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It’s finally done.

OBV’s new website integrates our blog with all other areas of OBV’s work in one site. It’s still a working progress but we hope you like it.

All our essential stuff is still there including the ‘Guide to democracy’ and ‘How to register to vote’. ‘Our communities’ includes a listing of BME politicians, and profiles of those dynamic individuals within our community. Continue reading


Tower Hamlets corruption must end

OBV calls for Electoral Commission investigation

On the eve of the historical Mayoral elections in Tower Hamlets OBV calls on political parties to end the long standing political corruption that has blighted the area.

During a live TV hustings debate with the Mayoral candidates – organised by OBV and Channel S – they all concluded that political irregularities, on an unacceptable level, still exist.

Read more at the new OBV website.


Jesse Jackson: racial profiling is not a hallmark of an enlightened society


Rev Jesse Jackson


Friend of OBV Reverend Jesse in an article in yesterday’s Guardian Comment is Free, spoke of the continued abuse of stop and search powers by Police, still overwhelmingly plaguing Black individuals and communities.

Jackson also said that Britain’s moral authority risked being damaged as a result. Continue reading

No, not again: Jimmy Mubenga deportation death

Victim: Jimmy Mubenga

After what Black Britain saw as the unlawful death of Jamaican woman, Joy Gardner, in 1993, at the hands of immigration officers who bound and gagged her in their bid to deport her, we thought we would never be here again.

And yet the as news leaks out from eye witness reports, we are again horrified to learn of the circumstances leading up to the death of Angolan asylum seeker Jimmy Mubenga, who died on a plane after being restrained by three private immigration officers. Continue reading

Cartoon Corner: EHRC report How Fair is Britain?

EHRC report How Fair is Britain?

The Apprentice: in defence of Joanna Riley


Joanna Riley


I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve been called aggressive during a discussion or a debate. But it’s a lot, an awful lot.

The Oxford dictionary meaning of the aggressive is, ‘ready to attack or confront’. It denotes that those subject to it might fear for their physical safety. Furthermore, it unequivocally implies that you are utterly unreasonable. As a result, not only can your arguments be thoroughly dismissed, but your character badly stained. Continue reading

National Black Police Association


More than 150 National Black Police Association delegates will spend the next two days in Sheffield for their annual conference.

Representing the Equality and Human Rights Commission I was invited to give a short address in this morning’s session.

Before that I found time to talk to those BME men and women who still have extraordinary challenges that their white colleagues don’t face. For example, during my talk I asked how many of them had been stopped and searched by fellow officers? Shockingly about one third responded that they had. One young sergeant told me that whilst in London with his Black friends he withdrew cash from a High St cash dispenser, then after going to a shop next door two officers were waiting at the entrance. Continue reading

Iceland tops Global Gender Gap study

Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet

The UK came 15th in a the World Economics Forum Global Gender Gap study measuring gender parity in 134 Nations. The report looked at areas such as politics, education, employment and health. Continue reading

Future of university education report

Brown reports on university education


Lord Browne’s report into the future of university education reports today. With yesterday’s CEHR report identifying that eight per cent of Black students are at Russell Group institutions, compared to 24 per cent of White students today’s finding will only increase interest in the disparity in opportunities between students from different backgrounds.
Continue reading

How fair is Britain?

EHRC: reporting on fairness in Britain

This is the question posed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in its 700-page anatomy of disadvantage in the 21st century. With the spending review little over a week away, the report couldn’t be more timely.

Continue reading

Ed Miliband promotes Diane Abbott and other BME MPs

Miliband promotes BME politicians

In an extraordinary move that both stamps his authority within the party  and circumvents Labour party MP’s resistance for greater representation, the  new Labour leader Ed Miliband promotes former Labour leader contender Diane Abbott to a significant position within his shadow ministerial team, whilst also promoting an unprecedented number of new BME MP’s to the shadow ministerial team. Continue reading

It’s a wrap!: Party Political conference

Lib Dems fail equality test

Party conference season has finished for another year so it seems like a good time to offer my thoughts, as a first timer on Liberal Democrat and Labour Conferences.

I went up to Liverpool for a fringe event – ‘Political Reform: the Dragon’s Den’ – the brief was to find ways in which we should change our politics to make it more representative of wider society. Continue reading

Diane Abbott: public health warning

After great pressure from within the Labour party and pressure from grassroots activists Diane Abbott has been given a position as Public Health spokeperson within one of the 22 shadow cabinet.

In June 1987, Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first black women ever elected to the British Parliament for the constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington.
Continue reading

Cartoon Corner-shadow cabinet

OBV Supports Body and Soul

Body & Soul

It’s not just because many families of African decent are affected by HIV that OBV supports this charity and this particular evening of celebration. I have spoken on a number of occasions to their brilliant staff, volunteers and clients who bring help, support and love, in a beautiful non judgemental way. Continue reading

New shadow cabinet

Alan Johnson to shadow Theresa May

UPDATE: Yvette Cooper also gets Equalities brief; Sadiq Khan, shadow Justice…
Alan Johnson has been appointed shadow chancellor, Ed Balls shadow Home Secretary and Yvette Cooper shadow Foreign Secretary.

The only BME MP in the shadow cabinet is Sadiq Khan.  Diane Abbott and David Lammy were passed over in the ballot by fellow Labour MPs. More details as we get them…

Passed over

African, Caribbean and Asian communities will look at senior levels of British politics and ask why our talent is  being ignored?  Why is our expertise constantly being passed over whenever senior positions become available?

Last night, the Labour Party’s MPs voted for 19 shadow ministerial roles. Only Sadiq Khan MP, Ed Miliband’s campaign manager made the cut.  Former Minister David Lammy was not selected. Leadership contender Diane Abbott was also excluded although all the other contenders excluding the self exiled David Miliband were selected. Continue reading