Letter: Minorities need more than divisive pats on the back

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The Independent Online
Sir: The analysis presented in the HMSO's publication, Ethnicity in the 1991 Census (report, 12 June) obscures as much as it reveals.

The Asian community, like any other, cannot be so neatly pigeon-holed. While it is certainly true that "hard work, integrity and luck" have combined to project numerous members of the community to the top of their chosen businesses and professions, it is equally true that many still face the same problems of unemployment, deprivation and lack of opportunity that affect the whole of society.

Rather than divisive pats on the back for those facing a "Jewish" as opposed to an "Irish" future, the Asian community, like everybody else, needs new policies to create jobs, security and well-being.

As for the equally relevant Asian success stories, the community would feel more reassured that their efforts were acknowledged and appreciated if statistics and newspaper articles were complemented by something a little more official. The honours list would be a good place to start.

KEITH VAZ MP

(Leicester East, Lab)

London SW1

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