This is really touching a soft spot for me as I feel very passionately about the importance of Integration/Social Cohesion-you’ll see a mention of this on the About Me page. This as far as I am concerned is at the core of any form of development we hope to achieve as a nation. Putting that to rest here is my world view-being very brief about it-on this topic;
- Though I do respect all the efforts gone into preparing this report I would suggest-having read the entire report-that most (if not all) observations/recommendations are by and large are NOT new. It’s more of a refresh on statistics with minor new observations than anything else. What seems to be the problem is the lack of political will to make this a top priority for government and develop the necessary resources/pressure to make it work.
- We need to balance the urgency of action with 2 important factors;
a) We’re not interested in short-termism (reactionary policy) to be the driving force in developing/applying solutions for this issue in response to far-right kickback. We need to start with a long term vision, then build an incremental plan (more like a national project) that gets us there. An important element here is a cross-party consensus on overall strategy considering this entails a long-term plan that requires stability, adaptability and commitment to bear its fruits-obviously with regular reviews as mentioned in the report. This should be the approach moving forward-no single party owns this project, its owned by the country including I might add community leaders who should be one of the stakeholders involved.
b) We should start from the premise that failure in Multiculturalism/Integration has been largely due to decades of failed government policies in addressing this issue and recognising the profound implications it has on our society. That is where the buck stops, not with ethnic minority communities themselves who bared the brunt of this failure-though they will have obligations to make this work. So what is needed are corrective measures-in collaboration with community leaders-to fix these issues. In addition we need to fix the broken immigration system once and for all again as part of this new strategy/vision mentioned.
Finally just to say that there are lots of great ideas out there and we can also look at experiences of other countries in dealing with this matter. It will ultimately come down to political commitment and the passion/experiences of the team taking charge of this new vision of a United Kingdom.