The more I think about the cultural wars in modern day society, I.e Brexit v Remainers, Extremist A v Extremist B, Identity crisis vs multi cultural society, the more I think that governments need to do much more to help define the culture for the people who live there.
For example, I chose to live in Spain because I fell in love with its culture. I know it’s a Catholic country, I know it has a manana attitude to life, I know family comes before work, red tapes is an issue, they have loads of bank holidays and fiestas, they eat rabbits and they still have bull fighting in certain parts of the country but in all honesty, I wouldn’t want it to change its culture. I want Spain to be inclusive but without it changing its DNA / culture and if it takes on too many British cultures then it will no longer be the Spain I fell in love with.
It makes me feel uncomfortable when I see urbanisations full of Brits who don’t particularly go out of their way to integrate. I believe Immigration without integration is one of the key attributes for cultural tension and creates an identity crisis.
However, immigration can and should be one of the best things to happen in modern society if achieved with integration. Joking apart, a Chicken Tikka Masala is now known as a typical British dish along with a full breakfast and a Sunday roast but I want Spain to be known for Tapas and Paellas, not for a British roast. The irony in all this is that I love the typical white pueblo villages that were in fact built by the Moors.
One of things I was responsible for back in the work place was to define an organisations culture and you do that by asking the people who work there, what do ‘they’ want it to look and feel like, what’s important to them? It feels like modern day society needs to ask itself the same question and quickly.
Once you have defined let’s say 5 key principles, you then hold the CEO / Directors to account in making sure that everything they do is aligned to these principles set out in a long term Cultural strategy.
I believe Brexit has shone a torch on the cultural crisis in the UK. Some want it to look and feel like it did in the 50s – 90’s, they want the country to have its own identity, stand on its own two feet, feel traditionally British, they want to feel proud of its heritage. I would go as far to say some people feel Britain has lost its culture, they feel angry and aggrieved and they used Brexit as an opportunity to demonstrate.
Others want Britain to be part of a bigger picture, move away from its Imperial past and lead the way by creating a diverse, multi cultural society, I can see both sides of the debate but if this cultural work was undertaken, I don’t think we would of needed Brexit.
The best thing the Government could do is ask the people what do they want their country to culturally look and feel like and it needs to ask itself (clearly with the help of some cultural experts) some seriously brave questions.
Then and only then can the public hold the politicians accountable to deliver a culture that works for everyone, that respects its heritage, installs pride back into the people and believes immigration is a positive step as long as its carefully achieved through a thought out respectful integration process.
If we don’t face into the problem, further tension will increase and I can see a tipping point in the not too distant future which doesn’t bode well for the younger generation.
Politicians nor Brexit will resolve Britain’s cultural crisis.