Examination of Witnesses (Questions 20-25)|
27 FEBRUARY 2008
Q20 Chair: Particularly in Eastern
England, for example.
Mr Phillips: Forgive me, I do
not entirely buy that. One of the largest migrant communities
into this country, and indeed into this city, are North Americans,
and if I guess rightly, there is a hugely disproportionate number
of bankers and people earning over six figures amongst that group.
Q21 Dr Pugh: You are being a bit
disingenuous here. To be fair, when you go to Peterborough, they
are not besieged with North Americans and Massachusetts accents
and things like that. That is not the case. The bulk of people
in the area we went to in Peterborough are actually doing low
grade agricultural jobs.
Mr Phillips: What I am struggling
to do is quite understand what is the proposition you are putting
to me. If you are saying that people who come here and do poorly
paid jobs and do them honestly and so on, nobody minds them, I
Q22 Dr Pugh: Can I just put one further
point? You mentioned the Chicago school, and the research there
showed that as people become more integrated in American society,
they become more like Americans and less abiding by the cultural
norms which they have brought with them to the United States.
Is there a similar phenomenon in England, whereby when you get
greater integration, to some extent, within the migrant community,
you get less internal community cohesion, and so a breakdown of
some of the norms, and some of the good values that that community
Mr Phillips: Two points. First
of all, that is not actually what I said about the Chicago school.
What I said about the Chicago school is that they have a model
which describes the different generations.
Q23 Dr Pugh: No, I know about the
Mr Phillips: Fine. On the question
of whether essentially what you are saying as to the greater integration
of a community, that is to say that community acquires a set of
life chances and so on which are more typical, more close to the
average, does that mean that their internal community bonding
reduces? I do not think that necessarily has to be the case.
Q24 Dr Pugh: The visit to Oldham
Mr Phillips: Can I just finish
what I was going to say? Look at the Jewish community or the East
African community in this country, both of which have become,
if you like, superordinary in many ways, but nobody would suppose
that either of those communities are any less coherent than they
Q25 Chair: I think that is a debatable
point. However, Trevor, we have run out of time, but I do want
to take you back to the first question I asked, which you did
not answer, which is: what is the Commission doing to promote
community cohesion and the integration of migrants? Not what the
Government should be doing, but what you are doing.
Mr Phillips: Forgive me. We have
been in existence about 150 days. We are essentially, to begin
with, adopting some of what we have taken from our legacy Commissions.
In particular, I think I am very proud of the work that was done
by our legacy Commission CRE in Wales, with their Croeso,
the Welcome programme, which we intend to continue, and we are
essentially carrying on. We are beginning to develop some new
policies for guidance using the public race equality duties to
ensure that public authorities take good relations as part of
the way that they work, and that is, I think, the second piece
of power that we have. Thirdly, we have a substantial grants programme.
It was, in the CRE, about £4.5 million. Under our new Commission,
it will amount to about £10 million, although that will cover
a series of grounds, but we have shifted that grant programme
even further in the direction of essentially giving grants to
local organisations which focus on integration and community cohesion.
So those are three of the things that we think are extremely important
for us to do.
Chair: Thank you very much indeed. Can
we move on to the next set of witnesses.