Yesterday David Cameron pledged a new £20 million community fund to teach English to isolated women, but simplistically tied this money to cracking down on extremism.
While I welcome more money for language skills, over David Cameron’s last five years as Prime Minister his government has only cut funding from language classes. These classes are a fantastically powerful way to further integrate people into society, but shouldn’t be a tool in dog whistle politics. The singling out of Muslim women will only further stigmatise a group that is demonised too often in political discourse. Threatening to remove a woman from her family because she has been too busy caring for them to read Jane Austen is indicative of how this out of touch government thinks.”
Virendra Sharma MP
Labour is committed to achieving that as a genuine alternative to this Government’s counter-productive approach. We will soon be launching a new initiative working with the Muslim community to develop a better understanding of the issues and empowering it to tackle the very small minority at risk of radicalisation.
In his desire to grab easy headlines, David Cameron risks doing more harm than good. His clumsy and simplistic approach to challenging extremism is unfairly stigmatising a whole community. There is a real danger that it could end up driving further radicalisation, rather than tackling it.”
Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary
Across the end of November and the beginning of December I attended the 2nd Global TB Caucus in Cape Town. Nearly 50 political representatives from 30 countries came together at the biggest political event on TB for nearly 100 years. Over a three day programme, we heard presentations from civil society, from world-leading experts, and saw first-hand how South Africa is tackling its own TB epidemic. The Summit included a Conference on the afternoon of Monday 30 November. Delegates set priorities for the Caucus' activities in the year to come and agreed to found a formal Secretariat.
As part of the trip I visited the Ubuntu Primary Health Care Clinic in Khayelitsha to take part in a series of activities. It was heartbreaking to see the effect that TB is still having, TB is the world’s biggest infectious killer because it has been neglected for decades.