I have recently been sent a marvellous article by Michael Collins, that was in the i newspaper on 19 March 2015, and can be found on the Independent website.
Collins is the author of The Likes of Us: A Biography of the White Working Class, a superb 2004 polemic which also serves as family history and memoir of a lost Southwark. Here he is writing just ahead of Trevor Phillips Channel 4 documentary Things We Won't Say About Race That Are True. Phillips now serves a function as quite a useful lightening conductor - by and large if someone is against him, it is good form to put your self on the opposite side of their arguments - something I would not have imagined myself saying twenty years ago.
Anyway, Michael Collins ends his article on race in Britain by citing one of the core characteristics of contemporary anti-racism. Like the war between Oceania and its rivals in Orwell's 1984, it appears never to end. Indeed new manifestations - the concept of 'islamophobia' is the most prominent currently - emerge to reinvigorate the cause at regular intervals:
Central to the problem is that the end of racism is not an objective that has a finish line, and so the goalposts will shift whenever something close to it is in sight. There are jobs in academia, the public sector, the consultancy sector, human rights law that depend on it. Racism in its truest form has diminished over the years, yet the campaign that emerged to tackle it has, oddly, expanded into a billion-pound industry. The concept of racism continues to re-invent itself and expand its remit ad infinitum to justify the existence of this industry. It wants racism gone - but without it, it's nothing.