Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tackle Race Divisions or Britain Will Go to Dogs, Warns Phillips

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tackle Race Divisions or Britain Will Go to Dogs, Warns Phillips

Article excerpt

Byline: MARTIN BENTHAM

BRITAIN could "go to the dogs" unless immediate action is taken to tackle growing ethnic segregation, the country's race equality chief warned today.

Trevor Phillips, head of the Commission for Racial Equality, said a "real crisis" was being caused by the increasing separation of ethnic groups and the middleclass f light from deprived areas.

He quoted new research suggesting that a quarter of Britons want to live in an all-white area and that more than half think there is too much immigration. He warned the result was more and more communities "shut off " from others, combined with growing political and religious extremism.

Mr Phillips was opening a two-day conference in London on race relations with a speech setting out ethnic relations in Britain today. The conference was taking place despite a boycott by Mayor Ken Livingstone, who accused Mr Phillips of "failing" victims of racism and of fuelling hostility to minorities.

Mr Phillips said the most severe of the serious challenges ahead was the growing separation of ethnic groups and increasing public concern about immigration.

"As a nation we are becoming more ethnically segregated by residence; and inequality is being amplified by separate lives," he said. "The real crisis lies in the areas which the middleclass minorities have left behind; areas which are becoming more ethnically concentrated and exclusive.

"The formation of communities that are shut off from the outside world is what we are seeing emerging." Mr Phillips said that although Britain remained the best place in Europe for minorities to live, polls taken for the CRE in east London and the West Midlands following BNP electoral successes illustrated the depth of the problem.

The surveys had shown that although most BNP supporters did not support repatriation, they were backing the party because of concern about immigration and asylum and a belief that the Government had failed on these issues. …

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