Tag Archives: social cohesion

Why Tory pilots for improved integration feel like a microwave dinner

The government’s pilots for improved “integration” among immigrant communities in 5 English councils feel much like a microwave dinner – reheated and lacking fresh ingredients. As the government launches yet another “integration agenda” it’s worth examining how the Conservatives and their friends in the media who support them are in fact, hindering integration in a number of ways.

Government funding for teaching English as a second language (ESOL) has dropped from £203m a year in 2009/10 to just £90m in 2015/16. If it really was concerned about new arrivals speaking English, perhaps cutting funding for ESOL was not the best way of going about it.

When a friend recently complained that some immigrant communities do not integrate, I reminded him that bus drivers, taxi drivers and shop workers (jobs often taken by immigrants) cannot afford house prices where we both live in Richmond Upon Thames. The local Conservative run Council has failed time and again to stick to its target of 50% affordable housing when approving new developments. Until we stop hollowing out communities in this way, and support economic integration, things are unlikely to change.

Another area where the government and elements of the Conservative leaning press have been utterly hypocritical is when it comes to adhering to so-called “British values”. A key “British value” children are required to learn about is the rule of law. Had it not been for Gina Millar , Article 50 would have been triggered without recourse to Parliament.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

John Pugh MP writes…Liberals must tackle rising social inequality and improve social cohesion

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKThe nice thing about Lib Dem Voice is that they print what you say rather than what they want you to say.

After the disappointing General Election of 1987 I made the press ,when as Party Chairman of the only constituency in the England we had gained, I suggested it would be good for the party if David Steel  stepped down and Paddy Ashdown took over. I think I got that one right.

So understandably I thought long and hard before saying …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 55 Comments
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