“One London borough has been bringing people together to work, socialise and dream. The results are extraordinary.
“If there is hope, it lies here, in the most deprived borough in London. Barking and Dagenham has shocking levels of unemployment, homelessness, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence and early death. Until 2010, it was the main stronghold of the British National party. Its population turns over at astonishing speed: every year, about 8% of residents move out. But over the past year it has started to become known for something else: as a global leader in taking back control.
“The best antidote to the rising tide of demagoguery and reaction is a politics of belonging based on strong and confident local communities.
“Perhaps it’s not the whole answer to our many troubles. But it looks to me like a bright light in a darkening world.”
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