The other day I was reading a piece from "The Guardian" about "Far-right and anti-Islam ideas taking root in post-industrial towns. It was based upon a report from the left wing extremist group Hope Not Hate.

The report studiously ignores any legitimacy to concerns that give rise to opposition to minorities. In the report's view, these are nothing other than symptoms of a single problem (economic disadvantage), with no intrinsic validity, and which will evaporate with an economic solution.

It’s a bit like pointing to the impact smoking has on cancer and deciding abstinence from cigarettes is the solution to all cancer – no need for exercise, dietry change, etc….

Painting concerns about immigration, multiculturalism and Islam as irrational acts, they fail to address that these not only may be rational when living in economic decline, but may be entirely valid concerns amongst those living in relative affluence. No doubt this viewpoint is beyond the comprehension of the report’s authors. Instead, produce an economic advantage for all and the problem goes away. Not only is that utopian but it is arguably racist; while consideration is given to group identity for minorities (celebrating blackness, the need for black-British identity, etc), with no wishing away of it through economic empowerment, desiring and hoping to retain or grow white-British identity (which seems to be the unspoken issue here) is viewed as both delusion and as in need of curing.

This line says it all really: "Those who have been ‘left behind’ also need to keep up with changing social norms, that being white, British, straight and male does not entitle superiority. "

Errr, maybe rapidly changing social norms (e.g. where it is entirely acceptable to be labelled as entitled because you are “white, British, straight and male”) may be the actual problem? And that while economic prosperity can mask this, even in good old Labour heartlands, that veneer will vanish the moment this falters? And that the symptoms of this are UKIP etc.?

The Guardian is a complete joke of a newspaper. Here’s a dimension being missed – all fitting into just a couple of pages: