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Harriett Baldwin attends David Cameron's speech on community cohesion in Birmingham


29th January 2007

Harriett Baldwin, Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate in West Worcestershire today attended David Cameron's speech on community cohesion at the New Testament Church of God in Lozells, Birmingham.

David Cameron's speech focused on bringing down the barriers to social cohesion in Britain, and pushing forward the frontiers of fairness. We must create equal opportunity for all, so that everyone has a chance to advance in life, to fulfil their dreams and feel that they are part of a national effort.

But there are barriers today, extremism, multiculturalism, uncontrolled immigration, poverty and educational apartheid. Each is different and will require different solutions.

Extremism: We must recognise the threat extremists pose to the vision of a united Britain, whether it is from the BNP or those who want to separate British Muslims from the mainstream. A Conservative Policy Review to be released tomorrow will expose the truth behind the extremists' activities.

Multiculturalism: Instead of promoting the equality of British citizens, multiculturalism has been manipulated to create division. It has often treated ethnic or faith communities as monolithic blocks, and it has led to the translation of public documents and signs into other languages. We must ensure that all our citizens can speak English and that children are taught British history properly at school.

Uncontrolled immigration puts pressure on housing and public services, and helps create division, fear and resentment among British people of all ethnic backgrounds. We can only live together if there is proper integration, and we cannot have proper integration if people are coming into the country at a faster rate than we can cope with.

Poverty: There is a growing underclass of people left behind. Today, a child in poverty is less likely to move to the top of the income scale than a child in 1970. The most effective way of beating poverty in the long term is to provide children in deprived areas with decent schools.

Educational apartheid: A good education is absolutely vital in poor areas, yet many of our worst schools are in deprived urban areas. And in certain sections of the community, women are being denied access to education, work, involvement in the political process and even to mosques. No woman should be denied rights which both their religion and their country - Britain - support.



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