Britain’s new apartheid makes strangers of us all

Sometimes something happens which is a perfect incarnation of an idea, an attitude made flesh. This happened in the unlikely person of Clive Wolfendale, deputy chief constable of north Wales, who decided to favour the inaugural meeting of the North Wales Black Police Association with a rap performance.

It is hard to imagine the scene, but a white middle-aged senior officer in uniform regaled a group of policemen from various ethnic groups with some cod hiphop about the difficulties of “bein’ in the dibble” when you’re black: “You’re better chillin, lie down and just be passive / No place for us just yet in the Colwyn Bay Massive”.

The bottom line was that police of all backgrounds must trust each other and work together, to which nobody could possibly object. But the lyrics seem to me lamentable and the idea itself even more so.

It is not merely embarrassing that a senior policeman chose to ape a disaffected young black rapper in front of a mixed group of junior colleagues, whose only common feature was that they were not white. The whole occasion was a perfect illustration of the confusion and cultural loss of nerve in this country. It stands for all the patronage, misguided ingratiation, guilt and double standards that bedevil the way officialdom deals with race relations.

The case of Abu Hamza, the Egyptian-born Muslim cleric, is an even more glaring example of this cultural funk. Known to the tabloids as Captain Hook, Hamza is without question a serious menace to this country.

He has been preaching racial and religious hatred for many months in public (causing regular traffic jams in the process), and the Home Office has for long been convinced that he is closely linked with several international terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda. He gives comfort to our enemies.

At last the home secretary has decided to strip him of his British nationality in order to deport him. However, under British law Hamza is entitled to appeal, no matter how undesirable he may be, and his appeal hearing was due to start last Monday. Yet neither he nor his solicitor turned up in court, nor did he submit any evidence to support his appeal (although he was ordered to do so many months ago).

What is the result of this astonishing contempt of court, and of this country? A postponement of his case until January. Until then he will be free to carry on as before.

For there are the summer holidays to consider, and then the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and then it will be Christmas, and then the Treasury might kick up about legal aid but hasn’t decided yet, so really it will not be convenient to get round to dealing with this fellow for nearly nine months.

In a moment of exquisite understatement the judge commented that Hamza’s delays were “regrettable”, and the Home Office’s QC said with almost equal severity that “if he (Hamza) carries on like this, maybe the time will come when we might be making an application to you to dismiss the appeal”.

How about tomorrow? Why this astonishing lack of nerve? It is incredible that officialdom lacks the resolve to dismiss the case or to settle the legal aid problem in advance or to try the man under existing laws against incitements to violence, or even to call a witness to court during the month of Ramadan. This is a multicultural nonsense which is new to me and a bad precedent.

As a result, for his insolent, triumphant contempt of the appeals court and of the manners and morals of this country, Hamza has not been punished. He has been rewarded with nine further months to do his worst here, unchecked, at vast public expense.

A gaggle of Christian clerics got together last week to denounce the British National party. They did not, however, for all the scary allegations about his terrifying secret “war cry” tapes, denounce Hamza. The BNP at its worst has never articulated, still less preached, anything like as bad or as racially inflammatory material as has Hamza. It does not advocate breaking the law, while Hamza incites atrocities.

Yet it is the BNP, in divided and guilt-ridden Britain, that excites more righteous indignation. One can only wonder what is wrong with the sense of perspective: white bigots evil, but un-white bigots un-evil. There seems to be one standard for white people but another standard for others.

One can only wonder, too, at the skewed perspective of the functionaries in Manchester who have been planning to set up a school in Bangladesh, at British taxpayers’ expense, for British-born Bengali children who miss many weeks of school because their parents take them for long trips to the old country to learn about their heritage and culture.

Out of respect for their lengthy cultural researches during term time, therefore, we the taxpayers must pick up the bill for special schooling in Sylhet.

Not only Manchester council and the local head teachers, but also John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads’ Association, thought this was a good idea. He advised other education authorities to do likewise.

Things are rather different here for white children who bunk off school and for their parents. A white Englishwoman has recently served not one but two prison sentences for failing to make her teenage daughters go to school.

I don’t suppose anyone thought to ask whether the girls were having culturally important experiences down the shopping centre with their mother at the time, or offered them home tuition to fit in with their leisure activities. (I should point out that a huge proportion of truants in this country are caught when shopping with their parents, which is to say with their parents’ consent and in accordance with their “culture”.) In the view of the educational establishment in Manchester, at least, it seems that there is one law for indigenous whites and another for non-whites.

Various people who should have denounced this nonsense have done so, including the Department for Education and Skills. The head of the Commission for Racial Equality has condemned it. But the fact remains that this sensibility exists and is widespread inside and outside officialdom.

Take, for instance, the case reported last week in Tower Hamlets of an old people’s housing block that is to be built for Asians only at public expense. It will be run by Bengali-speaking staff with halal food and Muslim religious facilities. The council says in its defence that it is responding to the needs and wishes of local residents, 30% of whom are Bangladeshi.

Yet if some local residents said they wanted a white-only, or Christian-only, purpose-built old people’s unit at public expense, they would be told that their needs and wishes were “inappropriate” and indeed against the law. In fact there would be a massive public outcry. Yet again there seems to be one rule for whites, another for non-whites.

What all these cases amount to is not merely confusion or bad faith or hellish good intentions; it is nothing less than the new British apartheid.