Today, think tank IPPR released a new report on integration entitled ‘Back to Basics’.* The report highlights the confusion that exists over the definition of integration. It also argues that policy makers often confuse integration and social cohesion; the former being concerned with the relation between migrant and ethnic minority…
Today, Justin Welby will be formally enthroned as the 105th archbishop of Canterbury. The event will include longstanding traditions, such as knocking on the west door of the cathedral three times at the start of the ceremony, and other elements which wouldn’t have been incorporated hundreds of years ago, such as African…
Education Secretary, Michael Gove, recently unveiled his plans for reforming the National Curriculum. The proposals have been criticised by leading academics who argue that the changes will stifle “children’s ability to think, including problem-solving, critical understanding and creativity.” The academics also fear that Gove’s plans will increase rote learning without…
Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The state of our roads

Recently, a lot has been said about the poor state of Britain’s roads, with over a third of drivers rating the condition of their local roads as poor, very poor or terrible.* The interesting thing about roads is that we all notice when they are damaged, but very few of…
There are many great lessons to be learned from children’s literature. ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ by Judith Kerr is one such book. Published over 40 years ago, the story illustrates some uncomfortable truths about the cost of integration.
A few years ago I lived in Gaza – where segregation is the norm. It is a day to day experience with walls and borders there to remind you. Attempts to cross from Gaza into Israel are met frequently with no’s, rejections and ‘come back tomorrow’s. Sitting on the closed border at Rafah was…
There is a housing crisis in parts of the country. It’s a problem that could easily increase tension between older and younger generations.While young people struggle to have enough money to rent or buy, much older people are living increasingly isolated lives in houses that are too large for them…
Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Stat of the Day

You are eight times more likely to find that the majority of your friends are unemployed if you yourself are unemployed.That’s what a socially divided country looks like.
Make a list of meaningless phrases and pretty soon you have the modern language of managers and politicians the world over:’utilise’ (how about ‘use’?),  ‘going forward’ (rather than what?!), ‘circle back’ (why not go straight?), ‘synergise’ (who knows?).As this language has grown up, it has displaced another: a language meant…
Friday, 08 March 2013

In praise of gangs

Over the last half-century, we have taken part in a nationwide experiment.50 years ago, lots of Brits were in gangs. Well – groups anyway. Groups that met regularly and where people from different incomes and generations would meet.  
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