Positive Messages on Migration and Diversity

Cllr John Coyne reports on Liverpool’s International Day of Languages, 29th September 2012

Yesterday I saw a celebration from Liverpool Supplementary Schools – schools set up by Liverpool’s old and new migrant communities.  These schools already receive some support from the city council.  The Lord Mayor Cllr Sharon Sullivan opened the event with, I thought, characteristic charm and warmth.

Listening to the presentations and enjoying the music, dancing and poetry, I was impressed by the contribution these new (and old) migrant communities are making.

Migration and Politics

I thought it important to attend yesterday as a continuation of a theme in the Green Party’s mayoral election manifesto for Liverpool, May 2012 – “A City We Are Proud to Share”.  In the section on “GROWING THE CITY – NEW COMMUNITIES” we said

Liverpool’s economy has benefited from the influx of younger workers and families from abroad, most recently from eastern Europe. These new communities give us more energy to help rebuild our population and our economy, as well as introducing new cultural opportunities here.
A challenge for a city mayor and for all of us is to make sure that Liverpool’s welcoming reputation spreads among these communities and encourages them to recommend Liverpool as a city worth sharing.

When we wrote that, we didn’t know that the leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, was going to issue a disgraceful anti-immigration speech on June 22nd.  Our response was to put a motion to the city council asking our elected mayor, Joe Anderson, to distance ourselves from Miliband’s stance.

The motion appears in the council minutes at item 49 here where it records that it is referred to the Mayor for a response .  So far there has been no response from the Mayor, but it is not too late.  With the Labour Party conference opening this week in Manchester, it would be a good time for Ed Miliband to be told he is wrong.