Welcome to Part Five of our current Tale for Our Time: my variation on a theme of H G Wells.
In tonight's episode of Out of Time, our Victorian time traveller finally works out, so he believes, the economic organisation of this bizarre future England:
The Metropolitan Railway opened – when? a third of a century past? The world's first underground transportation system: an astonishing feat, but shallow - immediately beneath our feet. Then, just a few years ago, came the first deep-tunnel railway, the City and South London line. In our day, the network extends fifty miles – beyond Aylesbury, enabling City bank clerks and St James's tailors to live in far Buckinghamshire and be transported swiftly to their place of work each morning and then back home at the close of day. An astonishing change in economic organisation, and all within the last decade or so. It is not difficult, surely, to imagine what another century and more of progress would bring.
Beneath my feet, then, the earth must be tunnelled enormously, and these tunnellings were the means by which the New Races of the London streets were conveyed back and forth by high-speed railway from their homes in Asia and Africa to labour in the coffee shops of Piccadilly, and no doubt as housemaids and footmen and whatever else was needed.
It sounds very plausible, but is perhaps too logical for an advanced society of the twenty-first century. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear me read Part Five of our adventure simply by clicking here and logging-in.
Earlier episodes of Out of Time can be found here, and previous Tales for Our Time here. Leonid, a First Day Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club from California, writes about an observation by the time-traveller from last night's episode:
Ha! About "noisily professing their love of other cultures while being entirely uninterested in them":
I vividly remember some music hour that I stumbled on at NPR (I know, there is no excuse, but... let's keep going). The announcer was extremely excited about some great music from around the world. He first served up some Latin American music, then some African. The Latin American selection was in fact great, but the African one was abysmal. This made it obvious that they didn't like this music, or any music - they just loved the fact that it wasn't American or Western.
This is what "multiculturism" has always been about: not respect or interest in any other cultures, but hatred of the Western ones.
No interest in other cultures is necessary, Leonid, only a disavowal of one' s own. I think the only true multiculturalists I have known were my elderly schoolmasters who had taught in West Africa or the Pacific Islands and were highly expert in other cultures, even if said expertise only confirmed them in the superiority of their own. Oh, and the universally reviled "racist" Enoch Powell, who, while convinced their growing presence would lead to "rivers of blood", could converse at length with his Pakistani constituents in Urdu.
If you'd like to join us in The Mark Steyn Club, we'd love to have you: please see here. And, if you've a chum who enjoys classic fiction, we've introduced a special Steyn Gift Membership: you'll find more details here. Next month, incidentally, we will also be welcoming back our video poetry, because that's where the big bucks are.
Please join me tomorrow evening for Part Six of Out of Time.