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« Nicholas D Kristof: A Wimp on Genocide | Main | Jalal Talabani: We Need American Troops »


Gary Monro

Yes, he is to be commended for facing up to some uncomfortable facts about the multicultural experiemnt in this country.

But, as I blogged yesterday, Mr Phillips' solutions contain all the same old authoritarian forcing and coercing:

"Phillips suggests that schools could be given cash incentives to increase their ethnic mix and local education authorities could be forced to broaden their catchment areas to include a more even racial mix.

He suggests that young people of different ethnic backgrounds should be brought together in summer camps to overcome suspicions and prejudice; he will also say that schools should be encouraged, or even coerced, into accepting a greater ethnic mix of pupils.

He wonders whether local authorities should be forced to redraw their school catchment areas so as to encourage integration."

He recognises that people choose to stick with their own ethnicities yet simultaneously seeks to force them to do otherwise. If the reality is, as it seems, that they don't want to integrate exactly how - and why - is he going to force them to?


Most European countries don't have this kind of racial/religious problem simply because most European countries don't contain significant numbers of Blacks or Muslims. Britain does have these significant minorities. America does also. Unfortunately, no major Western nation has yet seen these minorities successfully integrate, despite huge amounts of government spending and a myriad of different approaches. In fact, forced integration has created its own problems. Even someone like myself who wishes to see successful integration thinks that perhaps we should just acknowledge the reality.

James Hellyer

It's courageous of Trevor Phillips to admit that the multicultural values he once championed have damaged the glue that gave our nation cohesion.

Phillips is a powerful and persuasuve advocate. His analysis of what the problems are is almost exactly right, in my opinion.

He does, however, falter when he tries to suggest solutions. His ideas for education tend to miss the point that bad schools fail all their pupils. Making the issue skin colour doesn't address that, and make the schools improve, so white people who are able to leave for better schooling are less inclined to do so.

Gary Monro

Is there a solution? Short of using force - which Mr Phillips seems to be advocating...

James Hellyer

Better local schools. At the moment people who can avoid a bad local school do so. Those who can't, like the Bangladeshi immigrants Phillips complains about, are stuck with them. If policies were enacted that we beleive would improve schooling (like the school voucher scheme), then that would help remove one reason why white people who can flee an area do so.

James Hellyer

I'd also add an increased accentuation on Britishness, including the teaching of narrative history, in order to provide a better understanding of our country and its institutions, thus increasing the cultural lingu franca and hopefully cohesion.

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