Has multiculturalism failed?
So David Cameron thinks that multiculturalism has failed.
But - and I can't believe I'm saying this - my memory is longer than his, and I can remember the days when landladies could put up notices stating 'No Irish, no blacks'. The so-called colour bar was a genuine topic of discussion in the UK, with plenty of people ready to defend it, whether in golf clubs, hotels or in the workplace.
And I've written before about my grandfather who was an unemployed miner in the Welsh Valleys during the 1930s Depression, and how he took a job as a street sweeper in Slough when it was the only work that was open to him. It must have been hard for him to face the anti-Welsh taunts - 'taking all our jobs', 'go back to where you came from', 'Taffy is a Welshman, Taffy is a thief..' - which I'm sure he endured.
Back in the 1960s, Roy Jenkins' famous definition of multiculturalism was a breath of fresh air for those of us fighting the causes of civil liberties and racial harmony. He spoke of "equal opportunities accompanied by cultural diversity in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance".
Now that, for me, is still a guiding principle.
Cultural diversity is not the same as cultural division. It's not saying that that cultures should exist side by side but separate.
Cultural diversity is about recognising and celebrating our individual heritage. For me, that means that a part of me will always feel Welsh, even though I only lived in Wales for 5 years. Equally I love sharing cultural events with friends who describe themselves as Polish, or Tamil, or Chinese, even though they have lived here for most or all of their lives.
Britain is a country founded on cultural diversity, from the Romans onward. Indeed, our language itself, with the richest vocabulary of any language in the world, is an ever-present reminder of the many peoples who have made these islands their home. They brought their culture with them - they didn't merge invisibly into the mainstream - and in that way they enriched everyone.
I really hope that Cameron understands that people gain great satisfaction from exploring and maintaining the cultures that belong to their personal histories, but I'm not confident that he does.
After all, it was a fellow Tory (Norman Tebbitt) who said "A large proportion of Britain's Asian population fail to pass the cricket test. Which side do they cheer for? It's an interesting test. Are you still harking back to where you came from or where you are?".
20 years ago I found that deeply offensive, and I still do. My grandfather carried on supporting Welsh rugby teams, as did my father, all his life, whether living in England or Wales. These days, I fully expect the local Korean community to support Korea in the World Cup - indeed, in 2006 the rest of the population of New Malden switched allegiance to Korea after England was knocked out. The Fountain pub is a testimony to Roy Jenkin's vision.
Cameron's concern, of course, was a topical one. He is worried that mutual tolerance results in a reluctance to criticise unacceptable behaviours, such as violent extremism. However, in his crass rendering of his concerns he appears to be reiterating the Tebbit Test, but in the far more sensitive area of religious and political ideologies.
We should all, of course, condemn ideologies that attempt to justify violence. But we should never blame multiculturalism for the emergence of Islamic terrorism - indeed our country would be a much more unpleasant place to live in were it not for the commitment of the vast majority of its inhabitants to "equal opportunities accompanied by cultural diversity in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance".