On Air Now
In Conversation With Steve Allen 5am - 7am
5 December 2016, 12:10
A report by Dame Louise Casey stated that Britain is a liberal and tolerant country. The last year suggests that's nonsense, says James O'Brien.
The Casey Review into British values stated that segregation and social exclusion has reached "worrying levels" and is fuelling inequality in some areas of Britain.
She says that goes against the liberalism and tolerance of Britain, but that is not the Britain that James recognises from 2016.
Speaking on his LBC show, he said: "Do you think liberal values and tolerance are actually British values? I would love to, but I don't any more.
"A country where you can put up a poster of people fleeing war with massive echoes of Goebbels' Nazi propaganda with the phrase 'Breaking Point' on it. You can unveil that on the day that an elected British politician gets murdered by a white supremacist terrorist.
"And then Louise Casey comes out and tells me that I live in a country where liberalism and tolerance are somehow fundamental to our national identity. Get lost. No they're not. Intolerance and illiberalism are the new watchwords for 2017.
"How else can you explain how British people who supposedly enjoy democracy and diversity can be cheered by the thought of the far right leader of a party founded by disillusioned Nazis almost winning in Austria?
"I'm not celebrating that. 46% vote for a party founded by disillusioned Nazis who've considered Hitler's work to be unfinished business. And I'm supposed to be relieved as someone who does believe in tolerance, diversity and liberalism.
"I'm not relieved I'm absolutely terrified. 46% in a European Union country for a party founded on the principle that Hitler's work was unfinished?
"OK, yeah, we've got to be more liberal and tolerant."