Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blogging on WebCameron

The leader of the Conservative party in the UK has today been talking about 'building a cohesive society' and racial integration. I thought I'd take a few minutes to write down my thoughts for his blog and this one too.

So just how do we build a cohesive society? How do we tackle prejudice and racism in a way that is both realistic and robust?

It seems that hardly a day goes by these days without the word 'racist' being thrown around by one group or another. If its not in the Big Brother House then its in the even bigger House of Commons, but as I sat and watched a debate on TV tonight, I felt compelled to share some of my feelings. I hope you don't mind.

Despite all of our best efforts, todays society seems far from cohesive to me. In fact I'd say its adhesive.

Cohesive means to 'join things together', it takes effort on both parts, but our society seems to be quite different. In our adhesive society, groups and communities have merely been 'stuck onto' a wider base. Thanks to this one-sided effort, we have communities within communities and the less we understand about each other, the more everyone feels threatened.

So how do we go about fixing this? Well firstly I think it starts with you and me. Kindness, compassion and respect for those around us makes a huge difference. As a Christian, I believe that this 'love' isn't just about being nice, meek and mild. I think that this forms the basis of a coherent society, no matter what faith we practice, if any at all.

I care about people, I want to see those around me to be happy and to reach their full potential. That isn't a religious principle or a political mandate (although it makes an excellent basis for both), no its the desire to see our society join together to combat crime, to share in the arts and to build a positive hard-working economy. To improve life for all.

Now to some people reading this, you may see it as 'pie in the sky' politics. Surely this kind of principle can't make a difference in our 'asbo ridden' society. Well I think it can.

As part of my work as a freelance journalist, I teach in secondary schools and due to the nature of my projects, I work with groups of pupils, some of whom who are on the brink of exclusion or segregation. Its amazing to see these young people respond to the opportunity to express themselves creatively and also, more importantly, to be heard.

When we take people seriously, when we listen to their views and opinions and when we welcome their contributions to our communities, we actively engage in cohesion. We bring two different groups together. Of course this is social cohesion with the disaffected but I think the principle is the same.

Lets take the challenge to build a cohesive society by taking the first step. Lets come together in our communities to deal with the challenges together and lets stop tryig to 'shoe horn' someone else into our mould. Lets expect the same from all the different groups within this Great Britain.

Lets make a difference. Lets lead the way.


Aside from these being my thoughts, I am seriously considering a career in political speech writing. I wonder how someone gets started in that type of thing?

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