Anorak News | Love Thy (White) Neighbour

Love Thy (White) Neighbour

by | 19th, January 2004

‘NOW, don’t you think that if God had really meant for us to “love thy neighbour as thyself”, he would have included it among the Ten Commandments.

”Just ‘cos they’ve got a boat, they think they’re better than the rest of us”

He got adultery in there; he got all that stuff about coveting your neighbour’s ass; he forbade us to worship graven images; and he instructs us to be nice to our mums and dads.

But there’s no mention of loving thy neighbour until years later when his son, Jesus Christ, suddenly plucks another couple of commandments out of the blue.

Well, excuse us. It’s hard enough trying to obey the original ten and they’re pretty clear. Thou Shalt Not Kill. Thou Shalt Not Steal.

How are we supposed to feel when any Tom, Dick or Messiah can come along and make up more of his own?

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” he says. “That is the first and great commandment.”

Actually, it’s the eleventh, but we’ll let that pass for now.

“And the second is like unto it,” he continues, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

OK, so now we’ve got 12 commandments; only 10 of them are written on tablets of stone (the other two are just scribbled on the back of a bit of papyrus); the numbering system’s confused; and – let’s face it – the newest ones are a bit wishy-washy.

All of which is a long digression by way of introduction to this morning’s story in the Guardian that, while we’re happy to love our neighbour, we’d prefer it is they weren’t black. Or Asian.

A survey to be published this week has discovered that 39% of white Britons would prefer to live in an area only with people from the same ethnic backgrounds.

Race and immigration is now the third most important concern for people behind health and education, with 29% of people registering it as their most important.

Almost one in five people believes that immigration is responsible for a loss of community spirit.

And of the 45% of respondents who felt they were treated like second class citizens by the welfare state, 39% blame asylum seekers and new immigrants.

“We have overestimated the progress we have made in race and immigration issues,” says Bobby Duffy, research director at Mori.

However, ignorance is to blame for many of the more intolerant opinions, which are disproportionately views held by older people.

For instance, Brits think that first-generation immigrants comprise 23% of the population, when the real figure is just 6%.

Having said that, 30% of the British population think that Princess Diana was murdered, 19% think that Elvis is still alive and a few people would like the BBC to bring back Kilroy.’

Posted: 19th, January 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink