Britain has become a more open minded place.
Labour may be leaving the country in dire financial straits and not changed public services as radically as they might have done but whether it was caused by them or not Britain has probably become more tolerant. It may seem from the perennial theme of election campaigns that is asylum seekers and economic migrants that nothing changes. However this masks that most worry is about migrants from Eastern Europe rather than worries about people of a different colour, Eastern Europeans are simply a worry because they appear to be taking jobs and arrived so suddenly but within a short time if they stay they will be integrated. On various other areas Britain is more tolerant; of gays, of other races and generally of other religions – even if there are worries and linking of Muslims and terrorism.
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More Prospective Parliamentary Candidates are from ethnic backgrounds
The Conservative party, once believed to be the party of the white upper class is fielding 44 minority ethnic candidates in Thursday's election. If all of their existing ethnic MPs and all those forecasted to take victory win in their constituencies they will have 19 MPs from minority ethnic backgrounds. More than the 15 who currently exist in parliament from all parties. There are already 12 Labour MPs from minority ethnic backgrounds and in 2005 Labour's new candidates and new MPs were more than three times more likely to be non-white than had been the case in 1997.
20 years ago this would not have been the case in Britain.
Many of the more prestigious ethnic minority candidates are being put in safe or landslide seats in order to secure their victories. Does this mean that they cannot be trusted to win in majority white areas unless they are safe seats? Even with the projected increase in MPs from ethnic minorities parliament will still be short of the 60 it would need to be an accurate representation of the population of Britain.
Also ethnic candidates may just be winning as people are not given a choice. If people could elect their own candidates as in America would as many prospective ethnic minority MPs make it onto party shortlists.
More high profile people are LGBT
With people like Peter Mandelson not hiding their relationships with their partners anymore it is clearly much easier now to be openly gay and be respected and admired by society. The Tories alone are standing 20 openly gay candidates in the next election and many of Britain's much-loved celebrities are openly gay. Even sportsmen are no longer afraid of what public reactions to their homosexuality will be like, as can be seen from rugby union player Gareth Thomas' decision to come out.
Open in our actions, but not in our minds
British society has become more aware of minority groups and have become less physically repressive of them, however this does not mean that we are not repressive in other ways. People in society may feel that they have to act in a more open way to minority groups in order to fit into the perceived Zeitgeist, but this may not be reflected in the way they think, thus meaning that Britain in itself has not changed its acceptance mentally.
The ever increasing number of laws also stops British people becoming more open-minded in that they generally tell us what we cannot do, with emphasis on new opportunities and experiences being far less.
What do you think?