Sound of Harmony, not Noise of Discord

Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee
Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee
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Hayes in the House with MP John Hayes

It has become uncritically accepted by many that tolerance is the greatest of all virtues. The liberal establishment’s message is that, while people and cultures may be fundamentally different, if we tolerate almost anything we can somehow ‘all get along’.

Nowadays, to even question the virtue of tolerance is regarded as heresy. But GK Chesterton, the great Christian writer and creator of Father Brown, was – typically – right, when he wrote that ‘tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions’.

He meant that tolerance is just another word for indifference; it is the last refuge of those, who confronted with the values and strictures of other cultures, are unprepared to think about them seriously.

Multiculturalism is the most destructive example of so called ‘tolerance’.

By refusing to accept that our nation has a defining culture, rich in traditions and civilities that have evolved over many centuries, the bourgeois advocates of multiculturalism have helped to undermine social cohesion.

Rather than helping immigrants to become active participants in our society, multiculturalists tell them to ignore the values of the place they now call home because it’s better to be different, even if this means they are denied the opportunity to prosper.

Cultural and social isolation, by depriving people of a shared sense of belonging, ultimately nurtures feelings of neglect which fuel the kind of disharmony and extremism that have become a tragic reality in parts of modern Britain.

One of the first people to persuasively deconstruct the multicultural orthodoxy was Labour’s Trevor Phillips, himself the son of immigrants.

The answer to discord is not to tolerate anything, but rather to engage honestly with people from all backgrounds, rooted in an understanding that we are all part of the same nation, proud of its history, culture and values.

What we share must be more important than that which divides us.

I am driven in politics to be ‘fierce in defence of the gentle’.

That means not tolerating as much as we tolerate; none of us, after all, should choose to be tolerant of spite or cruelty.

It is strong institutions and the values they embody that protect us from brutality by elevating our sense of shared, purposeful pride.

I will continue to be fierce in defence of those values that enable us all, from wherever we start, to live gentle, harmonious lives.

The Rt Hon John Hayes MP