Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Politics: the Rise of ...Conservative MPs and Voters of Ghanaian heritage in the UK...

Once upon a time, -all Ghanaians [like all immigrants] voted Labour in the UK; -and all of ‘middle England’ believed –all immigrants lived in council houses; were educated at the local comprehensive, eat fried food, existed on ‘state benefits' –and thus, were naturally, -Labour voters. Well times have changed and so has the Ghanaian community [globally]. In England as in the USA [and Canada, Germany; Belgium, Holland etc] where there's a growing Ghanaian middle-class, -many of these upwardly mobile ‘go-getters’ are no longer 'natural' Labour voters; -and the 'Liberals' and the Conservatives -have benefited greatly from this group...But I wonder, how do black/Ghanaian Conservative MPs/ Voters -justify the Conservative party’s 'laissez-faire' attitude towards helping those ‘less-well-off’, -when the majority of those ‘less-well-off’ are from your 'own' community?

As a ‘natural’ socialist and thus –a ‘natural’ Labour voter [my grandmother’s family are tomato sellers from Abanzi and Anomabo, –so I like to keep it real] – I’m fascinated by ‘Conservative' values and even more intrigued by ‘ethnic minorities’ –who vote for the Conservative/Republican party etc... It drives me crazy that some people in the States can’t quiet get their heads around President Obama’s ‘Welfare Reform’ etc –it totally shocks me. ....It appears prosperous black folks in the USA are under the illusion that all is well –and thus can’t fathom the growing numbers of 'post-Katrina homeless population', or folks living without water in Detroit [45,000 households are without], -never mind the obvious medical needs of many poor families in the States -and …..I kind …of feel -Ghanaians [and other minority] Conservative MPs/voters –hold similar views/values etc.. What's so wrong with ‘loving thy neighbour’? ....

I’ve found the vast majority of black Conservative MPs/voters –to be judgemental and fearful people. Fearful of being mugged, fearful of foreign accents, fearful of their own people, fearful of mass immigration etc,...-the very things ‘Middle England’ feared when their ‘own’ parents first migrated to the UK [oh how times have changed]... Anyway, let me not loose track, -and please note that if we lived in a ‘just’ world; –a world where all people started the ‘race-of-life’ at the front of the line...on an ‘even playing field’ –with all the privileges that a good education afforded, –I too would vote for the Conservative party! Please note, -I honestly respect all peoples, –and their democratic right to their own political views/persuasions etc etc..

I stumbled across the following piece on the ‘Booker Rising’ website about Adam Afriyie, Sam Gyimah and Kwasi Kwarteng, –and even though I soo don’t share their political ‘point-of-view’, found the following very interesting..[and I'm sure the afore mentioned Conservative MPs and candidates are lovely]....enjoy..x

Title: Britain: The Year Of The (Partially) Black Conservative "
By: Shay Riley Taken from:

The Conservative Party continues to lead in British polls for the upcoming election - which can't occur any later than early June - to return to power after 13 years or so. Right now, there are two black folks in the British Parliament: Adam Afriyie in the House of Commons and Lord John Taylor in the House of Lords (whose body consists of appointed officials. However, that is likely to change this year. I knew that it would change, but about half of Conservative Party black candidates are new to my radar screen. The Daily Mail (UK) calls them and the Asian candidates as Conservative Party leader David Cameron's "Obama Army", 44 candidates who are ready to change the face of the Conservative Party. The newspaper discusses their electoral hopes and I've highlighted the (partially) black folks on the list:

Adam Afriyie, 43
Windsor, southern England | Tech entrepreneur & shadow minister for science & business innovation

Assuming that the Conservative Party wins the upcoming elections, Mr. Afriyie - a tech entrepreneur with an estimated net worth of US$156 million - is slated to become the country's first black Conservative cabinet minister.

Mr. Afriyie, whose father is Ghanaian and whose mother is white British, is no stranger to Booker Rising. This blog had Mr. Afriyie pegged as someone to watch back in 2004, before he joined the Parliament. It's good to see it coming to fruition.

Sam Gyimah, 33
East Surrey, southeastern England | Banker

Sam Gyimah is a new face to Booker Rising, but sounds pretty good. An ex-Oxford Union president whose parents come from Ghana, he was voted CBI's "Entrepreneur Of The Future". He writes on his website: "In 2003, I left my City Job at Goldman Sachs to start a small business which trained and placed low-skilled people into work. When I left three years later, we were turning over £10m [US$15.5 million], had a staff of 70, had trained 4,000 people and I was named CBI Entrepreneur of the Future for my efforts."

Mr. Gyimah is running in the 6th safest Tory seat in the country - even though he does not yet live in the district, Tory activists in the district recently chose him in a straw poll among six candidates - so he is extremely likely to join Parliament this year as well.

Kwasi Kwarteng, 34
Spelthorne, southeastern England | Journalist & historian

Mr. Kwarteng, whose parents are from Ghana, is another new face to Booker Rising. He writes on his website: "I was very fortunate to win a scholarship to Eton College, when I was 13. I enjoyed History in particular, which I then proceeded to read at Trinity College, Cambridge. I earned a Bachelor's degree and a PhD in British History and was also on the series-winning team on University Challenge in Jeremy Paxman's first year as the host. I have worked as a company analyst in the City for seven years, and as a journalist."

His book, Ghosts of Empire, about the British Empire's global legacy, will be published soon.


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