Friday, 23 June 2017

RECOGNISING IDENTITY
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Every ten years the Government holds a census to ascertain who lives in the UK and the composition of their background. One of the complaints was that the traditional nationalities of the UK were not recognised i.e. there was ‘White British’ but not ‘English’. After the Government census in 2001, English activists successfully campaigned for all the nations of the UK, rather than just British, to be represented in the next one in 2011. However, there are other communities in the country that are left unrecognised and lumped under generic terms e.g. Asian or where more specific base it upon states rather than peoples such as Indian or Pakistani. Clearly groups such as Sikhs, Tamils, Kashmiris or Kurds are left unrecognised.
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Clearly, recognition of real and active communities, under the principles of Mandla v Dowell Lee (House of Lords, 1983), will provide an accurate, fair and just picture of their respective roles and needs in Britain. The on-going ‘ethnic monitoring’ and ‘equal opportunities’ monitoring system centrally and uniformly used by local and central government and public sector bodies (e.g. NHS, Police, education establishments) are still unrepresentative of the UK’s population. The current systems are narrow, constricted and exclusively limited to a handful of constricted ‘ethnic categories’, bearing no relationship to the actual population groups and do not comply with the legal definition of ethnic group as given in the landmark case of Mandla v Dowell Lee (House of Lords, 1983).
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A report (authored by NLP NC member Jagdeesh Singh) on this failure of official censuses to record, for example, self-determinist communities e.g. counting Sikh as Indian, has been produced calling upon the Government to widen the descriptions of ethnic/national identity. It demands that the next Census (2021) and all government (central and local) and public sector services revise and revamp their monitoring systems to reflect Britain’s mix of real communities.

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A new petition in support of this demand has been raised by NLP Leader Upkar Singh Rai (see and sign!)
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https://www.change.org/p/office-for-national-statistics-call-to-action-2?
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Our Sikh partners (Kesri Lehar) launched the document and petition at a conference in London on 1st March.  Click HERE to download the report.
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