To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher in Woman’s Own, there is no such thing as the ‘gay community’. There are people who are gay. There are communities of people who share common values or live in a defined geographical area. But a gay community? This assumes that people have the same aims, beliefs, and interests simply because they share a sexuality. How patronising. Or perhaps we are being asked to believe that all gay people live in one area. When you think about it the concept of a ‘gay community’ is quite homophobic.
It cannot be right to lump people together simply because they share a characteristic arbitrarily given to them at birth. If it is acceptable, indeed encouraged as the preferred term, to refer to the ‘gay community’ then why not the ‘ginger community’? To be grouped with a bunch of strangers for no other reason than hair colour is equivalent to defining someone by their sexuality. If you are of the ginger persuasion, do you coyly refer to yourself as a member of the ‘ginger community’? Would you be happy for Chris Evans to be appointed an unelected ‘community leader’ and given the right to speak on your behalf?
In a recent article about Gurkhas, there was a reference to the ‘Nepalese community’. Really? A Nepalese society certainly, perhaps for local Nepalese to meet and socialise. But a Nepalese community? Do they have a community centre? Do they hold values sufficiently distinct from the rest of us to warrant living in a separate community? How much better to say ‘people from Nepal’, or simply ‘Nepalese’ and dispense with the attempt to divide them from the rest of society.
A better case can be made for the oft-used ‘Muslim community’. Unlike sexuality or country of origin, religion is not something you are born with. It is a philosophy, an instruction manual, a way of interacting with the world that you choose to adopt. It is reasonable to assume people who have chosen to live by the same religion will share many of the same beliefs and have similar aims and outlook. There are also geographical areas, streets, suburbs, towns that have large Muslim populations, thereby anchoring the ‘community’. It is nonetheless wrong.
By assigning the word ‘community’ to types of people we divide our society into separate silos. If you are in one community you are labelled as different to those outside. I am not a member of the Muslim community, nor of the gay or Nepalese communities. I am excluded. We are divided. An artificial barrier has been placed between us. It is implied that what is in the best interest of the Muslim, gay or Nepalese communities is different to my own best interest. Why else make the distinction?
I am however of Irish descent, and while I enjoy a Guinness or three I would find it patronising to be lumped in as a member of the ‘Irish community’. My needs, aims, and beliefs are no more likely to be the shared with Paddy Murphy than they are with Hamish McTavish or Pierre Camembert. Are the politically correct people who talk of ‘communities’ aware that they are shoehorning people into pigeon holes on the flimsiest of pretexts? It’s textbook discrimination.
You may be tempted to dismiss this as a petty argument about semantics. Perhaps it’s just an innocent retreat into coy euphemisms by an overly sensitive society which perceives it as safer to talk about fictitious ‘communities’ than to refer directly to ‘gay people’ or ‘Muslims’. But it’s more deliberate than that. The hijacking of the term ‘community’ is a tool used in the pursuit of multiculturalism.
As has been clear for some time, multiculturalism is nothing more than state-sponsored segregation. A multi-ethnic nation is great. Even multiple religions are capable of co-existing quite happily, once they get past that awkward world domination phase. Yet a nation will struggle, will never be confident and at ease with itself, if it is forced to support multiple, sometimes conflicting, cultures. Britain’s success has been built by people of different races, religions and nationalities, but those who have succeeded most are those who have fully embraced Western and British culture and values. Those that don’t are left behind, and we all suffer. We must all belong to the same community.
Words matter. They have power. To paraphrase Mrs T once more, we have a Prime Minister who makes a speech and thinks he has accomplished something, when all he has done is made a speech. As George Orwell wrote: “If thought corrupts language, then language can corrupt thought.” The words we choose as we attempt to express our ideas and influence others are important. They speak volumes about us. They reveal our intentions. The misappropriation of ‘community’ is an example of how words or ideas are co-opted by one side, then twisted to fit a preconceived agenda until they have lost all true meaning (other examples include ‘fairness’, ‘equality’ or even ‘racism’). This goes right to the heart of British politics today – soundbites, speeches and slogans are the favoured political weapons. Words have almost entirely replaced actual actions.
The people who brandish the word ‘community’ most fervently are the social justice warriors; the liberal leftists who claim the principles of equality, justice and right as their own exclusive domain and condemn any dissenters in the most extreme terms. They are the worst offenders in corrupting language and twisting it to promote and enforce their divisive identity politics agenda. We see supposed campaigners against fascism denouncing free speech. We see supposed purveyors of hope favouring the most authoritarian, intolerant policies. That they seek to end discrimination and division by using divisive, discriminatory language is an irony sadly lost on them.
UKIP are sometimes an easy target simply because we don’t play that game. We don’t promote the division of our society, preferring instead to treat people as individuals with their own merits. We recognise the benefits, to all, of an integrated society with one culture. Yet choosing not to promote one ‘community’ over another is wilfully misconstrued as being anti that ‘community’. We are condemned for not defining people by their sexuality, race or gender. As our American cousins might say, “go figure”.