‘Ignoring racists strengthens views’

Councils must talk to racist groups in the aftermath of the London
bombings to prevent a backlash, according to a community mediator
with experience of the Northern Ireland conflict.

Racist views within white communities would simply be reinforced if
groups such as the British National Party were ignored, Joe
Campbell, assistant director of Mediation Northern Ireland, told
the National Regeneration Convention.

Campbell, who is currently working in Burnley and Oldham, where
racial divisions helped spark riots in 2001, said: “Somebody has to
keep in touch with these people. Our experience from Northern
Ireland is that they don’t go away. Shutting them out gives them
power – the roots of racial prejudice just get deeper and

Campbell was responding to a question from a community engagement
worker from Beeston in Leeds, home to two of the alleged London

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