Tag Archives: ldcre

Celebrating Windrush 75th Anniversary

From left: William Houngbo, Cllr Rachel Bentley, Bishop of Southwark, Roderick Lynch and Sir Simon Hughes at the  service at Southwark Cathedral

I commend Lib Dem Diversity Leader William Houngbo for putting on an event in Parliament (Floella Benjamin marks Windrush Day with event in Parliament) with Nicole Turner, the Diversity Manager from LD HQ.

Baroness Benjamin, a Liberal Democrat, gave an emotional yet powerful speech. She is a true Windrush veteran with an evil wicked racist story to tell; a story that moved me to tears.

Floella told members of the black business community the benefits of becoming a member or a supporter of the Liberal Democrats. I concur with all what she had said. However, where I depart from what was rightly glowingly said, I am scornful of the lack of engagement with the minority communities across the United Kingdom, especially the black community.

Members of the black community are looking for a political home, they need an alternative. We as a party are not engaging with them in meaningful numbers.

Lord John Alderdice and Baroness Dorothy Thornhill chaired two recent reviews, and recommendations were made. What has happened since then? You tell me if you have taken on board any of those recommendations locally. Somehow, after listening to the chatter of some of the party  activists, I don’t think so.

If we wish to look like the people we wish to represent then we also have to talk and listen to them.

The General Election Review of 2019 had 240 submissions and after the reading of 22,000 emails it was quite clear from the responses that lack of engaging with the minority communities is costing us dearly at the ballot box. That came across loud and clear.

The 75th Windrush Anniversary has shown the contribution that Afro-Caribbean people have made to the United Kingdom since the Empire Windrush Docked at Tilbury Docks in 1948.

The King and Queen have shown what engagement with the black community means by attending various events..

Numerous events across the U.K. have been held in commemoration of the Windrush black community.  What has been our official input? – none. Or nothing I’m aware of.

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Floella Benjamin marks Windrush Day with event in Parliament

Windrush Day is celebrated on 22 June every year. HMT Empire Windrush arrived in Britain on 22 June 1948. On board were more than 800 passengers from the Caribbean.

This June marks 75 years since that voyage. It is a major national moment, a chance to come together and celebrate this shared history.

Last week, Liberal Democrat Baroness Floella Benjamin met with successful black business owners to commemorate this event. A heartwarming and empowering afternoon spent in Parliament, talking about personal experiences being a second and third generation of Windrush.

Special thanks to Baroness Floella Benjamin, Roderick Lynch from the Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality (LDCRE), the London Diversity team, Craig O’Donnell, London Regional Development Officer and staff members involved in organising the event.

London Diversity and Inclusion Leader William Houngbo said:

On 15th June, Nicole Turner (HQ Diversity & Inclusion), Roderick Lynch (LDCRE) and I went to parliament with 23 Afro-Caribbean London based business owners, to attend our Liberal Democrat Windrush parliamentary reception with Baroness Floella Benjamin. We celebrated the Windrush 75th anniversary.
Baroness Floella Benjamin made an inspiring and powerful speech.

Many of us who were in the room will remain impacted by it the rest of our lives.

Roderick Lynch said:

As a 2nd Generation member of the Windrush Community I was honoured to be at the House of Lords to hear Baroness Floella Benjamin delivered an impassioned recital of her journey and arrival in the U.K. aboard the Empire Windrush.

The 75th Anniversary reception was attended by approximately 23 Black Business Owners who I proudly now call Lib Dem members and supporters.

Attendees including myself was brought to tears listening to Floella’s journey. As a member of the Windrush community I’m very much aware of tales such as this. Nothing prepared me for what I was about to hear, albeit when Floella said we are going to hear “real talk” I should have known something was coming.

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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.

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Dear White People: Join Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality

As Membership Secretary for LDCRE, it’s my job to get you to join LDCRE. If you just needed that reminder then click here – and welcome to the campaign!

I should write something more.

As Roderick Lynch, first Chair of LDCRE and a key driver behind the campaign, is prone to saying – the clue is in the name. We are not simply an SAO for members from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds – we are the SAO for members that want to Campaign for Race Equality. Of ALL creeds and colours, and every background.

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Daily View 2×2: 2 June 2020

2 big stories

The controversy over the death of George Floyd continues and the Chair of the Liberal Democrat Campaign for Race Equality, Roderick Lynch, notes;

Just as we have a moral obligation to speak out against the injustice we’re witnessing in the US, we also can’t ignore the failings here in the UK. In the UK 26% of instances of police using firearms are against black people, despite black people making up only 3.3% of the population. 51% of young men in custody in the UK are from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, despite these groups making up only

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Ed Davey: We have a duty to fight and extinguish racism

Ed Davey has spoken out on the horrific events in the US. He argues that the sort of structural racism we see in the US is prevalent here too.

The Lib Dem Campaign for Race Equality has tweeted this powerful poster which shows that white people have to stand up against racism wherever we find it:

It is worth joining them to learn about how you can support and contribute to their work.

Lib Dem Councillor and race equality adviser Rabina Khan has written an article for the Huffington Post in which she warns that the stress of lockdown  could exacerbate similar tensions here.

In George Floyd’s case, it was evident the behaviour of the police was appalling but as the lockdown gradually eases, the UK’s focus must be on what challenges community policing will inevitably face in a post-lockdown era.

This is a difficult situation as the police also fear for their own lives, particularly when we look to the epidemic of knife crime that continues to plague the UK’s biggest cities. The police are already fearing an explosion of violent crime as rival drug gangs try to re-establish their dominance across London following the lockdown.

There needs to be a meaningful discussion ahead of time about the positive measures that could be taken to reduce the risk of this happening in the future – both in terms of police training and guidelines, and helping and supporting those often black and minority ethnic communities who are most at risk from this type of crime, and being lured into carrying out this type of crime.

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“A more inclusive party which empowers the voice of people who are both BAME and LGBT”

Today’s video from the Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality shows secretary Nadiya Phoenix talk about the need for the party to look at the needs of people who are both LGBT and BAME.

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WATCH: How Lib Dems are fighting airport injustice

Did you know that a disproportionate number of those stopped and checked at airports were BAME people?

Did you know that if, as a result of those checks, they and their families missed their flight, there was no compensation?

Thanks to the Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality, this issue is now being given the attention it deserves.

Watch Dr Mohsin Khan outline the problem and explain what LDCRE has done to try and sort things out.

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We Demand Better for Race Equality

Last week, the Resolution Foundation found that UK black and ethnic minorities (BAME) lost an estimated £3.2bn a year in pay gap and called for equivalent gender pay gap reporting for BAME workers. There was another report from the Centre for Justice Innovation on how community sentencing has decreased due to the loss of trust between the judges and magistrates and the probation service since the latter was privatised.

It seems like there is report each week of evidence of race discrimination or breakdown of trust between the UK establishment and the ethnic minority communities. …

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WATCH: Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality Chair Roderick Lynch review 2018 and set out plans for next year

The new Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality has hit the ground running these past few months.

In this video, their chair, Roderick Lynch, outlines all they have achieved from Conference motions to Black History Month and looks forward to the issues they will be campaigning on in 2019.

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