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I mentioned a few weeks ago how I felt that the mood in Italy had changed since the election of Berlusconi: now Amnesty has issued a report that documents a surge of violence against Roma gypsies whilst news reports of attacks on North African Muslims, and immigrant workers are becoming increasingly frequent. Whilst it would be easy to blame the governing coalition which has former fascist parties amongst its members for the growing atmosphere of hate, the left has hardly helped: former mayor of Rome and candidate for Prime Minister Walter Veltroni stated that he thought 75% of crime in Rome was caused by the Roma.

Which leads us to the UK. There is undoubtedly a massive amount of seething anger amongst white working class communities: you only have to go out on the stump to get an appreciation of the size of the problem. The challenge for the left is dealing with this resentment and anger in a way that doesn’t simply pander to racists (it is my conviction that the great majority of these people are not racist, they’re just fed-up with what the perceive as ‘being ignored’).

How in our words and deeds can we address their concerns? I’m not sure I have an easy answer. Integration is certainly a big part of any solution: how this can be achieved under the umbrella of a multi-cultural agenda that promotes segregation though, I’m not entirely sure.