Questions now arise all over the world.
It was historic. The win of a man who was not white, an African-American some call him, he, himself, uses the word American.
Barack Obama wants everyone to call themselves who are from the USA – he doesn’t like the hyphenated term. It divides people. I can see why – I have always advocated the same thing. I am not British-English – I am English. My nation is England within the union of Britain. Should I take on the term English-Canadian? I think not. If I do take Canadian citizenship I will be Canadian – that’s it.
But, by the by.
With this win, as historic as it is – you also have to look at the US that he is inheriting from Bush. And it is not a pretty sight.
Obama is getting on with the job he was elected for. There is no honeymoon this time around.
I have been reading many, many pages on the web – and it does concern me that some have said that there is institutionalised racism in Britain – this is stopping an Obama from happening there. But is that right?
Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, told the Times the problem would not be voters but the political “machine”.
Even someone of Mr Obama’s talent would struggle, he said, to overcome Labour’s “institutional stranglehold on power”.
Labour said it had a “proud record of promoting ethnic minority candidates”.
For my part I can say this: I do not care what colour skin you have – I do not care what religion you have or practice. If you can do the job then do it. But that also means that I would not tolerate a PM who hid behind his race or religion – that isn’t what I elected him to do.
But Trevor Phillips says that it is the political machine that would stop an Obama, a British one at least. I have to disagree.
Britain has moved a long, long, long way away from racism. There are patches – but that is how it is in any given nation. You can look at Zimbabwe – would that country ever elect a white president again? Possible – but I doubt it.
Mr Phillips told the Times: “If Barack Obama had lived here I would be very surprised if even somebody as brilliant as him would have been able to break through the institutional stranglehold that there is on power within the Labour Party.”
What does get me at this point is Mr Phillips is using the Labour party. An attack such as this is, well, surprising. The Labour Party that I used to belong to was always accommodating of anyone – it really didn’t matter who you were. White, Black, gay, straight, man, woman. It did not matter – does Mr Phillips know something that we all don’t know? Or is it a political attack on The Labour Party?
I am no friend of that party any more – far from it. The Conservative Party I could see as being more akin to not taking on a person as leader due to colour – certainly not the Labour party. The LibDems would welcome, I believe a person who could do the job.
“[The Conservatives] are less democratic. They are happier to impose candidates on the local parties.”
Mr Phillips went on to say that he opposed all-black shortlists for parliamentary candidates because it would be difficult to define “black” or to decide where they should be imposed, but he said action was needed by all parties.
“Any positive action has to be based on giving people who are already competent a bit of an edge,” he said.
This is where I draw the line. A person who is not white be given an edge because they are not white is, to me, as aspect of discrimination. I don’t like it in any case. Yes, a level playing field – I don’t have a problem with that – why would I?
I think that Mr Phillips has it wrong this time and I do think he is forcing an agenda that isn’t there.
Last month Mr Phillips warned more help was needed for areas where there was a “white underclass” which had been “neglected” by existing equalities policies.
And in 2004 he argued multiculturalism belonged to a different era and that all citizens should “assert a core of Britishness”.
Now that is inclusive – and I would back that 100%
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