The New Black Politics.. The news Black MP’s and the Obama Generation.
These are momentous times. With our hung Parliament forcing a constitutional and political crisis we are witnessing high drama and low politics on an hourly basis.
Mr Brown deciding to step down in the interest of his party and allegedly the nation was a masterstroke in enticing the Lib Dems away from the Tories.
The dream of a “progressive left” coalition once considered a pipedream by most now looks like a distinct reality as the Lib Dems look set seriously consider the Labour Party offer greatly enhanced without the shadow of Brown.
Ironically it’s the Tory Party rather than Lib Dems that are forced to consider how far they are willing to go in conceding to Clegg’s demands and abandoning their political redlines.
What does this all mean for Britain’s black communities? First it will be important that all black MP’s from Labour and the Tory Party begin to talk to each other. Whatever the machinations of the politics of Westminster the reality is that the economic and social crisis facing many African and Asian poor communities is now reaching acute proportions.
These communities will suffer further once public spending cuts begin to bite. In some senses there is a need for bi partisanship in the mould of the new politics being pioneered by President Obama. Black MP’s will need to have great courage and leadership to embark on such a course and in doing so could provide an example of the need for national unity at a time of grave economic crisis.
They will have to begin engage in meaningful discussions that recognise that previous approaches to tackling race inequality by both parties has failed to deliver. As we speak this failure has condemned another generation of our black young people to despair and misery. The facts speak for themselves and are detailed here in the recently published Black Manifesto.
Our communities are demanding action to tackle issues such as unemployment, educational failure, criminal justice, housing and health, not old style party political point- scoring. It’s time for a new approach to tackling race inequality that affects millions of Black Britons. Black MPs need to look ahead and see through the current parliamentary crisis and ensure they avoid the dead end politics of Westminster party politics.
We need a parliamentary Black Caucus modelled on the Congressional Black Caucus in the United States. At it’s heart should be a commitment of all Black MP’s to seek a new bi partisan approach stripped of party political dogma. With the prospect of electoral reform Black MPs need to be cognisant of the fact that such reform will produce a huge increase in elected black leadership. They can either be seen to lead the debate or be swept aside by a an angry electorate.
They are probably the last cohort of the first past post system and must seek to reflect the national desire for a new politics. Black Leadership on this scale will be a refreshing break with the failed politics of the past. And you can be an sure energised black electorate will dismiss as irrelevant those who choose personal ambition over the urgent needs of the community.