12 Feb 2011

European Identity.

Bridges don’t just appear, they get built.  A European identity is a challenge to accommodate the many national traditions forged and cultivated over past centuries. European identity is the revisionary idea of people seeking peace, unity and tolerance after the horror of war.

Hohenzollern bridge, the busiest railway bridge in Germany.
Although this identity needs to be developed, it is a fact that modern nation building, is the result of similar planning of nurturing cohesion between existing traditions and customs, a process, which in many cases is itself relatively recent.
What compares national identity to  new European identity is necessity for unity. What contrasts is leadership dis-unity. National leaders need to help the public transcend reservations of losing control. They can see the future global landscape, realise the stakes involved but negotiate on principals which often are becoming outdated in an ever faster moving world.
Lessons from recent revolutions since 1989 show that in the new knowledge society, wrongs can be quickly exposed and highlighted. People power is a de facto force to be taken seriously by the planners. Democracy guarantees the rights of citizens and, the use of high political position is no longer a tool for the rampant pillaging of a country’s wealth.
The development of European identity will be a long process were many initiatives are needed to be employed encompassing culture, traditions, language and politics.
But searching for votes is not the same as searching for solutions. The rise of inward looking isolationist policies may be temporary but this should not prevent a young European identity from looking outward.

7 Feb 2011

Cameron and Merkel attack Multikulti.

Two former colonial powers retreat from embracing multiculture and parallel societies.
Both Germany and Britain, which spread their influence far and wide, are focusing on the Muslim community and its apparent slowness to integrate into society.
What interests me as a British national is the amount of times we have failed to do the same while visiting parts of the world legally and illegally.
Besides the 5.5 million Britons who choose to live abroad as expats, territories which have been populated and retained their Britishness range from Ulster, Hong Kong, Gibraltar, Bahamas, Falklands and a bunch of Islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Multikulti is a human condition
beyond the control of politicians.

It is not all plain sailing as we know but today these societies are now strong diverse democracies and are firmly beyond any identity crisis. It has always been a slow process including newcomers and their cultures.
To say it is not possible is to ignore the charismatic Little Italy and Chinatowns of our great cities. Their descendants will want to be as national as the next. Willingly expanding society with added diversity is not the same as forced identity change.
Cameron and Merkel should reconsider attacking multikulti as a cover to resolve a security problem which is largely of Western making and find a solution to speed up its evolution.