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It’s Time for Black Solidarity

Time for Black solidarity

With less than 24 hours OBV is appealing to all Black and Asian MP’s to nominate Diane Abbott, for the Labour leadership.

We urge them to do so to ensure Ms Abbott receives the required 33 nominations to be on the final ballot paper. Just by being on the ballot paper Abbott will ensure the race and gender equality become key elements within the leadership debate.

Even if those MP’s who nominate Diane went on to publicly vote and support another candidate the political point that race and gender matter would have been made.

Furthermore, it will demonstrate that a diverse group of Black and Asian MP’s can come together, as a group, whenever necessary and speak with one voice. Black and Asian leadership will have taken a quantum leap forward.

Diane’s chance has been given a boost by the possible withdrawal of John McDonnell MP, whose votes could transfer to Diane giving her a fighting chance.

Lets do something we often find difficult: show solidarity.

Simon Woolley

OBV Director

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49 Responses

  1. Wouldn’t it make better sense to vote for the best person for the job? What does it matter what their skin colour, race, sexual orientation, is?

    • I agree. If you look at the other candidates, most of them are supported by people of their racial background too. The real racial problem is within New Labour its self; not the rally cry from OBV.

  2. I agree with the Engineer, this should not be about gender or equality or anything other than electing the most capable person for the job – that’s all that’s required and anything else is pure gerrymandering.

  3. This is pure racism, as a young black man I can tell you that you certainly do not speak for me.

    • Lucas,

      Look at the other white candidates, and honestly ask yourself one question. What is really wrong with this party, and politics in the United Kingdom? Why was Tony Blair and Gordon Brown together with Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell allowed to get away with forming a racist government; which sidelined Paul Boateng in 1997, called New Labour; which a number on non-whites defected from in the last election? If you arrive at a honest answer, only then will you realise and understand the rally cry from OBV.

    • Lucas,

      If you really are a young black man as you claim, you will find that you are currently operating under a system that is anti-black.

      “Government Must Urgently Discuss Proposals for Race Equality with the Black Community”

      As a young black male as you claim you are, you should be pushing for a better deal in the above quoted proposal.

  4. Is this really the party of equal treatment for all?
    Where what you are is less important than who you are?

    Sounds more like the politics of bias and bigotry to me.

    • JohnRS,

      “Is this really the party of equal treatment for all?
      Where what you are is less important than who you are?

      Sounds more like the politics of bias and bigotry to me.”

      If you look at what has happened to this country in the last thirteen years, you will find that inequality in this country has widened beyond recognition under New Labour. This is clearly the fault of New Labour under Tony Blair, Peter Mandleson, Alistair Campbell and Gordon Brown. The best thing that has emerged from this – outside of Diane Abbott’s wonderful and brave attempt to make a challenge the party’s leadership – is no one can blame the Conservative Party for all the racist mess in the country today.

      • What this site basically says is “if you dont look like me, you cant represent me” – ie racism in its purist form.

        Imagine a site that was called “its time for white solidarity” and tell me it wouldnt be torn down moments after it was created and everyone involved in it accused of racism.

        Why is this any different?

  5. I agree that the job of Labour leader ought to be awarded to the best person – someone that can gain the support of as many Labour voters and members as possible – and then win in the country at large. Suggesting that Black and Asian MP’s only nominate a black candidate is surely wrong headed- what would you say if some pressure gropup called for ‘white’ MPs to only nominate a ‘white’ candidate?

    • “Suggesting that Black and Asian MP’s only nominate a black candidate is surely wrong headed- what would you say if some pressure gropup called for ‘white’ MPs to only nominate a ‘white’ candidate?”

      The various white MPs who have backed candidates of their own race are not directly asking for white MPs to nominate a white candidate, they are actually acting it; rather than the direct approach of OBV who are possibly aware of the subtle racism at play.

  6. You are urging people to vote for Diane Abbott, purely on the basis that she is black, to ‘ensure’ race and gender equality debate!

    After reading this, I now understand why so many people vote for the BNP

    • BeastfromHull, on June 9, 2010 at 6:45 am Said:

      “You are urging people to vote for Diane Abbott, purely on the basis that she is black, to ‘ensure’ race and gender equality debate!

      After reading this, I now understand why so many people vote for the BNP”

      The people didn’t need the Bnp at the last election. They had New Labour instead.

      • Yinka

        Welcome to planet Earth. Not sure where you are from Alpha-Centauri, Barnard Star pehaps the outer reaches of the Crab Nebula.

        When you have been on Earth for a little longer and get a somewhat better grasp of what is actually going on on this planet you wil realise that you are being rather stupid.

        If you fail to achieve this realisation I recommend you apply for a job as village idiot somewhere. Norfolk’s probably your best bet

  7. Simon Woolley, can I ask you a question? Supposing there were three BME candidates standing and had been nominated, and a white candidate hadn’t got enough nominations. Would you be happy with a message saying ‘all white MPs should nominate the white candidate – white solidarity’?

  8. It’s sad times when this country descends into this. The reasons for Diane Abbott to stand are disgraceful. What is her policy? Nothing but identity.

  9. Two important elements here: first, Diane Abbott is fully capable of leading the Labour party. A lawyer by profession, who also sat on National Executive Committee-the party’s ruling body for a number of years, Abbott understands every aspect of the Party, moreover, her track record in community activism frankly puts the other candidates to shame. In regards to gender and race -Engineer, Spider and Lucas- they do matter, because whether or not you want to accept it we still live in world that discriminates in so many ways for no other reason than the colour of your skin and gender.

    Fact is Diane has blazed a trail that other Black people and women general will surely follow.

    This women has already made history.

    But I’m glad you’ve taken the time to engage with us.

    • “we still live in world that discriminates in so many ways for no other reason than the colour of your skin and gender.”

      Wouldn’t it be better to set an example rather than make one of yourself? Judging Abbott by the content of her character is easy enough, you could simply have pointed out her achievements and wished her well.

  10. @Barking Spider, Filthy Engineer:

    Agreed in an ideal World colour and gender should not be a factors in a persons selection.

    We don’t live in an ideal world, and it is precisley because race and and colour are often factors in determining how far individuals can (or can’t) advance poitically that we must re-dress the balance.

    @PB do you really entertain the notion that calling for black solidarity with regards to the Labour leadership, is anything other than a positive move?

    What’s wrong with trying to bring gender and equality to the forefornt of the debate when women and ethnic minorities are still underepresented in the political system?

    I refer to your remark:

    “Supposing there were three BME candidates standing and had been nominated, and a white candidate hadn’t got enough nominations. Would you be happy with a message saying ‘all white MPs should nominate the white candidate – white solidarity’?”

    Can you really not see how silly this is? The scales of inequality have been (and still are) tipped to one side for many years. If it was the other way aroung and whites were underrepresented in politcs I’d agree that ‘white solidarity’ would be needed. But that is not the case.

    I sense a little bit of the ‘us and them’ syndrome from you here guys. Here’s the thing. I’ll let you in on a little secret. A more representative political system…..BENEFITS EVERYBODY.

    Next you’ll be calling for an operation white vote.

  11. Black racism is just as offensive as white racism.

    • Nick

      “Black racism is just as offensive as white racism.”

      Absolutely. The reality is any law abiding government would not stare up such problems. New Labour did that between 1997 and 2010. This sadly, has not helped race relationships in the UK. What OBV is advocating for is not racist, it is just a counter action to the actions of a very naughty government; the government in this case was the former New Labour government.

  12. Please note that while OBV greatly appreciated frank and reasonable debate, we will not be publishing any comments which are little more than personal abuse.

    Comments like that will be deleted without notification.

    • Yep, you wouldn’t want to promote censorship or deny freedom of speech would you now?

  13. @ Nick

    Actually there’s no such thing as ‘black’ racism or ‘white’ racism. There is just racism.

    That’s why Abbott making history is good for everybody. A democracy representing everyone is healthy and what we should be striving for.

    Many people agree that Diane Abbott standing is a good thing, including many people who are not from an ethnic minority background.

    • “Actually there’s no such thing as ‘black’ racism or ‘white’ racism. There is just racism.”

      Let me word it a different way: racism carried out by black people is just as offensive as racism carried out by white people.

      I therefore trust that I and others will be able to criticise Diane Abbot (whose views I find abhorrent on many issues) without being accused as racists merely because we happen to be of different ethnicity to her (in my case, white), and that people will not vote for her simply because they like colour of her skin – that would be as bad as voting for Margaret Thatcher simply because she was a woman!

      • Nick,

        “I therefore trust that I and others will be able to criticise Diane Abbot (whose views I find abhorrent on many issues) without being accused as racists”

        If the nature of the crticism is constructive, I don’t feel you will be accused of being a racist.

        “Diane Abbot (whose views I find abhorrent on many issues)”

        You haven’t given an example on one of these views. It would make for an interesting debate, and will definitely clarify your political position.

  14. A bit of “Wooley” thinking there then Simon.

    Your answer came load and clear from these comments. Discrimination is bad whichever direction it takes, positive or negative.

    Incidentally, I think we should all refuse to fill in these ridiculous questionaires which purport to check there has been no discrimination by asking for racial group and sexual orientation. That might help to close down the equality and diversity industry.

  15. @ Robert

    Where is the discrimination here?

    And even if this was positive discrimination which actually it isn’t what do you you think ‘positive’ discrimination is born of?

    Also if there is an ‘equality and diversity industry’ as you aptly put it why do you think there is a need/demand for it?

    Do you think across the political spectrum we have a broad representation of modern Britain?

    If you agree that our democracy is representative, what steps do you think we should take to ensure we reach that goal. Do you want a fair democracy?

  16. I imagine that if someone began an “Operation White Vote” there would be outrage and indignation all round. Frankly, this is as racist as the BNP…oh yes, they are the ones mobilising votes on a race, colour basis, just like you in fact!

    Best of luck to Diane, meant in the spirit of her competencies as opposed to her colour or gender.

    • “I imagine that if someone began an “Operation White Vote” there would be outrage and indignation all round.”

      MineKiller,

      With positive postings like yours, it is nice to know that the OBV web page is reaching and touching the hearts of all racial groups in the UK. At least, they must be doing something right.

    • The BNP started an Operation White Vote many years ago, it is doubtful they wanted a fair, inclusive and just society. It is this that OBV is working towards.

  17. @Minekiller.

    Please read the post again and do you homework. I cannot spoon-feed you

  18. Interesting how Richard Sudan doesn’t actually answer any of the comments put before him, preferring to evade the issues raised.. You’ll go far in politics Richard!

    Good luck to Diane Abbott, but not because of her skin colour, because of what she may or may not have to offer the Labour party and the electorate.

  19. Hello Arthur Smeeg,

    Let’s not take this debate down to a personal level. Democracy is also about the freedom to disagree. Racism in the United Kingdom went on the rise under a Labour Government. Such actions trigger off a reaction. I again request that you take another look at the other white candidates, and another look at the racial background’s of those who have nominated them. Diane Abbott’s support is much more reflective of the United Kingdom as she is today.

  20. Hi Steve,

    Which comments/questions would you like me to answer/comment on?

  21. “Please read the post again and do you homework. I cannot spoon-feed you”

    Edukashun, Edukashun, Edukashun!

    • “Edukashun, Edukashun, Edukashun!”

      With spelling like this I am inclined to agree with you.

  22. Great news that Diame has a chance.
    I am now joining the party just so I can vote for her, and am asking my friends to as well.
    If we can be active on this then we can have a real historic breakthrough. Urge all to make the effort to join up and vote.

  23. @ Nick.

    Agreed racism is racism in all it’s ugly forms.

    It’s not racist to criticise Abbott’s policies. Nor is it racist to support her.

    To support her based purely on skin colour would be wrong. Most people I know who support her do so because they think she would be a good leader.

    But is it racist to support her on the basis of merit (and that’s a matter of opinion putting aside colour) AND to celebrate the fact she’s made history-whilst widening the debate? Personally I don’t think so.

    We need more women and black people in politics I think we all agree on that.

    I didn’t say any criticism of her is racist. I appreciate your comments Nick.

  24. I say, yes vote for Diane Abbott. This should keep Labour out of power for the forseeable future.

  25. I hope those suggesting that ‘white solidarity’ and ‘operation white vote’ here do realise that these already exist, it’s just they’re not the whites who are part of the club(s). they’re for the special elite whites, not the everyday whites.

    What is so threatening about a clarion call from Mr Woolley that it raises your ire more than being treated like chumps by ‘our own kind’?

    To pick fights like this shows that rather than understand how Diane Abbott’s brand of politics might benefit us compared with the other candidates and the current government, it’s easier to default to this ‘oppressed white man’ mindset.

    In 21st century supposedly politically correct cosmopolitan diverse Britain the only leadership contests have been between: Clarke & Duncan Smith; Huhne & Clegg and Cameron & Davis. That excluding the coronations of Howard and Brown.

    Without Diane Abbott, Labour’s nominees would be more of the same. Which kind of shoots the political correctness argument down, but also (of more relevance) they would look like the very thing they tried to portray Cameron et al as.

    That’s why Labour had to get her on the ticket (lets face it there was no nomination for her without David Miliband). So whilst I would have added more reasons than Mr Woolley gave, his call was entirely justified given the evidence presented.

    Oh, and this comparison of racism? It’s called perceptual distortion – a manifestation of mental disorder. I say this as a white man, proud of who I am and where I’m from, but not so insecure as to project how I feel about how people of all cultures are treated by this crooked system on to black or Asian people, or other cultural groups. That’s called projection of blame – another manifestation of mental disorder.

    In more everyday language, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Especially when you’re being supplied with the stones by those really responsible for your plight.

    • Hello David,

      “To pick fights like this shows that rather than understand how Diane Abbott’s brand of politics might benefit us compared with the other candidates and the current government, it’s easier to default to this ‘oppressed white man’ mindset”

      My understanding of the message of OBV is a call for those with a much liberal mind to give support to Diane Abbott who, after twenty years as a politician, is well qualified to run for the leadership of her party; if Britain is really racially tolerant as they (New Labour) have purported for the duration of their time in power. The reality of the ‘oppressed white man’ mindset, is that the whiteman is still oppressing black people today. You only have to look at how the white members of the party had rallied round and given support to participants of their racial background. In actual fact, the leadership contest of the Labour Party has clearly shown why racism is so paramount in the United Kingdom today; thirteen years after a horrendous Labour rule.

      “So whilst I would have added more reasons than Mr Woolley gave, his call was entirely justified given the evidence presented.”

      Please, give us those reasons. If they are fair, I am very sure they would justify the position of OBV.

      “Oh, and this comparison of racism? It’s called perceptual distortion – a manifestation of mental disorder.”

      If you could be more clear on this point and refer us to a quote from anyone of the poster’s to this board, I would gladly debate with you on this and make references where neceassary.

      “In more everyday language, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Especially when you’re being supplied with the stones by those really responsible for your plight.”

      Again, you seem to be making hints rather than making a point and backing it with proof. Please explain: “you’re being supplied with the stones by those really responsible for your plight.”? The only people responsible for my present predicament are these same white New Labour MPs who were in government for the last thirteen years; introducing unrealistic policies to disadvantage nonwhites.

      • Hello Yinka,

        Thank you for the feedback.

        With respect I think you not only seem to confuse New Labour with all political parties (not just here but other strings as well), but you confused my comments which actually backed you up, not shot you down. However, I think we’re agreed on Diane’s ability and expertise.

        You asked for more reasons that Mr Woolley gave (i.e. gender and race equality). So here they are: a) I believe Diane has been consistent when arguing against many of the unfair and unjust policies that her competitors were complicit in / colluded with i.e. Iraq, ID cards, 90/42/28 days detention, DNA database etc.; b) she is the only MP to have moved through the party’s base and with local support, the others were parachuted in as a ‘reward’ for their special advisor role; and c) I think Cameron (and Clegg) would be forced out of their comfort zone. The rules of engagement with the other three would be ‘as you were’.

        You asked for clarity on the “comparison on racism” point. Mr Woolley’s comments were described as “pure racism” (Lucas), “racism in its purist (sic) form” (JohnRS), and “Black racism is just as offensive as white racism” (Nick).
        So what I mean by perceptual distortion is that this article can be seen as racism, and not just that, but we have random comments like Nick’s which not only show a lack of perception about this article but racism in general.

        Yes, being called a white (insert expletive here) is as hurtful, but on the structural scale there is no comparison. For me that is where the true racism lies. The sheer scale of the attempts by white scholars, politicians, and journalists to deny African contributions to world history is just one example.

        To clarify the “being supplied with the stones by those really responsible for your plight” point, a little further I will be very frank and unambiguous. The same people who have miseducated everyday white people about African history, political correctness, and immigration, are the same people who couldn’t care less about everyday white people. It suits them for white people and people from other cultures to be pitted against each other (instead of together against the likes of them).

        For example, some politicians have called for ‘a cap on non EU immigration’ knowing that this does not solve the challenges of non-English speaking EU people so it is a red herring to appease people. Instead of some media outlets putting businesses on blast for undercutting people’s wages, or being abundantly clear that many people in this country would not put in the graft or ‘lower themselves’ in the way that say East European fruit pickers or African cleaners have, they choose to reinforce rather than challenge the ‘they take our jobs’ line.

        That is what I mean about white people being supplied with stones by the very media and politicians that are responsible for their plight. That is not to say that white people shouldn’t feel aggrieved that they have been targeted by this system (no bail out for manufacturing industries in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, but a bailout of people who were clearly more responsible for their plight, and more equipped to readjust). It is to say that their projection of blame is severely miscalculated.

        Many people may baulk at the accusation that racism is based on manifestations of mental disorder, or feel I am saying that anyone with opinions about race is ‘mad’. I am not saying that at all. I am however, an admirer of the analysis of the late Dr Asa G Hilliard who examined how racism works within the psychiatric model as outlined by Western psychologists.

        They are provided here, and the examples in brackets are mine: 1. Delusions of grandeur (e.g. supremacist beliefs); 2. Perceptual distortion (see comments above), 3. Denial of reality (the falsification of African history), 4. Projection of blame (“they’re taking our jobs”); and 5. Fears and phobias in the face of difference (“we’re becoming a minority in our own country” when the facts put the UK ‘White British’ population at about 85-90%).

        I hope this does your queries justice.

        David

  26. Mr David Stuart I believe you have hit the nail on the head.

    How refreshing to hear a constructive argument, rational, well made.

  27. This woman is an opportunist and a hypocrite: she sends her child to a public school whilst sitting as a Labour MP. I accept that not every politician is as principled and upstanding as they should be. But they at least attempt to be in the run up to an election. What would this person specifically do for black and asian people? Probably nothing, just talk about being representative of them whilst being in a highly privileged position. For Heaven’s sake, choose a credible candidate (it’s a great shame that Oona King is no longer an MP).

    • “This woman is an opportunist and a hypocrite: she sends her child to a public school whilst sitting as a Labour MP”

      Very strong words. This woman is not just a politician, she is also a mother who wants the best for her son. I am sure you will find, that, she is not the only member of New Labour who has done similar.

      “What would this person specifically do for black and asian people?”

      She will lead as a leader should; looking after the interest of all British citizens regardless of their colour, religion or creed. She wouldn’t be standing for this position if her sole aim was to look after black and Asian people only.

  28. Perhaps I’m being naive, but I had thought that the objective of OBV was to get out the black vote – not tell it who to vote for.

  29. Confusing an urge with an order is not naive, it is just a misinterpretation.

  30. Calling a politican an opportunist is a bit like calling a sprinter an athlete. And? However I believe the word should be seen as a compliment – seizing opportunities takes vision, wits, and perception.

    It’s one of those words that has acquired a connotation out of step with its meaning. Like sophisticated – which actually means sly, cheating, and confusing; yet is seen a testament to someone cleverness.

    p.s. thank Richard, I’m waiting on a reply from those I was targeting – I guess they need a few days to think up a response – bless.

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