Khan comes out for all-ethnic minority shortlists

13th June, 2014 5:24 pm

Sadiq Khan – the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice – is on a roll when it comes to talking about inequality.

sadiqKhan

In his speech last month at Operation Black Vote he said he’d focus on ensuring that minority ethnic people are properly represented in the country’s public and private institutions – surely a welcome pledge in light of recent evidence showing the high barriers minority ethnic people face when it comes to the job market.

This week saw him tell GMB Conference, “inequality is the defining issue of our age”. While recognising that past Labour governments haven’t always done enough to close the huge economic gap between rich and poor, Khan began to lay out how the party would remedy this if in office.

Most recently, in an interview with Huffington Post’s Mehdi Hasan, Khan has said that he’s in favour of “exploring” the idea of all-ethnic minority shortlists, in light of Labour’s push for all-women shortlists, to increase the number of minority ethnic people in parliament. Interestingly, in Khan’s London back yard, 40% of target seat candidates are BME, whilst 70% are female.

On the broader issue of public disconnect from politics, Khan is calling for Labour to be more radical:

“Over the course of the next 12 months we’ve got to make the British public understand that we’re not all the same

“We’re going to win the next election not by being less radical but by being more radical. Not by being less bold but by being more bold.”

Khan knows all too well, the question on everyone’s lips: ‘Can we be bolder and more radical?’

Here’s hoping the answer is yes. 

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  • Chilbaldi

    Oh god, not more positive discrimination. Will these Westminster Village idiots ever learn to tackle the root cause of problems, rather than putting a plaster on to cure the symptoms?

    • David Lewis

      Where is that horse? You might as well leave that door open.

  • robertcp

    I usually disagreed with “bold and radical” policies during the New Labour era!

  • PoundInYourPocket

    What about all disabled shortlists, and all under 25 shortlists and all over 70 shortlists, and all gay shortlists, and all socialist (rare minority) shortlists ad infinitum. We all abhore disrimination, it’s why we’re in the Labour Party, but shortlists are not the solution.

    • EricBC

      I would like all sons of bus drivers short-lists.

      • PoundInYourPocket

        An all Tourettes short list would liven things up a bit.

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      Hang on PIP it seems to me that you’re trivialising this issue. It is right and proper that we tackle the under representation of BAME in the Parliamentary party. Khan’s proposal is one possible way of addressing this matter.

      • PoundInYourPocket

        I’m not trying to trivialise it, but as someone else wisely posted, shortlists are the “sticking-plaster” solution when you’ve failed to attract enough minority groups into the local membership. The task should be (and I’m sure is) to encourage minorities to join the CLP’s. And encourage them to develop their skills and stand as candidates. I don’t belive that CLPs are discriminatory and holding back minorities from selection as candidates, isn’t the issue that potential minority candidates aren’t being developed in the CLP’s. Shortlists try to correct the imbalance in parliament by parachuting desired candidates into CLPs where they are lacking; creating that “top down control” resentment. Work on the issue in CLP’s. I’m more familiar with the side-effects of positive disrimination in recruitment, but it’s the same issue.

        • Yes and what do you do in the meantime just wait ? We’ve had AWS for what, 12 13 years ? Where is the influx of women. We’ve had an increase but we’re nowhere near where we need to be. Do we just wait and if so how long?

          • PoundInYourPocket

            I have posted elsewhere that without Barbara Castle in government there would have been no Equal Pay Act in 1970, so I get the point that Parliament needs to act in the interests of all sections of society, and the best way to do that is to ensure they are represented in the parliamentry process at a senior level. But it’s not just about MPs, as you’ve said elsewhere it’s about being in positions of power and influence. I like to think that the end result of an ethnically representative parliament can be achieved by encouraging ethnic candidates without recource to all-ethnic-lists that can be seen as divisive. It’s an issue of party structure and processes. The short-list is a sticking plaster fix and masks a deeper problem that could be addressed by encouraging and mentoring ethnic candidates. I acknowledge the need for affirmative action if all else fails but it seems like a terrible admission of defeat due to a lack of real effort and ingenuity in solving the problem. I’m a party member out in the sticks, but just out of interest , is there presently an active effort to encourage , fund and mentor those potential ethnic candidates that are underrepresented. If not, then that’s the issue. If yes, and the method hasn’t worked, then OK as a fall back use the sticking plaster.

      • EricBC

        When BAME stops ignoring folk of Far Eastern origin, I will take them a little more seriously.

        • Well join the organisation, turn up to meetings and get involved with the organisation. The vast majority of women’s ‘groups in the party and on the left are run by and for white middle class women precisely because white working class women and back and minority ethnic women do not turn up. Stop moaning and actually turn up to an event and get involved.

          • treborc1

            And then listen to the white and Black middle class moan about the working class no thanks be there done it given up.

          • I don’t understand why so many people have the weird view that unless we can solve all of our problems simultaneously we should solve none of them at all. The lack of working class MPs is a problem and that should also be addressed. There are plenty of working class MPs in parliament from working class backgrounds. They just happen not to be in a leadership position which the public and party members have no control over.

            It doesn’t matter which issue is addressed first as long as we get around to all of them in good time. We’ve got something in place for gender and now it’s time to look at other areas.

          • treborc1

            The problem is when you hear a leader telling the middle class I will cross a picket line and then proves it. Miliband is being controlled I’ve no doubt somebody in Labour is pulling the strings. No working class MP would tell people I’ll cross picket lines and then prove it, because a working class MP who has actually worked will know people strike for a reason.

            sadly Miliband mistakes are now mounting up and he’s looking to be honest like a Pratt, because it’s not long before he’s having to back tract same as Reeves the hammering down lady, now she is the saviour of the welfare state, problem is I do not believe them either of them.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            This talk of the so-called disadvantaged “white-working-class” is complete tripe. There’s no definition to the term “working-class” so it has no real meaning anyway. I think when people resort to this “working-class” exclsion idea it’s worth asking them to define terms, otherwise it’s just a distraction. And by definition you can’t discriminate against the “white” national majority.

          • Well this is a blog not an thesis. Without going into huge amounts of details I mean normal people in normal blue collar jobs. Low admin level jobs. Teaching assistants, secretaries. There are many ways to define it. I think most people know what I mean. I agree with your last sentence. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. There are 27 BAME MPs in parliament out of 650…

          • treborc1

            I think if you want a definition go back to the formation of the labour party, it tells you who they are.

            The problem is today education University are the two main ways to get into labour, money helps a name helps your parents help .

            The parachute system of selection is the issue it still being used look at Kinnocks son.

          • treborc1

            Perhaps the people in labour who are working class because of their parents , we should have asked one of the parents to do it not the son or daughter.

            Hell of a difference between being working class and actually working at it your self them, being working class because you father was a miner.
            I’ve no problem at picking women, black, or Asian, or in fact anyone race religion gender do not come into it , I do have one hell of a problem when the party hand picks them because they suit what they think we should have more of and we end up with a useless Pratt’s.

            The problem with labour today is the front bench is pretty ineffectual, the back bench are hand picked zombies,if they are not hammering down on the poor they are then spending weeks months trying to repair the damage.

            Labour to day is a middle class, middle of the road, center right group of Progress-nites, pretty innfectual people I do not trust to run this country.

          • I don’t deny much of that. What is the point of the Labour Party if it is not to improve the lot of working class people ? It might be crude to say : ” What is the point of the Labour Party if it is not to make working class people “middle class” “? Improve education, raise their living standards that in a very narrow sense changes their class.

            I don’t think old definitions are worth very much, although I do think we can do more to draw MPs from a wider employment remit.

            Also I think phrases like ” Progress-nites ” is a bit silly. On the one hand Ed gets called Red ED and in the pocket of the unions and then people use phrases like that. Which is it ? Politics has just changed because of the growing fudge of class and the type of economy we have. Are you suggesting that we revet to some sort of Tony Benn style politics ? Do you think that is what the country is crying out for ?

          • Dave Roberts

            Well get the minorities to turn up and stop moaning.

          • But we still have a problem if they do not turn up. The Police force is a fantastic example. How can the police do their job in a multiracial society without huge numbers of BAME Police officers? Do we just wait until they happen to apply ?

          • treborc1

            That is the problem, you will see when you have a parachuted, you will know because one day your sitting in a meeting and this new women or black person or Asian turns up, they are then selected because the party has said they will be selected, the NEC which is mostly run by the top table tells them whom the party wants and you have a new MP you will more then likely not see again until election time or Saturday morning surgery.

    • MikeHomfray

      I think its far more about changing the selection process.

    • treborc1

      I suppose some disabled people would be grateful not me, I’d rather be picked because I was a good choice not because somebody felt I’m a minority.

    • gunnerbear

      “All socialist….”

      Hellfire…..that’s way too radical for the Labour Party. Try the outer reaches of the Yellow Mob.

  • David Lewis

    Well there’s surprise. You genuinely could not make it up! Not a chancer or anything?

  • swatnan

    Good. But BAME Labour said this a decade ago. We also need quotas, at the top, otherwise nothing will change.

  • JoeDM

    Can we have one-legged footballer shortlists as well ?

    They’ll be falling over themselves to get on the teamsheet (sorry) shortlist.

    • Holly

      A Tory short-list could be fun.

  • wycombewanderer

    White British are an ethnic minority in London where Khan has his seat.

    Is he proposing that there should be an all white shortlist for Tooting?

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      That’s not true of Khan’s constituency. Here’s the demographic make-up of the Tooting constituency from the 2001 Census. Look:

      Total 2001 Population: 93037
      Male: 48.1%
      Female: 51.9%
      Under 18: 18.7%
      Over 60: 13.3%
      Born outside UK: 27.6%
      White: 72.8%
      Black: 10.4%
      Asian: 11.3%
      Mixed: 3.4%
      Other: 2.1%
      Christian: 58.3%
      Hindu: 4.3%
      Jewish: 0.7%
      Muslim: 6.9%
      Full time students: 6.8%
      Graduates 16-74: 45.7%
      No Qualifications 16-74: 16.7%
      Owner-Occupied: 55.3%
      Social Housing: 17.4% (Council: 8.5%, Housing Ass.: 8.9%)
      Privately Rented: 23.9%
      Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 10.9%

      • JoeDM

        2001 Census would now be very much out of date given the huge uncontrolled immigration over the past decade of so.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          Here’s the ethnic breakdown figures from the 2011 census In Sadiq Khan’s constituency:

          Table KS201: Ethnic group

          All usual residents 106,890 100.0%

          White 70,438 65.9%

          English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern
          Irish/British 54,107
          50.6%

          Irish 2,661 2.5%

          Gypsy or Irish
          Traveller 86 0.1%

          Other White 13,584 12.7%

          Mixed/multiple ethnic
          groups 5,415 5.1%

          White and Black
          Caribbean 1,702 1.6%

          White and Black
          African 688 0.6%

          White and Asian 1,412 1.3%

          Other Mixed 1,613 1.5%

          Asian/Asian British 16,324 15.3%

          Indian 4,876 4.6%

          Pakistani 5,101 4.8%

          Bangladeshi 779 0.7%

          Chinese 1,207 1.1%

          Other Asian 4,361 4.1%

          Black/African/Caribbean/Black
          British 12,799 12.0%

          African 5,321
          5.0%

          Caribbean 5,176
          4.8%

          Other Black 2,302
          2.2%

          Other ethnic group 1,914
          1.8%

          Arab 657
          0.6%

          Any other ethnic
          group 1,257 1.2%

          It shows that the majority of people living in the constituency are White British. Still why let facts and data get in the way of nasty little prejudicial myths?

    • BillFrancisOConnor

      The 2011 census showed that 65.9% of Khan’s constituents were white and that 50.6% of them were White British.
      Ignorant Tory tw*t.

      • wycombewanderer

        Which is why I said in London, white British are an ethnic minority.

        I mentioned Tooting because that is Khan’s constituency.

        and you accuse me of being ignorant!

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          Yes ignorant as sh*t. Your inference was quite clear but Tooting clearly has a different ethnic make up to London as a whole. Your comment contained all the usual lazy generalisations I have come to expect from your sort. In Tooting White British people are not an ethnic minority-period.

          • wycombewanderer

            and in London they are, so when mentioning sh!t it’s quite clear that you are as thick as the porcine variety.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            You suggested that Khan should have an all white shortlist for a constituency where 65.9% of the constituency are white. How about p**sing off back to The Telegraph blog where there isn’t so much emphasis on providing evidence to back up arguments?

          • wycombewanderer

            No i suggested and I’m correct, that in London White Britons are an ethnic minority.

            Now how about you coming up with some figures on that rather than your strawman nonsense trying to put words into my mouth.

            I suggested that as White Britons are a minority in London would Khan like to step aside for an all white shortlist, Tooting is in London in case you weren’t aware!

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            London is not a Parliamentary constituency- you must take a look next time.

      • Holly

        So what are the percentages in LONDON, where Khan has his seat?

        Stop reading what you ‘think’ is being said, and read what was ‘actually’ said.
        Name calling, and changing what the original comment really says, then put it all down to the comment maker being a Tory tw..t, says a lot more about you than it does about Tories, or wycombewanderer.

        You come across as twisted, black hearted, and ugly, quite ugly.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          They’re set out below but I’ll reproduce the 2011 census ethnic composition figures for Khan’s seat here. (You’ll need a reading age of 8 though Holly- will you be alright?):

          Table KS201: Ethnic group

          All usual residents 106,890 100.0%

          White 70,438 65.9%

          English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern
          Irish/British 54,107
          50.6%

          Irish 2,661 2.5%

          Gypsy or Irish
          Traveller 86 0.1%

          Other White 13,584 12.7%

          Mixed/multiple ethnic
          groups 5,415 5.1%

          White and Black
          Caribbean 1,702 1.6%

          White and Black
          African 688 0.6%

          White and Asian 1,412 1.3%

          Other Mixed 1,613 1.5%

          Asian/Asian British 16,324 15.3%

          Indian 4,876 4.6%

          Pakistani 5,101 4.8%

          Bangladeshi 779 0.7%

          Chinese 1,207 1.1%

          Other Asian 4,361 4.1%

          Black/African/Caribbean/Black
          British 12,799 12.0%

          African 5,321
          5.0%

          Caribbean 5,176
          4.8%

          Other Black 2,302
          2.2%

          Other ethnic group 1,914
          1.8%

          Arab 657
          0.6%

          Any other ethnic
          group 1,257 1.2%

          You’ll see that 65.9% of Khan’s constituents are white and 50.6% of his constituents are White British.

          In respect of London as a whole 44.9% are White British (because it has become an international city like New York) while 59.7% of Londoners are White. Your brain dead mate proposed an all white shortlist – not an all White British shortlist- for a geographical area that is not even a parliamentary constituency.

          I’m producing all the figures here – you and your mates have produced none. True to form of course – prejudice rather than facts.

          • Steve Stubbs

            So by publishing the census data, you clearly demonstrate that the native British in that constituency are down to a tad over 50%, and looking at the older data are a declining percentage, and given the level of immigration since the 2011 census it is a sure bet that they are now already a minority. And you wonder why the UKIP message is resonating so loudly amongst the working native population.

            Even I as an immigrant from the Indian sub-continent can see where that is leading. Maybe not too far, but certainly too fast.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            ‘given the level of immigration since the 2011 census it is a sure bet that they are now already a minority’………………

            No evidence for that of course.

            Actually there is some evidence to suggest that Tooting is going the same way as neighbouring areas like Balham/Clapham and Brixton with house prices rising and young upwardly mobile largely white middle class people moving into the area. See this from The Guardian:

            http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/apr/04/lets-move-to-tooting-south-london

            PS I didn’t publish the Census data.

          • Steve Stubbs

            That’s OK, I don’t read the Gruniad either.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            I know you and your pals on here are against the production of evidence to support arguments preferring prejudice and innuendo to facts. However, that remark beggars belief. The Guardian’s making up stories about Tooting is it?

          • Steve Stubbs

            Did I say the Guardian is making up stories about Tooting? You referenced a report from the Guardian, I referenced the fact that I don’t read it. Is it really that hard to understand plain English?

            So when I said in answer to one of your posted comments ” If someone makes what you consider a stupid remark, then please
            respond by all means with counter argument, point out the error of their
            ways, help them see the other side of the argument.” you take it that means I am against the production of evidence to support arguments and prefer prejudice and innuendo? How on earth does someone rational reach that conclusion?

            Incidentally who are my pals on here? I didn’t realise I had any. Do tell …..

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          Name calling ………………………says a lot more about you than it does about Tories, or wycombewanderer.

          Y ou come across as twisted, black hearted, and ugly, quite ugly.

          It’s OK for you to call me names, is it?

          • Holly

            There you go again commenting on what you think is being said.
            I did not call you a name?
            I said you come across as…Not that you are.
            Not doing much to prove me wrong there matey.

          • MikeHomfray

            You shouldn’t even be here. If the moderators of this place actually visited it once in a while they should ban you for good. You contribute nothing of value, which is why I don’t respond to points you make. We don’t need Tories here, particularly ones who are probably getting paid by some right wing pressure group to troll here
            Think we should start doing what I did once before and start responding ‘Tory troll’ to every post of that nature. It led to some action.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            You are of course quite right Mike.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            I do think you need Holly, Mike, as otherwise LL becomes an echo-chamber of very left views. Unless that is what you want? If you do, it is perfectly responsible, but it is also unlikely to be elected.

          • Steve Stubbs

            “which is why I don’t respond to points you make”.

            Call me simple, but is that not exactly what you are doing with the post back to Holly? If I decide not to respond to another, the silence is simply deafening ………

          • MonkeyBot5000

            You contribute nothing of value, which is why I don’t respond to points you make.

            And yet we can all read your response.

          • Steve Stubbs

            At the risk of embroiling myself in someone else’s war, and getting showered with abuse for my troubles, can I respectfully suggest that you review the last 30 to 50 posts you have made on this forum.

            If the purpose of this site is reasoned debate on matters of interest, you seem to have lost sight of that and are simply responding to most by ludicrous name-calling. It does not move debate on one bit. If someone makes what you consider a stupid remark, then please respond by all means with counter argument, point out the error of their ways, help them see the other side of the argument. But cut out the nonsensical name calling please. It is getting irritating.

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            Nope.

          • Steve Stubbs

            Do you really not realise that by snapping back at those who offend you, you are just encouraging them to keep going? Any you think that might make them go away? Dream on …..

          • BillFrancisOConnor

            I am entitled to counter abuse such as ‘Y ou come across as twisted, black hearted, and ugly, quite ugly’ – see Holly above – and to defend a Labour perspective on a Labour supported and funded website. It’s called freedom of speech-you wouldn’t understand.

          • Steve Stubbs

            Yes of course you are entitled to have your say – I just suggested you might like to review your postings and perhaps reflect whether the style you embrase is not a bit confrontational. As regards countering abuse, it is always tempting to strike back – except that review I suggested may point to the fact you tend to be the one firing the first salvo.

            I am totally in favour of free speech. I can’t remember who said it first but whilst I might not like what you say, I will defend your right to say it. I am not suggesting censorship – just self-censorship, which is a bit different.

            And of course that self same freedom of speech means you will defend the right of Holly to come on here and say what she wants. Or does it only apply to what you personally believe in?

          • PoundInYourPocket

            Steve, just as a reminder these are some of “wycombewanderers” posts on the Telegraph and Spectator.
            “Neither credible nor funny just assholes the lot of you, and it seems you didn’t bribe enough dole whallers last time to get you back into power becaue IDS is sanctioning you feckless retards!”
            “lefties are invariably unpleasant people, ridden with self loathing that they seek to infect others with, an inferiority complex from a century of failure for their ideologies.”
            “I had the misfortune of having to stay in High Wycombe for a few months a dreadful place full of inbreds from the sub continent.”
            I think the epithet “Tory tw*t” used by Bill was appropriate. These people have an agenda of causing division and undermining labour support. No other reason for spending so much time posting on a left-wing site when they are extreme right wing racists.

          • wycombewanderer

            None of which is untrue of course even if the language might not be too correct for this place.

      • RWP

        in Khan’s London back yard, 40% of target seat candidates are BME, whilst 70% are female

        So the white / male population are under-represented in the candidate lists of Tooting…as a white / male living in Tooting, am I justified in feeling in need of my own dedicated shortlist?

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          ‘in Khan’s London back yard, 40% of target seat candidates are BME, whilst 70% are female’

          Do you have a data reference for that just so I can check that it’s right ?

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          Here’s the target seats for London in 2015:

          Battersea, Bermondsey & Old Southwark, Brent Central, Brentford &Isleworth, Croydon Central, Ealing Central & Acton, Enfield North, Finchley & Golders Green, Harrow East, Henson, Hornsey & Wood Green, Ilford North,

          Now you say 40% of the candidates are BME and 70% are women.

          I’ll check it out.

        • BillFrancisOConnor

          Here’s the list of candidates in London target seats:
          Battersea – Will Martindale White Male
          Bermondsey – Neil Coyle White Male
          Brent Central – Dawn Butler Black female
          Brentford – Ruth Cadbury White female
          Croydon Central -Sarah Jones- White female
          Brentford-Rupa Huq- Asian female
          Enfield North- Joan Ryan White female
          Finchley & Golders Green- Sarah Sackman White Female
          Harrow East- Uma Kumaran- Asian Female
          Hendon – Andrew Dismore – White Male
          Hornsey – Catherine West- White female
          Ilford North- White male

          Looks like you’re right on the gender front but very wrong on the BAME front. It was the issue of all BAME shortlists that Sadiq raised.

    • On what planet is 59.7% or 44.9 an ethnic minority? If you use the phrase “ethnic minority” in a political or sociological context then definitions of ethnic minorities or minorities also relate to power and position. Women make up 50% + of the country and are still considered a “minority” because they are typically excluded from decision making and huge swathes of society.

      Even if we accept your logic and define White Britons as a ethnic minority in London then they are the largest single ethnic minority and are currently massively over represented. On your own logic White Britons would not be eligible for ethnic minority shortlists. Your facetiousness has made you look stupid.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_groups_in_London

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        You are of course correct Robert. Actually he suggested that there should be all white shortlists in ‘London’ which as we know ) is not a Parliamentary constituency and 2) where white people comprise 59.7% of the population and 3) is a geographical area massively over represented by the ‘ethnic minority’ known as White Britons. His argument is like Swiss Cheese – full of holes.

  • Daniel Speight

    So instead of a white middle class professional or SPAD careerist we get a black one. Just like the middle class women bought to us by AWS.

  • Gabrielle

    Don’t be surprised if the Tories, of all people, nick the idea. They’ve admitted that they are considerably hampered by the fact that they have very little support amongst ethnic minorities.

    In August, a study by the cross-party group Operation Black Vote found the number of seats where black and Asian voters could decide the outcome had increased by 70% compared with the 2010 election. The Conservatives secured 16% of the minority vote at the last election, compared with 68% for Labour.

    The Guardian reports that Tory minister Damian Green says his party is ‘performing “appallingly” among minority ethnic voters who he says are “completely disengaged” from the party.’ http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jun/13/tory-minister-damian-green-ethnic-minorities

    Wow, what a surprise. The Tories didn’t seem to expect that dog whistle politics about ‘immigrants’, to pander to UKIP defectors, would in turn offend ethnic minorities. It’s also worth pointing out that many BME people’s families have been in the UK since the 1950s (when we had a Tory government), or in the case of Ugandan Asians since the 1970s (during Ted Heath’s Tory administration). Of course, some Tory supporters cling to the myth that Labour imported people simply to have voting fodder.

    BME people simply don’t trust the Tories – with reason.

    • Gabrielle

      It’s also interesting that many BME people are exceptionally entrepreneurial, running small shops, restaurants and businesses. They should be natural Tory voters, but they’re not. Perhaps it’s because they realise that their customers get poorer and stop spending when we have Tory governments!

      • MonkeyBot5000

        Tories are the friends of big business, not small, because we don’t have cushy non-exec director positions to offer them.

        Ask a Tory to name a BME entrepreneur and they’ll probably say Lakshmi Mittal rather than Uzma from the corner shop.

    • Holly

      British born whites don’t trust any of them, blame Labour for the mass influx, and are sick to death of the main three.

      • BillFrancisOConnor

        ‘British born whites don’t trust any of them, blame Labour for the mass influx, and are sick to death of the main three’.

        Evidence?

        • MonkeyBot5000

          Voter turnout?

          • Steve Stubbs

            No, he wants real evidence – such as an article in the Guardian, or on their broadcasting offshoot the BBC. What the voters say tends to be irrelevant in the mind of the hard left as they are clearly ignorant and uninformed. They must be as they disagree with what the hard left thinks.

            Puts me in mind in a small way of the Soviet Union where opponents were declare insane as no sane person would ever disagree with the decisions of the party.

            No doubt they already have earmarked the cells for you, me and Holly.

      • FMcGonigal

        Even in the recent European elections a majority (56%) voted for the ‘main three’.

  • We already have them for women so I don’t see why not. I think it might be a better idea to get rid of All women shortlists and introduce minority shortlists with a mixture of women BAME and disabled applicants and then massively increase their use for selections.

    • treborc1

      I would rather get picked for the ability, not because I’ve a disability, if asked to take party in some stitch up then no thanks.

      To be picked because the only thin which fits is I’m a minority within the party would be one insult to much.

      • The assumption in your posts is that white middle class male PPCs get selected based on merit alone. That is not the case. Constituencies are important but the macro picture is also very important. Many of those networks are closed to everybody else.

        90% + of BME people vote Labour and the Conservative Party almost has the same amount of BME representation as Labour. The Conservative Party has the same about of African/Caribbean representation as Labour. If we stop looking like our voters then they will stop voting for us and that goes for white working class voters too. Look at the slow death of the Republican Party in the US.

        http://www.eurolabour.org.uk/spash-signup?splash=1

        Three Asian Labour MEPs ? Not one MEP with a African and Caribbean background representing any party in the UK. That is an utter disgrace.

        ” To be picked because the only thin which fits is I’m a minority within the party would be one insult to much”.

        And yet we’re perfectly happy to have white middle class woman after white middle class woman get selected via AWS. Why is extending this policy such a huge thing when it comes to ethnic diversity? Gender diversity ok but ethnic diversity is “too much” ? Add to that the stream of white middle class spads and hacks who are over represented at the expense of good local white working class candidates?

        I’m playing devils advocate and not being rude here : Who are you to say it is an insult to much?

        • Chilbaldi

          Most of us aren’t happy to have white middle class woman after white middle class woman get selected via AWS. Most of us want a system which tackles the root cause of why fewer women put themselves forward for selection, rather than one that applies a sticking plaster to the symptoms, by shoe horning a few women in.

          Likewise with ethic minorities. 14% of England and Wales is ethnic minority, with the biggest group asian I think. Of course the composition of Parliament should reflect this more than it does at present. But why doesn’t it? Is it because selectorates are racist and don’t like black candidates, or is it because fewer ethnic minority people are members of parties and put themselves forward for selection? Why don’t they jon parties and put themselves forward? Why don’t they hold the sort of jobs that MPs typically do before entering parliament? Why are the life chances of a black child growing up in Lambeth less than those of a white middle class child growing up in Surrey?

          Solve those problems please, rather than shoe-horning in the lucky few black/female activists, while disadvantaging everyone else. We all only get one shot at life after all.

          • Chilbaldi : ” Most of us aren’t happy to have white middle class woman after white middle class woman get selected via AWS. Most of us want a system which tackles the root cause of why fewer women put themselves forward for selection, rather than one that applies a sticking plaster to the symptoms, by shoe horning a few women in”

            That’s very academic and we’ll wait years for an answer if we ever receive one. What system can you put in place that does that? The Conservatives have had a female leader and yet they have hardly any female MPs. That will remain the case until they do something. The truth is AWS has changed the face of British politics for the better. The women selected are as good or useless as their male counterparts so i do not believe the quality of MP is reduced.

            I also don’t believe in putting MPs on a pedestal as if it’s a job that is beyond most people it isn’t. Anybody can do it and if literally few dozen constituencies have a woman or a brown face forced on them then tough as far as I’m concerned.

            Labour Party members currently have virtually no say on how our MEPs are shortlisted. Many of them are foisted on constituencies who have no control over shortlisting. There are plenty of good ethnic minorities , women etc who put themselves forward but like there white working class counterparts do not have access to the networks needed to win selections.

            The fact that BAME people may not join the party is a huge problem inters of selections because if we do not look like the electorate they will desert us and they we will become irrelevant in those communities. Tower Hamlets is a fantastic example of this as is the Republican Party in the US.

            You can have an open door but the fact that X group has not walked into the room is still a huge problem. What do you do if you are in Northern Ireland and you hold a consultation and only Catholics turn up? The consultation is not representative, you’ll have a huge break down in community cohesion etc. We are seeing this already with schools and governorships.

            Chilbaldi : ” Why don’t they hold the sort of jobs that MPs typically do before entering parliament?”

            Because they are often discriminated against along with their white working class colleagues. If you work in the third sector or an NGO or a think tank the people doing the recruitment sifting through the CVs and sitting on the interviews are disproportionately white middle class men Russell Group / Oxbridge types who recruit in their own image. There is a huge inbuilt bias against white working class people, women and ethnic minorities.

            What sort of job do you think qualifies you to be a Member of Parliament? The fact that so many of our MPs are drawn from such a narrow background is a huge problem.

            I’ve worked in politics, i’ve worked in the city and the third sector. Many roles require the same skills as a HR/ PA person in an estate agents or supermarket etc and yet people from those walks of life are almost never given the opportunity because they do not “fit” as well.

            Chilbaldi : Why are the life chances of a black child growing up in Lambeth less than those of a white middle class child growing up in Surrey? ”

            Intersetionality and socioeconomics.

            We cannot sit here with a parliament that is unrepresentative whilst we solve those problems. In the US candidates are selected by open primary. We reject that in the UK because the “wrong people” will win selections. US politics is far more representative. In Europe Proportional Representation often has people selected from a closed list. I do not see a problem with that. Yes politics needs to be local but there is also a macro dimension that needs to be met.

          • Chilbaldi

            You haven’t, in my view, justified why we should discriminate against non BAME people in order to give certain BAME people an advantage. You also have a slightly questionable belief about the required quality of MPs. I certainly don’t want a parliament of HR ’employee engagement’ staff or recruitment headhunters.

            We’d still have the same problems as with AWS. A small clique of already involved women receiving preferential treatment. And AWS have proven that just because you shoe-horn in more female MPs, it doesn’t mean that you will get more women joining and grass roots and putting themselves forward.

            Reasons why fewer BAME people get selected as candidates:

            – BAME people are disproportionately less wealthy in the UK: a societal issue.
            – they tend to live in poorer areas, and go to lower performing schools
            – issues with single parent households also contribute to underachievement
            – BAME people tend to go to less well thought of universities
            – as a result, BAME people don’t get into the top jobs as much as say, upper middle class white children from Surrey do.

            And so the viscious cycle continues…

            All of these problems can be tackled. And you don’t need BAME MPs in Parliament to highlight these issues and ensure that they are tackled. Improving the woeful state education system would be a handy start, or even just proper career advice in these schools.

            This boils down to fairness in society. And ‘shortlists’ of any description are patently unfair.

            I do however agree with you that the MEP selection system needs overhauling – but that’s a separate issue. In some cases for the MEPs they had ‘all nutty left winger shortlists’.

          • ” You haven’t, in my view, justified why we should discriminate against non BAME people in order to give certain BAME people an advantage. You also have a slightly questionable belief about the required quality of MPs. I certainly don’t want a parliament of HR ’employee engagement’ staff or recruitment headhunters ” .

            You obviously don’t accept the premise of the argument or equality discourse which is fine but the Labour Party first accepted it in 1945 around class and during the “cultural revolution” throughout the 1960s and 1980s.

            Those arguments and stances transferred to gender, race and sexuality. If you don’t like that then the Labour Party in particularly needs to realign some central core tenants. Why do we discriminate against wealthy people by redistributing wealth?

            There is no difference between redistributing wealth and redistributing opportunity. It’s not about discriminating against it’s about making women, an BAME people

            The Police cannot function properly precisely because they do not have high enough levels of ethnic minorities within their ranks. In order to be able to actually police a multiracial society you need to draw significant numbers of policemen from those communities because we police with “consent”.

            Look at the problems we’ve had around the grooming and sexual abuse of young white girls typically by Asian Men. If you do not have strong links within that community language, cultural etc then you have little chance of tackling that problem. You can make a similar argument around extremism.

            The London Riots were exacerbated because London’s Police Force did not reflect London. One key reason why the Police sat back and did very little is because the majority of “trouble” was being instigated by Black and Minority ethnic people. At that point had we sent in huge swathes of white offices to engage with them they would have started a race riot across London.

            If you have a multiracial society then your key institutions need to be representative of that otherwise they will not function. Education, Health, Social Provision (social workers, youth workers etc) None of those things will function and the same goes for Local Government and Parliament. You need to look like the society you are representing in terms of class, ethnicity and gender .

            Chilbaldi : “I certainly don’t want a parliament of HR ’employee engagement’ staff or recruitment headhunters”

            I wasn’t suggesting that MPs come from those fields but I’d have no problem if they did. You asked me why BAME people did not “do the jobs” that MPs typically do. Whilst they are capable of doing them they are discriminated against during recruitment periods. There is no reason person HR people in any job in the country could not work in a MPs office or a Think tank or NGO. All of those

          • Chilbaldi

            I’ll tackle the first issue you’ve raised in response as that is the key one here.

            You have raised positive discrimination as the only way to achieve equality. It is not. There are many other ways by which equality can be achieved. And because you do not believe in positive discrimination, does not mean that you do not believe in equality.

            Indeed, positive discrimination is anti-equality. The key to this is in its name – it “discriminates” against certain groups.

            You need to stop believing that positive discrim in the only way to achieve your goals. The vast majority in the Labour party share your goals, but many don’t believe positive discrim is the way forward. We all want to see a more representative parliament.

            It’s a horrible, blunt tool which discriminates, alienates, and devalues those who benefit from it. It’s also really intellectually lazy. It smacks of – can’t be bothered to sort out the actual problem here, so I’ll just pursue the short termist shortlist option so it looks like I’m advocating something positive. Think on a bit. Be more nuanced in your thinking. Shortlists don’t cure the actual problem here.

            That’s before getting into the true fact of the matter. That these shortlisting methods are usually a way by which Labour Party types seek to get their own people in.

            So kindly do not assert that my values do not accord with Labour’s.

          • Chilbaldi : “ So kindly do not assert that my values do not accord with Labour’s”.

            Where did I do that? This is actually what I said and I stand by that :

            Robert Scott: “ You obviously don’t accept the premise of the
            argument or equality discourse which is fine but the Labour Party first accepted it in 1945 around class and during the “cultural revolutions” throughout the 1960s and 1980s.”

            The discussion about ethnic shortlists or “positive
            discrimination” belongs to an equality discourse. I didn’t say you rejected it all but you clearly reject this manifestation of it. Why is this aspect any different to gender which people already tolerate accept, and most of the hierarchy
            champion? Why is it ethnicity that is the straw that breaks the camels back?

            It’s all very well and good to “stop” here but this is after
            women, typically white middle class women have taken advantage of a policy of “positive discrimination” for the past 12 years + which have seen their number greatly increase. That is to kick the ladder away after climbing it and is a complete contradiction to the current consensus. For the record it is a step forward having white middle class women in positions that were previously occupied by white middle class men.

            Chilbaldi : “ You have raised positive discrimination as the only way to achieve equality. It is not. There are many other ways by which equality can be achieved. And because
            you do not believe in positive discrimination, does not mean that you do not believe in equality Indeed, positive discrimination is anti-equality. The key to this is in its name – it “discriminates” against certain groups”.

            No I didn’t. This entire debate is based on philosophical arguments that have been raging for the past 30 years, you are talking in a vacuum. We didn’t just arrive in a politically correct world in 1997. If people want to know where it comes from then they need to read people like Foucault and Kimlicker.
            I reject the term positive discrimination, which is value laden. What you are describing is affirmative action.

            Chilbaldi : ” The key to this is in its name – it “discriminates” against certain groups”.

            If you are talking about a group then you are looking at a macro picture. Please explain to me how White applicants who constitute the vast majority of applicants and occupy the vast majority of positions are discriminated against as a group. Explain that to me.

            Mr Smith who intended to stand in X seat may lose out if there is a BAME short list or a AWS but that has absolutely no baring on the “white group” who will and do occupy the vast majority of seats. There are 27 BAME MPs in a parliament of 650 so rest assured…

            Quote me: “Positive discrimination as the only way to achieve equality”. Provide me with one quote. I never said it was the only way. It is one way, and a fast sure way of doing it. That doesn’t mean you stop pulling all the other leavers. Also you talk as if the current system does not “discriminate against certain groups”.

            Lets assume no BME parliamentary candidates were to come forward in London. Should the Labour party resolve itself with not having any BME candidates Like the Liberal Democrats who do not have a single BME MP? We face that problem to a lesser extent nationally.

            If there is a surplus of talent in Manchester of BME candidates and a deficit in London why not create a mechanism for transferring that talent? Most political parties already do this for MEPs, people don’t notice because ethnic minorities tend to languish at the bottom of regional lists with no hope of getting elected.

            I have already explained why this is important by using the Police and Social worker example, which you have not responded to. Please explain how the Police can function without adequate levels of BME officers and then explain to me how they will ensure this without positive action. Can the effectiveness of police operations wait until BME applications happen to increase because of all the “other methods” ?

            Chilbaldi : “ You need to stop believing that positive discrim in the only way to achieve your goals. The vast majority in the Labour party share your goals, but many don’t believe positive discrim is the way forward. We all want to see a more representative parliament”.

            I didn’t say it was the only way. It’s a sure fast way of doing
            it. Affirmative Action works because at the end of the day you have a decent candidate at the end of the process. I don’t believe MPs are innately talented it’s something you can learn as long as you have a sound base. Can anybody give
            me an example of a constituency de-selecting an AWS MP after an election? What is your solution? You seem to be advocating doing nothing and hoping for the best. What are the other alternatives?

            Chilbaldi : “ Think on a bit. Be more nuanced in your thinking. Shortlists don’t cure the actual problem here”.

            You haven’t responded to any of my examples in the previous
            posts. The Police example or the fact that AWS led to a huge increase in female representation which coincidently then led to more female ministers and more legislation on issues that impact women most.

            From prisons, to childcare and maternity
            leave. Had we left the old boys in there they would have got round to it eventually? They seemed to be quite happy to ignore the demands of their female constituents. AWS has been a fantastic success story. Please tell me what works if this is so bad. You seem to know what you are against …

          • PoundInYourPocket

            No one in the labour party took equal pay seriously until Barbara Castle came along and hammered the legislation through in 1970. So I think you make the point well that excluded groups need representatives in government that are capable of making legislation.

          • Yes ! Exactly.

          • Dave Roberts

            Have you discovered the “White Working Class” or haven’t you? Do we exist or don’t we?

          • Dave Roberts

            Have you discovered the “White Working Class” or haven’t you? Do we exist or don’t we?

          • PoundInYourPocket

            you probalbly don’t, afterall what does the term actualy mean. Without a definition the term just adds confusion rather than clarity. I think it’s better to use income levels rather than the archaic term “working-class”, whatever that means. I did hear someone say they weren’t working-class because they were unemployed, and another say they were working-class despite being a multi-milliionare invesstor. Meaningless.

          • Dave Roberts

            I think you mean tenets, not tenants. Do try the English language! You make yourself look stupid. And ” cultural revolutions”, please, do grow up.

          • Yes your right did that make you feel better because you spotted a typo on a tablet ?

            ” And cultural revolutions”, please, do grow up.”

            You really are not very well read are you lol. I’m comfortable with people comparing and contrasting our posts. Go to Hull university and take a module on it :

            https://www.courses.hull.ac.uk/modules/1011S2/14071.html

            Read this, it’s quite short:
            http://www.vads.ac.uk/learning/designingbritain/html/crd_cultrev.html

            <<<<<<<<<<>> : http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/lord-parekh/2545
            Who has had a huge influence on these matters.

            Let us all know what you think

          • PoundInYourPocket

            and they’re less likely to be the off-spring of a sitting MP or minister or ex-prime minster. Looking at the list of MP’s and SPADs it’s hard to find any two that are not related. Nepotism rules in the LP.

        • PoundInYourPocket

          Robert: reading your posts with interest.
          I’ve worked in a number of large professional engineering companies and been astonished at the abscence of black professional engineers. Last company had none out of 200 engineers, whilst there were higher proportions of balck assembly line workers. I know that the company monitor ethnicity so will know at corporate level that this imbalance exists. Wouldn’t there be a requirement on the company to asses the reasons for this imbalance and to correct it ? It would appear not. Whilst the solution could be all-black shortlists when recruiting, that’s something I’ve never heard of in engineering.

          However I would expect the company to address the issue in a proactive way, rather than monitor the imbalance and ignore it. I would expect them to sponsor black undergraduates as a long term means of balancing out ethnicity. Perhaps this is analogous to the issue of PPC’s.

          • I did my first degree at Loughborough University which is a huge hub for engineering undergraduates and is very well respected. There were lots of Black engineering students but the vast majority of them were overseas students. The few UK students I came across tend to take up projects abroad because they can get a huge premium. I work in international development at the moment and I do come across a good amount of Black engineers but they tend to be abroad

            I accept what you say generally. I think it’s because if you are the first or second generation of your family to go to university as most of us are then there is huge pressure on you to do Law, Medicine or Accountancy or Business rather than engineering.

            Some of the fastest growing economies are in Africa of South America. If you want to take advantage of that then your workforce needs to reflect that. “The Market” will force countries to do it in the quest for profit. I did a short stint in an investment bank and I was the only UK Black employee. There were many other Black employees but they were all from abroad. The bank specialised in developing markets.

            PoundInYourPocket : ” Wouldn’t there be a requirement on the company to asses the reasons for this imbalance and to correct it”

            If they want to grow and take advantage of opportunities in the fastest growing economies in the world then they’ll do it on their own. If they don’t then that’s up to their share holders. If they want to sink that’s up to them.

            The problem we have as a society is we cannot allow our institutions to sink because they are unrepresentative. The Police, MI5/6 are fantastic examples. Government is the same in my opinion.

            PoundInYourPocket : ” Whilst the solution could be all-black shortlists when recruiting, that’s something I’ve never heard of in engineering. However I would expect the company to address the issue in a proactive way, rather than monitor the imbalance and ignore it. I would expect them to engage in programmes such as sponsoring and mentoring black undergraduates as a long term means of balancing out ethnicity. Perhaps this is analogous to the issue of PPC’s “.

            It will helps but I think we need to do both. Time is also a huge problem. How long can you wait for all that to pay dividends and how will you maintain the momentum? I think the quickest way of doing it would be to have open primaries in lots of regions that would go a long way to solving the problem.

  • rwendland

    Wouldn’t this need a new Act to suspend the racial discrimination laws?

    Similar to All-women shortlists, which are only legal because the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002 suspended the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 until 2015 for election candidate selection. Does anyone know the state of play on extending this legal suspension permitting All-women shortlists beyond 2015?

    • Chilbaldi

      Presumably if Labour win in 2015 then the powers that be will extend it. If the Tories win they most likely wont, and it would depend on a private members bill getting the necessary cross party and backbench support.

      Here’s hoping it doesn’t get extended.

    • FMcGonigal

      I may be wrong but I don’t think it would be illegal as it has to do with the internal workings of a political party. The BNP only allowed white members. Obviously this was discrimination but not actually illegal as far as I know, but I will defer to those with legal expertise.

      • rwendland

        Candidate selection for a paid elected position is an employment matter, so subject to racial descrimination law, not simply internal workings.

        This was decided by the Industrial Tribunal that found that Labour’s first version of All-women shortlists were unlawful in January 1996. The tribunal said the law was that “access to all jobs or posts, whatever the sector or branch of activity”, which covered preliminary selection activities as well the main job selection process.

        This eventually led to the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002 to make All-women shortlists temporarily lawful until 2015.

  • Steve Stubbs

    I have said it before on this blog, and will say it again. All discrimination, either negative or positive, is still simply discrimination. I want to vote for the best person for the job. Not some party hack selected for PC reasons, whether female, male, straight, homosexual, lesbian, confused; white, black or purple.

    • FMcGonigal

      If the aim is genuinely to secure representation for such groups in parliament in keeping with their proportion in the population at large I would not call it “simply discrimination”. It could similarly be argued that using geographical constituencies of roughly equal size is also discrimination of a sort. In our system it is considered essential that a group of about 70,000 voters based on area of residence has one MP, but not a group based on party affiliation, ethnic group or gender.
      But tampering with shortlists will NOT ensure representation for minorities – it can’t be done easily in single member constituencies. Proportional Representation is needed.

      • Yes it would make it much easier. I find it funny that nobody has noticed that European Elections are already done like this. We also need to look at how many minorities languish at the bottom of those lists with no chance of getting elected.

    • I think that’s a bit simple. What do you do if the best people from the job have additional institutional hurdles in their way? That’s like having a meeting in a building that does not have disability access and then wondering why there is nobody attending who uses a wheelchair.

      You’ve come out against this policy which is fine. Could you put forward an alternative and state how long we should wait to have a parliament that is more reflective of society.

      • Steve Stubbs

        Without a quota system then Parliament is never going to reflect the the make up of Society. That does not in my view justify quotas.

        To percolate to the top requires both time and ability. It also needs those under-represented coming in at the bottom in the first place in sufficient numbers that those with the ability can learn the job and rise naturally through ability.

        Example: I do not live within the area of the Met police but I think I have read that they are unable to recruit enough suitable minority candidates despite operating a positive discrimination bias in their selection procedures. Simply put, if there are not enough black coppers (for black read any ethnic group you like) coming in, then the higher ranks are never going to be representative, other than by passing over better candidates to allow though the correct quota. This applies in all other areas of life as well. I do not have any brilliant ideas as to how to resolve this other than by trying to convince those minorities who are under-represented to to come forward.

        However, in a first past the post electoral system, that means you need enough ethnic minority candidates to be in the right seats to get them elected. No doubt I will be corrected, but is there not enough circumstantial evidence already to show that where minority (or female) candidates are imposed over the wishes of the local party, they tend not to get elected as frequently as expected; as the local support somehow is not there, and frequently it leads to fragmentation of the local party activists. Someone somewhere must have done some objective research into this ? Because if imposing shortlists leads to loosing the seat, it would be a bit pointless, wouldn’t it?

        • Steve Stubbs : “ Without a quota system then Parliament is never going to reflect the the make up of Society. That does not in my view justify quotas”.

          I agree. BME shortlists are not quotas I don’t think there is
          any upper limit that people are trying to reach. It’s just commen sense really.

          Steve Stubbs : “ Example: I do not live within the area of the Met police but I think I have read that they are unable to recruit enough suitable minority candidates despite operating a positive discrimination bias in their selection procedures. Simply put, if there are not enough black coppers (for black read any ethnic group you like) coming in, then the higher ranks are never going to be representative, other than by passing over better candidates to allow though the correct quota. This applies in all other areas of life as well. I do not have any brilliant ideas as to how to resolve this other than by trying to convince those minorities who are under-represented to to come forward”.

          You are correct. I completely agree. The Police can do a lot
          more in terms of targeting Universities and Colleges in my opinion. I do not think it is optional with the police. They literally cannot do their job without more BAME officers. M15 and M16 also target BAME for the exact same
          reason. Your service needs to reflect your challenges.

          Steve Stubbs However, in a first past the post electoral
          system, that means you need enough ethnic minority candidates to be in the right seats to get them elected. No doubt I will be corrected, but is there not enough circumstantial evidence already to show that where minority (or female)
          candidates are imposed over the wishes of the local party, they tend not to get elected as frequently as expected; as the local support somehow is not there, and frequently it leads to fragmentation of the local party activists. Someone
          somewhere must have done some objective research into this ? Because if imposing shortlists leads to loosing the seat, it would be a bit pointless, wouldn’t it?

          I’m not aware of a single example of that. BAME candidates
          tend to stand in areas where there is a high amount of BAME residents or stand in a metropolitan seat anyway so it’s not really an issue. You wouldn’t really operate this type of procedure in a marginal seat anyway. Labour voters are not
          racist. If you put a decent BAME candidate from London in a safe Scottish, or Midlands seat they’ll win it.

          I really do not see what the fuss is about. When you advertise a job nobody discriminates by saying only local candidates. If there is a “A LIST” what is the huge fuss with drawing candidates off that list anywhere in the country.

          • PoundInYourPocket

            “Labour voters are not racist”
            I expect racism is distributed amongst labour voters just as it is amongst any other group, although I’ve no data. clearly you can be a racist AND vote Labour, I’ve met more than a few over the years.

          • Well yes you’re right so have I. I was speaking generally. If Labour people have secure jobs and social services it tends not to be an issue in my experience. When those things are threatened then a problem starts to develop. I think we’re in that sort of area at the moment.

    • wycombewanderer

      It’s more to do with finding the right seat into which to parachute a black or Asian, middle class PPE graduate.

      Just as white middle class oxbridge PPE labour MPs have to be parachuted into northern safe seats.

      One thing’s for sure they almost certainly won’t be either from the area nor working class.

  • Ash McGregor

    If anything, Labour has gone backwards on mechanisms to improve selection of BAME candidates for Parliament.

    Fabian research suggested that the BAME place on AWS and open shortlists resulted in a fairly proportionate outcome in the run up to 2010.

    NEC got rid of this BAME place and there is no instruction for current selection panels to be diverse or to come up with a diverse shortlist.

    Fixing the above would go some way to levelling the playing field without the political issues All-BAME shortlists might throw up.

    Personally I think all this is a sticking plaster in any case. It means many in the Party think we’ve done our job in reaching out and having an inclusive culture when in reality is somewhat different.

    • Chilbaldi

      A well reasoned post. I personally approved of the ‘reserve a place on the shortlist’ method more than any blanket shortlist approach. But you are right to say that this method also asks the wrong questions.

      • Ash McGregor

        Even ‘BAME’ is a pretty crude label. There is fairly good representation of South Asian candidates amongst PPCs especially amongst AWS. Less good representation of Black and East Asian candidates, especially male ones.

        • Chilbaldi

          East Asian candidates are more or less non-existant are they not? Which is a sorry state of affairs.

          • Lord Wei and how long did he last? Who else is there …

          • Ash McGregor

            Lord Wei is not an elected politician!

          • lol i know i meant in parliament generally

  • Dave Roberts

    Some of the comments below are humorous and many are infantile but all have ignored the real threat that Miliband will face next year if this nonsense isn’t knocked on the head as soon as possible. There are a number of fallacies contained within both this article and the argument generally that I will deal with and I would like, if anyone can do so, a reasoned response.

    The idea that there is a BME or BAME community is a complete fiction. The concept was invented at the height of the powers of the Commission for Racial Equality and is still lingering around on the fringes of politics. There are many ethnic groups in this country and very few if any have anything to do with the others.

    There is no connection as far as I can see between the very large Turkish community in London and, for instance, the Vietnamese. None between the Nigerian and the Bangladeshi or between any of the others. There is also no reason why there should be. Communities get on with their lives totally unaware that that there are un-elected individuals not only speaking for them but also getting large amounts of money to boot.

    No group or collection of individuals have been given any mandate whatsoever to speak on behalf of ethnic minorities either as a whole or in part and it is dishonest for anyone in authority, particularly a member of the Shadow Cabinet, to do so or to be involved with those who do. The fact that Khan is gadding around the country talking to one group about how they are being ignored and then say the same thing to another the following week is sign that Labour is spooked and that Miliband has no control of is MPs.

    The second fallacy is that given a level playing field every ethnic group in the
    country would have exactly the same levels of representation as the others is quite clearly false. Some groups simply don’t get involved in politics, others are over represented. In many of the northern mill towns, or former mill towns, Asians are over represented in local politics. The same situation exists in Tower Hamlets in East London where a Bangladeshi community comprising of a third of the population and declining dominates local politics and is massively over represented.

    Similar situations exist in Newham and Ealing in London where there are large populations from Pakistan and India, communities that are well organised and get involved in politics. How many Turkish, Chinese, Vietnamese people are councillors across London in particular are there? Virtually none and the reason is that they don’t join parties and get involved in politics at any level. You can’t force people to get involved.

    Now we must look at another fallacy. All ethnic lists are needed because there is discrimination within the parties against people from ethnic minority backgrounds. If we take the breakdown of Mr Khan’s constituency it is not only clear that he does not represent his constituents on racial grounds, and it’s all about race, he clearly hasn’t been discriminated against in the selection process within his own party. He has a dilemma. If he believes what he is saying he should resign in favour of a white candidate as clearly he doesn’t represent his constituents and also he hasn’t been discriminated against by is party so his arguments are clearly false.

    Demolishing this stuff isn’t difficult, it only requires some logic and the ability to stand up to the race lobby, but there are too few political leaders prepared to do that. If we are talking quotas, quotas for whom and why. How do we set aside seats for every ethnic minority in the country? What is to be done with the vast majority of people in the country who are white? Are they to be told that they are to be disenfranchised on racial grounds because of the colour of their skin?

    Do we reorganise the whole electoral system with separate lists for every ethnic group in the country and apportion seats on the basis of the votes? How exactly is it to be done? We are, of course, not told.

    I will come back later with just how dangerous the whole thing is for Miliband in the light of the backlash from UKIP but if people would like to think about what I have said and make reasoned responses I think we can move the debate forward.

    • Dave Roberts: “ The idea that there is a BME or BAME community
      is a complete fiction. The concept was invented at the height of the powers of the Commission for Racial Equality and is still lingering around on the fringes of politics. There are many ethnic groups in this country and very few if any have anything to do with the others”.

      This is a blog it is not an academic thesis. You are creating a
      straw man argument. Who said the “BAME community” was a single entity with one voice? When it comes to organisation and collective decision-making then there is such a thing as a “BAME community”. There are thousands of examples of cross community professional groups for example. When you start talking about groups of people then discussions about BAME co-operation become legitimate. Government and Local Government are two examples.

      Dave Roberts: “ There is no connection as far as I can see
      between the very large Turkish community in London and, for instance, the
      Vietnamese. None between the Nigerian and the Bangladeshi or between any of the others. There is also no reason why there should be. Communities get on with their lives totally unaware that that there are un-elected individuals not only speaking for them but also getting large amounts of money to boot”.

      I can’t think of a polite way to say are you really that ignorant? If there is no reason to organise then why would you see that level of cooperation? When it comes to access to services or opportunities that is where you will see co-operation. School and NHS Governors in response to BAME children falling behind or services not reflecting the needs of the community are two examples.

      Dave Roberts : “ The second fallacy is that given a level
      playing field every ethnic group in the country would have exactly the same levels of representation as the others is quite clearly false. Some groups simply don’t get involved in politics, others are over represented. In many of the northern mill towns, or former mill towns, Asians are over represented in local politics. The same situation exists in Tower Hamlets in East London where a Bangladeshi community comprising of a third of the population and declining dominates local politics and is massively over represented”.

      More strawmen arguments. Who said they did? … The Republicans in
      the US thought that, look at them now. You do not need to speak for a whole
      community. That community needs to look at institutions and see that they have a place there, and they as an ethnic group are involved in decision-making. In the very least they need to see something other than a row of white middle lass men at a macro level.

      Dave Roberts: “ Similar situations exist in Newham and Ealing in
      London where there are large populations from Pakistan and India, communities that are well organised and get involved in politics. How many Turkish, Chinese, Vietnamese people are councillors across London in particular are there? Virtually none and the reason is that they don’t join parties and get involved in politics at any level. You can’t force people to get involved”.

      No you can’t force people to get involved but I can guarantee you that as soon as we get our first Chinese MP that outreach work will not
      happen. What incentive does a Black, White or South Asian MP have to really engage in those underrepresented groups consistently? I’ve said this previously but I’ll say it again anyway. If the door is open to anybody but X group do not walk through it that still leaves you with a huge problem in terms of legitimacy when making decisions. Northern Ireland is a fantastic example. Their electoral map and system is rigged to achieve balance. This democratic deficit becomes more acute when you are talking about millions of people across the country.

      Personally I wouldn’t introduce ethnic minority shortlists because it would be cumbersome. Diversity shortlists of Women, BME and disabled applicants would do the trick and you could expand the use with little fuss. The other option would be to roll out open primaries.

      • Steve Stubbs

        “If the door is open to anybody but X group do not walk through it that
        still leaves you with a huge problem in terms of legitimacy when making
        decisions”.

        Horse feathers. On that basis you can argue that any winning candidate in an election who does not get an absolute majority of those entitled to vote has no legitimacy.

        If people, as is their right, choose not to involve themselves, it is ludicrous to claim that the democratic decision of the rest is not legitimate.

        • Dave Roberts

          Well said. Get involved or don’t moan.

        • Please do not misquote me to strengthen your own arguments. I didn’t say it was not legitimate I said it creates a huge problem in terms of legitimacy. There is a subtle difference there that seems to have gone over your head.

          A winning candidate who does not get an absolute majority certainly has less legitimacy in their constituency. Those MPs tend not to rock the boat too much. We had a Labour government win in 2005 based on 35.2% of the vote is that legitimacy for you ?

          Steve Stubb: ” If people, as is their right, choose not to involve themselves, it is ludicrous to claim that the democratic decision of the rest is not legitimate”.

          It’s like you can’t read. It creates a huge problem is what I said.
          You can win, it’s a win but can you govern effectively? Could John Majors government govern effectively? At the time of the London riots could the police manage that effectively? Where was the legitimacy afforded to the police, where did it go?

          The BNP won two MEP positions during the last cycle to what extent did they represent all of their constituents when their support is racially motivated ? Didn’t that create a problem in their respective region despite a democratic procedure taking place? Why is the government in such a mess over extremist schools and why are they rolling out ethnic minority MPs with no connection with the Education department to try and explain it? Looks like huge problems to me.

          Legitimacy is in the eyes of groups and individuals. The narrower it is perceived to be the bigger problems you will have in governing effectively.

      • Dave Roberts

        You are an idiot. Discuss.

        • Lol you’re an ignorant man who obviously isn’t very well read and it shows.

  • Dave Roberts

    So, a vote loser there then?

  • margolis marmite

    This guy is a stealth islamist. The shortlist will be a long list of muslims. Wait and see…

  • Cassandra

    This is the most unequal speech I have heard and that includes UKIP. This is racism plain and simple.

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