We live in a multicultural pluralistic society. I like that.
I value multiculturalism. I want to see other cultures being valued in a positive light. I want to see people of all cultures, races and religions incorporated into our society. I believe we are all the stronger for that.
But I do not want to see that happening to the detriment of our British culture and values. I do not want to see an undermining of our British values of justice, tolerance, equality, freedom, fairness and democracy. Those values were hard fought for. They underpin our society.
I am not religious but I do not mind the rituals of Easter, Christmas, Ramadan, Hanukkah or Diwali being observed by those want to believe. I enjoy seeing things like the Chinese New Year and Dragon dance. These things enrich. I like things that enrich – art, dance, music, food, dress, festivals, cultural differences – these things enhance our lives. They make our culture all the greater.
What I want is all people in the UK living under the umbrella of British values. I want to see schools and communities integrated. I want an end to religious schools and isolated ghettos of race. I believe that every institution should be open to all regardless of race or gender.
I want rid of anything intolerant, separationist, elitist or undermining of the values of our nation. I do not want to see any form of religion interfering with our secular state or democracy.
In my view Multiculturalism is about valuing other people’s culture but not allowing it to replace or undermine our own.
Believing in multiculturalism does not mean allowing separation of people by gender, intolerance to other religious groups, the banning of our own festivals, intolerance towards homosexuals or other social groups, the wearing of religious costumes or insignia that undermine our values, the indoctrination of children, or a different system of law; it means integrating and valuing.
I am a firm believer that if you live in a country you need to learn to speak the language, accept the values and integrate into the community. I am all for welcoming people into our culture.