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Times poll has found that three-quarters of people surveyed believe British society is broken. Three in five voters say they hardly recognise the country they are living in. The task of the incoming government must be to change this.

Yet the terrible truth seems to be that the politicians have intuited what many of us in the public most fear: the assault on British society and the intensive culture of repudiation accompanying it has been embedded so deeply in our political and civic system that the task of reversing it, or accommodating it decently, may be beyond the ability of any political party, let alone any single leader.

What has been woven in so deeply cannot quickly be unpicked. Yet what we have been subjected to as a country may only now be coming to its full, rotten bloom. Take just one example of the systemic failure that has not simply occurred but been willed.

Last month, the Metropolitan Police commander Ali Dizaei was jailed for corruption and misconduct. Dizaei was well-known in the police force as a bully, a liar, a gangster and a crook. But he was also of Iranian origin (he had links to the Iranian embassy too, and spoke at a conference in Tehran organised by President Ahmedinejad). And he knew how to play modern Britain.

In 1999, in the wake of the brutal murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, the British police were famously castigated by the Macpherson Inquiry as "institutionally racist". That year, Dizaei moved to the Met from Thames Valley Police and made his crooked way up the ranks, rising to command of most of West London. He benefited from all the advantages and unearned promotions a torn-apart and demoralised police force could bestow on an ambitious man who happened to be dark-skinned. Dizaei found his colour his most useful asset. His second most useful asset was a system that positively encouraged people to abuse it.

With the full racist force of the "Black Police Association" (now the no less dubiously titled "National Black Police Association") behind him, Dizaei accused anyone who stood in his way of being "racist". When he faced serious accusations or charges, it was "racist". When he was finally imprisoned, it was "racist". The only thing that was truly racist all along was that someone — anyone — was given preferential treatment because of his skin colour. Yet in the post-Macpherson period that is exactly what was encouraged.

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o dannyboy
March 10th, 2010
7:03 PM
lets call a spade a spade. it seems to me, judging by all your rantings to be a racist. are you really a one trick pony?

March 3rd, 2010
3:03 PM
Have you questioned the fact that it may not have been the fact that Mr.Dizaei happened to be 'dark-skinned', but that he was simply the best person in a pool of poor talent? After the recent battering of the modern police, not many people would have wanted the job, anyway. There HAS been racism within the force (i.e the BBC documentary 'The Secret Policeman') but I refuse to believe it has been, or was at the time, INSTITUTIONALLY racist. Plenty of ethnic policemen and women agree with me.

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