Tag Archives: bame equality

Six Lib Dem policies to tackle racial inequality

The Lib Dem manifesto, launched earlier today, includes several ideas to make Britain a more racially-equal society.

Black and minority ethnic (BAME) people will be voting on all the main issues, like Europe, the economy, education and health. But polls show that BAME communities are more concerned about ‘security’ issues like unemployment, and about equality.

Our new manifesto offers some serious proposals to address some fundamental causes of racial unfairness in society. This shows that Lib Dems are keen to walk the walk on equality.

That we don’t just believe that everyone is equal, but we understand the challenges faced …

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Do we need to reinforce our open-minded, tolerant and liberal credentials?

Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities represent a growing proportion of the UK. In 2010 they made up a total of 14% of the population and 8% of the voters. Yet at the last general election the majority (52%) of BAME voters cast their ballot for Labour not the Lib Dems. In fact over two thirds – 67% – of the black community voted Labour, with 38% of the Asian community voting Conservative.

Lib Dem opposition to the Iraq war in 2003 won the party a legion of new supporters, many from BAME communities, who felt let down by Labour’s march to war. The result was that in the 2005 general election the Lib Dems polled 16% from ethnic minority voters, with support particularly high amongst Pakistani voters amongst whom they polled 25%. Fast forward a decade and Lib Dem support among BAME voters in 2015 had collapsed to just 4%. It’s clear that the Party urgently needs to address this, and find neat innovative ways to appeal to BAME voters whose trust has been lost perhaps because of lack of engagement and lack of attention at the top of the party.

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Opinion: The Highlander who won our hearts, and will never be forgotten!

Together with Liberal Democrat family and wider world of politics and beyond, my brothers and sisters and I within the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats (EMLD) am deeply saddened by the untimely death of Charles Kennedy, and wish to send our heartfelt condolences to his family and many friends.

His brave stance on Iraq has rightly been the subject of much eulogising, and for many members of the EMLD this was the motivation to join our Party in the first place.

It may not have been planned but the impact of Iraq has had a profound effect on Black, Asian and minority ethnic politics in Britain.

Labour lost a hefty proportion of support, especially from Muslim communities, mostly to the Lib Dems, and Labour’s assumed hegemony over the BAME vote was irreparably damaged.

Charles almost certainly did not consider these consequences when opting to do what was simply for him, the right thing to do, and oppose the war in Iraq, but pretty soon afterwards saw that courting diverse Britain was a key part of his plan to make the Party the conscience of, and rooted firmly in the centre left of politics.

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Lord Navnit Dholakia writes..Lib Dem BAME manifesto takes pro-active approach to valuing different cultures, combating racism and reducing inequality

My core belief that we all have a right to be treated fairly without reference to colour, race, nationality or ethnicity is one of the reasons I have remained committed to the Liberal Party and the Liberal Democrats for over fifty years. The party’s fundamental rejection of prejudice and discrimination is just as important now as it was when I joined the Brighton Young Liberals in the 1950s.

Britain has a proud record in race and community relations, but at a time when we see the rise of the divisive politics of parties like UKIP, it has never been more important for the Liberal Democrats to stand up for equality and diversity.

Today the party has launched its BAME Manifesto. It spells out how we will continue to protect the rights and opportunities of Britain’s ethnic minorities – the right to live in peace, to receive an education, to get a job, to raise a family free from fear, and, above all, the right to be treated fairly without reference to race, colour, national or ethnic origins.

Our culture and economy is stronger as a result of the diverse range of people who have chosen to make Britain their home. In government we’ve made huge progress in securing Britain’s economic recovery and helping businesses to grow. Self-employment and the small business sector is especially important for BAME communities. In the past 12 months alone a third of all the new businesses set up through the Start-Up Loans initiative have been by Black and Minority Ethnic entrepreneurs. But there is still more to be done to help BAME entrepreneurs. So we will build on the Coalition’s BME Access to Finance report to identify ways to encourage more BAME applicants to apply for finance and set up small businesses, and monitor and tackle the BAME pay gap. We will build on what we have already achieved in government by raising the tax free personal allowance to at least £12,500 by the end of the next Parliament, ensuring that many BAME workers who work part time or on low to middle incomes benefit from a further tax cut.

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Brent Central’s Ibrahim Taguri appointed as Liberal Democrat Race Equality Champion

Ibrahim Taguri selected for Brent Central
Ibrahim Taguri was born and raised in Brent not far from the office he wants to take over from Sarah Teather in May. Last Summer he wrote of his ambition for the area:

Yet I was lucky. My mother was single minded when it came to our education as children. That was our route out of poverty. I was also lucky in many ways, so when I had opportunities I was able to make the most of them. That’s why when Sarah Teather announced she was standing down as MP, I knew I had to take the opportunity to represent my community. My job as an MP will be to challenge those structural barriers that prevent people getting on in life as well as to support the most vulnerable in our society on a day to day basis, helping them to escape a cycle of despair.

That’s why, if I’m fortunate enough to be elected, I will be dedicating my first term in parliament to eradicating child poverty in the UK by 2020. A goal set out but the last administration and continued by the coalition. Yet the target is in serious danger of being missed as political parties continue to embroil themselves in blame games and semantics.

I believe that focusing on this issue we can tackle many of the great challenges of our time; improving life chances no matter where someone was born, integrating physical and mental health services; increasing housing stock to not uproot families; providing more educational opportunities and making work pay.

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    On leadership: I guess there are two extreme approaches, which are both a problem. The "Stalinist" approach is for a leader to ignore the party...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 28th Jul - 6:57pm
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    To Jayne Mansfild. I did try to access that report you mention but it's difficult to determine when the work was done, as opposed to...
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    Simon, Corbyn supporters are not getting "defensive" they are getting furious with your tedious inteminable distortions. You are playing the Corbynites on side!
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    @ Katharine Pindar My pleasure! Here are some further bits and pieces: We would serve our fellow citizens and party well if we could spread...
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