Diverse Magazine Group

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COMMONS DIVERSITY MEASURES URGED

Parliamentary candidates should have a legal right to time off work to campaign, and parties should offer bursaries to would-be MPs from poorer backgrounds, a think tank says. The Institute for Government said Westminster was “overwhelmingly white, male and middle-class”. Just one fifth of MPs are women, and 27 out of 650 are from ethnic minorities. The cost and time involved could deter “candidates from non-traditional backgrounds”, the organisation said. The report acknowledged parties’ past diversity efforts, including all-women shortlists by Labour and the Conservatives’ “A-list” of approved candidates. But the Institute for Government argued that improved selection methods were...

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LIVERPOOL RECOGNISES LGBT COMMUNITY WITH STREET SIGNS

NEW street signs are up in Liverpool’s Stanley Street Quarter to show that it is the city’s officially recognised gay village. It is the UK’s first city to recognise its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) scene in this way. Signs, which incorporate a rainbow arch to recognise the LGBT community, are up on Stanley Street, Cumberland Street, Temple Lane, Eberle Street and Temple Street. The rainbow motif is a symbol of LGBT pride and LGBT social movements that has been in use since the 1970s. The colours reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, and the rainbow is often...

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RELIGION-FRIENDLY WORLD DEMOCRACY

Religious, secular and political people need to start talking to each other, to build peaceful coexistence and protect minorities There will be no peace in our world without an understanding of the place of religion within it. The past decade has seen many convenient myths, which disguised the importance of religion, stripped away. Many thought as society progressed, religion would decline. It hasn’t happened. Then there are those that insisted that as the Arab revolution knocked over long-established regimes and created movements for democracy, so those societies’ religiosity would take second place to the new politics. It hasn’t happened. Religion...

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TRIBUTE TO HERBIE HIGGINS MBE

Diverse Magazine is honoured to present this tribute to Herbie Higgins MBE, one of the greatest pioneers of social justice and voluntary community work in the UK, who passed away on Wednesday November 9, 2011. He was a dad, granddad, great granddad, friend, mentor, a people’s champion, a true servant of the people who delighted in serving communities and we join his family and friends in mourning his loss. Herbie (as he was affectionately known) immigrated to Liverpool from Jamaica in 1951, having been invited by his uncle Charlie Higgins who himself immigrated to England as a qualified engineer during...

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RESISTANCE TO DIVERSITY AMONG JUDGES IS MISGUIDED

Lady Hale’s correct – diversity is a constitutional issue but a more representative bench would make for better decisions. Lady Hale and Lady Neuberger gave evidence to the Lords constitution committee on the importance of increasing diversity of the judiciary and the potential for it to change the outcome of cases recently, but failed to highlight the universality of the issue. Hale, the only female justice in the history of the supreme court and the law lords, stated before the committee that “the lack of diversity on the bench is a constitutional issue”. Both Hale and Neuberger, the former chair...

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KICKING ANTISEMITISM OUT OF FOOTBALL

London Assembly member Murad Qureshi decided to act when he heard antisemitic chants at a top-flight football match The more you delve into this area the more complicated it gets. Perhaps that is a good thing. Lines blur. ­Allegiances shift. No chance to be complacent. This one is about Murad Qureshi, a member of the London Assembly, and though he doesn’t often talk about it, he’s a Muslim. “I don’t like to wear my religion on my sleeve,” he says. There are many like him. Being an Assembly member has its perks and one such occurred last ­October when he...

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NEW EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS GUIDANCE FOR CARE QUALITY COMMISSION INSPECTORS

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has joined forces with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to produce equality and human rights guidance for care inspectors. The advice is aimed at ensuring people who are most vulnerable to harm have their rights upheld and respected. It enables CQC inspectors to clearly link effective equality and human rights compliance with high-quality, safe services and sets out exactly what they have to look for when monitoring a care provider against standards. Inspectors will also know what to do if they suspect a human rights violation or find a breach in standards. The...

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THE INFERIOR SEX?

Mary Wollstonecraft, a staunch pioneer of women’s liberation, fought against the exploitation and subordination of womem by men. Has her fight now been won? In 1792 Mary Wollstonecraft published her book A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. It was not a well-received work, and many people at the time thought her book had dropped from the press as a silent and still-born child, a lamentable thing to be swiftly buried and forgotten. But Mary’s brainchild was not destined to be buried and forgotten, and even today her words still resonate with revolutionary inspiration and power. What flows from Mary’s...

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GAY BLOOD DONATIONS BAN LIKELY TO BE LIFTED

The lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men is expected to be lifted in the UK. The restrictions were put in place in the 1980s to prevent the risk of HIV contamination. However, the latest medical evidence presented to a government panel argued that such a ban could no longer be justified. Several countries have relaxed the rules, basing them on the time since the last homosexual encounter. The National Blood Service screens all donations for HIV and other infections. However, there is a “window period” after infection during which it is impossible to detect...

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AFRICAN SLAVERY MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN

On 23 August we celebrate a vital moment in the abolition of the slave trade – so why has the day received no state support? Britain woke up on 23 August largely ignorant of the fact that it is a national day of remembrance. Four years ago the government declared it the day to remember those millions of African people who were captured, denigrated, enslaved, tortured and murdered, who rebelled and ultimately survived a period rightly seen as the most heinous crime of humankind against humankind in history. But when was the government going to tell us? And what is...