Elliott expresses his thoughts on the outcome of last week’s General Election.
- Conservative Party: 364 (326 for a majority = 38 seat majority, +47)
- Labour Party: 203 (-59)
- Scottish National Party: 48 (+13)
- Liberal Democrats: 11 (-1)
- DUP: 8 (-2)
- Other: 15 (+2)
What happened on Friday morning should have never happened, but I can’t say that it wasn’t on the cards. The feeling going through me right now whilst writing my take on the 2019 general election is sickening, but I want to keep my feelings raw and direct.
The UK has not voted for Brexit, they have voted for more buildings to burn down with families inside, more food banks, less social housing. They have voted for more rough sleepers and they have voted for racism, poverty and greed. How do I know this? Well on the priority scale, one would think the latter issues are 10 times more concerning than leaving a union that actually comes with some great benefits.
I thought I might ask what happened to questioning the Conservative Party on the Windrush scandal? There were a few reporters or presenters that nearly made me throw up during this election, Kay Burley from Sky News, Laura Kuenssberg from the BBC, and I never thought I would say this, but Phil Schofield, were three people that could not have shown their true colours more. Nobody is expecting everyone to vote for Labour, that isn’t the point. However, when you are working in that field of presenting and reporting; there is a certain level of neutralism that you have to show. Do whatever you want in the polling station, but on TV as a person whose job is to simply notify and report, their behaviour was disgusting.
Jeremy Corbyn was often labelled as a racist but Boris Johnson was labelled as a fantastic man that is in touch with everyday people. When Naga Munchetty from the BBC asked Boris Johnson how everyday people can relate to you, the man stuttered more times than Manchester United have won the English League Title – it was embarrassing. Making jokes that are not funny whilst on camera is not personality; it’s called not being funny. It was a little bit worrying how the British public measured and compared racism.
It seemed like the Conservatives were using anti-semitism as leverage for their campaign. Whilst alarm bells are ringing and it is suspect that Jeremy Corbyn laid flowers at the grave of a Hamas member, I thought about it and said nobody knows what his relationship is with them. In order to create peace in the world you need to hear the story from both sides and come together to find a resolution. As humans there are certain circumstances that trigger reactions in us – the way to find peace is speak to groups of people (that are willing to talk) and find out how middle ground can be found.
I should make it clear that I am a member of the Seventh-day Adventist church, so I believe whilst Jesus was in Israel it was the Holy land, and it is still seen as that. I do not agree with terrorist organisations like ISIS, Boko Haram and Hamas, but as history shows, Britain is quick to pick up guns and go to war instead of reasoning and finding solutions.
During the election I was thinking, why is nobody talking about “letterboxes” and “piccaninnies with watermelon smiles” then I realised – the British government has made it clear where we stand in society and that is at the bottom of the barrel.
I believe the reason why the Conservatives are desperate for friendship with Israel is because they are a powerful state with a powerful army, which the UK are better off as allies than enemies. The UK doesn’t need a relationship with Africa and black states around the world, because there’s nothing there that they need. If we are keeping it 100, back in the years of slavery everything was stolen from Africa, so the UK has everything it needs from there and that is why it’s acceptable to refer to black people as piccaninnies with no backlash.
The first famous picaninny was Topsy – a poorly dressed, disreputable, neglected slave girl. Topsy appeared in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Topsy was created to show the evils of slavery – an untameable “wild child” who had been permanently corrupted by slavery.
As for discrimination against Muslims, the far-right British government and public has long held stereotypes and believed that Muslim people are jihadists; the abuse they have suffered is just as heartbreaking as the black people. The Conservative government don’t need anything from them, and if they did or do… it’s obviously not important enough for them to openly share their disgraceful views.
As a nation, we have to move forward with unity and peace. For the far-right British public, I understand that is massive task that may be difficult, however, we have to try and attempt it. Austerity measures will increase, cuts will be made to public services and racism will be an acceptable part of British society, as we have already experienced and seen on social media just days after the election results. Some of us will feel the austerity measures more than others, so I believe local Labour councils must invest where possible to ensure the transition with Brexit and underfunding is as soft as it can be.
I call for ethnic minorities to stand strong and peaceful against racist attacks. I call for the LGBT community to also stand strong against potential attacks, and for support groups to be present for families living in poverty. We need to pull together as a nation.
Elliott is a strong advocate of pushing local black businesses in London. You can stay updated on what he’s getting up to by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or following him on Twitter: @EJ_PSOLACE