Tories on right line
Over the past three weeks, we have interviewed senior figures in the main parties about their attitude towards community cohesion and the threat posed by extremism. This week, the man who next year will most likely be Home Secretary, Chris Grayling, sets out what will be, if he is true to his word, a radical change in approach. Instead of the current multi-culturalism, whereby government money is handed over to organisations which represent — or claim to — specific faiths, funding will go instead to groups “that break down the divides rather than accentuate them”. The sentiments underlying this are clearly correct, but it is important that this does not become a blanket ban on funding for all religious groups. It ought not to be beyond the wit of government to decide which are worthy of support, although the current government has got it quite wrong in making such judgments. Some of its actions have actually promoted Muslim extremism, as recent disclosures over the abuse of the supposedly anti-extremist Prevent funding have shown. Mr Grayling promises an immediate review on taking office. This is bold talk and very necessary. It is critical that, in this of all areas, the other parties catch up with the Conservatives.