As I See It : When, if ever, the glass ceiling be broken?

Thursday 10th January 2019 04:30 EST
 

Few months ago the Home Office and even the Theresa May government were under enormous stress because of the Windrush scandal. Simply due to colour, hundreds if not thousands of much needed migrant labourers were firstly invited, eventually were vilified and victimised by the Home Office of different governments. The search was on for someone who can bring stability, respect and acceptance for the Home Office as well as the British government. Unanimously one name was proposed by almost all- and Sajid Javid became the first non white Home Secretary, making Asians proud. Some even predicted him as the first British Asian Prime Minister of the Great Britain.

A man of impeccable track record and outstanding temperament brought stability and confidence not only in the Home Office but made life easier for Theresa May, who in the recent times has been the longest serving Home Secretary for Tory government.

Forward to a few months later. During Christmas break some 100 migrants made a bee line crossing the English Channel from European mainland. Sajid Javid had to cut his family holiday short and rush back to chair a meeting with senior officials at the Border Agency and National Crime Agency. He tried to handle the situation in a very objective way. The media went into a frenzy and immigration led the headlines everywhere. It's an example how the coverage of migration in the media and political rhetotic affect reality or fuel misconceptions. Not only just for general public, but for nationally vital issues like Brexit, immigration has become the top reason why a majority of UK voters supported Brexit. Funnily only 13 percent of Britons are immigrants, 6 percent from EU- and 12 percent of this 13 percent from abroad are in prison.

As usual the reports have various tangents, some question Mr Javid's judgement, others think he has done the right thing, some even denounce his approach. That is acceptable if it does not aim at below the belt line. I fear that situation will be like in the famous poem 'The Patriot'.

Sadiq Khan is also on the same boat. Elected with a large majority in spite of being a Muslim, to speak bluntly. At one stage he was described as the most popular Labour politician. Of late he is facing umpteen number of arrows from not only the Conservatives but also the Labour party.

Whenever a non-white rises distinctly in politics, profession, business or other public services, in the initial stage they are welcome, praised, adored and somehow a stage reaches where they are targeted just because of vested interests. It is a pity.

I recollect a member of the House of Lords in 1988 from a non BAME background who told me that, “Today the four non white members of the House of Commons (Paul Boateng, Keith Vaz, Dianne Abbott and Barney Grant) are fetted, but watch the space. Sooner or rather than later for various reasons they will be marginalised, ignored or prevented from progressing further.” 

I was also told that the Jewish community has created a powerful lobby to safeguard such a calamity falling on their brethren. Blacks and Asians will have to wait for a while to have that umbrella. 

He was also very clear that US faced the same fate. But that was long before a Black man went to Whitehouse. The America today is different from 1955, or for that matter 1988. Britain has come a long way from the 'Rivers of blood.' But as the morning shows the day, it perhaps will never be ready for a BAME Prime Minister, more because UK is characterised by an absence of collective voices assuring the truth.


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