Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ken Livingstone declares war on black race equality chief.

UK: The crime that Trevor Phillips committed that has created this anger towards him by the far left anti-west mayor of London? He is not towing the liberal line on multiculturalism.

A furious clash over multiculturalism has erupted after the Mayor of London accused Trevor Phillips, head of Britain's race equality watchdog, of peddling falsehoods and failing victims of racism. Ken Livingstone is refusing to attend a two-day conference this week on race relations being organised by Phillips, casting a shadow over what was meant to be a celebration of 30 years of anti-discrimination law. The mayor's adviser on equality, Lee Jasper, has also signed a letter sent to speakers at the event, which takes place tomorrow and on Tuesday, urging them to stage a boycott. The letter accuses the Commission for Racial Equality, which Phillips chairs, of fuelling 'general hostility' towards ethnic minorities by attacking the principle of multiculturalism.
What happens when you are a minority and don't hold the liberal line on race? You're a racist.
Tensions between Phillips and Livingstone have been rising ever since the head of the Commission for Racial Equality began speaking out on multiculturalism, which he argues may have led to greater ghettoisation, and harmed relations with the Muslim community following the 7/7 bombings. Livingstone recently accused Phillips, who is of Caribbean descent, of being so right-wing that he would 'soon be joining the BNP'. The row over tomorrow's conference is, however, being seen as an attempt to undermine Phillips in his job and to stifle what was supposed to be a national debate about religion, race and culture. Keith Porteous Wood, of the National Secular Society, one of the speakers, said he was ignoring the boycott call because it was wrong to shy away from examining the issues. 'The deliberate conflation of religion and race makes it easier for race relations to be hijacked by religious power-seekers, not exactly discouraged by Mayor Livingstone,' he said. 'Many, perhaps most, from ethnic minorities do not subscribe to the agenda pushed by the religious activists claiming to represent them.'

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