Blogs

Evaluation of Voter ID scheme Pilots

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Voice4Change England and a handful of MPs and Third Sector orgs were summoned to parliament to hear from the Electoral Commission their findings of the trial exercis
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Last Thursday 19th July, the Electoral Commission reported on the outcomes of ID pilots carried out on voters during the May local elections in five districts (Bromley, Woking, Gosport, Watford and Swindon). The need to ask voters for more ID was obstensively to limit potential voter’s fraud. However, none of the areas looked at had any great history of fraudulent activity – and indeed, the absence voting fraud generally across the UK in elections is a common feature.

Does it matter if Cumberbatch used the wrong word?

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Benedict Cumberbatch
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By Ben Andrew

Does Language Matter?

The aftermath of Charlie Hebdo: The Dangers of "Us" and "Them"

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Charlie Hebdo
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By Saqib Deshmukh

The dangers of the ‘us’ and ‘them’ narrative

Too many deaths, too many lies...Is the judicial system really fair?

By Saqib Deshmkh, Development Officer for V4CE

On the 5th October 1985 Cynthia Jarrett died during a police search of her home in Tottenham. A week earlier Cherry Groce had been shot dead by the police in Brixton so the situation on the ground in our communities was tense. I was a young eighteen year old young writer and had just left school and remember this time distinctly and the impact of the subsequent deaths in custody that followed in African, African Caribbean and Asian communities  (link). The shooting of Colin Roach in 1983 in Stoke Newington and the subsequent deaths of Muhammad Parkit, Tunay Hasan and Clinton McCurbin in 1987 led me to write my first full length play on deaths in custody ‘Black & Blue’ in that year.
 

Complicity and Duplicity: the EDL and Quilliam

By Yasmin Begum, Development Intern for V4CE

In recent weeks the English Defence League's (EDL) Tommy Robinson has announced his departure from the group through the anti-extremist organisation Quilliam. At a press conference in central London with Quilliam, he discussed “the dangers of far right extremism”, the non-productive nature of street demonstrations and the “on-going need to counter Islamist ideology . 
 

How important is the BAME vote to arts organisations?

By Ngoma Bishop, Voluntary Chief Officer the Black & Ethnic Minority Arts Network (BEMA)

In light of the impending General Elections in 2015 we see how extremely important our political vote will be to ensure the continuation and stability of our work. The Black and Ethnic Minority Arts Network (BEMA), also known as ‘the arts in harmony network’ is an informal alliance of individual artists, arts organisations, promoters, producers and others with an interest in improving availability of quality art to the public and of developing cultural activity as a means of promoting tolerance, equality and education. 
 

“United in Britishness?”

By Alexandra MaCrae, Equalities Officer for Black Southwest Network (BSWN)

On 5th September 2013 addressing a meeting of leading Councillors and senior Council Officials from England and Wales at the QE2 Centre in Parliament Square, London Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government paid tribute to the work done by local authorities in keeping our streets safe from crime. He began his speech, which he entitled ‘ United in Britishness’, saying: 
 

Making sense: Navigating the advice and information needs of non-English speaking single parents

By Anna Pietrowski of Gingerbread - single parents, equal families

Gingerbread is the national charity for single parents families. We provide expert advice, practical support and campaign for single parents. We also work with practitioners supporting single parents.
 
Single parents often face difficult situations that require the organisations working with them to relay complex advice and information. For single parents who are non-English speakers or who have English as a second language, getting the right support during key periods – such as looking for work or sorting out housing – can be even more important. 
 

A review of the public meeting supporting Immigrants in London and what local groups can do

By Yasmin Begum, Project Development Intern of Voice4Change England (V4CE)

Yesterday the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London (RAMFEL) and Migrant Rights Network joined forces to run a workshop in New Cross around the ‘Go Home’ van campaign and wider immigration-related issues. In addition, the Newham Monitoring Project (NMP) delivered a workshop on the legality of spot-checks, which has now become more highly profiled in light of the ‘Go Home’ van.

Playing the immigration 'wild card'

By Kunle Olulode, chief executive of Voice4Change England (V4CE)

The mobile poster van says; In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest.’ The words are set over the anonymous image of a Home Office Enforcement Officer dangling handcuffs. The term ‘White Van Man’ may never be seen in the same way again!
 
A few days later over in the predominantly Asian enclave of Southall, Southall Black Sisters lead a boisterous and noisy demonstration in the face of bemused and sheepish looking UK Borders Agency Officers. The scene is relayed over and over again on You Tube for the whole world to view. This is Britain summer 2013. A year ago we were being dazzled by the spectacle of the Olympic Games in all its multi-cultural splendour. The unbridled collective of international joy of those games seems a long, long way from the negative scenes and images now being conveyed of foreign workers and illegal immigrants.
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