27 November, 2006

Multi-cultural disharmony

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, has declared war on Trevor Phillips, head of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). It seems that Phillips' crime is to question the wisdom of multi-culturalism. Red Ken is retaliating by refusing to attend a CRE conference. and organising a rival shindig of his own. The Observer summed up the phoney war:

A furious clash over multiculturalism has erupted after the Mayor of London accused Trevor Phillips, head of Britain's race equality watchdog, of peddling falsehoods and failing victims of racism...

...Tensions between Phillips and Livingstone have been rising ever since the head of the Commission for Racial Equality began speaking out on multiculturalism, which he argues may have led to greater ghettoisation, and harmed relations with the Muslim community following the 7/7 bombings.

Livingstone recently accused Phillips, who is of Caribbean descent, of being so right-wing that he would 'soon be joining the BNP'.
I suspect that Red Ken is really upset because Phillips' not only called for an open debate on multi-culturalism but threatened to use his official powers to ensure it was conducted on his terms.

Black information is behind the Mayor. It seems they are going to parade a coffin in protest at the CRE conference. I hope they do it in style with a Dixieland band.

The Guardian and the BBC also pick up on the story.

I suspect most of this controversy will degenerate into an exchange of insults referring to Enoch Powell's famous speech which is more often cited than read. Here is the text.

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