Monday, December 11, 2006

A little mistake

Sometimes, it is in the little mistakes that the bigger disasters are revealed.

Tony Blair gave his speech on multiculturalism on Friday, a kind of rowing back from the throw away remarks of Trevor and ilk. The speech was an improvement on LA, but still some way to go.

Anyway, Newsnight covered this. Kirsty Wark hosted a discussion between Tariq Ramadan and Ann Cryer - a rather odd concoction. The little mistake was Kirsty's reference to British society as a 'host society' while discussing people like me, second generation British Muslims. Tariq picked up on it, and said that she was wrong to have referred within this context to British society as a host society. Her immediate response should have been an apology, instead we got more of Ann Cryer. Our parents may have been guests, but in what way are most of my generation 'guests' to this 'host' society (a strange kind of hosting if you ask me)? This little mistake highlighted the problem is its prejudicial core.

Kirsty Wark is the cultured one on Newnight, she occasionally hosts Newsnight Review and has also presented various arts related programmes - a thoughtful liberal, and I mean this with sincerity. Yet, even she, even Kirsty Wark, inadvertendly uses 'host society' while referring to me and my friends. And here lies the problem.