Author Archive for Sunder Katwala

Britons prefer solemn centenary to marking Great War victory

The British public strongly prefer a solemn remembrance of the lives lost in the first world war to a centenary commemoration which places a central emphasis on Britain's victory of the war, according to new Ipsos MORI polling for British Future.

Romanians and Bulgarians who contribute will be welcomed by most Brits

More than two-thirds of Britons say that Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants who work hard, pay taxes and fit in to the community should be welcomed to the UK.

English and Scots differ over Europe, says Redwood

English identity has become a much more inclusive and welcoming identity, but different attitudes towards Europe now form one of the major differences between English and Scottish nationalism, said Conservative MP John Redwood at today's Englishness festival.

Conservative conference fringe: how to win in a changing Britain?

The Conservative Party will never win their first majority in a quarter-century unless they attract new support. This will have to come from new voters whom they traditionally haven’t thought were with them or like them. This challenge, of reaching and winning the support of such voters – in the north, in cities, among young people and ethnic minorities – was discussed at the “Future majority: how can the Tories win in a changing Britain?” event at the Conservative Party Conference, writes Steve Ballinger.

Minority vote is a prize worth fighting for

New research published by British Future and ConservativeHome projects that David Cameron could have secured an additional 500,000 votes and formed a majority government in 2010 if he had appealed to ethnic minority voters. Steve Ballinger offers analysis.

Labour conference fringe: the challenge of populism

Another packed fringe event saw shadow justice minister Sadiq Khan MP, former Lib Dem MP Dr Evan Harris, Zoe Williams from the Guardian and David Lammy MP tackle the question What's the answer to populism?, chaired by British Future's Sunder Katwala, writes Steve Ballinger.

Victory for VCs as commemoration scheme amended

Local campaigners across the country won a small but important victory last week, as the government agreed to amend a flawed first world war commemoration scheme, writes Steve Ballinger .

Question and debate the veil, don’t rush to ban it

As a practising Muslim I don’t believe that covering a woman’s face is something that Islam requires of her. I also don’t believe it’s fair to say that people who find the face veil threatening or intimidating are simply being racist or Islamophobic I don’t even believe that covering the face is particularly conducive to the country we live in. But then neither is the idea of banning it! writes Rabiha Hannan

Populism: have the politicians got the message?

The populist challenge comes in response to a political elite that is seen as out of touch and refuses to do what common sense demands. It is an argument about "them and us". And it demands a response which neither changes nor concedes the argument. That was the message of the 'Populism: have the politicians got the message?’ fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrat conference earlier this week, writes Steve Ballinger

Windrush Day ‘an opportunity to give thanks’

In a letter to The Times, nearly 100 individuals and organisations have called Windrush Day an opportunity to give thanks for the positive contribution to Britain of modern immigrations and integration. Signatories include politicians from each of the main parties and both Houses of Parliament, faith groups, academics, business leaders, trade unions and cultural figures such as authors Zadie Smith and Malorie Blackman.

Why Windrush Day matters

The MV Empire Windrush started its life as a vehicle for the Nazi Party and ended its life under the control of the Allied forces, transporting 493 passengers from Jamaica to the UK, thus transforming it into a symbol of multiculturalism and tolerance. Patrick Vernon OBE, founder of 100 Great Black Britons, was the first to call for a national celebration of Windrush Day. Here Vernon explains why it matters.

Afghan interpreter deal will fail to protect enough, says David Davis

In a letter published in the Times newspaper, a mix of parliamentary, military and campaigning voices welcome the government's commitment to offer asylum to some of the interpreters, but are concerned that the terms will arbitrarily deny protection to many who need it.

EDL stir up hatred and make terrorism more likely, say most Britons

Most people believe that far right groups like the English Defence League stir up hatred and violence in Britain in a way which increases the risk of future terrorist incidents. A rising proportion of Britons say they would never join the EDL - a view held by 84% of people who have heard of the group - according to new polling released this weekend.

Public support asylum for Afghan interpreters

The British public believe that Britain should offer asylum to Afghan interpreters who worked for British troops, according to a new YouGov poll for British Future, writes Sunder Katwala.

20 Years On: Why anniversary of Stephen’s death is moment to consider modern Britain

20 years on, we can now see that Stephen Lawrence's death has come to play an important symbolic role, Sunder Katwala writes.

The case of the peer, his antisemitic comments and how not to do diversity in politics

Lord Ahmed's comments blaming his imprisonment for dangerous driving on a Jewish conspiracy are absurd and extreme, says Sunder Katwala.

How the Wembley fairytale has brought Bradford together

Bradford City versus Swansea City is not the Wembley League Cup final that anybody expected at the start of the football season, with supporters of both clubs looking forward to their first major Wembley final. Days before British Future holds a debate in Bradford, Sunder Katwala asks residents of the city, including season ticket holders, an imam, and the curator of the club museum, what they think about the final and its impact on the city.

“Being a refugee bloody drives you on” says Salford City Reds’ saviour

As the new Rugby League season begins tonight, fans of Salford City Reds are able to move from fretting about whether their club will survive to dreaming of triumphs on the sporting field, writes Sunder Katwala.

“Lots to tweet about” when running Home Office, says new top official

Mark Sedwill, the newly appointed permanent secretary at the Home Office, has pledged to carry on tweeting when he takes up his new role as the top civil servant running the most challenging of domestic departments.

Farewell to 2012, the year of British exceptionalism

The spirit of 2012 challenged the core instincts of both left and right, argues Sunder Katwala. But will that optimistic sense of what is distinctive about Britain survive into 2013?