The MCB's unconfirmed confirmed guests


By Stephen Pollard
January 18, 2010
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The MCB, newly readmitted to Whitehall,  has been emailng flyers for
its first Muslim Leadership Dinner
.

It advertises the following:

Confirmed Guests

• Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
and Secretary of State for Justice

• The Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP, Leader of the Liberal
Democrats

• Chris Grayling MP, Shadow Home Secretary (tbc)

Chris Grayling - a 'confirmed guest' who is, er, 'to be
confirmed'.

There's a serious point here. Straw is one of the MCB main cheerleaders in the government and Clegg is a hopeless case when it comes to such things. But Chris Grayling was very strong in his interview with us in
October:

Mr Grayling emphasised that there would be a fundamental
shift of community policy under a Conservative government. Theories of
multiculturalism that suggested that communities should be permitted to live
side-by-side without integration had sometimes created cultural and religious
ghettoes.

“My view is that the role of government is to support
activities and organisations that break down community divisions. It is not the
job of government to accelerate the ghettoisation of our society.”

...With the interview nearing its end, we return to the subject of Prevent. I am keen to know if there is already a formal review of the policy within the Conservative Party. “There isn’t now, but there will be after the election if we are successful,” he says. “There will be a review of Prevent and where the money has been spent.

“It is a difficult financial climate anyway. But I will want to be very clearly persuaded that the money is being used in the right
ways. What above all it must not do is be spent in a way which actually continues to create a climate of extremism. I want us to break down community barriers, not to ghettoise society.”

I suspect that the reason for the 'tbc' by his name is
that he's been invited and hasn't yet replied. It's all the more important, in
the wake of the government's craven decision to talk again to the MCB, that
when he does come to reply, it's with a loud and pointed 'no'. 

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