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British Sikhs British Politics Website

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British Sikhs British Politics Website

  1. 1. British Sikhs, British Politics British Sikh Consultative Forum Workshops 2008 Southall Barking Coventry Bradford Birmingham Bristol
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>What Other Faith Groups Have Achieved </li></ul><ul><li>The possibilities for BSCF </li></ul>
  3. 3. British Sikhs Political Engagement <ul><li>Necessary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Growing state intervention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognition by Government of positive role of faith communities in society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding divide and rule strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making the most of resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beneficial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pursuing objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Positively encouraged by the state </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need for a coherent Sikh voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sikhs identification with Britain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rejection of clash of civillisation theories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good relations with other faith communities </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Levels of engagement <ul><li>National </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ministers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MPs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Civil Servants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Regional </li></ul><ul><ul><li>London </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Birmingham </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Local </li></ul><ul><li>European </li></ul>
  5. 5. Methods of engagement <ul><li>Participation in advisory bodies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faith Communities Consultative Council </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Responding to Government Consultation Exercises </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive approaches to Government </li></ul><ul><li>Submissions to Government Reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Request for meetings with ministers and civil servants </li></ul><ul><li>Public Appointments </li></ul>
  6. 6. Permanent contact with civil service <ul><li>Faith and Cohesion Directorate (DCLG) </li></ul><ul><li>Community Cohesion Unit (DCSF) </li></ul><ul><li>Directorate for Equality and Human Rights (DOH) </li></ul><ul><li>Border and Immigration Agency </li></ul><ul><li>Office of the Third Sector (Cabinet Office) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Engagement with Parliament <ul><li>What your MP can do </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to Ministers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Informal communication </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Public correspondence or media statements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Westminster Hall debates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Early Day Motions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>10 Minute Rule Bills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amendments to legislation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select Committees </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Shadow Ministers <ul><li>Talking to the Opposition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May not always be the Opposition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Importance of Cross party support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conservatives </li></ul><ul><li>Liberal Democrats </li></ul>
  9. 9. How to deal with Politicians <ul><li>Understand the pressures </li></ul><ul><li>Bring yourself to their attention </li></ul><ul><li>Personal contact </li></ul><ul><li>Letters </li></ul><ul><li>Be clear </li></ul><ul><li>Be Polite </li></ul><ul><li>Be Prepared to Be Disappointed </li></ul><ul><li>Success is Never Final </li></ul>
  10. 10. Public Appointments <ul><li>Why Apply </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensuring a visible Sikh Presence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Becoming part of the furniture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access to Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shaping decisions through early warning and consultation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Large number of appointments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Full-time, part-time, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Paid, non-paid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advisory, decision making </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Health service </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul>
  11. 11. Public Appointments <ul><li>How to apply </li></ul><ul><li>Public Appointments Commission </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage members to apply </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BSCF website page with appointment details </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. BSCF The Way Forward <ul><li>Identify the issues </li></ul><ul><li>Formulate proposals </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>External </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Case Studies <ul><li>How other faith communities are organised </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of types of organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchy vs autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>The Catholic Church in England and Wales </li></ul><ul><li>The Board of Deputies of British Jews </li></ul><ul><li>Hindus in Britain </li></ul><ul><li>Muslims in Britain </li></ul>
  14. 14. Faith Communities 2001 Census 3,059,108 All non-Christian religious population 1 159,167 Any other religion 149,157 Buddhist 267,373 Jewish 336,179 Sikh 558,342 Hindu 1,588,890 Muslim 41,014,811 Christian
  15. 15. Types of Structures <ul><li>Highly Structured </li></ul><ul><li>Authoritarian </li></ul><ul><li>Democratic </li></ul><ul><li>Loosely Structured </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Catholic Church in England and Wales <ul><li>Size and Characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Largest Faith Community? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An Immigrant Church </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A subsidiary of the world’s largest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Considers itself the oldest/only Christian Church </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hierachical </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Hierarchy and Structure <ul><li>International </li></ul><ul><li>The Pope is supreme ruler with authority over bishops and cardinals </li></ul><ul><li>The Archbishop of Westminster is the leader (primus inter pares) </li></ul><ul><li>Territorial organisation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>22 Dioceses (+ 2 special cases) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each bishop is leader in his territory subject to Rome but not to his colleagues in same country </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. The Bishops Conference of England and Wales <ul><li>Collegial leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Official statements of policy </li></ul><ul><li>Political engagement </li></ul>
  19. 19. Bishops Conference of England and Wales <ul><li>34 Bishops </li></ul><ul><li>Seven Departments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evangelism and Catechesis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dialogue and Unity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christian Responsibility and Leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catholic Communications Network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christian Life and Worship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catholic Education and Formation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International Affairs </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Key Departments <ul><li>Education and Formation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dealing with Catholic education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Christian Responsibility and Citizenship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics and social action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Healthcare ethics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social policy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>International Affairs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EU COMECE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CAFOD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Justice and peace </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Agencies <ul><li>Specialist agencies working under the Bishops Conference </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cafod </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Caritas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CARJ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catholic Education Service </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Catholic Education Service <ul><li>Interface between Church and National Government on all education matters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff of 12 supplemented by special advisors and task forces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>850,000 annual income </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Largest provider of faith school education outside Church of England </li></ul><ul><li>2, 300 Catholic schools accounting for 10% of pupils (30% non-Catholic) . </li></ul><ul><li>The number one issue for Catholic Church </li></ul>
  23. 23. Political activities <ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Moral Agenda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Justice and Peace </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lobbying Politicians </li></ul><ul><li>Mobilizing supporters </li></ul><ul><li>The Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill </li></ul><ul><li>Entrance requirements for faith schools </li></ul>
  24. 24. Board of Deputies of British Jews <ul><li>Oldest minority organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Numbers comparable to Sikhs </li></ul><ul><li>Representative </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation and resources </li></ul><ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><li>Political mobilisation </li></ul><ul><li>The position of Chief Rabbi (spiritual not political leader) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not represent all sections of Jewish opinion </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Political Activities <ul><li>Racism: Its not Kosher campaign </li></ul>
  26. 26. Political issues <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>_Preservation of Jewish schools </li></ul><ul><li>Religious Hatred </li></ul><ul><li>Active in lobbying for incitement to religious hatred legislation </li></ul><ul><li>UN Durban Conference. </li></ul><ul><li>Opposition to Anti-Zionist and Anti-Israeli campaigns </li></ul>
  27. 27. British Hindus <ul><li>An influential minority </li></ul><ul><li>Increasingly organised </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hindu Forum of Britain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hindu Council UK </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National Council of Hindu Temples </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Hindu Forum of Britain <ul><li>Representative with 275 member organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Public policy </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity Building </li></ul><ul><li>Interfaith cooperation </li></ul><ul><li>Main point of contact for the media </li></ul>
  29. 29. British Hindus <ul><li>Issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 school </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Protection of temples from attack </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gangotri affair and the RSPCA </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. British Muslims <ul><li>Largest non Christian minority in UK </li></ul><ul><li>Highly fragmented </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Religious, national and cultural diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Principal Organisations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Muslim Council of Britain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Muslim Association of Britain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>British Muslim Forum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Muslim Public Affairs Committee </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Muslim Council of Britain <ul><li>500 affiliated organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Representative </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive bureaucratic structure </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting consensus among Muslims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ending Discrimination Against Muslims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interfaith </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Issues <ul><ul><li>Building Leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defending Muslims against the Media </li></ul></ul>

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