So, where should my black vote go this Thursday? Unfortunately this is a question I’ve still not been able to answer. I’ve always voted for Labour, but with the current dreadful state of politics and the bickering amongst the parties, I’m tempted to turn over a new leaf and just vote for the Green Party.
But how will that help me and my future, and even more importantly how will that help the black community? Really and truly I don’t know if any of the parties are for the black community and aim to really address the issues faced within our community. In my opinion the Labour party is definitely a lesser of the two evils between the Conservatives and Labour, but my spirit isn’t moved by the party and I doubt real change will occur under their government. David Lammy and Diane Abbott are in my view their tokenistic figures, who don’t have enough influence and power to effect real change for us as a whole.
There’s just been blunder after blunder in the run up to the General Election on Thursday 12th December, which makes me genuinely worry about what the future holds, as UK politics seems to be going backwards rather than forwards.
Last month Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Morg had the audacity to state that victims of the Grenfell tragedy had not used their ‘common sense’ by listening to fire brigades instructions to stay in the building. The pure insensitivity of this tactless comment struck a chord with many, and was a classic example of speaking from privilege with no empathy.
Conservative Kwasi Kwarteng and Marci Phonix had a clash regarding the Windrush Scandal and Kwasi Kwarteng had the nerve to say ‘that there’s no evidence of this happening (the Windrush scandal) and that ‘he needed to see evidence and didn’t know anyone who had been deported’. For Kwasi Kwarteng to be so dismissive of the Windrush scandal which affected the lives of many Caribbean immigrants, goes to show how low some will stoop and turn their backs on their own black counterparts to ‘get ahead’. How can we have faith and trust in these people and vote for them?
Recently, musician Stormzy and politician Gove had a nasty clash on social media. Gove chose to make a petty snipe towards Stormzy on social media, despite the fact Stormzy didn’t actually address Gove personally.
What led Gove to do this? Stormzy had tweeted to his 1.27 million followers on Twitter that they should ensure they register to vote prior to the registration deadline of Tuesday 26th November, expressed his support for Corbyn and said he was backing the Labour party.
Following Stormzy’s tweet the registration to vote rose by a considerable 236% which is excellent because young people are constantly left behind in the polls with many holding attitudes such as ‘there’s no point in voting’, ‘all politicians are liars and can’t be trusted’ or simply ‘I’m not into politics’. For Labour, this must have been excellent news knowing Stormzy with his influence was promoting the party.
Stormzy using his platform and influence to encourage younger people to vote who are his main target audience is positive and shows he wants younger people to have more of a say in their futures.
However Michael Gove, (as a bit of background, he’s the controversial Conservative politician who many teachers believe has irreversibly ruined the educational system) was clearly intimidated by Stormzy’s influence and public support of Labour. So rather than sticking to politics, Gove initially stated ‘He is a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst’. This snub essentially came across as you’re simply a rapper, who isn’t intelligent and credible enough to have a political viewpoint worth taking seriously.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, Gove then made the following tweet:
The message of this was fairly clear to me. By quoting Stormzy’s lyric, Gove was putting Stormzy in his ‘place’. To him black rappers don’t belong in politics and if they dare to get involved, he will attempt to belittle them. However, this old trick failed to work, with Stormzy showing his maturity by not responding and there being a backlash against Gove following the tweet.
Our current prime minister Boris Johnson has made plenty of comments, from piccaninnies (which is an offensive term for a small black child) with watermelon smiles, to saying that seeing a group of black youths makes alarm bells go off in his head and stating young people had an almost ‘Nigerian interest in money‘. Aside from our current prime minister’s racist views, seeing his painfully woeful performance on BBC Question Time recently during a live debate, made it clear that he’s a completely incompetent individual who I can’t instil a shred of trust in.
My gut feeling tells me to vote for Labour and I most likely will end up doing that on Thursday. Reading through their manifesto, this informative page summing up their policies and seeing the promotion of the Labour Party from credible individuals such as Akala is somewhat encouraging, although not entirely comforting. Whatever choice you do make on Thursday, please make the choice to vote rather than not bothering at all! I hope that soon our voices will be heard and actually listened to in the political sphere and we can truly trust that a party will deliver – with our best interests genuinely at the core of their manifesto.