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Diversity is our greatest strength?

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Messages: 1 - 12 of 12
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Jack-in-the-Green (U14769647) on Saturday, 25th June 2011

    The saying used to be "United we stand, divided we fall", now it's "Diversity is our greatest strength".

    So that rings the "rhetoric alarm" for me.

    If you compare Britain's relative success throughout history to modern times, it seems to me that it was more successful when it was less diverse. If you compare Britain's performance to other European countries in the recent economic crisis, it looks like diversity hasn't helped and may have hindered recovery.

    Is Britain strong?
    What are Britain's different strengths and how do we measure their relative effectiveness?
    How diverse are we and what are the achievements of our diversity so far?
    Is there strength in conformity too?
    Can diversity ever be a weakness?

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Lautaro Bolano (U12264729) on Saturday, 25th June 2011

    Jack,

    <quote>Diversity is our greatest strength?</quote>
    It certainly is a strength, just as diversity in an biosystem is a strength.

    ******

    <quote>So that rings the "rhetoric alarm" for me. </quote>
    You shouldn't place too much faith in cliches.

    ******

    <quote>If you compare Britain's relative success throughout history to modern times, it seems to me that it was more successful when it was less diverse.</quote>
    When were you thinking?

    ******

    If you compare Britain's performance to other European countries in the recent economic crisis, it looks like diversity hasn't helped and may have hindered recovery.</quote>
    Actually, you're wrong. If our economy had been more diverse and less reliant upon finance and banking, then we'd have been in a much healthier position.

    ******

    <quote>Is Britain strong?</quote>
    Not sure what you mean by "strong".

    ******

    <quote>What are Britain's different strengths and how do we measure their relative effectiveness?</quote>
    Again, what do you mean by "strength"? Are you talking economic? Cultural? Political?

    ******

    <quote>How diverse are we and what are the achievements of our diversity so far?</quote>
    We don't have a particularly diverse economy, and that's a weakness. We have a relatively diverse population, and that's a strength, in the sense that we have ties of kinship to all parts of the world which in terms of politics and business will stand us in good stead in this global era.

    ******

    <quote>Is there strength in conformity too?</quote>
    I don't really think so but I'm sure there are circumstances where they is strength in conformity.

    ******

    <quote>Can diversity ever be a weakness?</quote>
    Cultural or political diversity can be considered a weakness if you're a member of a ruling elite who finds his views opposed by all sorts of groups in all sorts of different ways. Presumably you are talking about cultural or racial diversity? I

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  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Jack-in-the-Green (U14769647) on Saturday, 25th June 2011


    It certainly is a strength, just as diversity in an biosystem is a strength.
     

    Not sure what you mean by strength.

    Not for the red squirrel and many native species it isn't. Many are now threatened with extinction.

    You mean within one species allowing resistance to disease?


    When were you thinking?
     

    Britain's various golden ages (Elizabethan, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian) ccompared to modern era, post WW11

    Actually, you're wrong. If our economy had been more diverse and less reliant upon finance and banking, then we'd have been in a much healthier position.
     

    I should clarify, in case you're not aware "Diversity is our greatest strength" is rhetoric applied to a diverse population, not a diverse economic sector.


    Not sure what you mean by "strong".
     

    Well indeed. If we can't define that, how are we to determine what our greatest strengths are?


    Again, what do you mean by "strength"? Are you talking economic? Cultural? Political? 

    All of those.


    We don't have a particularly diverse economy, and that's a weakness.
     

    Do China or Brazil?

    Did we have when we were a manufacturing giant?


    We have a relatively diverse population, and that's a strength, in the sense that we have ties of kinship to all parts of the world which in terms of politics and business will stand us in good stead in this global era.
     

    Can you give me some examples?


    I don't really think so but I'm sure there are circumstances where they is strength in conformity.
     

    I would say there is a great deal of strength in conformity. It is a principle that has served families, the Armed forces, schools, communities and nations for a very long time.


    Cultural or political diversity can be considered a weakness if you're a member of a ruling elite who finds his views opposed by all sorts of groups in all sorts of different ways.
     

    Can you clarify? I'm afraid that's ringing another rhetoric alarm.

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Daniel-K (U2684833) on Saturday, 25th June 2011

    In the late Seventeenth Century there was a wave of immigration of French Huguenots into Britain fleeing the persecution in France, proportionate to population it is the largest immigration of a single community into Britain in our island's recorded history. Settled in Britain they tended to associate among themselves, established their own places of worship, and lived as a distinct community in the towns where they were found for several generations. In France, Huguenots had been over-represented in the manufacturing trades and the new skills, industries and businesses that they brought to Britain were to lay the ground for the Industrial Revolution that followed in the Eighteenth Century and which led Britain to that Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian greatness you profess to admire. Just one example of the openess to diversity that made Britain strong.

    All countries tell themselves stories about their history and identity. In Britain the stories we told ourselves long downplayed the role of diversity - of the cultural, religious, national, linguistic, and ethnic diversity that has been a recurrent theme of our actual history - to paint a false picture of national homogeneity stretching back into the mists of time. Happily now those stories are being taken apart and new, better, more historically accurate stories of our history of diversity are being told. It is a shame you remain committed to the discredited tales.

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Jack-in-the-Green (U14769647) on Sunday, 26th June 2011

    Hi Daniel-K


    In the late Seventeenth Century there was a wave of immigration of French Huguenots into Britain fleeing the persecution in France, proportionate to population it is the largest immigration of a single community into Britain in our island's recorded history.
     

    This is completely incorrect. Huguenots emigrated to England in two waves. The first wave was in 1572, following the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in Paris that year. The second, a much larger wave, began in 1685 following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in that year. In all, by 1700, approximately 50,000 Huguenots had settled in England. They made up at most, 1% of England's overall population in 1700 of between 5-6 million.

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Daniel-K (U2684833) on Sunday, 26th June 2011

    So what is incorrect? Obviously I was talking about the larger, Seventeenth Century, immigration so I suppose you are disputing whether that was the largest single community immigration into the British Isles in recorded history. We could argue about estimates of the population of Britain in 1700 and about estimates of the number of Huguenot immigrants but that would only be to argue between whether the Huguenots made up 1 or 2% of the British population at the time, so I will accept, for the sake of moving on, your figure of 1%.
    Which single community immigration has been greater? There are about half a million Carribean born immigrants in the UK today; roughly the same number of Pakistani-born immigrants; and, coincidentally enough, about the same number of Polish-born residents of the UK. Out of a total UK population today of around 60 million, half a million is less than 1%. There are about 700 000 people in the UK today who were born in India which would represent a larger percentage if counted as a single community but I doubt the different regional, linguistic and religious communities that make up that 700 000 would be happy with the idea.

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  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by Jack-in-the-Green (U14769647) on Sunday, 26th June 2011


    So what is incorrect?
     


    This bit: "it is the largest immigration of a single community into Britain in our island's recorded history" We have had much larger waves since the 1970s.

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  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Daniel-K (U2684833) on Sunday, 26th June 2011

    Name one. I have given above the numbers for some of the largest foreign-born communities in the UK and none of them reach the 1% of the British population that you accept the Huguenots represented (and I did say, though you miss it off the part you quote, "proportionate to population").

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Jack-in-the-Green (U14769647) on Sunday, 26th June 2011


    Name one
     


    I can name three:

    Indian 1,053,411 1.8%
    Pakistani 977,285 1.6%
    Black Caribbean 565,876 1.0%

    en.wikipedia.org/wik...


    though you miss it off the part you quote, "proportionate to population").
     

    No, the Huguenots represented 1% of the population, this wave of migration was therefore approximately half the size of the Indian one proportionate to the population, similar to the Pakistani and equal to the Black Caribbean.

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Gong (U10912613) on Sunday, 26th June 2011

    "If you compare Britain's relative success throughout history to modern times, it seems to me that it was more successful when it was less diverse. "

    Maybe if your only measure of success is economics
    some things are more important than economics

    sure you can be a "success" economically by ruthlessly exploiting people and their environments BUT that's not the only way to live !

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by Daniel-K (U2684833) on Sunday, 26th June 2011


    Indian 1,053,411 1.8%
    Pakistani 977,285 1.6%
    Black Caribbean 565,876 1.0%
     

    These are the figures for the numbers in the population with that ancestry. We are not talking about ancestry, we are talking about immigration. Those 50 000 Huguenots were first-generation immigrants. To compare like with like we must limit ourselves to first-generation Indian/Pakistani/Caribbean immigrants. About half of the people of Pakistani origin (for example) living in the UK were born here. According to the Office of National Statistics the number of Pakistani-born people in Britain in 2009 was 441 000 (which I rounded up to half a million for the sake of simplicity in my earlier post) and so well below the 1% figure. The number of Indian-born people in the UK in 2010 was estimated at 669 000 which would indeed be, relative to population, a little more than the Huguenots, but, as I said above, Indian immigrants to Britain are split into several different communities, above all by language and religion, so cannot be counted a single immigrant community.

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  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by Lautaro Bolano (U12264729) on Monday, 27th June 2011

    Jack,

    I happen to think that diversity is a great strength and so I came back to answer your post but I think Daniel-K's done a better job that I could.

    Report message12

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