Tag Archives: BAME

Inaugural meeting of the Race Equality Policy Working Group

On 13 February, eve of Valentine’s Day, members of the Race Equality Policy Working Group met for the first time at LDHQ. I mention Valentine’s Day because this is very much a labour of love for those of us who have volunteered to assist the Party in its policy making on this important subject.

The first meeting was also timely for another reason: it follows the issue last week of Lord Alderdice’s report on Race, Ethnic Minorities and the culture of the Liberal Democrats and an email from our leader, Vince Cable MP, calling on each and every member to …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

Vince Cable calls for all BAME shortlists to tackle Parliament’s lack of diversity

Speaking to an audience of 4000 people at the Grand Mawlid Conference in Birmingham today, Vince Cable called for all BAME shortlists to tackle the lack of diversity in Parliament.  Currently, the law only allows exclusive shortlists for women and disabled people and the party elected MPs in both categories this year. Stephen Lloyd was selected from an all disabled shortlist in Eastbourne and Christine Jardine was selected on an all-women shortlist in Edinburgh West.

Vince said:

There remains a serious lack of diversity in Parliament.

There are just 51 BAME MPs. Despite being a record total, they represent only 7.9% of all

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 30 Comments

Call for Evidence: independent inquiry into improving process and culture within the Liberal Democrats – focusing on race and ethnicity

At the request of the Party President and the Federal Executive I am undertaking an independent inquiry into improving process and culture within the Liberal Democrats, focusing specifically on race and ethnicity.   I have not been asked to address particular individual cases but as part of the party’s commitment to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society this inquiry has been commissioned to focus on issues and/or barriers faced by BAME members and supporters of the Liberal Democrats.

Among the questions I am asking are –

  1. Are there barriers to participation for BAME members? If so, what and where are they?
  2. Do barriers differ in different parts of the party?
  3. How effective are existing mechanisms/procedures in addressing the issue?
  4. Does the Party do enough to engage with BAME voters and ensure accessibility for potential BAME members?
  5. What further steps should, or could, be taken by the Party to address the issues identified in this review

Having embarked on the process of gathering evidence I am keen to hear from all those who have relevant experiences and views to help me form an accurate picture.  All the submissions I receive, whether written or oral, will be treated in confidence, and in respect of written submissions, I may well need to follow up on specific aspects in a face to face conversation.

Posted in News | 17 Comments

BME or BAME LibDems?

I presented this question to peers, fellow Liberal Democrats and members of EMLD (Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats), after seeing the launch of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Manifesto in 2015, and I continue to raise this debate while holding office as London Region Vice Chair – because sometimes an acronym is important.

BAME is the acronym for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, whereas BME is the acronym for Black and Minority Ethnic.

The intellectual argument that ‘Black’ is a socially constructed political identity – a way to challenge the racism in England – became absorbed into ethnic and cultural identity politics.  Caribbean people felt their skin was not black but shades of brown.  Their post colonial ‘classification’ had evolved through a range of terms that included ‘coloured’, arriving at the destination term ‘Black’ at a similar time as ‘Afro-Americans’, or ‘African Americans’, or ‘Black Americans’.  The battle to maintain a dual identity, such as Barbados Brits, was less successful and the internalized dislikes of our Africanness during this time made ‘Black’ the compromise that most people could sign up to: one term – serving two purposes.

‘Ethnic Minority’ is used because white-on-white hating is actually xenophobia, but that could not fit neatly into our Race Relations Act because the Act was for the protection of victims against racism.  In order to protect cultural groups like the Irish and Jewish communities from hate, we needed a noun that encapsulated the common experience of all ethnic groups and we arrived at ‘Ethnic Minority’ and with our European countries (Germany), we also arrived at ‘Hate Crime’ to define the offending behaviours.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 17 Comments

Ethnic minority pupils outclass white British pupils


There are some interesting nuggets of information in CentreForum’s Annual Report on Education which was published today.  Amongst other things, it identifies a north/south divide in attainment at secondary school and notes that there is still a significant gap between the achievements of disadvantaged pupils and their peers.

I am particularly pleased to see how well London pupils are doing. It wasn’t that long ago that London secondary schools were seen as failures. The London Challenge was an ambitious programme set up in 2003 to combat this and as a result some inner London local authorities went from being amongst the worst performing to the best performing nationally.

But the finding that has been picked up by the media relates to the performance of white British children. It seems that when they start school these children are ahead of their fellow pupils, but by the time they reach 16 they are well below average compared with other ethnic groups.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 44 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 17th Mar - 2:00pm
    Roland It depends what you mean by "thinking it through". As none of what you said in your lengthy reply remotely justified the ludicrous home=country...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 17th Mar - 1:33pm
    The Gladstone Club used to meet at the National Liberal Club under the chairmanship of Roger Pincham www.liberalhistory.org.uk/people/roger-pincham/. The attraction for me was the excellence...
  • User AvatarJoeB 17th Mar - 12:22pm
    Peter, I am not sure what you mean when you say "there are some grey areas over how the CAD is defined, for example, with...
  • User AvatarAlison Whelan 17th Mar - 11:58am
    As one official put it, I am quite bloody-minded and still do not fully accept my limitations - and perhaps they are right, but I...
  • User AvatarRoland 17th Mar - 11:32am
    But surely if you insist on a certain level of English proficiency as being conditional on getting a visa and working in public facing professions...
  • User AvatarNeil Sandison 17th Mar - 10:58am
    Due to good health care,an improved diet ,relatively full employment and a stable environment are population is living much , much longer .However compared to...