Somebody on the radio today (yes, I'm always listening to the radio) proposed that England is being driven to the Right by excessive immigration because people from Muslim and predominantly Christian African countries tend to be more conservative than we are instinctively.
I'd never heard that before, and I don't know if it's true. I'm not even sure if the fundamental premise--that the U.K. is a liberal society--could be sustained by argument. Most of the African people I know are more conservative than I am, but so are most of the English people. And the majority of Muslim people I know are reluctant to express their opinions in mixed company because they expect them to be greeted with hostility.
The newspaper representation of Muslims here or abroad is that they oppress their women. And many of the African men I know regard the relative freedom women have in the U.K. as unseemly. One man even suggested that a woman in a short skirt who's out on the town at night and drunk only has herself to blame if she gets raped. But a lot of Englishmen would say so too.
Homosexuality, in the meantime, is blithely put down by them all. And fiercely so by the Jamaican male, whose style and way of talking and whose music have made him a folk hero in the British consciousness. A female friend from Jamaica told me that if a man confesses to homosexual feelings in the wrong bar over there he's likely to get killed.
Regardless of how conservative they may or may not be,however, is the immigrant population really close enough to the machinery of Power or to the controllers of the mass media in the U.K. to influence opinion in any sort of direction? I doubt it. The only unconscionable right wing extremists allowed to go on television and radio and vent their spleen in this country are the B.N.P. and their cohorts. Who are, perhaps not coincidentally,