I've just got home from a parent's evening at the primary school that I am a governor for. I was giving out teas and coffees to parents and chatted with them, the children and the teachers. I came home to the news being dominated by the appearance of Nick Griffin on Question Time.
But thinking about 'my' school's atmosphere helped me to feel hope amid all the anger that is flying around.
The school I am governor for has at least 29 languages spoken in the homes of the children from all over the world - Polish, Swahili, German, Russian, Punjabi, Khosa, Creole... the list goes on! Does it lead to a fractured school? No - quite the opposite in fact, the school was praised by it's most recent Ofsted for its positive ethos, and a 'happy and inclusive atmosphere that is conducive to learning'. The diversity of the cultural backgrounds is celebrated and the children learn from each other about their backgrounds. Does this make the school less British? Also No! As the display up in the main hall called "The world in our school" says "The language we all share is English" and "We all live in Reading".
I have a message for Nick Griffin:
Reading doesn't need your bile, your comparison of our military to war criminals, your denial of climate change and our children are too busy playing and learning together to have time for your racism.