Flather warns of ethnic division

SOCIETY is facing “huge dangers of fragmentation” over ethnic minority issues, according to lawyer and leading race relations campaigner Baroness Flather.

Delivering the 1994 Kapila Lecture on the theme of 'diversity within unity', hosted last week by the Council of Legal Education, Flather outlined her personal assessment of being British and of the British stereotype.

Flather, of Indian origin and called to the Bar in 1962, is the British member of the Advisory Commission on Racism and Xenophobia in the European Union.

She warned: “There are huge dangers in fragmentation. The worst option is the self-imposed apartheid of separate development.”

On the situation for British-born Asians, Flather commented: “There is much talk about 'power', personally I believe that to be a mirage.

“Six per cent of a very diverse population should not be looking for power on the basis of ethnic origin.

“But we do need to share in the decision-making and to make sure that wherever decisions are being taken which affect us, we are also there to speak for ourselves.”

The annual Kapila Lecture, which is hosted jointly by the CLE and the Race Relations Committee of the Bar Council, was established in 1986 in order to promote race relations specifically at the Bar and generally in society.