POLITICS: Inequality and Discrimination Embedded in UK Way of Life, Says Hodge

The Birmingham Post (England), August 23, 2007 | Go to article overview

POLITICS: Inequality and Discrimination Embedded in UK Way of Life, Says Hodge


Government Minister Margaret Hodge yesterday claimed "inequality and discrimination" were embedded features in UK life.

Making her first speech as Culture Minister, Mrs Hodge described modern day slavery as something "we are all battling against".

She said: "Slavery in modern forms is with us today.

"What we are talking about is the forced work and marriages of people coming to the UK. Whether we act about the poverty that exists across the world or whether we act about the inequality or discrimination which is an embedded feature in the UK, we are all battling against it."

Mrs Hodge was speaking at the opening of Liverpool's International Slavery Museum where she was joined by American civil rights activist and singer Harry Belafonte, 81.

Praising the museum, he said: "Slavery has been with the human family for centuries, much is going on in the world today that is quite contentious and destabilising. There is so much pain and anguish between tribes, people and nations.

"This museum really does expand the understanding of what slavery did and the consequences of that adventure.

"The museum is a wonderful introduction to all those problems that have passed through. And it is not confined to antiquity - the issues are still relevant in the 21st century."

The venue, based at the Maritime Museum on Albert Dock, includes many interactive exhibits designed to educate about the city's involvement in the slave trade. …

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