African and Caribbean communities, should we really complain about high unemployment, unjust Immigration laws, Lack of business and educational opportunities and the removal of Social Welfare support for the thousands of vulnerable members?
If the UK government removed the right to vote what would we do? Who would promote our cause? If we do not create wealth in our community there will be no respect from establishment.
We need a stronger, larger middle class. They can unlock the door of ignorance and raise the understanding of the majority. They can engage and promote the issues by setting up the platforms which drive the political consciousness of a community.
The last election revealed that the African Caribbean community recorded below a five percent participation rate. How will this community fare at the upcoming general election in 2015?
Why do we not understand the significance of our vote? Why are we prepared to continuously accept the proverbial kick in the teeth? The issues which are relevant to us are the same for everyone else: Immigration, education, jobs and business opportunity.
More than ever we need to relate issues to themes, judge political parties and their individuals on their agendas and quickly learn the art of social action.
How do we motivate more than 50 percent of our communities so that their vote can become the difference between poverty and opportunity, life and death? Voting is about political power, which in turn translates into economic policy, which delivers wealth through the allocation of resources.
What will change this apathy? Organisations such as Operation Black Vote are set up to increase participation by people of African and Caribbean heritage yet they seem only to scratch the surface.
I believe the answer lies in the psychology of purchasing. Would you buy a product or service which you did not understand? Would you tie yourself to the ethics of a political party if it spoke in a way that was irrelevant to your existence? Most importantly would you ignore the opportunity to improve the lives of your children, yourself and your community?
Would you ignore the opportunity to enjoy or share in wealth distribution if you knew the power was in you putting an X next to a name? In British cities with high ethnic populations, the so called concentrated ‘black vote’ could change the political landscape of boroughs across these cities.
I believe we must start by identifying the issues and creating the themes which challenge the belief that it is pointless.