Julie Burchill Julie Burchill

How many black or Asian Britons feel a strong sense of European identity?

Sunder Katwala, of Indian-Irish heritage, analyses the whiteness of the Remain vote, seeing Britain’s pro-European movement as a case of cosmopolitanism without diversity

Sunder Katwala.

Though wokeness is a vile thing, it has contributed to our culture in one fortunate way – by inspiring brilliant books which refute it. The woeful lack of anything passing for analysis (probably a colonial tool of oppression, like brunch) on the SJW side has thrown into gloriously sharp relief the difference in the intellectual firepower between those who believe in free speech and those who resemble Veruca Salt after joining the Stasi. We have Andrew Doyle’s The New Puritans and Remi Adekoya’s Biracial Britain; they have Laurie Penny’s Sexual Revolution and Jolyon Maugham’s Bringing Down Goliath – the latter category comprising unintentionally hilarious scribblings which will soon be up there with The Diary of a Nobody as proof that pomposity is one of the most enjoyable forms of humour.

We can now add this excellent book to the first list. Sunder Katwala was born in Yorkshire to an Indian father and an Irish mother, both of whom came to England to work for the NHS, recalling Trevor Phillips’s beautiful line about us being ‘the only country where a significant mixed-race population has come about through romance rather than rape’. Katwala married a woman whose parents are so keen on Brexit that they boycott the Daily Mail for not being rigorous enough. Though voting to stay in Europe, he is merciless in analysing the whiteness of Remain:

Britain’s pro-European movement was a case of cosmopolitanism without diversity, which is rather too common a phenomenon in progressive civic society. I doubt I would need the fingers of both hands to count the number of black and Asian Britons I have met over the years who express a strong sense of European identity. That is still often explicitly or implicitly coded as white, to a much greater extent than modern British identity is now.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

Or

Unlock more articles

REGISTER

Comments

Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in