"The UK presents itself as a target, as a fragmenting, post-Christian society," the report says, and is "increasingly divided" on its history, national aims, values and political identity.
"That fragmentation is worsened by the firm self-image of those elements within it who refuse to integrate."
The report places most of the blame for this on a "lack of leadership from the majority, which, in misplaced deference to 'multiculturalism', failed to lay down the line to immigrant communities, thus undercutting those within them trying to fight extremism".
"The country's lack of self-confidence is in stark contrast to the implacability of its Islamist terrorist enemy, within and without.
"We look like a soft touch. We are indeed a soft touch, from within and without."
It's hard to really disagree with that, although I'm sure that some leftists, race hustlers, and Mohammedans will attempt to do so. The report has already been cited as an example of "Islamophobia" at Islamophobia Watch.
The point about the national lack of cultural self-confidence is particularly interesting, and would appear to be borne out by the results (pdf) of a Pew Global Attitudes Project poll, released last autumn. According to this, only 31% of Britons surveyed agreed with the statement "Our people are not perfect, but our culture is superior to others". Just 8% agreed completely, while 64% disagreed. British levels of agreement with the statement were the second lowest of all the countries surveyed, behind Sweden, and Britain was one of only four countries where the majority expressed disagreement (the others being Germany and France). By contrast, levels of agreement with the statement were 82% in Pakistan and 86% in Bangladesh, with the average level of agreement in Muslim countries running at 74%. The highest levels of agreement worldwide were found in India, where an impressive 93% of respondents believed their culture to be superior.
Figures like these explain why this country has so often capitulated in the face of demands from immigrant communities (particularly Muslims). India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have all sent large numbers of immigrants to Britain, and there is little reason to doubt that those immigrants share in the sense of cultural superiority which is common in their home nations. Accordingly, they are likely to feel strongly driven to uphold and promote their culture, even in the face of apparent public or state opposition. By contrast, since the indigenous population has been brainwashed into believing that all cultures are essentially equal, they have very little reason to resist cultural change, particularly if doing so is likely to involve any personal inconvenience. The determined (not so) few beat the indifferent many.
It's difficult to see that anything is likely to be done to change this. The institutionally leftist teaching profession has been indoctrinating the young into cultural relativism for over thirty years now, and looks set to continue doing so. Last April, the head of the National Union of Teachers (an immigrant herself) told the NUT's annual conference that teaching "Britishness" in schools was "racist". And earlier this month, a report from the Institute of Education denounced British culture and history as "corrupt" and "morally ambiguous", and said that patriotism should be discouraged in schools. Yet at the same time, schools and teachers across the country happily take part in such ridiculous charades as "Black History Month", which, as the Department for Children, Schools and Families puts it
...provides a wonderful occasion to celebrate the diversity of our society and the contributions Black and Asian men and women have made to the development of British society, technology, economy and culture.
So, British patriotism is discouraged and frowned upon by the same teachers, who happily promote and "celebrate" the heritage of immigrant children. This must surely have the effect of further reducing the already low levels British cultural self-confidence, while further increasing the already high levels of immigrant cultural self-confidence. Which is probably what the leftist teachers and educationalists want...
Are we all doomed, then? Perhaps. If there is some saving grace, then it may well lie in the possibility that there is a difference between what people believe they believe, and what they really, subconsciously, believe. By this, I mean that there may well be a discrepancy between how people view the statement "all cultures are equal", when considered as a purely abstract notion, and how they respond to different cultures, when brought into actual contact with them.
That the left has been successful in promoting the idea that a belief in British/European cultural superiority is racist, fascist, and generally evil, is undeniable. And so only a minority are prepared to admit, even to themselves, that our culture is superior to that of pretty much all other nations (especially Islamic ones). However, it is possible that they know, in their hearts, that this is the case. 54% of British respondents to the Pew poll agreed that "Our way of life needs to be protected against foreign influence". Although this figure is lower than than in most nations (but much higher than the probably doomed Sweden, where only 29% felt this way), it is still a clear majority, and as such is encouraging. One can also look at the strength of the recent outcry against Rowan Williams's Sharia law remarks. It is hard to believe that the real anger that was felt by so many, at the prospect of widespread Sharia law in Britain, would have existed, had it not been based, at root, on the idea that British culture is superior to Islamic culture. Nonetheless, so long as schools (and much of the media) remain bastions of liberal orthodoxy, there is likely to be a significant problem.
Hat-tip: Thanks to Alison at ATW for flagging up the Pew poll, back in October.