2014 will be the Year of Identity, argues Sunder Katwala, director of British Future, in his Ralph Miliband memorial lecture at the London School of Economics. Addressing the theme ‘Is there a progressive case for national identity?’, Katwala looked at how identity will help to shape key choices about the future of the United Kingdom, Britain’s place in Europe, identity and immigration. Below is the full text of his lecture.
Tag Archive for opportunity
The issue of northern identity has resurfaced recently. Since the deindustrialisation of the 1980s – and with social mobility reversing at a disturbing rate over the last 30 years – the gap between north and south has grown bigger. With London’s rise as a political and cultural superpower, what are the chances today of another Eddie Waring breaking through and rising to the top, asks Anthony Clavane.
The public is often portrayed as opposed to migration, and opinion polls do show it is a key issue for voters. But new research by NIESR, published today, finds that members of the public who work with migrants recognise the need for skilled migration. They also willingly acknowledge that they have benefited, writes Dr Heather Rolfe.
Britain’s economic success and social mix has been built through the efforts, creativity and talent of migrant entrepreneurs. Given their ability to create wealth and jobs, David Cameron promised back in 2010 to reform the immigration rules to allow more foreign entrepreneurs to set up in the UK. The prime minister pledged to "put out the red carpet" for those with good business acumen through the Tier 1 route. But how well is it working asks Heather Rolfe.
I am a child of the NHS, which celebrates its 65th birthday this week. I took my first breath in an NHS hospital, like many millions of Britons. And, if it hadn’t been for the NHS, I wouldn’t have come to exist at all. I was born British, in a Yorkshire hospital, in the spring of 1974.
Thirty years earlier, my parents had been born some 4,000 miles apart. It was the NHS that brought them both to Britain, writes Sunder Katwala.
With the recent staging of Yellow Face at London's Park Theatre this summer, a spotlight was cast on the Chinese community in the UK. Yet beyond that the Chinese community remains largely hidden from our public conversation, with opinion formers talking of it as the "silent" community. Is that a sign of successful integration or of problems that go under the radar, asks Jemimah Steinfeld.
The Leeds Big Bookend brings together writers old and new and describes itself as a "rock festival for words." The most encouraging thing was the celebration of writers from the past, with the present and future being well represented too, reflects Matthew Rhodes on a fascinating weekend in his home town.
It’s not difficult to understand what attracts people to rural Scotland, but for many, the west coast and the Hebrides have a special charm. Thanks to a mild climate and beautiful scenery, more English people choose to move to Argyll than any other part of Scotland. But despite the area's many positive attributes, establishing a permanent home there is not for everyone, explains Duncan Stewart Muir, who was brought up on the island of Islay.
While the whole world flocked to London to witness the buzz of the Olympic summer 2012, north-east England felt somewhat excluded and not just in terms of geography. However, an Olympic legacy lives on, even if not as pronounced as hoped, writes Next Generation blogger Matilda Neill from Whitley Bay.
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.
"English to me is the sum of synchronic and diachronic evolution of other mixed languages" and "English is the medium through which I experience people, news, literature, culture and my own consciousness." These are just two posts dangling from the Thought Wall in response to "What does the English language mean to you," a question posed at the British Council's latest exhibition, The English Effect, writes Jemimah Steinfeld.
One of the most pressing issues today is the sheer amount of young people in need of employment. Since the recession, the rate of people aged 16 to 25 not in work has been steadily increasing, with over 979,000 young people unemployed nationwide between December 2012 and February 2013. The north-east has the highest rates of youth unemployment. What then can be done to help today’s youth, asks Next Generation thinker Matilda Neill.
On Friday afternoon Next Generation blogger Bryn Lewis arrived in Butetown, a small community on the edge of Cardiff, for Finding Your Future, an event co-hosted by British Future and National Theatre Wales. The impression initially given of Butetown was of a community under siege, left to wither against a backdrop of moneyed developments. But after a night of animated discussions and activities with people from the area, this view was challenged. Here he explains exactly why.
Britain is a fairer and less racist country than it was when Stephen Lawrence was murdered 20 years ago. But there is good sense, too, in the public wariness of over-claiming how much has changed, says Sunder Katwala.
The information age, when messages can be sent across the globe in seconds, and packages from thousands of miles away arrive within days. This is the state that many believe Britain has already achieved, a near liquid society where movement of people, goods and information is as easy as a short walk or a click of a button. If this is the case, then why does even a simple task in north Wales seem like swimming through tar? And how will this impact the opportunities that come my way, asks Bryn Lewis, who lives in north-west Wales.
"I actually desperately wish that central government had a better understanding of the need for, at a local level, for there to be better provisions for young people out of school, said one speaker at our recent debate in Eltham.
Limited opportunities for young people, based on a disconnect between education and employment, was of much greater priority than concerns around race relations for attendees at the Stephen Lawrence: 20 Years On event in Eltham, writes Richard Miranda.
Zimbabwean refugee Cynthia Masiyiwa has been selected for the Woman of the Year award at The Migrant and Refugee Woman of the Year Awards. Last year she helped loads of young people get involved in the Olympics, writes Jemimah Steinfeld.
What then can we learn about the possibilities of sport, and other areas of common interest, to be a positive force for inclusion and integration? This was the central question at British Future’s Beyond Wembley: What can bring Bradford together? debate held on 26th February at the Carlisle Business Centre in Bradford.
"Bradford needs more than just one cup final. It needs more winners. People are desperate; people want change.” These words, articulated by one member of the audience at British Future’s Beyond Wembley: What can bring Bradford together? event, struck a chord with many.