Saturday, August 13, 2005
Rebrand this: rebranding, identity, profiling and... quangos? The solution to all Britain's problems
Hazel Blears has been put in charge of a government commission on racial integration. Yes, that would be the Hazel Blears that said Muslims should expect to be unjustly harrassed by the police, this back in March - one can only imagine the situation now.
In an interview in the Times on Monday she floated the idea that Britain should start talking about its various communities along US lines of Irish-American, Italian-American and the like. They then ran a feature on this 'rebranding' plan that was picked up elsewhere (such as the Independent, subscribers only should apply).
The Guardian carries most of the business - Tories criticise government 'confusion' on extremism, Multiple choices and Life on a hyphen edge.
Keith Vaz hurries in to the fray in the New Kerala in Rebranding of Indians unacceptable, say UK ethnic communities:
“I understand what Hazel is trying to do but the British Asian community know precisely who they are. We know who we are and we are comfortable in being able to identify ourselves without the need for external labels. What we should be doing rather than rebranding is doing more to positively encourage young people from the Asian community to become more involved in the mainstream. That means ministers like Hazel and others ought to appoint more Asians to positions of responsibility through quangos, for example.”
I wouldn't worry about it though peeps. Blears is on the side of the oppressed. As discussions about active racial profiling come to the fore Blears assures us in the Times article that she is familiar with conflicts of identity and the like - she's from the North.