After nearly 100 years, the UK General Elections were held for the House of Commons in the midst of a cold, cloudy, rainy winter weather. There were serious concerns and questions on the viability of a proper campaign and voter participation. At 9.59 pm, a lot of Britishers found themselves glued to their TV sets and there was a general feeling that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will turn the tables and move to Downing Street.
Sharp at 10.00 pm, the BBC, in the first few seconds, gave the Exit predictions and showed Boris Johnson's Conservative party with a generous 368 seats. Within a matter of hours, the Pound Sterling strengthened for days. It is believed that investors from the UK and abroad are encouraged to invest in British companies, properties, and other enterprises. Even the Financial Times, normally a subtle newspaper had predicted on Saturday that the economic activity and consequently employment and especially property prices will start going up sooner.
In February 2020, Chancellor Sajid Javed will present a new budget. But one must accept a tremendous or Himalayan transformation of politics and economic environment mood in Britain as well as the Euro Commission in Brussels and abroad. How this came about will be a matter of some serious thought and books in the future.
The personality and character of a leader is of paramount importance in all endeavors. When I say character, I don't mean personal matters but, let's talk about Boris for a minute here. He grew up in Brussels. His father was a senior member of the European Commission. Boris was educated at the 'the nursery of England's gentlemen' - Eton school and Oxford. There, he had pronounced that one day he will become Prime Minister of the UK. My point here is, he had ambitions, determination, and also the skill to assemble around him a group of like-minded people.
During the election campaign, Bojo was described as an opportunist, disloyal, a man with a woman problem and some other colourful adjectives not suitable to my column. But he was focused. To him, the objective was not Brexit itself, but it was to make a mark in the annals of this country. He did perform well as the mayor of London for two terms. He virtually made London the investment capital of the world. A surge in property investment of the last few years is the consequence of Boris Johnson's efforts.
In love and politics, everything is fair, some would say. The campaign for power or to rule the country by Bojo and team was a ruthless one. It was steered by Dominique Cummings and Isaac Levido with skills, aggression, and sharp slogans. What looked like an impossible dream became a reality for Bojo and his supporters.
Brexit will happen. Possibly, not as rapidly as promised or hinted by the PM or expected by some. The transition deadline would be extended. There is a very complicated process of entering into trade agreements not only with existing 27 members of the EU and scores of other countries all over the world. The British are a nation of realty. They know how to influence people and turn adversaries into allies.
The whole of the UK is full of optimism, hope, and confidence now. For decades, who were loyal supporters of the Labour party or let me say detested Conservatives all the time, have given them so much votes. There are now several Tory seats which have been labour for 80 yrs or so. The Labour defeat in this election is the worst since 1935. And the clever, crafty or committed, you choose your description, Bojo went all the way to Sedgefield in North East England on Saturday to thank traditional Labour supporters who voted Conservatives and assured them that he will repay their trust.
Now dear Readers, let me come back from national political overview to our immediate concerns. The Labour party has been hit hard because of their leadership's anti-Semitic and anti-India attitudes. Also the extreme left wing's economic agenda, “spend spend spend” up to £400 bn made many voters skeptical or push outright distrusting of Labour's economic strategy.
In the Asian communities, the scenario is revealing itself. In the House of Commons, there are about 20 plus Muslim MPs. I am not bringing religion into politics, but the Muslim Council of Britain, the recognised body for British-Muslims of all denominations announced previous Monday on their website that they are expecting 24 Muslim MPs, mostly from Labour but some from other parties as well.
I am told, the 20 odd Muslim MPs come from predominantly Pakistani background, but some from Bangladesh and some from Middle East. But no Muslims from India as far as I know. Please correct me if I am wrong.
There are 10-odd Indian-origin MPs, 1-2 Sikhs, 1-2 Christians, and about 6 or 7 are of Hindu backgrounds. People have been talking about the reduced Indian involvement in the British corridors of power. Some people have been saying the same thing about the number of British-Indians in the list of Queen's Honours published twice a year. Maybe this will give some people with community concerns to think and plan properly.
The Jewish community has been very well represented by the board of British Jewry for over 150 years. Muslims have a strong, well-funded, efficient Muslim council of Britain not only supported by Muslims themselves but also allocated millions of pounds by British governments over the years.
There is no one single body or organisation which speaks for all British Hindus or British Sikhs and its absence is worth thinking about.
Whatever it is, ultimately our race, religion, are a lot less important than our commitment to this country, our home, for today or our progeny for ever after. We have to play an active, substantial and influential part in the public life, especially in politics. If we don't, we don't need to be reminded by me what happened to the successful Indian diasporas in Fiji, Guyana, Uganda, and several other countries. The clock of history continues to tick. Don't just watch the clock, do something.