MPs warn of a lack of political voice for young black people

Black MPs, young people

Young black people are not involved

Black MPs are urging organisations to boost the involvement of young people with a Caribbean heritage in decisions that affect their future.

MPs David Lammy, Dawn Butler, Clive Lewis, and from the House of Lords, Baroness Rosalind Howells spoke at a meeting of around 60 people at the British Caribbean Association (BCA) at the House of Commons on 20 March.

BCA Vice- Chair, David Lammy, warned that young black people are losing their connection to the Caribbean and do not have a political voice.

Speakers, including BCA deputy chairman and Black Police Association founder, David Michael, also noted that they were over-represented in the criminal justice system, suffering school exclusions and had too many poor exam results and were still, generally, at the bottom of society.

Tottenham MP, David Lammy said: “I have traveled to other parts of the country and met Caribbean organisations. One thing that’s happening is that the Windrush generation is getting older and was more politically engaged than the younger generation.

“Even the Caribbean high commissions are struggling with the numbers of people who attend their events. There’s a real challenge with the younger generation and I have yet to see an organisation that has got that right.

“In a hundred years time, people may say that there used to be a Caribbean community in the UK

No consequences for racism

Member of the Lords, Baroness Howells of St Davids told the meeting how the BCA was formed after the 1958 Notting Hill riots by committed Caribbean people such as Leonard Smith and MPs from different parties.

It had contacts with the high commissions, promoted racial harmony and funnelled proposals to improve the opportunities for Caribbean people to MPs. But today, it is also having issues in engaging with young people, she said.

Labour’s Norwich South MP, Clive Lewis commented on the declining political influence of the Caribbean population.

He said: “When I first went into Parliament, I was shocked about the treatment of black MPs by the Parliamentary Labour Party. There’s now a vacuum and there is no consequences for being racist.”

Debate on racism needed

Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central, said she was supporting a new organisation that will encourage young people to join the Labour Party.

She added that she was planning activities to mark the UN International Decade for People of African Descent and plans to have a Parliamentary debate on racism.

“It’s an uncomfortable debate but we need to have it,” she said.

The meeting called on the BCA to reach out to the African community and black student bodies, better use social media to publicise what it is doing and promote positive role models.

Further information

The British Caribbean Association seeks to achieve four objectives by:
1. Providing a meeting place and Forum for Discussions for responsible people involved in Caribbean Affairs and Race Relations and an opportunity for formal Social gatherings. Members meetings are usually held in the House of Commons.
2. Sponsoring lectures, Conferences and other Meetings to educate the wider Public and to improve mutual understanding between the Caribbean and British people.
3. Influencing Government Policy in the long-term interests of the Caribbean People both in their Countries and in Britain.
4. To give advice, help and assistance to Members, if and when required.

David Michael is BCA Deputy Chairman, retired Scotland Yard Detective Chief Inspector and founder of the Black Police Association.

Baroness Howells is a BCA is Life Vice President. Conservative Party MP for South Holland and The Deepings, the Rt Hon John Hayes CBE is chairman of BCA.

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Are educated black men in particular having a hard time at work?

Educated black men: absent in white collar roles

Educated black men: absent in white collar roles

I would say yes.

As an educated, UK-born, Caribbean male, I regularly go to job interviews (at least 3 every month for over a year) at offices in London and the South East. I sometimes see black and Asian women in white collar roles (around 20 per cent of offices). I rarely see black men. In the diverse employer camp, I would put A2Dominion housing association, Enfield and Barnet councils. But even these employers prefer black women in white collar roles rather than men. UK-born African-Caribbean men are the most absent in white collar roles. I did see two black men working at Eden Brown employment agency, recently, and one black male working in PR at the London Ambulance Service. Usually, you don’t see this. Figures show that in 2011, there were 127 (out of 21,600, not that much) black female headteachers in England. There were only 20 African or Caribbean male headteachers. The absence of black men is very much a taboo topic but other black professional men I talk to are worried.

Many organizations seem more comfortable with black women and feel they can address their race equality issues through women. This is not to say that black women do not experience being overlooked or will have issue in securing senior posts. Yet, black men barely get a foot in the door. But I think educated black men have always had to deal with ‘double vision’. When they see you, the white employer also sees the ‘black male gangster’ by your side and is confused as to who you really are. The white interviewer starts getting fearful, wonders how on Earth you got here and how white colleagues and clients will react to you if you are employed. It is just easier and sensible to put a big, fat X by your name. They tell themselves they’re not doing it because you’re black, it’s just being practical and playing it safe. The educated, UK Caribbean man is simply dazed and confused and asks himself the question: “What has the gangster got to do with me?” But it is to no available. You still don’t get the job or promotion. Black women don’t have that criminal issue to deal with and and in some instances they may even wish to recruit her rather than you despite skills and qualifications. They may just ‘like her’ more than you.

Furthermore, it is likely that blue collar black men face fewer problems. That is because as far as society is concerned there is less of a gap between the social image of black men and blue collar jobs in comparison to black men and white collar jobs. Discussion of equality has largely been about black women and about blue collar and underclass men. Educated black men don’t feature. Why bother with them? The assumption is they will have it far easier than any other minority group. So, I wouldn’t blame a professional black man for being a little paranoid in thinking that the employer actually feels that it is offensive to have him apply to a white collar job given that most people who look like him are gangsters.

Young black men have always picked up the signals and don’t apply their intelligence to education. The images of successful black men that they see are largely in music, entertainments and sports. They know that in these areas white society may accept them and may even encourage them. Outside of that, how confident are they going to be?

They feel that society has little confidence in them and does not encourage them to go to university and and seek white collar roles. When they think about those roles. the image of the black criminal also pops into their heads. I worked at Newham College and noted the under-representation of young Afro-Caribbean boys and men. The College was very good at equality and diversity but it was almost as if they picked up on the assumption in society was that black boys don’t bother. So, black boys feel that bothering is a waste of time. To counter this, black children need inspiration from the Caribbean. They need to see young Caribbean people do well at school and do well in white collar jobs.

It seems the assumption is that educated black men want to fly to near to the Sun. They deserve it when they experience a fall. If it continues like this we’ll go back to conditions in the 1970s.

(Newham College and Lambeth College does make an effort to live up to equality policies. Also, I don’t usually see Asian males on my travels, although, I am not sure why that is.)

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Is something rotten in the intelligence services?

There is something strange about Skyfall and that is, at the end of the film. Bond does not save the heroine in distress. Indeed, Skyfall is more than the typical, cartoon, boys’ own spy film. So, what’s going on?

Skyfall is actually about the relationship between the intelligence operative and the organization he or she works for. This has become more of an issue, perhaps, after the murder of ‘body in the bag’, Gareth Williams. The intelligence services have a cancer. The film chooses to hang the blame on an old-fashioned and misguided M.

The film works on three levels i. an action movie thriller, i.e. the story; ii. the real meaning and iii. the hidden meaning. The story meaning is aimed at the public. The real meaning is aimed at politicians, decision makers, the security apparatus, opinion formers, so long as they get it. While, the hidden meaning is aimed at intelligence operatives.

The story level has a lot of pro-MI6 propaganda: the need for brave, loyal foot soldiers who are willing to put their lives on the line for their country. The need to ‘work in the shadows’ to beat the terrorists who can come from anywhere. The need to be able to spy on everyone’s social media.

Opening credits betray a meaning

Shooting his own shadow

Shooting his own shadow

We know there are real and hidden meanings because of Skyfall’s lyrics and the opening credits. The credits and lyrics do reflect the story but they are really about the dilemma of the intelligence operative. In the credits, we see Bond go through a death experience. We see the camera zoom in on his left eye and then we see what’s going on in his head. He is shooting at his own shadow. He shoots at his image in the mirror, which is a metaphor for psychological trauma. It all says that he fears he may be the enemy. Many operatives joined because of patriotism but then they discover they have to do bad stuff. Moreso, they also discover they might be sacrificed.

So, at the beginning of the film, we see Bond get shot by an MI6 colleague. The film shows MI6 and London under threat from terrorism and from demands of public accountability. The terrorism we see is created by MI6, or rather a rogue MI6 officer. We also see that MI6 messed up by losing a list of undercover agents. Politicians want accountability and M’s future is in question. M has old-fashioned ideals: get the job done by whatever means, morality and emotional empathy are luxuries, sacrifice is necessary.

At the beginning of the film, Bond is told by M to ignore the dying MI6 agent and ‘get on with the job’. Bond is angry but does what he is told, only to be sacrificed himself by another MI6 agent. The mess-up results in M being challenged by Mallory, the politician, who was a soldier (i.e patriotic). He demands more accountability. Old-fashioned M is challenged by new expectations.

Accountable MI6?

Accountable MI6?

The old/new issue is mirrored by Bond. The film asks whether the old-fashioned Bond is up to dealing with today’s threats. This is exemplified in Bond’s encounter with the new Q. Bond is not himself at the beginning of the film. He wears a stubble. His real self is restored when he is in China working with Moneypenny. In fact, she shaves off his beard and has sex with him: sex magic perhaps. We later see him dealing with IT as well as Q. He is now up to the job.

Then there is Raoul Silva, (his birth name is James) who is really a bit like Bond. Both are magical in their talents but are foot soldiers. Both are traumatized by M’s apparent betrayal and had to go through a transformation, one good, the other bad. In the beginning of the film we see Bond hunting the bad guys but he ends up getting shot because of M. In the opening credits one of his shadows turns into the bad guy, Silva. We see a hole in Bond’s shadow and in Silva’s. Both have had a near-death trauma. (So, who exactly is the bad buy?)

Villain and hero?

Villain and hero?

So, Bond had to grapple with the same dilemma as Silva but Bond chooses country. M’s ‘get the job done through sacrifice’ value creates Silva’s trauma and in turn leads him to becoming selfish. He is M’s opposite: an avenging devil. His anti-thesis to her thesis. What this says is that M is ‘inadvertently’ creating terror and stopping accountability. We see accountability doesn’t work because Silva interrupts the hearings that has been going on and shoots up the room in which it’s taking place. Hidden message: try full accountability and you’ll get messed up something rotten.

A new MI6?

A real message is that Bond’s solution is to take M out of MI6 and London. Thus, he stops the terror in London by whisking M to the middle of nowhere. This enables the battle between the thesis and anti-thesis to take place and at the end both M and Silva die. But we find that Silva has done MI6 a favour. M, the cancer, is removed. That’s why she has to die. This enables Mallory to take over and change MI6’s values, but, presumably, only slightly. It becomes more accountable. This is the synthesis brought about by James Bond, the loyal, talented foot soldier and Mallory. A new synthesis is created out of a thesis and anti-thesis.

It should also be noted that the film director, Sam Mendes, was inspired by the film The Dark Knight. The film was very confusing but it’s basic message is that the hero has to become a villain to become a real hero. That is, Batman had to sacrifice his image and admit to crimes he did not commit in order to preserve the good public name of a good public prosecutor turned bad. He has to fight The Joker, who is not like any ordinary villain but rather he wants to see ‘the world burn’. But as stated, in Skyfall, the villain is a rogue MI6 agent. What’s being said here?

Well, we know that MI6 and CIA created Al Qaida to fight the Soviets. They ended up fighting us. We know that MI5 kept tabs on the London, 7/7 bombers but they did not prevent them from becoming London bombers. We heard the complaint that MI5 inadvertently turned their own agents into Islamic extremism killers who murder at Woolwich. Then there is the mystery of Gareth Williams, where MI6 probably know far more than they are willing to let on.

So, the intelligence services mess up. The film shows that the establishment is not happy with the intelligence services. The establishment cannot indefinitely cover up their obvious ‘mess ups’, The film’s real message MI6 saying: ‘We hear you. We’ll be different. Honest.’ But there is also a hidden message is aimed at intelligence operative. The Skyfall lyrics say:

You go where I go.
You see what I see.
You know, I’ll never be me without the security.
Are your loving arms keeping me from harm?
Put your hand in my hand and we’ll stand.

They are saying: You need us, you may not be safe with us, you may take the fall for the bad we do, but you’ve got to take it. Skyfall is about ridding MI6 of a cancer but it also tells its agents that whatever they do and whatever threats they face, they must stay loyal.

Skyfall clips:

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Did fraud hand an #election majority to the #Conservatives? Look at the facts

The 2015 General Election result was a shock. But we know that the Conservatives won because of ‘Shy Tories’, ‘late swing voters’, Milliband was too Left-wing and a vote in England against the SNP, don’t we? And your feelings tell you election fraud in the UK is a ridiculous idea, don’t they? But, then look at the facts. Voter fraud cases have gone to court. In April 2015, a court removed, Lutfur Rahman from the elected position of Tower Hamlet Mayor after he was found guilty of corrupt practices in the election. The judgment included fraudulent use of the postal vote. Fraud in local elections are not rare, as the news website, Get Surrey shows:

Woking Borough Council postal vote election fraud trial begins. 13 APR 2015, BY GUY MARTIN Relatives of Liberal Democrat candidate who won seat on council by 16 votes are standing trial accused of conspiracy to defraud.  http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/woking-borough-council-postal-vote-9035336

What about national elections? This is what the political website, Politics Homes says

Eric Pickles to investigate electoral fraud …corruption in the electoral system was one of the things he hoped to explore since it ‘undermines democracy’. He said an unnamed chief executive had recently told him of being ‘quite amazed to find that on polling day itself 5,000 postal votes were handed in’. Speaking to Radio 4’s World at One Sir Eric argued the account ‘raises eyebrows at the very least’. He said postal voting was something he wanted to have a ‘long, hard’ look at. Sir Eric also insisted it was ‘fair to say’ that the recent case of electoral fraud in Tower Hamlets was ‘an extreme example of what’s happened but it wouldn’t be isolated? http://www.politicshome.com/party-politics/articles/story/ericpickles-investigate-electoral-fraud

So, what is the evidence about the General Election? An examination would show that the Conservatives won the election on the basis of postal votes in marginal constituencies. According to the British Election Study 2015, the vote for the Labour Party went up by 3.6% and they won 15 seats whereas the Conservative vote went up by 1.4% – they gained 21 seats. The real puzzle is what happened to the Lib Dem vote. Many expected disaster for the Lib Dems because they let many of their voters down by backing a Conservative coalition government. Many expected wholesale desertion to Labour and minority parties. What happened? Where Labour could have won, Lib Dems voted Conservative and where Lib Dems could have beat the Tories won, Lib Dems voted Labour. This is what gave Conservatives a majority. According to the British Election Study:

…That is to say, it was Labour’s vote gains that helped to deprive Labour of an overall majority or largest party status. There was a tactical unwind that cost the Liberal Democrats seats but delivered those seats to the Conservatives. The question of why former Lib-Dem voters shifted allegiance to the Conservatives in cases where they could have voted for and elected a Labour MP is more puzzling. Among 2010 Lib-Dem voters in our sample, 7 per cent were former Tories and 25 per cent were former Labour voters. There should have been a much greater potential Lib-Dem-to-Labour switch than Lib-Dem-to-Conservative (at least if we look at the campaign). We need to better understand what motivated these voters….’ http://bit.ly/1F84rRn

What is actually being said is that where Lib Dem voters could have helped Labour defeat the Tories, they voted Tory. And where they could have helped the Lib Dem beat the Tories, they voted Labour. So, basically Lib Dem voters rewarded the Conservatives for their handling of the economy with the Lib Dems and punished the Lib Dems for keeping the Tories in power. Does that make sense? So, what evidence is there that the postal vote in the marginals won it? What did Labour Uncut say?

Revealed: Ed’s night-time dash to casa Brand driven by postal ballot panic by Atul Hatwal Uncut has learned the real reason for Ed Miliband’s sudden night-time visit to Russell Brand?s Shoreditch home: panic caused by the early tallies of postal ballots being fed back to party HQ, from marginals around the country. Labour is behind and urgently needs to reach out to new voter groups. Russell Brand was a means to that end. Postal voting started in mid-April. Over 5 million are expected to cast their ballot in this way and over the last week, local teams from all parties have attended postal vote opening sessions in each constituency.’ http://labour-uncut.co.uk/2015/05/02/revealed-eds-nighttime-dash-to-casa-brand-driven-by-postal-ballot-panic/

So, marginals won it for the Conservatives and the postal vote was important in the marginals. What was the situation in the marginals during the run up to the election: Labour was ahead. The Spectator asked Tory funder and pollster, Lord Ashcroft.

Poll of key marginal seats finds swing towards Labour 17 March 2015 Sebastian Payne Lord Ashcroft has polled eight key constituencies, of which seven are currently held by Conservatives and one by Labour that he visited six months ago to see who is winning. In these seats, Ashcroft has found there is currently a five per cent swing away from the Conservatives. http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2015/03/poll-of-key-marginal-seats-finds-swing-towards-labour/

Lord Ashcroft admitted that Labour Party was ahead of the Tories in campaigning in the marginals.

Is there a problem with the Tory ground war in the marginals? And if so, how big is it? By Mark Wallace Lord Ashcroft’s latest batch of polling in Lab/Con marginals included an interesting note on how the campaigns are being carried out: ‘Most people said they had had literature, direct mail, phone calls or visits from both main parties, but Labour have the edge in these local campaigns on the basis of this evidence. More than 70 per cent had heard from Labour in half the seats polled.’ http://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2015/04/is-there-a-problem-with-the-tory-ground-war-in-the-marginals-and-if-so-how-big-is-it.html

So, in the run up to the elections Labour was ahead in the marginals and had a better campaign than the Tories. But the Tories won. How was that? Well, let’s look at some news stories about the election. Postal ballot forms for a marginal goes missing:

General Election 2015: Investigation into reports of ‘missing’ Wirral postal vote forms 6 MAY 2015, by Liam Murphy Wirral council confirms they have reissued postal ballot papers to several addresses in heswall An investigation is to be launched into reports of missing postal vote papers in Wirral. The local authority has confirmed it has had more than three dozen requests for ballot papers to be re-issued in the closely fought Wirral South marginal seat – but insists the papers had been sent out. Wirral South is one of the marginal seats which could decide the General Election – Labour held the seat with a majority of just 531 back in 2010. http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/general-election-20 15-investigation-reports-9195178

Concerns over ballot rigging after last-minute flood of postal votes A last-minute deluge of postal votes allegedly sparked concerns about ballot rigging at Milton Keynes Council. Instead of the anticipated four or five ballot boxes, 18 brimming boxes containing more than 4,600 votes turned up at the council offices yesterday. http://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/local/concerns-over-ballot-rigging- after-last-minute-flood-of-postal-votes-1-6730869

General Election 2015: City Council ballot papers blunder forces Stoke South recount By Claire__Smyth May 08, 2015 A RECOUNT is taking place for the Stoke-on-Trent South seat – because of a ballot papers blunder by the city council. Ukip’s Tariq Mahmood today branded the count an ‘absolute shambles’ after misplaced ballot boxes were found downstairs at the Kings Hall when the counting of the votes upstairs was nearly complete. And more votes – sent via post – were discovered when the ballot boxes were being verified. http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/General-Election-2015-Vote-recounts-ordered-Stoke/story-26463974-detail/story.html

The best one is this in marginal Aberdeen: (I left the computer I used to work out how many anti-SNP postal votes to create. Opps!)

General Election 2015: TABLET COMPUTER found in ballot box at Aberdeen count 8 May 2015 by Andrew Clark With ballot boxes being emptied and votes being counted across the country, a rather odd discovery has been made in a ballot box at the Aberdeen City count. While sifting through the paper votes one vote counter found a computer tablet hidden in the ballot box. http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeen/572911/general-election-2015-tablet-computer-found/

But surely, it was the ‘Shy Tories’ etc. So, what of the investigations into voters, what are they saying? This is what UK Polling says investigations have not revealed either Shy Tories or Late Swing voters:

Firstly, late swing – the BES data finds virtually no net change at all between how people said they would vote pre-election and how they reported having voted after the election. The BES team conclude from this that late swing is unlikely. We’ve now got published re-contact data from the British Election Study, ICM, Opinium, Populus and Survation, only Survation found any obvious evidence of late swing in their re-contact survey. Secondly, Shy Tories. This is essentially the most difficult potential cause to evidence – if people lie before the election, and lie after the election and we can’t check their actual ballot papers, how do you detect it? You need to look for circumstantial evidence. The BES team have compared levels of Tory support in their polling in different types of area, on the assumption that if people feeling embarrassed to admit voting Tory really was a problem it would be less of an issue in heavily Tory areas than in areas where no one else voted Tory. They did not find this pattern. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/9460

The British Election Study states:

…The first is the ‘SNP threat’. As discussed above, we currently find little robust evidence that attitudes towards the SNP and expectations about a hung parliament resulted in gains for the Conservatives from Ukip or in vote losses for Labour from former Lib Dems. The second red herring is Labour’s left/right position that is, the question of whether Labour was either overly or insufficiently left-wing. Generally, our data shows that people were more likely to vote Labour in 2015 when they thought the party was more left-wing, and less likely to vote Labour when they thought it was centrist. This suggests there is very little to the argument that Labour was too left-wing to attract voters. At the same time there is not much to support the argument that Labour was not left-wing enough. There was very little difference in the likelihood of voting Labour between someone who thought Labour sat at the left-most end of the scale (0) and someone who saw it as just left of centre (4) it is only when people saw Labour as sitting to the right of this point that support really drops off.. http://bit.ly/1F84rRn

Shy Tories, Late Swing Voters, Anti-SNP voters, anti-Left Labour voters are a cover story to explain to the public the result of something else – vote fraud. I would also put into that category the BBC Exit Poll. This poll was the first to get people to think the election result would be very different to what they had imagined. And there results were very different to what is usually found. A national swing vote disappeared and was replaced with a regional swing vote. So, the North went Labour, we were told, and the South went Tory. Yet, even the exit poll was wrong. It failed to predict a Conservative majority. How did they pick swing voters if there were none? How did they take into account postal voters? There is something not right here. So, what is the evidence around postal votes? Research found that postal voters lied about their votes to the detriment of Labour. The UK Polling Report, when exploring whether people mislead the polls on their voting intentions, found evidence of postal vote fraud. there was low turnout did lie about their voting intentions:

‘…a small proportion of people said they had already voted by post before most of the ballot papers had even been sent out, in areas where there were not any local elections this May there was still a chunk of people who reported having voted in their local elections. At the moment, these people who look as if they might be lying disproportionately break to Labour, so would explain some of the error’. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/9460

So, there you have it! The accurate exit poll could not have been accurate. No Shy Tories. No late swing. No anti-SNP vote. No anti-Left-wing Labour vote. But there was voter fraud.

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UK needs more state intervention, economist tells Camden Labour Party

Political leaders should back government spending to boost economic growth, according to an award-winning economist.

Winner of the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy, Marianna Mazzucato, claimed that the focus on cutting government debt had no basis in economic theory.

Marianna was speaking to a 100-strong meeting of the Holborn and St Pancras Labour Party on 23 June at Camden Town Hall.

She is the Chair in the Economics of Innovation at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex and a permanent member of the European Commission’s expert group on Innovation for Growth.

At the meeting, she drew applause for criticising ‘pro-business’ policies and the ‘dysfunctional’ analysis on Labour’s defeat by senior figures like Tony Blair and Liz Kendall.

She said: “Evidence shows that countries that have growth have also had public investment and they invest during the boom and not just the downturn. Governments in successful economies have shaped the market. We need governments to do crazy things such as create the NHS or go to the Moon.

“The UK has a productivity problem due to a lack of public and private sector investment. The International Monetary Fund has woken up to the fact that austerity doesn’t work.”

She said that innovation in new technology created by companies in Silicon Valley depended on large sums of public money. 

She also pointed to the US government forcing telecoms giant, AT&T to invest some of their profits in research and development. It created Bell Laboratories, one of the world’s leading, innovative private sector companies.

Italy has had a low public sector deficit for the last 20 years but has a rising debt compared to the size of its economy.

While, evidence showed that cutting business taxes does not lead to increases in investment or growth, she explained. 

She said: “There’s no relationship between deficit, debt to GDP and growth. It is amazing that this has not been mentioned.

“Governments need to learn how to build public, private partnerships and to make demands on business.”

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UK Jamaicans should serve their country of origin, says Caribbean leader

Jamaica’s opposition leader, Andrew Holness has promised to bring the skills of the UK Jamaican community to the Caribbean.

He told a 300-plus audience at London’s Kensington Town Hall that he wanted a national service programme for people in Britain.

The leader of the Jamaican Labour Party was speaking at an event, The Future of Jamaica, organised by the Jamaica National Building Society on 4 June 2015.

He said: “The US has a good model called The Peace Corp. I’m sure we can find people abroad. What is required is an organization or structure that could create a pathway for you to get into that programme.

“We are going to set up a national service programme with a sub-programme for people from abroad who want to serve Jamaica.

“We are also going to have a special summer programme for third or fourth generation Jamaicans, who are at university, for them to serve in Jamaica.”

The Peace Corp was created by US President Kennedy to enable Americans to carry voluntary work abroad.

The former Prime Minister also told the audience that there were 800,000 people of Jamaican decent in the UK, 1 to 1.5m in the US and 400,000 in Canada. They could form the basis of a ‘British Commonwealth’ for his country.

He explained: “I’m also considering giving the vote to Jamaicans in the Diaspora. Why doesn’t Jamaica develop it’s own Commonwealth? There are more Jamaicans living outside of Jamaica than inside.

“It would be a good start to do what the French are doing where they have three Diaspora seats in their Parliament.”

His speech went on to cover his vision for Jamaican politics and economics.

His vision included tackling problems caused by Jamaica’s ballooning $J2 trillion national debt through a sovereign wealth fund.

He said some of the Jamaican people’s $J4 billion savings could go into the fund. It could be can turned into bonds and invested in public infrastructure such as bridges, roads and buildings.

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Opinion polls show Mugabe victory

This article reveals opinion polls before the Zimbabwe election that pointed to an overwhelming Zanu-PF victory. It makes it  clear that Mr Tsvangirai and the MDC’s attempts to say that there was massive election fraud is part of a  big lie campaign. Yet, given what we have been told about the ‘mass murdering, brutal, tyrant’ Mugabe, the election result makes no sense. How could people who have been mass murdered by Mugabe now vote for him? Of course, the answer is that the West had a big lie campaign. Many black people, including many on the TUC Race Relations Committee, in the NUJ, and black journalists association, Inspire, believed the lie campaign. (Although, according to a poll in the early part of the 2000 decade, one-third of Voice readers regarded Mugabe as a strong leader. While he came third in a poll of African heroes in an African magazine.) If  people believe the nonsense ‘Mugabe Matabeleland genocide’ story, they need to explain why apartheid South Africa did not lead a  campaign similar to what they did in Angola to create a civil war to remove Mugabe.

Mugabe’s Zanu-PF Heads for Landslide, Clean Sweeps In Six Provinces …Countless surveys ahead of the elections from organisations as diverse as the US think-tank Council on Foreign Relations, Freedom House, Afrobarometer and pollsters like the Mass Public Opinion institute, MDC-T allies among them the NCA, Concerned ZCTU Affiliates, Sokwanele, and Zimbabwe vigil and media organisations like the New York Times, the Guardian, the Independent and the leftwing magazine Counterpunch had all pointed to a Zanu-PF victory. On the eve of polling, reports emerged that the US State department had gagged Freedom House from releasing its latest survey results that indicated a crushing victory for President Mugabe and Zanu-PF in harmonised elections. The Freedom House survey gave President Mugabe a 10 percent lead over Mr Tsvangirai and predicted a two thirds majority for Zanu-PF in the National Assembly where the revolutionary party was tipped to garner at least 140 seats in the 210 seat assembly… Freedom House poll, July 2012 When asked who they would vote for if parliamentary elections were held tomorrow, 47% of respondents said they would not vote, or refused to indicate who they would vote for (up from 41% in 2010). Of the 53% who declared their preference, 20% said they would support MDC-T (down from 38% in 2010) and 31% ZANU PF (up from 17% in 2010)

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