In the last century, the United Kingdom has become an astounding tapestry of cultures hanging on a multicultural loom in a lunatic's attic filled with an array of astoundingly diverse garbage. Every year people from around the world arrive in the UK and many of them move to Tower Hamlets and begin threatening to behead all the other cultures for being much too multi.
But it's nothing that can't be handled with an uncomfortable visit to a mosque by a few government officials, some online courses about fighting extremism and a new Muslim character on EastEnders.
The ghost rat cannibal ship approaching the shores of the United Kingdom is no different. Yes it is a ghost ship and it may be full of cannibal rats who have been eating each other for so long that they have food critics (Hank was just too dry), foodie blogs and an ethical cannibalism movement to eat only locally sourced rats, but that is no reason to allow ourselves to be panicked by it or by them.
Each culture brings with it its own practices and its own way of life that contributes to enriching our own. From the Kebab shops to the other Kebab shops, from that loud music those people who moved in next door play to the muezzin waking up the roosters every morning, we are richer for it in the sense that we have less money, but a deeper spiritual awareness that the world is a very strange place.
While the cannibal rat ghost ship may seem threatening at first, we should remember that each new set of arrivals was viewed similarly with suspicion. The Celts and the Saxons did not get along and no one liked the Normans. And when the Saracens overran London, everyone was really unhappy. But then the media kept talking about how the Saracens are contributing to the culture and their neighbors learned to overlook the honor killings, the beheadings and the Asian sex grooming gangs.
The cannibal rats will be no different. At their first arrival there may be moments of unpleasantness. The rats have been eating each other for so long, when they arrive in London and claim refugee status because they fear being eaten if they return home, will they then begin eating us? We don't know, but it would be nothing less than a sordid betrayal of our values if we were to turn the cannibal rats away out of fear that they will begin gnawing on our tender flesh the very first chance that they get.
It will be vital that we find common ground between our values and those of the cannibal rats. There is no doubt that the cannibal rats will have a great deal to teach us and we mustn't let their horrid appearance or their cannibalism customs interfere with the learning process. The sensationalist tabloid press has emphasized the cannibalism angle so much that it has entirely blinded us to their other virtues, to their close family connections, their rich cultural heritage and their love of music.
Like so many refugees, the ghost ship cannibal rats come to us from a troubled part of the world. We who are privileged to live in safety and comfort cannot even begin to imagine the traumas that have marked them and so we must be understanding if they occasionally forget themselves and bite us. The minor pain we suffer is nothing compared to the agony which these poor souls have endured.
Averting further violence must begin with us. It is our responsibility to show them that there is a better way. And we shall do so by defusing the situation from the start by taking their side.
The plight of the ghost cannibal rats echoes that of the world's billions fleeing instability, climate change and teeth. Through our acceptance of them and their condition, we accept upon ourselves the condition of the world and fulfill our function as citizens of the world.
While it is easy to look down on the cannibal rats for their cannibalism, isn't cannibalism also the base state of capitalism? Economic competition urges us on to cannibalize each other's jobs and possessions and globally, as we compete for spare resources, we are cannibalizing entire cultures so that we may have the material trinkets that make our meaningless lives worthwhile. If we look closely at the ghost ship of cannibal rats, we will see our own reflection mirrored in their dilemma.
By examining the degeneration of their condition, we can draw meaningful conclusions about our own way of life. For example would a genuinely Socialist economy reduce rats to cannibalism? It might, but the cannibalism would be carefully structured in a way that would serve the greater good rather than merely serving the appetites of the rich and the powerful.
It may be that the cannibal rats did indeed achieve an arrangement that was not rat-eat-rat, but that balanced the appetites of the many against the flesh of the few and that arranged for the working class rat hordes to be fed without regard to gender, class or degree of sexual orientation. It may be that in the throes of their cannibalistic orgies of flesh redistribution, these rats achieved a social structure that can advance us forward by a thousand years.
Like the cannibal rats, that is not an opportunity that we can afford to turn our backs on.
Finally there are the ugly expressions of bigotry. Many citizens who have urged the government to blow up the ghost ship filled with hordes of hungry cannibal rats on sight have referred to them, and I quote, as "vermin", "a disgusting horrible pestilence" and "the worst thing to hit these shores since Gwyneth Paltrow."
The ugly undertones are not difficult to spot in such defamatory language whose privileged speakers presuppose that their lives are worth more than those of cannibal rats. By accepting the ghost ship of cannibal rats into our bosom, we will win a victory over bigotry and demonstrate that we are a society of acceptance, not of rejection, and for this reason alone, if for no other reason, we should accept the ghost ship, grant its cannibal rats asylum and educate them about the importance of voting Labour.
The future begins with each of us. We must lower our walls, open our doors and welcome our new neighbours to our shores. And one day, as we pass our neighbour, the cannibal rat now running a shop specializing in cannibal rat meat, and the cannibal rat's son who now works in the NHS and the cannibal rat's four grandsons who are all on the dole and his other son who is gnawing on the leg of a dead British soldier, we can be proud of ourselves, our ethics and our humanism.
In this way, the stranger, the cannibal rat, will become our friend, the cannibal rat.
Each step forward that we take, each cannibal rat with a peerage, each cannibal rat who wins a singing competition and each cannibal rat in the school that our sons and daughters attend, is a triumph for our deepest values and ideals. They remind us that our civilization, our cultural heritage and our lives are worth nothing if they are not put at the service of our fellow men and our fellow cannibal rats.
Today a cannibal rat applies for refugee status. Tomorrow a cannibal rat will be Prime Minister.