The importance of diversity in age related voting in the general election has been discussed nationwide. However, there is another group of voters who could decide the fate of our future government: ethnic minorities.
In a recent broadcast of BBC 5 Live’s breakfast show, Operation Black Vote were vocal about the priorities of ethnic minority voters.
“The ethnic minority vote will be a critical dynamic in the general election. BAME voters will be particularly interested in policies on employment, education, criminal justice and health in the upcoming election” – Simon Wooly
In past elections, almost 85% of ethnic minority votes went to the Labour Party, but according to Simon Wooly, one of the founding members of Operation Black Vote, believes the BAME has begun shifting in favour of Conservative entrepreneurial aspirations.
To add a balancing, unbiased air to their broadcast, they invited Kiri Kankhkwande, columnist for Media Diversified and Udi Modgil on air to debate the fate of the BAME vote from both sides of the political spectrum
I think that the BAME loyalty for Labour is starting to dissolve, not just in London but also in the Midlands and the North. I do consider my race [in the polling booth] to an extent, but I think solidarity is very important and to see how the parties treat other cultures, religions and ethnic minorities is very important – Ude Modgil
“I think Labour has taken the ethnic minority vote for granted for a few years, but I still think they had a really progressive BAME manifesto and was one of the best that was out there from all of the parties. Policies such as tackling pay inequality, unemployment, increasing representation of ethnic minorities in public life and really looking at the systemic issues” – Kiri Kankhkwande
Whilst unemployment is an issue that unites us all, according to the Office of National statistics, black men are twice as likely to be unemployed in the United Kingdom – an important fact which may navigate BAME votes towards Labour policies as opposed to the Conservative manifesto.
Modgil and Kankhkwande were both in agreement on the parties weak points regarding race, due to labour’s somewhat relaxed stance on anti-semitic attitudes amongst fellow MPs and the lack of action regarding islamophobia in the conservative government.
The conversation also highlighted a bigger issue of representation in the government.
We have multiple identities, but I do think parliament is nowhere near close to reflecting the nation, not just on race but on disability and class. We need all of the talents to represent Britain how it is – Kiri Kankhkwande
It is clear our future government, regardless of their place on the political spectrum must take into account the needs of the BAME voters. Their actions must provide representation for all which will unite our country at the intersection of her differences.
To listen to the full discussion – click here.
Written By: Ashley Roberts
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