Prime Minister David Cameron has declared that the British Parliament is “too white” – implying that only people from ethnic minority backgrounds can represent ethnic minorities, and that only white people can represent white people.
The comments were pulled from his foreword in the book ‘Rainbow Over Westminster’ where he claims that there is “much more to be done” to get more people of ethnic minority extraction into Parliament.
The Telegraph reports that Cameron wrote: “Our Parliament is still nowhere near representative enough of the country we live in today.
“We should not presume that this will simply correct itself over time. History isn’t written for us: it is written by us.”
However his comments don’t quite stack up when the situation is analysed.
While around 14 percent of Britain’s population of Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic (BAME), and only around 4 percent of Members of Parliament are – the fact remains that black people don’t need other black people to represent them – the same as white people, asian people, and others. Cameron’s claim seems to lend towards segregation and against integration.
Furthermore, Members of Parliament are election a ‘first past the post’ system, meaning that whomever receives the most votes in any constituency wins the election, and therefore has the consent of the majority. Cameron’s comments could be seized upon by sectarian campaigners who would argue that a proportional representation system could be ‘more representative’ of the United Kingdom’s demographics.
Britain’s non-white population is set to grow to around 20-30 percent by 2050, and despite efforts being made by Cameron and the pro-multiculturalism crowd, it appears that people are still more divided than ever.
The Telegraph’s social affairs editor John Bingham today reports that “Decades of efforts to promote multiculturalism have gone into reverse, major new research showing teenagers are no more likely to mix with people from other racial backgrounds than those 40 years older suggests.”
Critics may also claim that the British Parliament, much like any other organisation, should not be ‘quota’ driven but should simply accommodate for the best and brightest of those who want to get into politics.