Sajid Javid is a Tory through and through, there is no doubt that loyalty and hard work pay off, and a rather large pay off for the ex director of Deutsche bank. I have nothing against a man who has worked his way up the social ladder, from being the son of a Pakistani migrant bus driver to being one of the most powerful men in today’s government, I believe it should be commended. However I do still question his appointment. Mr Javid is a man who was making waves throughout the Treasury and a good friend of George Osborne, yes I know I criticised him but still, and seemed to be liked by all in the party and he was doing a good job. Yes, it could be argued that a promotion was due, but surely it is sensible to promote this man to something he is good at. What David Cameron has done is sacrificed being equal to women to instead try and show he gives equal opportunities to the black man in the Tory party. It is just another active attempt to shut out left wing critics of the Tories and also to win votes (elections are around the corner!). That’s the bit that gets me, to win votes. The fact that ethnic minority MPs and women MPs are moved around like pawn pieces on a chess board shows how little the ‘big men’ really think of them, although they will never tell you that! I’ll let you into a little secret; Mr Javid’s own trusted friends say that a cultural portfolio is not natural casting for a former banker. The fact that not only the opposition, but also anyone with common sense and his party are questioning his appointment and his own friends are too! This just shows that Cameron and even Osborne have tried to make Javid a poster boy for their next elections to show how representative they are but in practise this appointment is nothing short of a joke. Perhaps in theory this must have been perceived as a rather flawless idea. In practise it hasn’t played out like that, it just looks like PC – gone wrong!
Okay, now onto something more serious, something deeper than this whole ‘poster boy’ attitude. What is the role of ethnic minority MPs in Westminster? Coming from Leicester East, my main political point of contact is an ethnic minority MP, Keith Vaz, and I can say that he is a man who has political waves throughout Britain, not party specific but in general. The current Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, a cross party group chaired by a Labour MP in a Tory government, my god they really love him. People like Mr Vaz and Mr Umunna have progressed on merit in respective fields and it makes sense. Primarily their role has been to win seats, wins seats in areas that are dominated by Ethnic Minorities like Leicester East so the electorate can relate with the candidate and this has worked well for Mr Vaz as he has held his seat for 25 years with a 14,000 majority. However, in Leicester East brown or white or yellow, the Labour candidate will always win. This poster boy mentality from the Tories has been replicated in my own constituency of Leicester East, as the new Tory candidate for 2015 is Mr Kishan Devani, a Gujarati man who the Tories hope will connect with the large Gujarati community here in Leicester. Unfortunately, I think that the electorate have already seen this chum and dismissed him. It is important to note that I did email Mr Devani for some comments but he is yet to reply, two weeks on, typical. To me, ethnic minority MPs are used to promote multiculturalism and to show how ‘not racist’ a party is.
Is there a real need for this? - In this day and age surely colour and religion should be put well behind merit, and if it means all the leaders and decision makers are white, well fine, at least we’ll have people in charge with a sense of direction. I agree that there should be ethnic minority MPs and I believe we should be doing more to encourage young people like myself from ethnic minority backgrounds to get interested in politics and offer that helping hand. This does not mean we pick the closest black guy because he is a good face to have during PMQs on the front bench. This is why my title is ‘political correctness gone wrong’ because I do feel that some parties do not choose the right man for the job due to hidden agendas and it is not fair on the people. I hate the fact that I sound incredibly UKIP but it’s a fact. I am damn sure that most people in this country from Asian backgrounds will look at the appointment and be proud and cynical because we all can see it and it definitely will not make us vote Tory in fact it may turn us away.
Hence how long will this party trick last – until the electorate realise that a government solely thirsty for political gain is merely fooling them?
So, what should be done? – Well, firstly, I think there is a social change that has to take place for this to be eradicated because it will not disappear over night. Currently, the Eton and Harrow boys who then go to Oxbridge have a ‘ten second’ head start but those ten seconds are multiplied by 1000 in real terms as they become the Prime Minister or Chancellor where as the normal ones end up stuck on the backbenches or being pawns in a bigger game they don’t understand. And even if they did – their voices will always be overshadowed by the Oxbridge Dons. The government needs to actively give a helping hand to young people all over the country but especially those not only from ethnic minorities but those from low-income families because there are many young people in this country with potential, it is just not being used and given time to develop. The government should be helping organisations such as Operation Black Vote to go out into communities and get people involved and encourage the youth to ask questions because I think they are due some answers that no one is currently willing to give.
It seems that the current system is in need of some serious revitalisation – we need to start focusing on merit and not what will make us win votes. Only this way can we achieve an efficient government that actually deserves to have the authority to govern the country – whatever the colour of their skin or their background be.
Finally, no MP, in fact no person should be used by higher powers to gain political or monetary advantage and it’s a sad day when we see that happening in a place where our lives are meant to be made better, not worse.