Please scrap all those councils leaflets is 10 different languages. If you want to deal with govt you do so in English.

    But

    2. What language you speak at home is up to you. The English language has been greatly enhanced by taking words from othe languages - please help us continue that.

    3. Democracy is a fundamental part of British society. If you want to abolish it, find a different country.

    4. Religious tolerance is (in much of UK) a fundamental part of British life. That does not mean you cannot have a robust debate on which religion is superior, of course you can which leads to

    5. Freedom of speech is fundamental. Criticism of religious figures is allowed. If you do not like what you are hearing, dont listen.

    6. Freedom of expression is fundamental - you wear what ever you like and so will I. Only exception is that certain things require the face to be shown (in banks for security reasons, passport control that sort of thing)

    7. The rule of law applies to everyone.

    We have to stop bending over backwards to try and not offend this group or that group. We should be proud of our traditions in Britain and require everyone to follow them. Those traditions provide more than enough flexibility to allow particular groups to cherish their own culture. Look at the Jewish community in Britain. They have not lost their culture, their language but are basically fully integrated in society. They did so without needing all council leaflets translated, Christian festival renamed and yes they have there own schools. If they can do so, then so can all other groups

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  • 108. At 12:30pm on 19 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    One factor which contributes to the melting pot effect in the US is the tendency of people to marry those of other ethnic heritages. At first it was Catholics marrying across lines that did not have a common ancestral nationality such as Irish marrying Italians and for Protestants to do the same such as English to marry Germans. Then it was across religious lines, then across racial lines. (Now marriage may even be between people of the same sex.) President Obama is a paradigm of this new American multicultural mix, part white and part African American he can partially associate his identity with both but cannot fully associate himself exclusively with just one of them. As this has happened, ancestral origins become increasingly less important, the individual himself more important. The logical evolution of the process will be for long past origins to become all but irrelevant and those associations to become almost meaningless. Look out Europe, America's affinity for you is waning fast. In the future you will not be able to count on it. This process is not happening in Europe to anything like the degree it has happened in America. Europe remains largely tribal. Mixed marriages in some areas remain almost taboo. Relationships are seen very differently, this kind of mix the rare exception instead of the rule.

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  • 109. At 12:37pm on 19 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I have observed that the contrymen of the progeny of my European ancestors in different countries who reamained in Europe are sometimes practically at war with each other. With any luck, one day they will completely kill each other off and I won't ever have to hear about them again.

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  • 110. At 12:52pm on 19 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    Thom Brooks:

    #105.

    "1. I suspect you have a questionable understanding of what "Europe" is. Nevertheless, if Europeans are substantively similarly, then there should be no problems with immigration by EU citizens to other EU countries. When we speak about immigration in Europe, it is they that are by far the greatest number."

    I disagree as Europeans are more likily to return home eventually, but others outside of Europe intend to live in one area. However Europeans are still expected to learn the language etc in other European nation. The culture too although different can at times be rather similar compared to those furthest away and again our governments and the politics can be very, very similar unlike other countries and peoples. This is not unique to Europe. You will find countries and people share more with their regional neighbours then people further away.

    "2. Leave beliefs and superstitions at the door and work...? You then suggest your image of immigrants are people with questionable religious beliefs. Why? If this had happened, then Christian missionaries might never have been permitted to cross the Channel. Yet, I suspect the beliefs of current UK citizens is not a problem for you. If a country asks for -- even courts -- immigrants from elsewhere to come and work for its benefit, then it should treat people with greater dignity: people are not work horses, but human beings with customs, etc. If you want immigrants, then you should respect difference. Isn't tolerance one of the values that modern liberal democracies herald?"

    Of course I respect difference. However, tolerance does not automatically mean that I or others should respect or even accept all of the customs someone brings. In some respects their customs backwards, offensive to the gains we have made in society here and should not be welcomed here.

    How often do you drink tea with the fascists of Europe? I bring up fascists because they are of course the group who we feel it's fine to abuse (I use the term abuse lightly).

    In Europe we do not accept ALL views as equal or worthy of respect. Therefore I find it perfectly acceptable to ensure that the immigrants who come to this country understand that we should expect a bare minimum of expectations when it comes to integration and acceptable standards and customs.

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  • 111. At 12:56pm on 19 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII,

    The USA had many bumps on the way to a fairly okay successful melting pot. Europe will eventually sort itself out.

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  • 112. At 2:05pm on 19 Oct 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    " Europe will eventually sort itself out."


    We've heard it after the Vienna Congress.

    Than again, after Versailles Treaty.

    Then after Potsdam.

    Then peace and ethnic harmony were to reign after Srebrenica Massacre.

    Then after yet another 'ceasefire' announced by Basques and IRA.

    [Of course to be broken again.]

    Now we'll have to wait also for the Flemish to sort out their differences with Wallons.

    And Catalans with Spaniards.

    And Serbs with Albanians.

    And...

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  • 113. At 3:59pm on 19 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    108 Homer Simpson writes:
    "President Obama is a paradigm of this new American multicultural mix, part white and part African American he can partially associate his identity with both but cannot fully associate himself exclusively with just one of them."
    President Obama's father was pure Kenyan not African American. Another one of your bogus theories bites the dust. You're not doing very well just recently are you Homer. Maybe you should start thinking and checking a bit more before you write this twaddle. We won't feel too deprived if we have to wait a bit longer - honest!

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  • 114. At 4:11pm on 19 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    I thought Obama grew up in the USA and Asia, just where does being African come into it?

    He may not be white but that certainly shouldn't make him African.

    I never can understand why people describe themselves African American when the only thing in common they have with an African is the colour of their skin.

    Do you hear Americans describe themselves as European Americans often or even white Americans?

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  • 115. At 4:15pm on 19 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    106.Thom Brooks wrote:
    If you do invite someone over who you know is a vegetarian, then it would be bad manners to serve meat. Likewise, if a country seeks immigrants, then it should have respect for different customs and vice versa.


    But it would also be bad manners for the vegetarian to complain if I did serve meat to the other guests who do like it.

    And as for respect for different customs, lets put up an example:

    -Society x: women are treated equal in our society
    -Wannabe immigrants: we want to treat women as inferior as is custom in our 'culture'
    -Society x: no can do that
    -Wannabe immigrants: you bigots should respect our customs
    -Society x: you cannot challenge core values of our society such as equality, that is not up for negotiation

    Should we respect said 'different customs' if they run contrary to our core values?

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  • 116. At 4:34pm on 19 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    Actually, Arab-American would be a better designation. Obama sr was one of Kenya's Arab minority. Barack Hussein is an Arab name.

    So, besides his fathers passport, there is nothing African about Obama. Is he ashamed to be Arab that he so strenuously denies it?

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  • 117. At 4:38pm on 19 Oct 2010, Tom wrote:

    There is a little thing called over staying your welcome. Does that count for these guests?

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  • 118. At 5:20pm on 19 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    DT

    No explanation of your #63.

    -- and my request #65 ?

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  • 119. At 5:35pm on 19 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #117 Tom

    No, only for the British Empire.

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  • 120. At 8:45pm on 19 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #103. At 12:07pm on 19 Oct 2010, Thom Brooks wrote:

    ++++
    #94 - Buzet

    No, this is not a reflection on students, but on the wider public. It would be interesting to see how many citizens could pass the "Life in the UK" test. You may have experience passing tests in other countries, but the test in this country is instructive.

    ++++

    Oh my, yet another reader of a University who has limited ability to understand, you posts #103, #105 #106 type cast you, you may be reading but you have not yet understood. Just what is instructive, the ability to brainwash as has evidently happened to you in university. The test in the UK is not instructive, it is a test to see whether the applicant wants to learn about the UK, and is not an economic immigrant, not very difficult really, eh.

    #112. At 2:05pm on 19 Oct 2010, powermeerkat ,

    As for the Flemish , well it's like the Scots, the sooner they leave the better, then in our case the Wallonia can recoup the business the Flemish have moved to Flanders. Ooops I understand that is already happening as nobody anywhere wants to live in a region that forces a dying language on people and refuses to sell you a property unless you speak that language. BTW I am English of origin and very much prefer to rest in the civilised part of Belgium.


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  • 121. At 9:51pm on 19 Oct 2010, David wrote:

    I thought there would be more jokes

    Where are the jokes?

    Last time, we had a discussion like this ...lots of jokes.

    Moderator tested jokes, of course :)

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  • 122. At 10:42pm on 19 Oct 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #76 - MarcusAureliusII

    "It's just one more example of how the EUSSR failed to successfully copy the United States of America - "

    I did not know we were trying to "copy" the USSA but, if we were, thank heaven we failed.

    And at #99

    "If Europeans were really smart, they would have seen this coming BEFORE they allowed all these "immigrants" to come to live there permanently to be exploited as a permanent underclass".

    So what happened all of a sudden to "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . "?

    Our immigrants our condemned to be a permanent underclass whereas yours are the inheritors of God's own country - right?

    Marcus, I see that you are bored tonight and have posted generously. My view is that you are in one of those moods and I am not bothering to read any more. Get back to me when the anti-European bile has worn off.

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  • 123. At 11:26pm on 19 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    Threnodio

    ´Lower´classes existed both in Europe and UK before immigrants arrived !

    --both are now integrated as ONE.

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  • 124. At 11:32pm on 19 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    David wants some jokes --anyone drunk enough ?

    -- or has the testosterone turned into toblarone ?




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  • 125. At 00:28am on 20 Oct 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    quietoaktree @#123

    I would agree that for the most part post-1950s immigrants have been constrained to almost ghetto-like areas of the UK but not all. Some have managed to make enough of their lives to buy themselves out and into better areas of the cities, towns and suburbs.

    On the other hand the lowest strata of the British indigenous population remain constrained within their sinkhole Estates in the centres of the major conurbations. I have the sense that they would have remained constrained to those circumstances regardless of the arrival of so many immigrants in recent times.

    However, I rarely sense much integration of the new-immigrants with the entrenched lower strata and therein lies the serious potential for racial friction.

    The immigrants do come to nation states such as the UK seeking a better life and who has the right to blame them. The problem is that the lower strata of the indigenous population feel that they have a right to a better life too and will resent seeing any favouritism or too much 'leniency' shown to the newcomers when that kindness has never been properly demonstrated other than through social welfare provision that the indigenous least well-off people see as their heritage.

    The friction at this lower order of society is where the racial disintegration will occur sooner or later.

    I make no judgement on either the immigrant or the poorest of the British as there is no right or wrong per se - it is simply that politically the decision to have too many immigrants descend into the territories of the least well-off British was always doomed to cause friction as housing, welfare and social provision was always a premium and, as we all now know, always unaffordable.

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  • 126. At 00:37am on 20 Oct 2010, tamar wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 127. At 00:56am on 20 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Threnodious;

    "So what happened all of a sudden to "Give me your tired, your poor"

    Who do you think made them tired and poor in the first place? I've said that understanding America is beyond the capabilities of the Euronically conditioned mind. Don't strain, you'll only wind up hurting yourself.

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  • 128. At 01:01am on 20 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    TPT Peggy, let me explain this to you as simply as I can in words that even an Brit can understand. Barack Obama being partially of African ancestry is in common American parlance part African American. That is what dark skinned people who are American citizens and have ancestry at least in part from Africa prefer to be termed. We used to call them blacks when they preferred that term. Before that they preferred the term Negro. At that time the word black was considered derogatory. Before that they were called colored which was similar to the term coloured used in Britain. Whatever they like to be called, that's what we call them, your ignorance notwithstanding.

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  • 129. At 09:29am on 20 Oct 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    I realise I don't stand a chance to correct BBCs journalism here. Instead I can inform everybody that today's edition of the left wing newspaper Die Taz has a front page direct at president Wullf (CDU) with the words:

    Thank you, Mr. President.

    Anybody with the slightest idea of German politics and German newspapers will realise what a remarkabel front page that is.
    Mr. Hewitt's article is painting the wrong picture.

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  • 130. At 09:33am on 20 Oct 2010, U14613388 wrote:

    114 - Tom:

    Clearly, you have never been to the United States. Many white Americans of European ancestry regularly identify themselves as Irish-American, Italian-American, etc.

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  • 131. At 09:40am on 20 Oct 2010, U14613388 wrote:

    120 - Buzet23:

    I do not appear to understand my earlier post and your response is inaccurate. You say:

    "[. . .] The test in the UK is not instructive, it is a test to see whether the applicant wants to learn about the UK, and is not an economic immigrant, not very difficult really, eh. [. . .]"

    On the contrary, every immigrant desiring permanent residency and/or citizenship must pass this test (as I have done). It is not a test to learn about the UK, but required for permanent work visas and citizenship. There is an issue about what the test covers, but this is a separate matter.

    Otherwise, I suspect you don't understand the position of a "Reader" at universities as your derogatory remarks are nonsensical.

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  • 132. At 10:27am on 20 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #131. At 09:40am on 20 Oct 2010, Thom Brooks,

    Just so that you underrstand that I am perfectly aware of what your title means I have cut and pasted a description of your posting, I also have several friends who are (or were) of around your level in universities :-
    The title of Reader in the United Kingdom and some universities in the Commonwealth nations like Australia and New Zealand denotes an appointment for a senior academic with a distinguished international reputation in research or scholarship. It is an academic rank above Senior Lecturer (or Principal Lecturer in the New Universities). In the British ranking system a Reader could be seen as a Professor without a Chair, similar to the distinction between professor ordinarius and professor extraordinarius at some European universities.

    +++++++++++++++ British Nationality Law, extract covering citizenship acquiring
    # show sufficient knowledge of life in the UK, either by passing the Life in the United Kingdom test or by attending combined English language and citizenship classes. Proof of this must be supplied with one's application for naturalisation. Exemption from this and the language requirement (see below) is normally granted for those aged 65 or over, and may be granted to those aged between 60 and 65
    # meet specified English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language competence standards. Those who pass the Life in the UK test are deemed to meet English language requirements
    +++++++++++++++

    As I said before, this test shows whether the applicant has made an effort to try and assimilate, and learn about the country and its language to which they want to be affiliated as a citizen. It is only right and just that there are such tests and that they are obligatory, I have no doubt that there is a debate about what the tests should contain and lecturers, professors etc like yourself have a track record of leaning to the politically correct left and demanding that they be watered down to the point of absurdity. Your comment "It is not a test to learn about the UK" is clearly contrary to the reasoning behind the test as shown by the extract I included above.

    I also consider it deceitful that many so called students that are accepted at universities have an extremely poor command of English and use their 'studies' as a stepping stone to citizenship or to simply disappear into the system.

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  • 133. At 10:52am on 20 Oct 2010, U14613388 wrote:

    132 - Buzet:

    This is contrary to what you said above in 120. In any event, I would recommend that you read "Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship" rather than cut-and-pasting from Wikipedia (and I'd recommend reading alternative sources for your information). You may find that the actual text and questions is rather different from what you think.

    You also are misinformed on students and citizenship: this is not how acquiring citizenship in the UK actually works.

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  • 134. At 11:22am on 20 Oct 2010, resistance35 wrote:

    120.Buzet23 wrote:
    As for the Flemish , well it's like the Scots, the sooner they leave the better, then in our case the Wallonia can recoup the business the Flemish have moved to Flanders. Ooops I understand that is already happening as nobody anywhere wants to live in a region that forces a dying language on people and refuses to sell you a property unless you speak that language. BTW I am English of origin and very much prefer to rest in the civilised part of Belgium.


    Hahaha too funny.

    The Walloons will 'recoup the business'? Hahaha, never gonna happen. The Walloons tend to have little if any entrepreneurial initiative and many have been conditioned by the PS to adapt a lifestyle of dependence on government.

    And Dutch is a dying language? Well so is French. It is no longer the #1 diplomatic language, and is falling further and further behind English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese in the order of significant languages.

    The Walloons maybe should not have oppressed the Dutch speaking part of that artificial country called Belgium for so long, denying language rights to the Flanders region. What sweet irony now that their industries have all but disappeared and now have to rely on handouts from those in Belgium who do think that working and adapting to modern times is important.

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  • 135. At 11:57am on 20 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #134. At 11:22am on 20 Oct 2010, resistance35

    There is one very simple thing you forget, were Belgium to break up and that is that Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels would become separate countries with their own bureaucratic structures. This means that since there is still no European company status, the companies that moved to Flanders would need to have a base in Wallonia. When one considers the number of unfilled vacancies that exist in Flanders, often because of the Dutch language requirement and even though English is often used in reality, it encourages companies to move back to Wallonia. In fact there are a lot of signs that this is already happening in certain parts of Wallonia.

    I admit that there are parts of Wallonia that have created the bad reputation and that Liege, Charleroi and Mons are heavily PS run and often work-shy, but there are plenty of entrepreneurs around and plenty of very able hard workers. From personal experience in my own area I never cease to be amazed at the entrepreneurial spirit I keep coming across, with people like these Wallonia will eventually succeed, the next step is to get rid of the old failed/corrupt politicians or at least those that are still in post. The new generation seems to be somewhat more capable from what I've heard and seen.

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  • 136. At 12:02pm on 20 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #125 Menadamus

    I see a similar situation as described in `Pawn in their Game´(Bob Dylan). He described how the poor American whites were anxious at the African Americans gaining equal Rights --and blamed them for their misery, instead of those manipulating the social inequality. Britain had (has) a similar situation.

    For 25 years after WW11 there was mass migration of working class Brits to English speaking Colonies in search of a better life. For 10 Pounds --they got a one-way ticket to Australia and their places in British society were gladly taken by Jamaicans, Indians etc. who all had the Right to live in Britain. They called Britains bluff --until the great idea of the Commonwealth blew up in its face -- and issued racial passports.

    The ´working class´white Brits who stayed, had a new and an (until then) unknown competition --similar to the poor whites in America.

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  • 137. At 12:23pm on 20 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #133. At 10:52am on 20 Oct 2010, Thom Brooks

    Wikipedia is a quick reference point and only that, it has errors and omissions as I've reported a few over the years, therefore as most here I prefer to go to the horses mouth for total accuracy. In this case the most accurate source is the Government web sites concerning this subject.

    That handbook seems to be unavailable online so I cannot comment on its contents, however there are site offering free trial tests and the questions on the one I looked at were pretty basic but quite relevant to the UK and its recent evolution. The government web site [http://www.lifeintheuktest.gov.uk] has a bit on the test and especially comments "By passing the Life in the UK Test, you will also show that you have the knowledge of English and of UK life that you need for citizenship".

    my post #120 The test in the UK is not instructive, it is a test to see whether the applicant wants to learn about the UK, and is not an economic immigrant, not very difficult really, eh.

    my post #132 As I said before, this test shows whether the applicant has made an effort to try and assimilate, and learn about the country and its language to which they want to be affiliated as a citizen.

    Pray tell how these are contrary to each other as you claim.

    "You also are misinformed on students and citizenship: this is not how acquiring citizenship in the UK actually works."

    So the non-existent universities, colleges are a figment of the mind as this is just one of the student scams. As you should well know from your post, overseas students are big business to the universities, they mean funding, previous education and ability is secondary or worse. It has also been far easier to get a student visa than a standard working visa, do you seek to deny that?

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  • 138. At 12:44pm on 20 Oct 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #137 Buzet 23

    `--most accurate source is the government ----´ ????

    You are really a good citizen !

    Do you work for any of them ?

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  • 139. At 1:03pm on 20 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #138. At 12:44pm on 20 Oct 2010, quietoaktree,

    Very good, I forgot to qualify my statement a bit, in the case of this citizenship test or tax rules, laws etc the government source is reliable, but in terms of statistics, economical figures etc, and especially if the government is Socialist, the government source is heavily manipulated, sanitised and unreliable.

    PS. I've never worked for government, but did once spend a while in the NHS long ago.

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  • 140. At 6:17pm on 20 Oct 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    128 Homer Simpson
    I don't know about 'common American parlance' but here in Europe we tend to be less sloppy in our thinking. You wrote at 108 that Obama was:".....part white and part African American..". The white part was his mother, but his father was pure African or as someone else noted, of Arab extraction, not African American.
    Being American yourself with a version of the English language much at odds with the original and often lacking in detail,you are obviously a stranger to semantics. Also,if your are all so well integrated in the land of the free why do you have to call yourselves African American, or Irish American etc why not just American?
    I am aware that having committed so many faux pas in your recent postings, you feel your credibility is at stake. But rest assured Homer, that is not so - you never had any in the first place.

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  • 141. At 8:14pm on 20 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #140. At 6:17pm on 20 Oct 2010, margaret howard

    For once you're right MH, I consider myself to be both English and Belgian, not English-Belgian, White English, Anglo-Saxon English, Anglo-Saxon Caucasian Belgian or any other combination, Just English and naturalised Belgian. It is too pat and PC to play the race card and so sad that it is so prevalent in the USA. Just for posterity MAII, just what do you consider yourself to be since your ancestors originated from Eastern Europe I recall.

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  • 142. At 01:30am on 21 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    TPT Peggy;

    "I don't know about 'common American parlance' but here in Europe we tend to be less sloppy in our thinking."

    What evidence do you have that Eurons think at all? I've never seen or heard of any.

    "The white part was his mother, but his father was pure African or as someone else noted, of Arab extraction, not African American."

    In our contemporary language, someone who is in part or whole of African ancestry and is an American citizen is referred to as "African American." That is also the official terminology used by all governments in the US.

    "Being American yourself with a version of the English language much at odds with the original and often lacking in detail,you are obviously a stranger to semantics."

    No, our semantics are merely different than yours. We do not speak English, we speak The American Language which in part evolved from English, in part incorporated words, phrases, idioms from many other languages as well even though we commonly call it English. Frankly, I do not particularly care for your language. Its peculiarities often strike me as stupid, even painful. I'm happy to stick with the language I have.

    It might interest you to know that over 200 languages are spoken in the United States of America. There is no requirement to speak The American Language and no requirement to adhere to the mainstream culture or any variant of it. We have many subcultures that exist perfectly peacefully side by side with the mainstream. What we do require is conformity to our laws and if that is a violation of someone's culture, that is too bad, they still must conform to the law or face the consequences.

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  • 143. At 7:57pm on 22 Oct 2010, democracythreat wrote:

    Pearls before swine, oaky boy.

    And I work for a living.

    I also take values seriously, and most of them on display here fill me with disappointment.

    Take threnodio, for example, in his latest exchange with marcus?. What is his point?

    He mocks America for being the origin of a statement as grand and as human and decent as "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . ".

    Frankly, how dare he? He mocks that grand piece of reasoning from what position of exalted status, exactly?

    Because he was born in Europe???? Because he loves the queen???

    From where does a man as intelligent as threnodio develop the disgusting arrogance to mock such a marvelous sentiment and such a profound piece of human rights history?

    What is his point? He doesn't have one. Like marget howard, he simply feels entitled to mock American history.

    But mocking American rhetoric and American history is to mock human rights. Say whatever you want about modern America, but if you do not acknowledge the debt the civilized world owes to the USA, you fail to understand the evolution of human law and reason.

    And that betrays an arrogance and short sighted foolishness which undermines any claim to dignity, in my view.

    If you take human rights seriously, and if you take the law seriously, and if you are not a prancing fairy delighting in the image of yourself in a nobleman's mirror you wish to call your own, then you must acknowledge the legitimacy of the USA's contribution to the body of human rights law we, all of us, take for granted in Europe.

    Criticize, but first respect. Otherwise you are a howling servant to whichsoever commercial just ran on television, political or mercenary or both at once.

    Do not patronize with joyful invitations to treat on petty cleverness. I do not wish to associate with people who do not have the courage to take their own convictions seriously. Either engage the substance of what Marcus writes, or desist from soliciting my support in your attempts to discredit his position.

    I look to substance and not form.

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  • 144. At 11:14am on 23 Oct 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    dt, I simply hand them the rope. Then I sit back and watch the show. They build the gallows and do the rest to themselves. It seems to work every time.

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  • 145. At 5:56pm on 25 Oct 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @1 Menemedus

    "Germans are clearly fearful of their future.

    A more than just substantial 13% of Germans would approve of the return of a "Fuhrer" type of leadership and Bavarian State President, Horst Seehoffer, goes further than Angela Merkel stating "Multiculturism is DEAD!"

    http://www.thelocal.de/society/20101016-30535.html
    Link

    Clearly the rise of austerity, frugality and regression is leading to a mindset of nationalism, racism and supremism becoming prevalent across Europe.

    Such a mindset is not held in check by the EU seeking to spend more on partying, hospitality and expansion of the EU Foreign Service at a time when austerity at national level is seriously going to hurt individual citizens financially. A 2.9% increase in EU Member State Contribution let alone a 5%+ were that may be approved by Qualified Majority Vote under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty is indefensible."


    Excuse this late reply, but I don´t want to leave such a statement uncommented.

    1. The study you are referring to was absolutely unscientific and as a former student of Leipzig University I am ashamed that it was conducted by my former alma mater.
    The questions have one goal and one goal only: to make people who do not absolutely reject any question look like nazis.
    Let`s take the Führer-question as an example. They asked whether people would like to see a strong leader take charge again and assumed that the word "Führer" (= leader) cannot be used in any other contect than referring to Hitler in modern German.
    Personally, I do not know about such a consensus and I bet neither do most other people.

    The next question asked whether they would like to see one strong party taking charge of things and take on the challenges of our time.
    Whoever answered with "yes" was considered a supporter of Nazi-dictatorship like goverments.
    Oh. My. God.

    The study found that 1/3 of SPD-members (social democratic party) were rightwing extremists. That`s right: the study is classifying them as of _extremist ideology_.



    2. Angela Merkel never said that multi culturalism is dead per se. She merely said that the German model of giving everyone as much space as he or she wants has failed miserably.
    Unlike Canada, Germany has not demanded anything from asylum seekers and immigrants from Turkey. It was only recently that language skills were introduced as a prerequisite for citizenship.
    An attempt to anchor German as the lingua franca in the constitution was attacked by both leftist and muslim interest groups.

    2/3 of Berlin`s multiple offenders are migrants and high-level crime are conducted by people with migrant background. In total, people with Turkish or Arab background are making up half of these crimes.
    Other major cities are not far behind.
    The same migrant group sports around 70% of young people without a school degree or finished job qualification.
    They are considered a lost generation which will live off social benefits for the rest of their lives. Many of those people don`t even have the German citizenship.
    The police lost control over some areas already.


    That is a reality which was neglected by the political class for over two decades and tried to shup up Sarrazin as well. That`s a big factor as to why public opinion on this issue is so explosive right now.


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  • 146. At 8:00pm on 25 Oct 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #145. At 5:56pm on 25 Oct 2010, DurstigerMann

    About your point 1, you are right, these are leading questions, even a car park attendant is a Fuhrer and so are managers if I remember my German experience as the word is used for a lot more innocent descriptions than just Hitler. I also recall that when I worked there in 1996 there were frequent problems between Turks and Kurds so not much has changed it seems.

    It would seem that the consensus idea of politics is no more successful that any other political system that is being experimented with across Europe, those who want to create chaos will do that no matter how they are appeased.

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  • 147. At 8:13pm on 01 Nov 2010, A Lester wrote:

    Whats wrong with her statement? Its just a politician finally expressing her views of the electorate.

    No one is saying that all immigrants must speak perfect english, adopt christianity and only speak to 'native' people rather than their own communities. If they want to stay in their own little ghettos thats fine. All people ask is that they don't start demanding special rights and priveliges.

    For example, my family live in Spain. They live in an area full of expats. However, they speak Spanish wherever possible, my sister fluently (being younger), have Spanish friends, pay Spanish taxes and abide by Spanish laws. Many aspects of Spanish culture are alien to them but they live with it rather than demanding that they be changed. Whenever i go over i always try to communicate in Spanish and avoid English bars like the plague. Very often the Spanish get over their initial shock and engage in banter often at their insistence in english. If nothing else you meet some good people and get some excellent recommendations on Tapas.

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  • 148. At 03:09am on 02 Nov 2010, Malkava wrote:

    I took the liberty of looking up the definition of multiculturalism to better my understanding. I had mistakenly thought it meant a person embraces multiple cultures and adopts parts of it as their own. However, I have learned that what it truly means, is that cultures are separate entities, and there are no central set of core of values which are promoted.

    That is what struck me as perplexing. I don't rightly understand what was trying to be achieved in the first place. In my view, this is what's to be expected - is it not? Each minority group continues to hold their own language, culture, and religion, without any attempt at integration. As there are no core values with which to connect to other cultures- how does one expect it to be otherwise?

    I can hardly blame immigrants for this particular conundrum. It is a shame that they are usually the first to bear the brunt of the political backlash.

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  • 149. At 10:57am on 09 Mar 2011, Jack Rainbow wrote:

    CAN I REMIND YOU THAT GEERT IS NOT ANTI MUSLIM. HE IS ANTI ISLAM BECAUSE ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF HATE. MUSLIMS MIGHT BE QUITE REASONABLE INDIVIDUALLY. DO NOT BY YOUR IGNORANT ATTITUDE, DISTORT THE TRUTH.

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