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What Mo Farah tells us about multicultural Britain (very little)

10 October 2013

12:22 PM

10 October 2013

12:22 PM

The outrage over Jack Wilshere’s comment that ‘If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English’ shows how the Overton window can shift in such a short space of time. Fifteen years ago no one would have cared, but many drew sinister implications from the statement, and England cricketer Kevin Pietersen asked:

‘Interested to know how you define foreigner…? Would that include me, Strauss, Trott, Matt Prior, Justin Rose, Froome, Mo Farah?’

Mo Farah, again. Every time someone uses Mo Farah as an argument for multiculturalism I do my own version of the Mobot by sinking my head into my hands; even intelligent commentators writing for conservative publications have taken to making this anecdotal case for diversity.

Farah’s story is heartwarming, that of a man who went against the odds to escape warfare and win over his adopted country, but it says little about wider social issues. Sport is not real life, and sporting contests are substitute test of national strength and solidarity. That’s why sports teams tend to attract men who feel slightly atomised. And it’s why talk of the Olympics spirit as a lesson for British society, 2012 becoming the Guardian-reader’s version of 1966, are bogus; it’s like trying to recreate the spirit of the time you took five E’s at the Hacienda as the basis of your social policy.

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Because national sporting events are about nationality, of course the issue of identity is legitimate. The people who see it as their job to police the multiculturalism debate cannot understand nuance. In most of the non-western world, and historically in Europe, one’s nationality was tied to ancestry; the W.E.I.R.D globalist view is that it is only about residence. Surely it’s a mixture of the two, so that in answer to Pietersen’s question: Africans of British ancestry, like Justin Rose, Matt Prior or Chris Froome, are more British than those who aren’t. Why is that so difficult a concept?

And, as with everything, it depends on numbers. Mo Farah is Somalian but there’s nothing incongruous about his also feeling British, yet if the entire Olympic team (or England football team) were made up of people who came from overseas, in what sense would it still be England?

This is an emotional subject driven by deep-seated feelings, which is probably why the Mo Farah-cy is wielded out so often; most English people will never like the high levels of immigration in their neighbourhoods (like any group of people) but they get on with immigrants as individuals and like and admire Mo Farah.

But it’s a fairly basic, reason-free argument, not the least because Mo is highly unrepresentative of Somali immigration in general, which is characterised by high levels of social housing occupancy, unemployment and a serious gang problem  – and with a large cohort about to enter adolescence. The Olympics are over, and that’s the reality.


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Show comments
  • terence patrick hewett

    Britain is not multi-cultural. It’s social system is rather old fashioned. It is based on group areas: it’s called Apartheid.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Very interesting notion, Terry. Care to expand that thesis?

      • Toby Esterházy

        You would have to be either a Johnny foreigner or just being pretty dim, or both (as probably in your case), to demand an explanation on the obvious.

  • logdon

    In Bristol the local Labour council took in a whole swathe of Somalians.

    In the clueless way these people operate they housed them in an area populated by Afghans who had been settled earlier.

    This was based on the multiculturalist assumptions that as brown skinned Muslims they’d all get along fine and dandy.

    They didn’t and the turf wars, some of it around drug dealing, has wreaked havoc.

    When you’ve got Afghans killing other Afghans and Somalians killing other Somalians back in their own countries you’d think that was a clue.

    Obviously not and so steeped in PC that cultural differences are mere playthings in their manipulative hands and that how they deal with a docile indigenous population can be transferred to tribal immigrants turns the obvious into a profound mystery.

  • zakisbak

    I live in an intensely enriched area.
    It is,to all extents,a massive transit camp.
    Lots of communities existing in separate,paralell lives.
    Little things;the assistant who doesn’t know what palava means;the chemist who won’t inspect a womans back;the shop keeper who looks at you blankly if your language veers from money,cigarette type words;rarely hearing English;all non white posters/pamphlets (Channel 4 news won’t complain);lots of veils;and,never mentioned,lots of racism,not the white on non-white version that everyone understands racism to mean,but inter racial racism Black/Turk,Jamaican/African…..
    But Mo’s got a lovely smile,and we did have an empire so …….

    • rodliddle

      are chemists meant to inspect backs?

  • rogermurrayclark

    Farah seems to serve the same kind of purpose for the desperate UK regime as does Jimmy Savile

    All the many downsides of Somali immigration here are countered by – What about Mo!

    Similarly the epidemic of Pakistani gang rape brings out the inevitable parrot squawks of “Savile, Savile!”

    At least it didn’t cost billions to disinter Savile I suppose

  • crosscop

    Why does nobody ever ask Mo Farah about FGM? He is a devout Somali Muslim and the barbaric practice is part and parcel of his culture and recommended by his “prophet.” He has two little girls, you know. Shouldn’t someone ask?

    • Daniel Maris

      Yep. It’s a reasonable question. Presumably as a Somali Brit who is integrated into our culture he strongly condemns FGM and wouldn’t want it for his own daughters. His words will carry great weight within the Somali community. Why has he never spoken out? He seems prepared to speak out about people with infants in pushchairs in a public park walking along a public path (having got there before him) somehow interfering with his training regime.

      • Toby Esterházy

        A “Mahomet” can never be considered a Briton, a true integrated one or otherwise. No true Briton has a name from the Qur’an, the Hadith or the Talmud.

      • crosscop

        Integrated into our culture? Is he? I’ve never seen him eating a bacon butty, sipping on a pint or walking the dog. I have, however, seen him bowing to Allah at the end of every race – and that’s definitely not part of our culture. I don’t know what his daughters’ names are but I’d bet my life they won’t have anything whatsoever to do with our culture either.
        He’s a devout Somali Muslim. His intolerant, supremacist religion tells him that we non-believers are kuffar – unintelligent and lower than cattle – and that ( though they can pretend) they should not have us as friends. We are “haram” like pigs, excrement and dog saliva – and they are actually supposed to wash their hands after coming into contact with us. Muslims just don’t do integration and their 1400 year history proves that they don’t. They do conquest, persecution and domination.
        Mo Farah is not on our side.

  • Daniel Maris

    I don’t entirely agree with Ed West’s analysis from a philosophical point of view but I really do admire his willingness to put these important issues of identity into the public forum.

    I think we should distinguish between:

    1. British as in citizenship – this is just a question of adhering to a few basic rules: speaking English, not seeking to damage Britain or its forces abroad, accepting the basic rules of free speech, mutual respect and democratic government. You might get citizenship in your middle years but you can still be British from this point of view.

    2. British as in culture – this involves coming to understand and – in varying degrees love – our culture. So this is about all aspects of your life: football, beer, Shakespeare, Elgar, the Pre-Raphaelites, David Hockney, the Beatles etc etc. Not that we are asking people to sign up to everything…but clearly citizens who identify with British culture to varying degrees are “more” British than those who don’t.

    3. British as in ancestrally British – clearly (and there is no point in denying this) people who forebears have live in Britain will feel a very close attachment to this place. It is pointless to try and deny the experience of the ancestral British or pretend that someone who is a recent arrival can replicate their experience.

  • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

    I recall in earlier times attitudes to Zola Budd were quite different.
    I even remember one black female athlete saying she, Budd, be kicked out either athletics/ Uk cant remember.

    So your ’15 years ago no one cared’ comment is wrong.
    Linford Christie seemed to be admired but that was because many were bamboozled by his lunch box.
    Who wants to see a UK national sports team majority black.
    It just aint natural ! lol

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    ‘Interested to know how you define foreigner…?

    Let`s turn that around and ask how do you define a resident Brit, aka risk averse loser?
    Let`s see:
    Eat only British food.
    Support a football team.
    British spouse, 100% Caucasian children.
    Use expressions like “Johnny foreigner”.
    No foreign language skills, no books in foreign.
    Make at least one spelling error per sentence.
    Never live abroad of your own volition.
    Believe that to have been born British is to have won first prize in the lottery of life.
    And the clincher, to ascribe a different race and nationality to any Brit that bad-mouths Britisn or the British.
    Isn`t narrow-minded, ultra-nationalist, xenophobic racist bigot the expression I`m reaching for?
    If that`s the definition of what it means to be British, then I don`t want to be.
    Jack, Japan Alps

    • Toby Esterházy

      Having been to a boarding school in Oxfordshire does not make you (a Japanese) a Briton.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        What was the closest you came to boarding school, Jock? Delivering the groceries.

        • Toby Esterházy

          An English boarding-school education without both a proper “family legend” with the correct background and family wealth as well as Oxford or Cambridge is about as good as nothing! Your family still lives in Chiba, a poor area of the Greater Tokyo area! Did those horrible English boys bully you for being a poor and impertinent little jumped-up foreigner who didn’t “know his place”?

    • Daniel Maris

      If you’re in Japan you know all about a xenophobic, insular, racist and unadventurous culture.

      • logdon

        I have dealt with the Japanese for quite some time and your comment is not only highly racist but absolutely wrong.

        In my experience, they are welcoming, polite, straightforward and honest.

        Would you say the same about Pakistani’s who are in fact xenophobic, insular, racist and unadventurous?

        • Daniel Maris

          Don’t you know the story about the Brit who goes to live in Japan. He’s been there a couple of years when his landlord and landlady call. They tell him, very earnestly, they have called round because they think his rent is too high and they would like to reduce it. The Brit is rather surprised to hear this and is reluctant to go along with the suggestion at first since he knows the rent is very fair, even a bit on the low side for what he gets. But they are both very insistent and evenutally he agrees to a 10% reduction.

          Only later did he discover that he had deeply insulted the owners. He was expected to respond by saying “No, no – it’s too low – can you please put it up.” – not agree to a reduction. That’s how rent negotiations are conducted in Japan. One suspects race relations as well.

          No I don’t think much of Pakistanis’ commitment to anti-racism or multiculturalism.

          • logdon

            I’d say that that was an extreme of our old fashioned British understatement and merely a cultural thing.

            I don’t see any of your ‘xenophobic, insular, racist and unadventurous’ in that, rather the opposite.

            • Daniel Maris

              The Japanese despise in this order: Africans, Jews, Chinese, Koreans, and Europeans. They seem to quite like Thais. Their bookshops are full of nutty anti-semitic and racist literature – the sort of stuff you will NOT find in Waterstones in the UK.

              • logdon

                Muslims despise in this order: Others who are not Muslims. They seem to quite like no others. Their bookshops are full
                of nutty anti-semitic and racist literature – the sort of stuff you will NOT find in Waterstones in the UK.

                There, how about that?

                • crosscop

                  Not entirely true. I think you can get a copy of the Koran in Waterstones – and that’s full of anti-Semitic stuff.

                • logdon

                  The difference is that we infidels don’t take it as the word of an all commanding Allah.

                • Daniel Maris

                  Ha-ha very good.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Anecdotal. Come back when you have direct experience.

            • Daniel Maris

              OK: That’s the old “You can’t condemn heroin addiction until you’ve tried heroin for at least six months.” line.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Right on, Log.

      • crosscop

        In 200 years, the people living in Japan will still be recognisably Japanese. In 200 years the English will have probably joined the Etruscans, Picts and Hittites in the dustbin of history – drowned in a sea of 3rd World colonists.

        • Toby Esterházy

          Actually, I am not so sure, with the re-emergence of China as a great World power and the rise of South Korea, as both of the two Countries would dearly love to be able to dump their poor and their general surplus and otherwise unwanted populations into Countries in the Far East with a broadly similar culture—and Japan would definitely be on the top of both of their lists.

        • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

          quote:In 200 years, the people living in Japan will still be recognisably Japanese. In 200 years the English will have probably (entered) the dustbin of history.

          Exactly and this is the point the wet trendies never even seem to even notice. They exhibit a total lack of imagination Its swamped by their touchy feely idealism.

          It makes me fume what mass immigration has done and will do to the identity of the UK

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Been reading the Red Tops again, Danny?
        And your experience of Japan is what exactly?

    • rodliddle

      Oops. I think get eight out of ten on that checklist.

      • logdon

        You mean to say you’ve got no books in foreign?

        • Toby Esterházy

          In foreign what? The man is plain bonkers, who can literally make the same grammatical mistakes for the last 9 years!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            An illiterate, obnoxious northerner with Wallace and Gromit syntax attempting the English of a native speaker southerner: Kettle, pot, black.

            • Toby Esterházy

              Like always, it means nowt to me and me normal mates, lad!

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Think I score a big fat zero. That said I would own to the occasional bacon and eggs.

    • anotherjoeblogs

      I lived abroad for nearly twenty years and when I came back to Blighty and told a joke, there used to be hushed silence and then a comment like ‘ I think you have lived abroad too long, Joe ‘. I think you have lived abroad too long,jackthesmilingblack.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        “I lived abroad for nearly twenty years and when I came back to Blighty…” So hardly the sharpest knife in the drawer. When you manage to fly the coop, it take a real misguided loser to return to UK of your own volition. When you draw your last breath you`ve lived abroad long enough.

        • Toby Esterházy

          Whereas you are still a prized idiot who think you were British simply because you went to a rubbish boarding school (full of other little Johnny foreigners from the Far East and the Middle East) in Oxfordshire. Come on, which one is it?

        • anotherjoeblogs

          I never wanted to be the sharpest knife in the drawer.I don’t think you are happy.I am.You are one fucked up freak.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Loser.

            • anotherjoeblogs

              What a strange sad individual you are up in those japanese alps . lonely are we ? zen. watch the breathe..comes in..goes out..breathe in love..breathe out love

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDnamSM3Z3s

              my favourite mantra.enjoy

      • Toby Esterházy

        Probably not long enough, in his case!

  • Agrippina

    During Euro 2008, Podolski played for Germany having moved their aged 2. He scored twice against Poland his country of birth, he did not celebrate either of his goals. Are players able to play for ‘another country ‘ they appear to struggle. Pietersen was texting his countrymen in a test match in 2012, involving the country he plays for, he was criticising amongst others his captain Strauss.

    Mo Farah talks openly of his difficult background involved in criminal activity, thankfully he walked away from it, most somalians don’t. Khat at least has now been banned in this country a fave amongst somalians.

  • MichtyMe

    If people would distinguish between nationality and citizenship there would be less confusion.

    • Daniel Maris

      I would say let’s distinguish between citizenship, culture and race.

  • Austin Barry

    “Mo is highly unrepresentative of Somali immigration in general, which is characterised by high levels of social housing occupancy, unemployment and a serious gang problem.”

    Er, you forgot that Somali immigration is also characterised by a high level of adherence to a cult known for its theocratic thuggery. Unhappily, whenever we see Mo in post-jog prostration to the desert skypilot, we are reminded that we are but infidels who run the gauntlet in the submit or die marathon.

    • Hood

      Yes, and it is that cult which commands primary allegiance from its adherents, not the UK.
      The real reason that Mo Farah is cited in these discussions is that he is successful. Would he really be a focus if he’d finished 14th in the 1000m?

    • crosscop

      The World Health Organisation have declared that a third of Somalis suffer from mental illness. It seems that to cure them, the other two thirds ( the sane ones!) think they should be locked in a hut with a hyena.

      http://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/170000-mentally-ill-tied-to-trees-and-left-to-die-in-somalia/
      Never mind – let’s bring them all here and look after them. After all, some of them can run fast over long distances.

      • chan chan

        Apart from the hyena treatment, tieing them to a tree and leaving them to die is also available. It sounds like the other two thirds are mentally ill also.

  • ADW

    Numbers it is indeed, and the fact that one can always pull an individual out of the hat who is not representative of the wider group he is supposed to personify. Thus the pre-War English were generally quite happy to have The Nawab of Pataudi play for England, and Ranjisinji as far back as the C19.

    It is not all about ethnicity either, hence everyone cheered for Frank Bruno (Black and undeniably English) against Joe Bugnor (White, and Hungarian/British/Australian depending on which passport he happened to own at the time).

    It cannot just be about birth – Andrew Strauss was born in South Africa, yet was patently English (having two English parents and being raised in England from the age of six) to the point where it would have been absurd for him to play for South Africa just on the basis of birth.

    Nor can one (though some might like to try …) fashion a sort of nationality test based on whether someone seems “English” or “Australian” or whatever (what would that entail? Inspection of table manners? General knowledge quiz about Tudor monarchs for the English or knowing the words to Waltzing Matilda for the Australian?)

    Therefore, we are stuck with the passport and residential qualification, which will secure obvious cases such as Strauss but involve a few on the margin like Trott or Pietersen.

    • crosscop

      “Frank Bruno (Black and undeniably English)…”

      And isn’t the Emperor wearing the most fantastic new suit?

      • ADW

        What else would he be? Born in Hammersmith and lived all his life in England, so that makes him …

        • crosscop

          Afro-Caribbean. Is a German Shepherd born and raised in Huddersfield a Yorkshire Terrier?

          • ADW

            Does that mean that virtually the entire Australian cricket team across history should have played cricket for England or Ireland rather than Australia, on the basis none of them (there might have been one or two, but that’s about it) were not Australian aboriginies and their parentage generally traced itself to Britain and/or Ireland?

            Suppose Bruno’s parents had come from Sweden, not the Caribbean. What would you have classified him as then?

            Bruno might be called Afro-Caribbean for ethnicity purposes (an obsession of left wing public servants and the far right, but irrelevant for most of us), but are you seriously suggesting his nationality (in terms of choosing which country to represent) was anywhere other than England? What about his children? Grandchildren?

            Your last point is irrelevant. People and dogs are not the same thing. The German Shepherd would be an English dog, not a German one. It wouldn’t be a different breed (terrier or whatever) because breed in dogs is not determined by where a dog is bred but its other characteristics. People’s nationality is usually determined by where they were born and/or grew up, not what colour their skin is.

            • Toby Esterházy

              The West Indians are no more English than the Israelites of Golders Green. Not all Whites (not “Caucasians”) are Englishmen, but one has to be of at least 66.67% European blood to be a full and true Englishman.

              • ADW

                So a black person descended from, say, one of the handful of black people here in the 1700s can’t be English, but a white person born of French immigrant parents can …?

                How come Australians can be white then?

                Incidentally the original post was about nationality, not race which as I said bothers left wing busybodies and the far right but not anyone else.

                How do you judge your bizarre 66.67% criteria?

                • Toby Esterházy

                  Have you ever heard of the concept of “Castas” in the Spanish Colonial Empire? Persons not of full (European) Spanish blood could still be considered Españoles when there were enough European blood.

                  The rest are just whataboutery. There is not a single black person in England who can boast of having a single traceable ancestor of colour living as a free man in England in the 1700s.

                • ADW

                  The whole point of the post concerned nationality – who should play for which team. Are you seriously suggesting no black person should play sport for England? Even if they have never lived anywhere else?

                  Instead you go on about ethnicity as if it were the same thing as nationality. It is not. No one cares about ethnicity anyway, save the far right and form obsessed public servants almost all of whom are on the left. What purpose does your insistence on pure blood nonsense serve?

                • Toby Esterházy

                  No, but they should play as foreigners, in the same way as Gurkha Riflemen, the Indian Gorkhas or the French and Spanish Foreign Legionnaires. If the Sporting Authorities would not allow that, then they should all simply be summarily discharged from the sporting profession, and be assisted in securing alternative employment.

                • ADW

                  Oh for crying out loud – Gurkhas are recruited from Nepal, and the foreign legion from anywhere but France. People born and raised in England should play as english men. End of.

                • Toby Esterházy

                  A person who is of less than 50% European stock should not be considered British—and I am being generous. They should be compelled to live in the United Kingdom with a permanent British visa (as Commonwealth immigrants) on their Jamaican or other Caribbean passports.

                • ADW

                  I suggest you watch the episode “He’s Alive” from the original Twilight Zone series.

                • Toby Esterházy

                  And for you, “Un Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines” (An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races) (1853–1855), from the Count Gobineau (1816–1882).

                • ADW

                  Agreed

            • crosscop

              Australian aborigines had no part in creating the country called Australia. Did they even have a name for that continent? The country was created by European invaders who took their territory , and the game of cricket was introduced by the invaders. The aborigines have been side-lined by Europeans who created the country, named it and overwhelmed them.

          • Daniel Maris

            Is that the most boneheaded BNP question yet?

  • monkey for sale

    Numbers. It’s all a matter of numbers.
    Before the explosion of immigration into the UK in the last 15-20 years it wasn’t a problem to most people. The odd Mayor of a northern town born abroad was a novelty, not any more.
    When it was just the working class who had to compete with foreigners no one really cared that much.Now that the impact has been felt by sportsmen it has opened up a new debate – who can be British. What is the test ?

    Time and again it will all come back to numbers, and the real concerns of the indigenous population.

  • Normandee

    “wheeled out ” “wielded out” doesn’t even make sense

  • Shorne

    I have yet to see an article on this subject that points out Mo Farrar’s father Mukhtar was born in England.

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