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Guardian: “If Britain is really post-racial, why is the election so white?”

Is this the UK's first post-race election?

In an explosive article Guardian writer Afua Hirsh begs the question, how much political progress is really being made, and why does this election feel so white?

Is this the UK’s first post-race election? I posed this question first to my cousin, and regretted asking it almost immediately. She told me she went to a Liberal Democrat campaign dinner recently, attended by Nick Clegg, only to be asked by a well-meaning party member: “So, how long have you been here?”

My cousin, who is mixed-race and was born and raised in the UK, at first misunderstood the question. When she finally realised that the assumption, due to her colour, was that she must be a recent immigrant, she replied that she had never lived anywhere else.

“Oh”, the party member replied. “And do you like it here?”

Welcome to the UK, 2010. This is not a post-racial society, despite jubilant claims to the contrary at every sign of progress.

Read the full article here.

3 Responses

  1. After attending the Operation Black vote event last night at Westminster Cathedral, i have a few observations of the representatives sent by each political party.

    Harriet Harman – She opened her pitch by exclaiming ‘hello brothers and sisters’ which seemed peculiar and immediately set people off into laughter. I’ve not had any direct experience of her, but she came across as utterly useless. She was obviously under prepared and not well briefed. She spent most of her speech repeating the same things, in a rather incoherent rabble. It was a terrible speech. The most worrying thing about her speech was that she’s been the Minister for Equality for a couple of years now, and yet she utterly failed to weave a coherent and sophisticated narrative about race relations in the UK in 2010. I was shocked at the intellectual vacuity of her speech. She was heckled at times, not only because of her failure to properly defend the Governments DNA database position, but as a response to being disrespectful and under prepared for an audience of 2000 people. Shame on Harriet Harman!! I was intrigued to hear the ideas of someone who has been touted as a future labour leader, but i realise now that her game is in backroom deals, belligerence and being part of an inner circle. She was terribly unimpressive. As a labour voter, i would never vote for a Harman leadership.

    George Osborne – He had a pretty difficult task. He walked to the stage to a torrent of boos, reflecting the inactivity and sometimes obstructive positions of previous (and some would argue current) conservative members and policies. There were some strained moments where he spoke about staying at the same hotel Martin Luther King was shot at, and then recounted the disadvantage black and asian people had suffered since the 50s (most people wanted to know about what they will do). However, he was obviously better briefed than Harman and was able to entwine conservative polices and ideas around business growth, the idea of family and safer communities to concerns that effect black and asian Britons. Although he was intermittently heckled throughout, he was very impressive. He did well in a difficult environment and came across as pretty likeable.

    Vince Cable – He is obviously very confident in his own skin, and it showed. He spoke of taking personal responsibility for improving the Lib Dems dire diversity record in parliament. But for me, there were two things that stood out from his speech. He was able to intricately weave core liberal democrat values to reducing inequality for the most disadvantaged. Many audience members were concerned about DNA databases, stop and search, human rights abuses, and he spoke eloquently about how they were civil liberties issues, arguing they were at the core of what Lib Dems stood for. The audience were lively and regularly heckled and shouted at the speakers. But when Cable started to speak about his own background, his white supremacist father, going to Kenya in the 60s, falling in love with an Indian woman, the pain this caused his family resulting in his father not talking to him for many years, but followed by reconciliation many years after, and his belief that a diverse country is what is wonderful about the UK, the crowd was a absolutely silent and i even saw a couple of people cry. It was obviously very emotional for him too as his wife has died. He is a top man, charming, elegant and seemingly utterly himself and not racked by self doubt or self policing himself. I might not vote Lib Dem at the election, but i he is an extremely impressive man.

  2. Guardian: “If Britain is really post-racial, why is the election so white?”

    Because Britian hasn’t changed and New Labour tried to capitalize on this misfortune to elongate their stay in power.

  3. I am looking forward to voting this morning, the outcome, and what a future British government is going to do to promote proper equal opportunities for all in the future.

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