Letter : Race relations: EU border controls, Clause IV, `honorary' citizen

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From Mr Paul Boateng, MP, and others

Sir: We are writing to ensure that your readers are given an opportunity to hear the full range of views surrounding the current debate on Labour's object and values. The world is no longer divided into subject peoples of different colonial empires, as it was when Clause IV was originally drafted. These islands now contain people of many different races and beliefs. Racism and social disadvantage remain a sombre fact of life. We need a strong and effective strategy to combat them. The basis of such a strategy needs to be reflected in our statement of core values. Clause IV as presently constituted does not even begin to address these issues.

The underlying values we share and have worked so hard to keep alive during these years of opposition are enduring ones. We are on the verge of seeing them come into their own, with a government committed to a programme that will equip Britain for a new and changed world. Many of us have strong and lasting links with that wider world. We also have a commitment to ensuring that the struggle for racial justice, in which we have played a part, is taken forward and realised in practical policies.

The decision to initiate a debate of Labour's values gives members of the party, committed to creating a successful multi-racial society, an ideal opportunity to place this commitment at the heart of Labour's values and objectives. We, as signatories to this letter, have pledged ourselves to do all we can to make sure all members of our party, but particularly those sharing our specific concerns about racial and global justice, participate in the modernising process and respond positively to the NEC consultation document "Labour's Objects: Socialist Values in a Modern World".

Yours faithfully,

PAUL BOATENG

MP for Brent South (Lab)

MARK HENDRICK

MEP for Lancashire Central (Lab)

PIARA KHABRA

MP for Ealing Southall (Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1

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