Britons should celebrate the fact that their country is a “multi-cultural nation”, senior Conservatives have said. The comments came after research said that the party had to do more to attract black and ethnic minority voters if they wanted to win next year’s general election. Michael Gove, the Education secretary, issued the call and suggested that Britain was a “stronger country” because of its history of immigration.
He said: “The answer to our problems is not to denigrate success but to celebrate it; the answer to our problems is not to chip away at wealth creators with new taxes and new burdens, but to do everything possible to liberate them to create more jobs and opportunities for all.
The comments from Mr Gove, who is close to Prime Minister David Cameron, were backed by other senior party members.
Alok Sharma MP, the Conservatives’ vice chairman for black and minority ethnic issues told has stated that people would react positively to Mr Gove’s remarks.
David Green, from the right of centre think-tank Civitas, said Mr Gove had confused “multi-ethnicity” with “multi-culturalism”. He said: “Michael Gove has confused a multi-cultural society with a multi-ethnic society. We have become a multi-ethnic society, but we’ve been successful because our dominant culture of freedom and democracy allows space for different lifestyles.”
Austrian President Heinz Fischer said he strongly believed Austria will always be home for multicultural, multi-faith and multi-ethnic co-existence and a model for tolerance, love and harmony among all citizens who follow Islam, Christianity and other faiths of the world. “Austria will however remain a European country leading openness and dialogue among representatives of the three major faiths Islam, Christianity and Judaism and other cultures and ethnicities based on common aspects”, remarked Fischer in a statement to WAM at a reception he held last night for the third year on the occasion of Eid el Fitr. He said that the message he wanted to get across to Austrians and members of the Muslim community on the occasion is that the new Austrian cabinet will soon be formed and that he hopes it will be a national unity cabinet representing all parties and trends. Austria, he added will always be prepared to continue dialogue and rapprochement among representatives of followers of faiths and cultures with a focus on commonalities and historical and close relationships and cooperation between Austria and Islamic world. Asked about his evaluation of the recent Parliamentary elections last Sunday and the resulting sweeping victory of the two anti-immigrant far right parties, the Freedom party led by Heinz-Christian Strache and the Movement for Austria’s Future led by Jorg Haider, Fischer said the headway made by those parties is only limited because the Social Democratic Party of Austria is still ranking first followed by the Austrian People’s party.