Tag Archives: BLAC lib dems

Joint statement from LDCRE, BLAC, Lib Dem Muslim Forum and Chinese Lib Dems

More than a year has passed since the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement stunned the world into vowing to take racism more seriously.

Tackling racism, however, always needs to begin at home, and both Liberal Democrat Campaign for Race Equality (LDCRE) and Liberal Democrats Black Lives Action Committee (BLAC) had hoped BLM would propel the party into making faster progress to increase membership and electoral support from ethnic minorities.

LDCRE made a major submission, duly accepted, to the Thornhill Review. The Review’s recommendations included that the party fulfil the recommendations of the earlier Alderdice Review “in full, with urgency”. It added the party should:

  • revise targeting strategy to include the BAME electorate particularly in the most diverse areas,
  • Change the culture of the party to embed at all levels the concerns and interests of BAME communities and issues in all its activities, reaches out to the BAME communities and actively plan how it will achieve real integration at all levels.
  • Ensure resources – paid staff and investment – are in place to implement this.
  • Help local parties reflect the demographic of the electorate they represent.

Alderdice made crystal clear that the party has to make ethnic diversity – not diversity in general – its top priority. Alderdice said: ”In the Liberal Democrats the commitment to diversity and the campaigns to make diversity happen have brought significant changes and improvements for women and LGBT+ members and representation, but not for BaME members and representation.” He stated that ethnic diversity now had to be a “Number 1” priority issue for the party. “The party has a tendency to try to be inclusive of all issues at all times and that has an intellectual appeal, but it has not worked for BaME communities, because addressing everything means focussing on nothing.”

He added: “Every local association needs to compare the make-up of the population in their area with the make-up of the local party, the make-up of the officers in the local party, and whether their activities, leaflets and preoccupations are reflective of the local community.”

So it is incomprehensible that the leadership, who were given responsibility for carrying out the recommendations, are doing precisely the opposite of what Alderdice recommended. It has embarked on a general equality, diversity and inclusion policy that does not prioritise ethnic minorities, and has no plans to lead a campaign to help local parties reach out to local communities.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 10 Comments

Wendy Chamberlain writes: Response to BLAC Lib Dems

Dear Avril, Alexandrine, Tumi, Yukteshwar, Rabi, William, Pramod, Tamara, Yeow, Ian, Afy, Alhaji, Flossy, Jacquie, Julliet, Lisa, Marisha, Nancy, Steven and Stuart,

Thank you for your letter about the report of the Government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. I agree that urgent action is needed to tackle the injustices, inequalities and discrimination Black people face in the UK today.

As you may know, in recent years our party has developed a large number of wide-ranging new policies to address these issues. At our Spring Conference in March 2019, members endorsed the paper ‘Eradicating Race Inequality’, produced by the party’s working group on race equality. This set out measures to tackle inequality across six broad areas: education and learning, employment and income, health and social care, participation in public life, justice, and community and housing.

And at our Autumn Conference last September, we passed a further motion entitled ‘Racial Justice Cannot Wait’. This affirmed that Black Lives Matter and reaffirmed our commitment as Liberal Democrats to combat racism – whether conscious or unconscious, individual or institutional – wherever we find it, including within our own party. It called on the Government to enact a range of policies to address structural inequality and guarantee equal representation in society.

The need to tackle racial discrimination and inequality is also an important theme running through other key policy papers the party has recently adopted, including those on business and jobs, crime and policing, health and social care, and immigration.

As a result, the party has a very strong platform on racial justice – the strongest of any political party in the UK. That has been the basis for our ongoing campaigns to abolish the Conservatives’ discriminatory Hostile Environment and end the disproportionate use of Stop and Search, as well as our parliamentary activity on these issues and our interventions in the media – including our response to the Government’s recent commission.

Posted in Op-eds | 11 Comments
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