London Mayoral Candidates Urged to Include ‘Black Manifesto’ in Platforms

Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Race activists are urging candidates in the upcoming London mayoral elections to adopt “Black Manifesto” policies to tackle so-called systemic racism in areas such as criminal justice and health.

In an open letter to candidates noting that “the whole world was rocked by the Black Lives Matter movement” in 2020, with society “forced society to hold a mirror up to itself and confront its deep rooted issues with systemic racism and unconscious bias”, the All Black Coalition (ABC) said that candidates vying for the position of London mayor — currently held by Labour’s Sadiq Khan, whose first term was extended by election delays following the onset of the coronavirus pandemic — should implement policies from a “Black Community (UK) Manifesto”.

“Almost one year on and change has begun, but is not yet far reaching enough especially in the most important and influential systems in the UK i.e. the criminal justice system, the education system, the health service and the business sector despite the apparent empathy shown by huge swathes of people across the country in numerous sectors,” the letter declared, urging the candidates to adopt such policies as “Radical antiracism and unconscious bias training” for all police officers.

Speaking to left-wing ex-newspaper the Independent, an ABC spokesman said that while COVID-19 saw “the whole world turned upside down and life as we know it changed forever” in 2020, with the pandemic “[bringing] the world together to focus on racial inequality”, it has been “challenging to implement real change in relation to these issues when the world is still in so much chaos”.

“This campaign aims to bring the issues front and centre so that we can establish whether there is actual political will amongst the London Mayoral candidates to bring about change for the long-suffering Black community,” they added.

Candidates speaking to the Independent about the “Black Manifesto” adopted an appeasing tone, with Liberal Democrats hopeful Luisa Porritt, a former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) who lost her job after Brexit, saying that her party “welcome[s] All Black Coalition’s manifesto and stand[s] with them as they keep this important conversation alive” and issuing the classic “diversity is [our] greatest strength” line.

Conservative Party candidate Shaun Bailey, too, struck an indulgent tone, saying that the manifesto “highlights real challenges for our community that I will work at City Hall to address as a priority.”

“When a young Black woman is turned down for a job because she doesn’t have the right accent, that shuts down opportunities for everyone. Injustice anywhere, a great American once said, is a threat to justice everywhere,” he said.

Such pandering has been a steady feature of the London election campaign, with Women’s Equality Party candidate Mandu Reid campaigning on a platform of openly defying the national governments already weak immigration controls in order to turn the capital into a so-called “sanctuary city” for migrants, recommending they receive free accommodation and financial support and highlighting crime-ridden Chicago and San Francisco in the United States as role models.

A major review commissioned by the British government and led by a black academic recently found that there was no real evidence for “institutional racism” even existing in the United Kingdom of today, which prompted furious anger from left-wing academics and race activists who have long treated it as undisputed fact.

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