I think Naipaul covered the multi-culti jibba-jabba, nicely...September 11 2004 at 5:38 PM
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Response to Yes. It's a response to smike's Canadian chauvanism.
Multiculturalism a `racket,' says Naipaul
By Hasan Suroor
LONDON, SEPT. 5. V.S. Naipaul, the acerbic Nobel Laureate who famously denounced the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, as a "cultural vandal," has made a blistering attack on Britain's multiculturalism calling it a "racket."
Sir Vidia, who himself came here as an immigrant from Trinidad but quickly became a pucca sahib — dubbed by bemused fellow-immigrants as "more British than the British" — dismisses the idea of multiculturalism as "absurd" and says that new settlers should do more to integrate with the host society. "What do they call it? Multi-culti... .It's all absurd you know. I think if a man picks himself up and comes to another country he must meet it halfway... He can't say `I want the country, I want the laws and the protection, but I want to live in my own way'. It's wrong. It's become a kind of racket, this multiculturalism. Jobs for the boys," he is quoted as saying in an interview to Tatler magazine to coincide with the publication of his new novel, Magic Seeds.
Sir Vidia's remarks chimed with those of the head of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, who provoked a row recently when he called for multiculturalism to be "abandoned" saying that it had outlived its purpose. But critics said that such remarks were likely to play into the hands of the anti-immigrant lobby, particularly the xenophobic tabloid press.
Sir Vidia also attacked Britain's welfare state saying it was creating a "new monster". "Today's benefits society, with all the handouts for children, is creating a new monster. You see these children that have been littered only for the money that the benefits bring... It's time to see whether education should be free, even whether it should be compulsory," he said.
More controversially, he accused Saudi Arabia of financing terrorism. "All this comes from Saudi Arabian money. I don't know who we are kidding. Here is this war on terror and it is being subsidised by an ally," he said. In the past, Sir Vidia has caused controversies by attacking Islam which, he said, had had a "calamitous effect" on the world.
He also ruffled feathers when he said he did not have time to read the works of Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy — and called E.M. Forster's A Passage to India "utter rubbish."
His new novel has not been included in the longlist for this year's Booker Prize.