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  • The ‘Asian’ vote


    by Rumbold
    12th December, 2009 at 8:59 pm    

    Rupa Huq has a good piece up on Comment is Free on the foolishness of treating groups of ethnic/religious minorities as blocks of votes:

    The past week has spanned a diverse array of Asian imagery in the news: ugly scenes of the so-called English Defence League clashing with Muslims in Nottingham city centre, Tory shadow communities minister Sayeeda Warsi being egged by extremists for not being Muslim enough in Luton and the BNP unveiling its first Sikh member, an Islamophobe now empowered to join up by equalities legislation. Before Nick Griffin records a party political broadcast in Punjabi to consolidate this, he and other party leaders would do well to remember that the majority of Asians in this country are now British-born with English as their first and often only language. Indeed the high degree of internal diversity within UK BME (black and minority ethnic) communities makes this jargonistic umbrella abbreviation almost meaningless.


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    Filed in: British Identity,Race politics






    25 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. pickles

      Blog post:: The 'Asian' vote http://bit.ly/5zOEw6


    2. R Omonira-Oyekanmi

      RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: The 'Asian' vote http://bit.ly/5zOEw6


    3. Dil Nawaz

      RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: The 'Asian' vote http://bit.ly/5zOEw6




    1. Yakoub — on 12th December, 2009 at 2:00 pm  

      My best mate at school was 'Asian': Roman Catholic, born in Niarobi, mother from Goa, father from Kenya, came to Britain when was 2 — I learned the dangers of essentialism early. But then again, like many 'Asians', he's experienced stop and search under the terror act, and felt compelled to switch to cycling around London with a see-through rucksack after the Met starting shooting Brazillians.

    2. Trofim_Vissarionovich — on 12th December, 2009 at 4:10 pm  

      ” . . . after the Met starting shooting Brazillians [sic].”

      Interesting use of plural. How many Brazilians has the Met shot in its 180 year history? Are all the deaths recent?
      I've got several asian friends, incidentally, from Kemerovo, Novosibirsk and Irkutsk.

    3. MaidMarian — on 12th December, 2009 at 5:08 pm  

      Yakoub - 'felt compelled to switch to cycling around London with a see-through rucksack after the Met starting shooting Brazillians.'

      Am I supposed to be sympathetic here or is this just a good self-parody?

      Rumbold - let me throw something out here, what I'd like to see is something on White East European immigrants. If any category has been failed by the race relations industry for 15 plus years it is white east europeans.

      There is a well established body of research on Asian migrants' voting patterns - I read it at university in the early 1990s. There is nothing really new in the article.

      To be clear, I do not mean this as a criticism, just a thought.

    4. Binky — on 12th December, 2009 at 7:19 pm  

      Will Labour try especially hard for the grooming-underage-white-girls vote?

      They seem to be a vital demographic element-not-to-be-overlooked:

      http://bnp.org.uk/2009/12/bnp-demands-full-inqu…

      Just saying

    5. Cauldron — on 12th December, 2009 at 8:35 pm  

      Why is this CIF statement of the bleeding obvious considered newsworthy? Because it hasn’t, until recently, been obvious to the political left, who like to think of themselves as the sole representatives of non-white people.

      Could it be that some ‘Asians’ have understood that their interests are not best represented by a party whose incompetent policies and identity politics ideological underpinnings are responsible for the rise of the BNP?

    6. Binky — on 12th December, 2009 at 10:32 pm  

      Somewhat off-topic but of interest in this context:

      http://www.city-journal.org/2009/eon1211jm.html

      AND ANOTHER THING, TOO …
      You know, for all his shortcomings, Tariq Ali never sold out, did he? He'd have been awarded a safe Labour Identity Politics seat and he'd have been in the Cabinet by now.

    7. MiriamBinder — on 13th December, 2009 at 1:58 am  

      Poor blinkered Binky … You'd be sad if you weren't so obviously hilarious.

      This touting of specific votes is one of the more unsavoury aspects of populist politics and an interventionist government. Ultimately it will only lead to more disillusion with politics as it will inevitably lead to promises, whether real or perceived, that cannot possibly be fulfilled or if fulfilled will end up fulfilled in such as a way as the public did not anticipate.

    8. Binky — on 13th December, 2009 at 4:24 am  

      This will interest some in the Field of Education.

      http://vdare.com/derbyshire/071119_delaware.htm

      Thought Reform For All!

    9. Bill Corr — on 13th December, 2009 at 4:29 am  

      Anyone anywhere can write letters to the ARAB NEWS in Jeddah and provided they are not contrary to Faith and Morals - to quote the 'Roman Missal' my Auntie Brigeen in Roscommon had on her shelves - they will probably be printed, like this one of mine:

      http://www.arabnews.com/?page=17&section=21&d=1…

      It was edited and smoothed off, all crass rudeness about the building site accident rate in parts of Peninsular Arabia closer to Jeddah than is Dubai having been removed.

    10. Rumbold — on 13th December, 2009 at 10:50 am  

      MaidMarian:

      I think what would be interesting would be some stats on the number of E. Europeans who settle here permanently. I suppose people don't worry about their votes as much because they think they will only be here a few years and so will have no stake in British society.

    11. marvin — on 13th December, 2009 at 12:10 pm  

      Why is this CIF statement of the bleeding obvious considered newsworthy? Because it hasn’t, until recently, been obvious to the political left, who like to think of themselves as the sole representatives of non-white people.

      Cauldron, on this point, you are abso-bloody-lutely correct.

      Only the left assume this, and ethnic minorities who don't feel or support modern left wing ideals are considered traitors!

      Such arrogance is epitomised in the racist and condescending Operation Black Vote from Labour.

    12. Sunny H — on 13th December, 2009 at 4:56 pm  

      Because it hasn’t, until recently, been obvious to the political left, who like to think of themselves as the sole representatives of non-white people.

      Yeah, it's so obvious and so recent and lefties don't believe this at all to the point that I said this in the Guardian about three years ago with a big splash and got a whole bunch of lefties to sign up including lefties!

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/no…

      What a shocker!

      Or that you right-whingers masically talk out of your arse 99% of the time without reading anything.

    13. Bill Corr — on 13th December, 2009 at 6:52 pm  

      See what fun and enrichment and - yes - virancy the Japanese have missed by doggedly electing politicians who set their faces against massive Third World immigration even during the years of 'labour' shortage, when the capitalist class was pleading piteously for 'long-term trainees' and their families to be allowed to settle in Japan?

    14. Bill Corr — on 13th December, 2009 at 6:58 pm  

      Duncan Sandys was Churchill's son-in-law and a minor Tory grandee.

      At a Conservative Conference in the late fifties or early sixties a rank-and-file provincial Tory briefly cornered him and started on about immigration:

      ” … I mean, what's this country going to look like when my children and THEIR children are grown-up, what with all these XXXX you're letting into the country?”

      Sandys looked at the fellow with appropriate patrician contempt and replied,

      “Well, there's a LABOUR SHORTAGE, isn't there?”

      Precisely!

      The short-term interests of the capitalist class were - to Sandys - of far more importance than the long-term interests of the British people.

      In an interesting parallel, Michael Bloomberg was being interviewed on an American TV channel and the subject of illegal immigration came up. He promptly started talking about the vitally important role that migrant workers play in keeping golf courses neat and tidy.

    15. Cauldron — on 14th December, 2009 at 12:23 am  

      Fair enough Sunny. But why did this only appear in 2006, a full 9 years after the Labour Party started implementing policies that have been directly responsible for the rise of the BNP?

      I appreciate that it takes a long time for political movements to change the way they think. It took a long time for the Tories to move away from the bigotry of Section 28 and the Monday Club (although a few people such as Heath had the guts to take a stand even at the time). And it took Labour 15 years from the the Winter of Discontent and 5 years from the Fall of the Wall to admit that State ownership of the means of production maybe wasn't such a clever aspiration.

      So maybe I can see why these things take time. But if you and your fellow signatories had had a genuine change of heart - and its commendable for people to admit to changing their minds - perhaps you might also have condemned all the other race-based entities which are surely obnoxious to any believer in a liberal, colour blind society. Where is the acknowledgment that OBV, MOBO, BBCAN, ABPO and all the other race-oriented organisations inevitably cause a backlash that ultimately makes life worse, not better, for ordinary ethnic minorities in Britain who perhaps don't have the same opportunity to write columns in the Guardian?

      And therein lies the rub. The signatories of the letter could not give a full condemnation of the counterproductive nature of identity politics because so many of them had furnished the intellectual framework behind the very existence of these policies in the first place.

    16. cjcjc — on 14th December, 2009 at 12:33 am  

      Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not sure Sunny has written a better piece since 2006.

      (Only because that one was so spot on…. :-) )

      Mind you I'm not sure he has always lived up to his own high ideals!

      But then, who has?

    17. Pobeda — on 14th December, 2009 at 5:23 am  

      Is Cauldron Bigoted to state the obvious?

    18. Dalbir — on 15th December, 2009 at 6:16 am  

      I just want to add that it would probably serve 'Asians' well to unite and form a significant voting block. This would help with leverage and we all saw how the mobilisation of the black vote (amongst other things) did wonders in America.

      That be said, the main idea behind Huq's piece seems true to me. It should however mention that blocks of 'asians', especially younger ones have been totally put off politics due to Tony Blair and his cronies. They are unlikely to vote and have become apathetic to the political process.

    19. Cauldron — on 15th December, 2009 at 8:31 am  

      Dalbir, your analogy with the US is incorrect. African Americans have done themselves a great disservice by ceding their entire vote to one party: the other party feels free to totally ignore them.

      Other American groups that split themselves, say, 70-30 have had much more political leverage.

      Your point about young 'asians' being politically apathetic is a timeless observation, true across the majority of eras and all ethnicities: 1968-type events don't happen very often.

    20. Dalbir — on 15th December, 2009 at 9:26 am  

      Dalbir, your analogy with the US is incorrect. African Americans have done themselves a great disservice by ceding their entire vote to one party: the other party feels free to totally ignore them.

      Cauldron, you're missing an important fact here. The vast bulk of African Americans felt pretty much ignored by the other party for a LONG time anyway. So what you are suggesting would, I imagine, constitute no change for them.

      Your point about young 'asians' being politically apathetic is a timeless observation, true across the majority of eras and all ethnicities: 1968-type events don't happen very often.

      Well, I believe an extra level of apathy kicked in with recent events - on top of the natural apathy usually demonstrated by young people, as mentioned above. Forgive the potentially blonde moment, but what 1968 event are you referring to?

    21. Fojee_Punjabi — on 18th December, 2009 at 8:33 am  

      Nail, head, bang.

    22. Fojee_Punjabi — on 18th December, 2009 at 8:36 am  

      See the British Asian Conservative Link for details ;)

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