Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm Proud of Diversity in Britain

Last night (Thursday) I watched in shock, amazement and embarrassment the appearance of the leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin on BBC TV’s popular programme Question Time.

It therefore felt very timely today that I went to a celebration of Diwali where I met about 150 Asian Carers who live in the city of Coventry. I am a Director on the Board of Coventry Carers Centre and this was an opportunity for me to go along and meet these Asian Carers who provide care for members of their families and/or friends who are either ill or have some form of disability.

I had never been to a Diwali celebration until today and I found it a very moving experience.

Unlike Mr Griffin and his British National Party I am very proud that my country is so rich in diversity. It provides an opportunity for me to continue my life education. My journey is always enhanced when I meet the type of caring loving people I met today.

Mr Griffin might like to consider taking time out to go along to a Diwali or similar cultural celebration in his neighbourhood. He might just learn something about people from other cultures than ‘white English.’

I’ve spent my entire career working alongside thousands of non-British, non-white people in all aspects of healthcare including Doctors, Nurses and many other professions and my life has been enriched by this. Our Church in Coventry has a Zimbabwean fellowship and when these folks from Zimbabwe take an active part in our services they add immensely to the experience for all of us.

In summary I am delighted that the likes of Mr Griffin represent such a tiny proportion of people living in Britain. Mr Griffin and his cohorts hold radical, racist views that I do not wish to be associated with in any way. The only positive I can draw from Griffin appearing on such a high profile TV programme is that it will solidify the absolute disgust and contempt that fair minded people in Britain have for Griffin and his British National Party.


6 comments:

J.KANNAN said...

Trevor,

A very good piece of information from you and thanks for the clean presentation.

These days it will be hard to progress and prosper, socially, commercially & politically and in friendship without diversity. According to me one has to go in for “Diversity” when encountered with “Adversity”. And do remember……………………………………………………………………

“Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Let's Celebrate it every day.”

I think Nick Griffin had followed suit of US President Obama who also had celebrated Diwali this year with gaiety and galore with Asian communities in White House. Gone are the days of race and colour globally and people around the globe have realized this fact and moving towards friendships/contacts without any discrimination of caste, creed, and colour.

Diwali is a great festival of lights, fire works and indeed sweets celebrated in India in a grand way and ‘am personally happy to note that many countries are celebrating this great festival in a befitting manner-more so UK & USA- Very Good Dhow and Keep it Up.

It is great to know that you have spent your entire professional career working with all kinds of people without any exception of caste, creed and colour. And ‘am indeed proud of you Trevor.

I am thankful to you for this marvelous information from your part of the country.

With regards.

J.K

Trevor Gay said...

JK – It is always good to hear your words of wisdom. I am pleased to tell you that Nick Griffin and his BNP party speak for very few British people.

Diversity is wonderful and I continue to learn from all people regardless of their skin colour, religion or culture.

Each person I meet offers me education. If only our politicians felt the same way.

Thank you Sir!

John O'Leary said...

Speaking of diversity in Britain, today you have sports diversity in London. My New England Patriots are playing REAL football at Wembley Stadium as I type this. :-)

Trevor Gay said...

Hi John - yes I saw that - can't say it turns me on but it is good to see your sport over here.

Brits on the whole just can't get the hang of this game I'm afraid Sir !

Mark JF said...

Trevor - Griffin and his racist party are odious and a stain on our political and cultural landscape. However, we need to look beyond simple exhortations to go to a Diwali ceremony to change his opinion - well meaning as they are.

Furthermore, turning Question Time into a Griffin-bashing session with the other panellists more keen on political posturing than on real debate is no way to expose his party's true colours. We need to ask:

- Why is there a fairly small minority of people who agree with him?

- Why is there a large minority who are prepared to show their exasperation at the main political parties by giving Griffin a protest vote that simply gives him more air time?

Curing the first point is too wide to address here. But the second?

BNP core support is relatively low in areas with white European, Indian and Afro-Carribean populations. It is high in areas where there are large Pakistani and Muslim communities. What does this tell us?

The BNP have essentially highjacked concerns about poorly controlled immigration (fact - and I support a reasonably generous immigration policy); about a very small number of extremists who want to impose secular or other laws that are radically different from traditional British law; and by complaining about the benefits that immigrants receive, they've opened the entire benefits system up for debate.

But there was and is no real debate on any of these 3 issues! It's as though they've become so intensely politicised and "emotionlised" (if such a word exists) that the mainstream parties are frightened to debate them for fear of being seen to have any even moderately over-lapping policies!

The true problem, IMHO, is that the main parties have failed to address these issues. As a result, they've festered in the minds of quite a lot of people and the BNP is able to create a bandwagon. And when I look to the main parties for signs that they are prepared to tackle him head on about the issues all I see is parties fearful of doing anything because there'll be an election soon.

The real problem? We're led by a bunch of political donkies and this allows even someone like Griffin to push his way to the front of the herd.

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Mark – Don’t under-estimate the impact of seeing things with your own eyes and experiencing really emotional events to change hearts and minds. Griffin is well beyond reason but I still believe it would do him good to meet people in such a setting as the Diwali event I went to last week – anyone with any feelings would be moved.

We saw a very weak panel of politicians on Question Time – oh how I wished we had seen Tony Benn or George Galloway to really test Griffin’s obvious uncouthness and lack of intelligence on issues of race.

The BNP got candidates elected because people didn’t turn out to vote for the three main parties and that is simply because the people have completely lost faith in politicians who have shown a lack of integrity over the expenses scandal.

I couldn’t agree with you more about the pathetic calibre of our current politicians and that is why at the next election for the first time in my ‘voting life’ I will either not vote at all or I will simply vote for someone I believe shows integrity.

I remain optimistic that the overwhelming majority of people in Britain welcome diversity and see the value we all gain through learning about other cultures. I repeat that my life has been greatly enriched by working with thousands of non English people in my health service career.

As matter of interest Mark if Mr Griffin is so keen on seeing a ‘white English nation’ he is certainly not a role model of such a person that I would wish to be modeled upon – he is simply an odious little man with no self insight.