Harrow Council for Justice
a campaigning national organisation - promoting the principle of 'different but equal'

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    Our positions
  • people are not blind to colour in a colour conscious society
  • racism affects black and white people both but differently
  • racial harassment is anti human rights - more than hate crime
  • equal opportunity is to practise 'different but equal'
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Progressive approach to twinning towns: cities all over the world have been twinning for various reasons, including economic, social, political and cultural purposes in an effort to enhance long-term collaboration and cooperation amongst people to improve the overall quality of life in cities.
Within Europe, town twinning is supported by the European Union with a proposed budget of  EUR 215 million.
The earliest form of town twinning in Europe has many examples: it was between the German city of Paderborn and the French city of Le Mans in 836. Keighley in West Yorkshire had a "sister cities" arrangement with Suresnes and Puteaux in France starting in 1905.

In the UK, the town-twinning  has been  mostly with Europe where many cities traditionally twin with the cities in France.  For example, Chester has sister cities in Sens (France), Harrow is twinned with Douai  (France), Aylesbury with Bourg-En-Bresse (France),  Ealing with Marcq-En-Baroeul (France) and so on.
 
But such a Eurocentric approach to twining is changing.  For example, Bristol has twinned with Beira (Mozambique), Puerto Morazan (Nicaragua) and Tbilisi (Georgia);  Aberdeen with Bulawayo in Zimbabwe; Leominster (Herefordshire) with  Arumeru (Tanzania); Hackney with Haifa in Israel  and Barnet with Jinja in Uganda.

The traditionally narrow approach to twinning is simply not sustainable anymore given the reality of many diversity-rich cities in the UK because as the Council of European Municipalities and Regions points out, “equally important is the dual commitment required for twinnings to be successful: that of the local authorities, but also that of the citizens. In a few words: there can be no twinning without the active participation of the citizens”  - the active participation is obviously less likely in the absence of  significant commonality of experiences and values between the citizens of the twinned-towns as is the case in some boroughs!

It is possible that the potential locations for meaningful twinning in some countries might not have the apparent stability because of the damaging colonial interferences and therefore would fail the approval of those who like to maintain the status quo under one excuse or the other but the progressive efforts towards fostering global understanding, nurturing networks of expertise and mutual sharing of ideas and solutions to overcome some common problems, need not to suffer.
 
The information technology revolution has indeed drawn people closer together where they can imaginatively share world happenings, both the inspiring events and disasters as well as the issues including fair-trade, global warming, climatic changes, air pollution, draught, famine and conflicts which may only be resolved through international initiatives and consultations.
   

Headlines

 

NHS - Dr Foster Hospital Guide

Immigrants to create extra households?

Student unrest over fee

Twinning - Harrow's situation

Housing benefit cuts – onslaught on
  vulnerable - HCJ draws attention to the
  plight of vulnerable and inner city communities

Re-claiming the 'inner cities'

Comprehensive Spending Review
  - its impact on different but equally important   groups of people

The HCJ is not under the influence of any political party nor it is in the business of promoting councillors or other elected representatives but it shares its analysis of socio-political and economic situations with voters to help them to make well informed democratic choices.

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