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Close encounters

How can we in Britain learn to live together more successfully? We should cultivate an "encounter culture," in which it becomes easier to interact with others. This may require compulsory community service for young people

By David Lammy   April 2006

The debate over identity and Britishness has been raging in Britain over the last few years, and with particular urgency since last year’s London bombings. These issues of identity extend to a common social challenge. Over the next generation in Britain we must re-learn how to live together successfully. The solution I advocate is not to pretend that everybody can feel the same affinity with all identities outside their own, but to build an “encounter culture” in which it becomes easier and more rewarding to interact with and respect others.

This is not just about government and public policy; it…

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