migrant community groups
There’s a moment of real poignancy in the 1980s’s film comedy ‘Withnail and I’ when the hippy drug-dealer Danny gives his views on our collective failure to make good on all that was promised in the 60s: The greatest decade in the history of mankind is over. And as Presuming Ed here has so consistently pointed out, we have failed to paint it black. Millennials The failings of one generation are destined to become the challenges for the next. Unfortunately the one that followed the Swinging Sixties proved just as inept. And the task of sorting the mess out, if it is ever going to be done, is falling to the set of people we are learning to call the ‘millennials.’
With a constituency of 8.6 million people candidates for Mayor of London will be seeking a mandate to represent the capital city from one of the largest electorates in Europe, and certainly the most diverse. Over 3 million Londoners were born outside the UK, according to the last census. Forty-four percent define themselves as being black or from other ethnic minority groups. More than three-quarters say that English is their first or only language, 20 percent say they speak a second language either well or very well.
Getting the UK to pull its weight in Europe’s refugee crisis With major conflicts continuing to rage across the Middle East, added to by streams of people converging on the region from the war-torn areas of the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan, it is absolutely clear that this is an issue that will continue to dominate the news headline over the coming year.
To say 2015 has been a challenging year all those community organisations, campaign groups, faith movements, trade unions and others working to support the rights of migrants and refugees would be to understate all that happened during the past twelve months. MRN has worked hard to record all the issues that migrant community activists and human rights campaigners have had to face up to over this time. As you would expect, the drama of the refugee crisis on the south eastern border of Europe and the ‘jungle’ camp in Calais have been prominent in the news items and blogs we have posted. Closer to home, our virtually weekly commentary on all the fresh legislation being pushed through Parliament has tried to make sense of the conflicting impulses that produce the Modern Slavery Act on one hand and the ‘hostile environment’ of the Immigration Act and the current Immigration Bill on the other.
December’s changes to the electoral register represent a huge civil rights issue for everyone in this country, especially for migrant communities. In November, the UK government cut the transition period for the new electoral registration (IER) system. Many were hopeful that the government would listen to its own independent expert body and extend the date to December 2016. This would have allowed local authorities to properly inform people of the need to get themselves on the register. Unsurprisingly, the proposal was not accepted leaving at least 1.9 million people at risk of losing their right to vote if not registered by the 1 December 2015.