A New Agenda

This week saw the launch of the New Generation Network project. Sunny Hundal and his team of likeminded individuals have used Comment is Free to springboard the project manifesto and a personal statement on the ideas behind the project. The sentiment and concept of this welcome movement is encapsulated in this passage by Sunny:

In calling for a dismantlement of the old order, we must build a new movement on the values of tolerance, freedom of expression and a clear commitment to anti-racism. Prejudice in the form of anti-semitism, homophobia and sexism must be rejected, as should any demonisation of Muslims. And it should be rejected from all corners.

The struggle for equality and better access to public services is a struggle for all Britons not just ethnic minorities. White working-class families also face problems with deprivation, injustice and demonisation. Their concerns should not be ignored or blamed on other groups.

We are not arguing that faith or race based groups should be restricted, but rather that their arguments be treated as one argument amongst many others and on their own merit. They have a right to argue for the enforcement of civil liberties and minority rights but they should be seen as lobby groups, not representatives of millions of people.

We need to foster a climate in which people can have private differences which include religion, language and culture, but also have a public space where such differences are bridged. The right to freedom of speech and expression of culture, fait