migrant community groups
Last October marked London’s City Hall launch of its public consultation about the Mayor's vision of making London a Ciity for all its citizens. In his document, Sadiq Khan outlines what he considers to be the main challenges, opportunities and priorities in key policy areas over the next four years: housing health inequalities policing and crime economy environment, social inclusion All Londoners are invited to take part in the discussions.
As I said at the opening of our conference at the weekend, it’s hard to believe that four months ago Against Borders for Children was little more than a Twitter message thread between a handful of willing volunteers, a draft of an open letter, and a 2-page campaign strategy.
It is a great honour and privilege to be taking the helm of MRN, following in the footsteps of Don and working with an incredibly passionate team. Although I wish it were during better times and not with the current focus on immigration being the hot political potato again. This climate reminded me of a song I recently heard, The Temptations “Ball of Confusion”: “…Segregation, Determination Demonstration Integration Aggravation Humiliation Obligation to our nation Ball of confusion Oh, yeah, that’s what the world is today”
Dear Friends Season’s Greetings at the end of a tumultuous year! You may know that I am stepping down from my position as Director of MRN at the end of this month. I have been in this post for almost exactly ten years – a decade in which immigration policy has moved to the very centre of the political agenda, not just in the UK but right across the world. Although stepping down as Director, I will be continuing my own involvement as an Associate of MRN and hope to stay in touch with all the friends and collaborators I have made across the country for a long time to come.
In July 2015 the then Prime Minister and Home Secretary asked civil servant, Dame Louise Casey, to review community integration and cohesion in the light of concerns that certain groups were outside of existing policies. The report was published in December 2016, entitled ‘The Casey Review: a review into opportunity and integration’. So far, so good. Even sounds positive and progressive. But is it? Casey highlights ‘discrimination and disadvantage isolating communities from modern British society’. But she also focuses on what she perceives as high levels of social and economic isolation due to cultural and religious practices in communities that were “holding some of our citizens back but run contrary to British values and sometimes our laws”. (I’ll come back to that term ‘British values’ again.).