For almost 3 hours in one of the large elegant rooms of the British Parliament, a group of panellists exchanged views, something which despite being informative, generated controversy and created few new friends. The event was organised by The Prisma – The Multicultural Newspaper.
Photos by: Eddie-Lee Lawrence
With an audience of about 130 people – including journalists, politicians, representatives from British companies in different areas, immigrant organizations, academics, students and trade-unionists – it was clear that multiculturalism is here, is growing and defines the character of this country.
The fact that most of the British political class, echoed by many of the media, are saying that immigration is a negative influence, can be understood as a way of diverting attention from the economic crisis, and the inability of politicians to solve it.
However, although multiculturalism is a fact and something that is needed, it still doesn’t receive as much support as it should have in a country like the UK, which has had a long history of receiving immigrants from many different countries.
The reasons are many: racism, intolerance, difficulty in accepting diversity in other cultures, and ignorance or wilful forgetfulness of the way that the British nationality has been a mixed one since the Roman invasion. But, more than anything, multiculturalism has been mis-represented by lies in the media.
All these questions were discussed in the debate “Multiculturalism in the UK – Has it got a Future?” with lively participation from the audience.
The event was hosted by Jeremy Corbyn MP, and moderated by Claudia Piccioni (Project Manager at the Centre for Economic Policy Research and co-director of the film Colombia – Promises and Bullets), and Steve Latham (Lecturer at Spurgeons College and Prisma columnist).
The Prisma organized this national debate on May 9th, and those who could not be present can hear what different speakers had to say by clicking on their names in the list above.
Note: The Prisma is available in Video format thanks to the Muslim Initiative who uploaded the recording made by The Prisma.
(Translated by Graham Douglas)
The Debate in images: