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“Respect” ?

“Respect ? They don’t respect us. They are quick to fine and send us to jail but slow to support our self-help community organisations”

— Hammersmith & Fulham Petitioner

 

The above quote is  a response to the Labour Government’s “Respect” Initiative launched   by Prime Minister Tony Blair, on 10th January 2006, in London, to combat anti-social and so called ‘yobish behaviour’

 

The response came from one of the 1500 petitioners of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, in  June 2005. The petition was an appeal to the Labour Administration to release the needed funds of the Vince Hines Foundation, a thirty year old charity which operated in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. So far the Council has not yet released the funding.

 

 

Community groups working with the hardest to reach and socially excluded are in the decline. The work of the Foundation is needed today more than before, particularly in the West London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Regrettably, the Council and Connexions London West Partnership appear to be slow in appreciating the gravity of the current situation.

 

The operations of the charity slowed significantly, as its funding is still blocked by the Council for over eight months. The Charity’s is known traditionally for a heavy case load. Currently it is unable to do that work, while the Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Connexions London West seem to be stock on an issue of technicality, given that there is no issue whatsoever of any wrong doing by the Charity, as confirmed by a resent High Court ruling.

 

It is very difficult for a community to take the Government current Respect Initiative seriously when   the Vince Hines Foundation, a group which is known for commitment to those less able is being treated so unfairly by  the local authority.

 

The sanction of the Government’s Respect Initiatives is likely to be viewed by many members of the target group as discriminatory and punitive. As such, the Government is unlikely to get adequate co-operation to make the Initiative a success. It would seem that the Initiative was designed to give a great deal of stick and very little carrot, as it were.

 

History clearly taught us that fining and sending people to jail are not the answer to social cohesion. In this instance, it is likely to create resentments, bitterness and progressive social unrests. Britain can ill afford progressive social unrest at this juncture of our history.

 

Black community groups in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham have been destroyed over a fifteen year period. Today, the majority of Black community initiatives exist in names; but unable to provide the services for which they were set up, in face of current pressing needs. This is partly because the local authority has demonstrated itself incapable of finding a formula to help. Yet central government lavished millions of pounds in regeneration funding in the Borough.

 

State policies introduced for the welfare of   residents must be seen   to contain elements of real social care for all. Britain is not the USA. London is not New York. One size does not fit all.

 

The Government’s Respect Initiative does not demonstrate the expected sensitivities to real community needs of the target groups, the majority of whom will be young, black, ethnic minorities and poor working class members of the community.

 

This is in light of the destructions of community and voluntary self-help initiatives, by another arm of the state, set up to support members of the community. Black initiatives are being destroyed in Hammersmith and Fulham borough. This type of destruction is repeating all across England.  People are not so naive not to recognise obvious parallels.

 

Unless voluntary and community initiatives are brought back to the top of the agenda in order to gain real resources, the Government ‘Respect’ Initiative of 10th January 2006 is likely to be a multiplier for the prison population, those who build and maintain prisons and the criminal justice system. It will be pain and hardships for some - the prisoners and wealth for others, the builders and gate keepers of the criminal justice system, in the medium and long run.

 

“Unless voluntary and community initiatives are brought back to the top of the agenda in order to gain real resources, the Government ‘Respect’ Initiative of 10th January 2006 is likely to be a multiplier for the prison population, those who build and maintain prisons and the criminal justice system. It will be pain and hardships for some - the prisoners and wealth for others, the builders and gate keepers of the criminal justice system, in the medium and long run.”

Tony Blair MP, PM

Feature Article. Posted 11.01.06 at 2100 GMT

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Disclaimer: Opinions and views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the owners and/or administrators of this site. Copyright ©1970-2006. All rights reserved. Zulu Publications.

Last up-dated 28th December 2005.

 

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1807-2007

 

Britain Commemorates  the Bicentenary

 of  The Slave Trade Abolition  Act 1807.

 

One of the Black Community’s Contributions -

 

“Cries of Our Kidnapped Afrikan Ancestors”

 

 

 

________________

Beliefs and Commentaries

 

“All faith is FALSE, all faith is TRUE.

TRUTH is the shattered mirrors strewn In myriad bits; while each BELIEVES

His LITTLE BIT the whole to own.”

 

From “The Kasidah of Hji Abu el-Yezdi”, as translated by Sir Richard F. Burton

 

Home

Publications and

Reviews

 Health Issues

HIV/Aids & Creators

Profiles

(Legends in their fields)          

Education and Training

Community Matters

The Environment

Sports

Films,

Music & Entertainment

Youth & the Survival Game in Britain (YSGB)

Short Story &   Writers’ Forum

What is Pan-Africanism

Editorial

Resident and Guest Correspondents

 

______________

1807-2007

 

Britain Commemorates  the Bicentenary

 of  The Slave Trade Abolition  Act 1807.

 

One of the Black Community’s Contributions -

 

“Cries of Our Kidnapped Ancestors”

 

 

 

________________

Beliefs and Commentaries

 

“All faith is FALSE, all faith is TRUE.

TRUTH is the shattered mirrors strewn In myriad bits; while each BELIEVES

His LITTLE BIT the whole to own.”

 

From “The Kasidah of Hji Abu el-Yezdi”, as translated by Sir Richard F. Burton