Monday, 23 May 2016

UK Black Judges Call On Lord Chief Justice To Support Fight Against Discrimination.

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Britain’s most senior Judge, The Lord Chief Justice asked to support BME  
Judges to hold a historic first meeting at the House of Commons on July 14th  
2016 to discuss racial bias and discrimination in the Justice System as part 
of the Review by The Rt Hon David Lammy M.P.  
  
The Right Honourable Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, The Lord Chief Justice has been asked to endorse a historic first meeting of BME Judges to air their concerns about racism, discrimination and bias within the justice system. The Lord Chief Justice who promotes diversity and the need for equality on his website has been asked to facilitate this historic meeting to be addressed by some of the UK’s leading BME Judges and organisations. The private meeting is expected to be attended by over 50 BME Judges and will be addressed by The Rt Hon David Lammy M.P.  
  
In response to an open letter from a range of BME organisations David Lammy M.P. has agreed to address a meeting of BME Judges at the House of Commons to hear concerns about judicial racism, discrimination and bias relevant to the Parliamentary Review BME over representation in the Criminal Justice system.  
  
The various organisations spearheading this historic meeting have requested the support of the Lord Chief Justice to publicise the meeting and ensure that BME Judges feel empowered to attend knowing that they can speak freely with and in confidence without reprisals about their experiences and discuss solutions to enhance the fundamental principle that everyone must be equal before the law. (See attached).  
  
On 31st January 2016, The Prime Minister, The Rt Hon David Cameron asked David Lammy MP to lead a review to investigate evidence of possible bias and disproportionate sentencing of African, Caribbean and Asian defendants in the Criminal Justice System as part of the Equality and Criminal Justice reform.  
David Lammy MP is to report back in spring of 2017.  
  
The Prime Minister said, "We need to ask the difficult questions about whether the system treats people differently based on race. Charges, courts, prisons and rehabilitation to be scrutinised."   
  
The Rt Hon David Lammy, M.P., said, "I've been working in this area for almost two decades and am very pleased to accept the Prime Minister's invitation to lead this comprehensive, independent review across our criminal justice system. With over a quarter of the prison population coming from BAME background the urgency is clear.   
I look forward to leading a team that will evaluate what works in the UK, draw on lessons from abroad and listen to a broad range of voices from the justice system and our BAME communities."  
  
Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, The Rt Hon Michael Grove MP, said: "An effective justice system depends on procedural fairness. Equality of treatment at every stage in the criminal justice process is essential. I am very pleased that David, a politician whose intellectual honesty I have long admired, and who is not afraid to confront uncomfortable truths, is pursuing this important work."  
  
There is a need for such a review, as a report entitled Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2012, produced by the Ministry of Justice found that almost 20% per cent of Black and Asian defendants were more likely to be jailed than white defendants for similar offences. Average sentence given to an Afro-Caribbean defendant is seven times longer than that for an average white defendant.   
Stop and search figures revealed a similar pattern of over representation, a black person aged ten or older in 2011/ 2012, was six times more likely than a white person to be stopped and searched and nearly three times more likely to be arrested.   
  
The same report found that only 26 per cent of white criminals were handed immediate custodial sentences compared to 31 per cent for black criminals and 32 per cent for Asian criminals. Again this differential treatment can be seen in the average custodial sentence for black prisoners was 23.4 months compared to 15.9 months for white prisoners.  Speaking as the Chairman of The Society of Black Lawyers, (former Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, and part time Judge), D. Peter Herbert O.B.E. said, "the figures showed 'institutional racism' within the system."'  
  
Note to editors and other interested parties:  
  
For further information please contact:  
Info@societyofblacklawyers.co.uk Info@blaksox.com  
ashlee@.bpa@outlook.com  
  
D Peter Herbert O.B.E. Society of Black Lawyers: 07973 794 946  
Viv Ahmun Blaksox: 07985 395 166  
Ashlee Gomes NBPA: 07887 635 375  
Earl Smith ABPO: 07810 854 258  
  
      

Black Europe: Why History Dictates We Have to Stay In The EU

Black history demands solidarity with Black Europeans and the European fight against racism and fascism.
22nd May 2016.
Location: Jesus House, Brent Cross, London

Britain stands at the centre of a EU debate today that has the attention of the entire world. Everybody from President Obama to Putin has expressed his or her views. This is a momentous decision that will have profound consequences for the global economy and Britain’s place within the standing of nations across the world. 

So as we speak, we are at the centre of world attention; everything we say and do is under intense scrutiny by the global press.  

This represent just some of my thoughts, rather than a fully worked out, comprehensive exposition.

I simply don't have the time to do something in more depot. It does however reflect my strongly held views but I have not summoned all the evidence in my articulation here. 

Nevertheless I think its a useful contribution to an important debate and lets face when the last time you read anything re Black people and the EU referendum debate?  You get my point.

Across the capitals of the entire world, heads of Government, academics, business people, religious leaders and the citizens of the world, are looking at us.  All eyes are on us.

At a time when the politics of people such as, US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have degraded US democracy, the EU debate should be a great opportunity to advertise to the world, the maturity of British democracy and promote the benefits of reasoned public debate by mature politicians edifying the people with insight and education. This is an opportunity to demonstrate ethical standards of reasoned debate that could improve the quality of democratic debate across the world.

Instead, one the most important political debates since the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 a thousand years ago has today, descended into a soap opera, a Tory party psycho drama about the lurid ambitions of a small group of white men from Eton. 

Of course if you’re black, awake and conscious, you will know it was ever thus…

There can be no doubt that the EU debate, by common consensus has been largely bitter, acrimonious, and a sometimes-vexatious affair that has on occasion has been characterised by bare faced mendacity.  

Think about it for a minute. How many of here have been truly inspired by the quality of the debate so far?

I’ve become increasingly tired and exasperated by the lack of vision and deluged with facts, counter facts, information and misinformation?

That’s why I am delighted that the Diaspora Debating Association held a debate on the issue for British black people. Held at the hugely impressive Jesus House Brent Cross run by Pastor Agu. Held at the home of one of the largest Black Churches in the UK, Pastor Agu and his team at Jesus House command congregations of over 80,000 at their summer conventions.

Pastor Agu Jesus House 
The Church is progressive and socially engaged and delivering comfort and joy equally into the lives of millions.

At this lively debate, conducted in front of a full house, we had the opportunity to show our mainstream politicians and the respective in/out campaigners, how to properly conduct a civilised debate without the type of personal attack, bitterness or rancour that has become all to familiar part of the current EU debate. 

We entered into the debate with that in mind. We wanted to set a small example to the nation in setting new standards in mature democratic debate.

It was my English grandmother who taught me ‘Disagree all you like Lee, there’s never an excuse for being rude’.  Good advice, though I must confess it’s not a prescription I’m always able to keep in the coruscating atmosphere of social media.

After all we are talking about an issue that is critical to the future of our nation.

This is too important an issue to simply be engaged in some tawdry, low-grade public school boy debating competition whose main protagonists calculate their every word with an eye on the glittering prizes seen through the lenses of inflated political ambition or narrow sectional party interest.

I cant be the only one that’s noticed, that that the quality of democratic public debate, is under grievous assault by the unrestrained mouths of small-minded politicians who prioritise their own personal ambitions above that of the national interest. It’s the ‘dumbing’ down of democracy. 

Its what I call the Lynton Cosby effect, the Aussie election strategist and Godfather of ‘ Dog Whistle’ politics of fear and cynicism. His brand of politics has, in my view poisoned the well British political debate. His insatiable desire to win at any cost has ignited and explosion of high ambition from low-grade candidates within the Tory party.

His, is the politics of desperation; he invented project fear relying on popular prejudice, exciting deep-seated prejudices and common distrust of your neighbour.

In regard the debate think its important to congratulate the Diaspora Debating Association and the organisation I helped to found, many years ago now, Operation Black Vote for putting on this incredibly important event.

If there is a low turnout for the EU referendum, then votes from Black and ethnic minorities and young people could be be vital in determining the outcome.

I also want to take a second to acknowledge the fine opposing team from the Leave EU camp whose opening statement I thought was clear and concise and I thank them sincerely for their most earnest considerations.

For me this debate wass so much more than just a debate about money and resources. In a cynical world we can know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

For me this debate is about values, real values born of immeasurable tragedy, human savagery and an unquenchable confidence in the future born on the bloody battlefields of the 1st and 2nd World Wars.

This debate carries a heavy weight. Millions died to secure its promise of peace and cooperation in Europe.

It’s a debate about what kind of country we want to bequeath to our children.  Most of all it’s an incredibly hopeful and aspirational debate about the future, not the past.

When considering the EU, I start from the premises that this institution has brought peace to continent whose entire thousand years history, up to the point of its creation, was punctuated with the ravages of war driven by protectionist trade tariffs and the scramble for resources in Africa, Asian, Latin America and China. In Europe it was ‘war or rumors of war; as Bob Marley sang.

Lets talk about Britain. I am 57 and I was born here in the UK in Manchester. I am a generation Windrush baby and grew up in the industrial powerhouse of the North in the1960’s.

I was born underweight, with a weak chest, always prone to infections and respiratory problem. As a child I remember, the smog and smoke filled cities like Manchester We used to have a fog called a Pea Souper.



A smog so thick you could drink it. So toxic was the atmosphere that one everyone would cough up a nasty brown flem, a poisonous slime that would coat your lungs with poisonous diesel, coal smoke and dust.

These days are gone and in part we have to thank the whole of Europe for introducing clean air legislation

While were on Memory Lane, let’s just recall the state of Britain after the war. Desolation and destruction was everywhere. The War had left the country bereft of young men and families.

It was our parents who rushed to the aid of the ‘Mother country. We fought, bled and died for King and County. Back then we weren’t na├»ve and much like today, we knew then, the evils and the perils of British colonialism and racism, but the threat we all faced from the Third Reich overshadowed any differences we had.  

Today, we their immediate descendants, know very well that the European Union is not perfect but given our parents sacrifice and our history we’re duty bound to act in the interests of our children and the millions of our people resident in the EU. We helped build Europe and we need to whilst are here in the EU we must continue to lead the modern day fight against racism and fascism.



In the 1930’s and early 1940’s Commonwealth migrants flooded to Britain from across the world. Out of the ashes and ruins of a nation brought to its knees by racism, multicultural Commonwealth Britons set about rebuilding and restoring the nation.

Britain and its Commonwealth rose up to defeat fascism, racism and in doing so safeguarded the progressive principles of resolute anti racism, inclusive democracy and individual freedom from tyranny.

Britain is so much more a happier and better place to live today than those grimy years of industrial, ethnically monochrome, drab depressing years following the war.

Since then, Black people have put the reggae in Britain’s jeggae. From the sports arenas, to multi million pound music industries, to the media, to fashion and politics, wherever you look black Britons have blackened the text of the British narrative. As a nation Britain is irrevocably and here’s the important point for the Brexiters, irreversibly and increasingly a hyper diverse and multicultural nation. For those perplexed by that fact should remember that Britain’s former colonial chickens are coming home to roost. We are here because you were there.

Being British today is about driving a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer, then traveling home, grabbing Jerk Chicken from Tesco’s or an Indian curry, maybe a Turkish kebab on the way home to a now gentrified Brixton or Dalston, where we sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV.

This is the real reality of a globalized interconnected economy in a 21st world.

Over the last decade Britain society, in response to the harsh realities of the global economic crash has become morose. It as though the nation has finally woken up to the fact that Britain days of global economic dominance are over.

Almost in response I’ve detected a deep and pervading melancholia affecting large groups of white men of a certain age.

It’s a sad and mournful lament about Britain’s place in the world. Profound economic crisis will always strip away the liberal pretentions of bourgeoisie liberal democracies. Since 2008 we have seen the rise of UKIP, proud Englishmen and women, railing at the world and Britain’s postcolonial fate.



It’s also an attitude that reflects in part the great British perennial trait for complaining. It looks back, not forward, it grimace’s and scowls at the modern world. It’s musty and maudlin, a deep fusty hankering for a return to the Grande Britannia of old, the Great Britain of Empire. An independent sovereign Britain, confidently striding the world economy like a boss.

We cannot go back to those days of unbridled petty nationalism, unreconstructed racism, economic protectionism and colonial conquest and theft. The dawning and the realization that slavery, colonialism, capital accumulation and the military might it afforded are the only reasons the UK gained global dominance in the 20th century.   

We cant go back to the days of stolen riches and plunder, unfair protectionist trading tariffs and neither should we want or aspire too. Lets not forget the total exploitation of the UK during colonialism. It was cheaper to buy a shirt made of Indian cotton, transported to Manchester, made into a shirt in our dark satanic mills and then exported back to Bombay, than its was to buy a Bombay made shirt made of Indian cotton in Bombay.

We cannot go back to a ‘glorious hey day’ of Britain’s colonial past.  We must avoid the temptation of responding to the anxiety of a globalized future by an ever desperate and irrational attachment to the past.

Multicultural Britain’s future has to be forward looking, inclusive and aspirational.

It’s an obvious truth that in the 21st century national sovereignty is no longer king in a globalized world. We cede sovereignty to big business and the needs of the global economy every day.

The idea promoted by the leave campaign, is that in the EU we have less control over own affairs. Let me concede this point. The fact is, to some extent this is absolutely true.

However, Britain is a member of many international forums and associations that are a lot less democratic than the EU. For example, the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations, Nato and countless more I could mention. In comparison the EU is a 100% more democratic than these institutions.

Of course the EU is not a perfect institution and I concede here again that the EU is in need of urgent reform.  However one doesn’t go to the trouble of sacrificing and saving up to buy a new Rolls Royce, hire a chauffer who cant drive, then have a crash and decide as a result to keep the driver, but sell the car. The sensible thing to do is sack the chauffer, unless of course his name is Boris and he’s convinced you it’s the cars fault.

If being in the EU means that we can enjoy clean air across Europe rather than smog filled cities killing millions I’m happily to forge my rights to pollute France in exchange.

Such arguments are all about ‘sovereignty and control’ and represent the dying utterances of the Britain of the 19th and 20th century. Misnomers, dangerous romanticism, they are analogue ideas for an interconnected digital age.

Lets recall that he idea and values of a united Europe were conceived in the burning hot embers of the 1940’s Battle of Britain, the brutal invasions of former British colonies and the genocidal fascism we witnessed concentration camps of Auschwitz.

When considering these deep and ephemeral issues we mustn’t forget that a united Europe is not a new idea. The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Colonialist in Chief announced in June 1940 the ‘Declaration of Union’ between Great Britain and France.

With the full backing of his Cabinet, Churchill stated,

The two governments declare that France and Great Britain shall no longer be two nations, but one Franco-British Union… Every citizen of France will enjoy immediately citizenship of Great Britain; every British subject will become a citizen of France.’

Even Churchill knew that the only way to avoid war in Europe was to integrate.

European nations history is one of war and conquest; they fought each other for a thousand years. Europe was bloody battlefield mired in the endless wars that plagued the continent. We should never forget that the profits stolen during the period of the European Trans Atlantic Slavery and Colonialism mean that African and Asian blood was the liquid that mixed the cement that built modern Europe. When we get reparations for slavery and colonialism we can review our position.  

Every EU capital stands on the maagnamizi and evils of European colonialism. Make no mistake we own Europe. Our ancestors have paid the blood price forcibly extracted from us and sometimes freely offered as in the 2nd World War.  Europe is in our blood. 

Even those great chief architects of Empire, people such as the British Bulldog himself, Winston Churchill was in favour of political union between European countries.

At London’s Albert Hall, in May 1947, Winston then Chairman and Founder of the United Europe Movement spoke to ‘present the idea of a United Europe in which our country will play a decisive part..’

He went on.

‘We cannot aim at anything less than the Union of Europe as a whole, and we look forward with confidence to the day when that Union will be achieved.’

Crucially, in answering the critical question,

 ‘Are you prepared to part with any degree of national sovereignty in any circumstances for the sake of a larger synthesis?’,

Churchill responded,

 ‘We are prepared to consider and, if convinced, to accept the abrogation of national sovereignty, provided that we are satisfied with the conditions and the safeguards… national sovereignty is not inviolable, and it may be resolutely diminished for the sake of all men in all the lands finding their way home together.’

I’m no fan of Churchill for sure but I’ve never disagreed with people on the basis of ideology. Even a clocks right twice a day, The fact is, today there  are millions of Black and Asian people living in Europe today. There are no definitive estimates I’m aware of however guestimates for the current number of Black and Muslim Europeans alone is around 30 million plus and growing fast.

We are living in Europe by right. Our history demands that this should be so.

Despite what right wing sections of the media and the proponents of the leave campaign would have you believe, there are many benefits of EU citizenship for you and your children.

Let me ask you a critical question? Do you really want your children and grandchildren to swap a passport to entire EU continent for that of an island? The British passport was once considered the gold standard of world citizenship. 

Once the UK is out of Europe, the EU project will collapse. Racism and fascism will undoubtedly rise across EU nations rise and you and your children will still be black.

European Union gives us the Single Market. It is impossible to conceive anything other than a level playing field for businesses to transact across Europe, without the burden of negotiating EU bureaucracies to pay customs duties. Leave and we will still be forced to adhere to EU regulations, rules and many multiple trading, environmental and public health standards in the private/public sector and manufacturing and services and we would have the pay a hostile EU probably more than we pay now. All this, for a deal much worse than the one we currently have.

We are also guaranteed within the EU the safety of medicines, protection of the environment. The EU provides a check the ethical behavior of multinational companies, such as VW. It helps us tackle the dangers of international crime such as people and drug trafficking. It regulates the quality of imported products so little Tommy doesn’t have red lead paint on his fire engine.

Ironically the EU is about to massively fine the UK and London in particularly for failing to tackle the toxic air pollution that is estimated to kill 10,000 Londoners a year through respiratory conditions. Tackling global warming, vehicle emissions and climate change. These are all matters that transcend borders.

As the BBC reported on this on March 2016

Speaking about the VW emissions scandal Alan Andrews from the campaigning organization Client Earth told the BBC, the government had itself to blame for failing to act sooner against diesel cars.

"Throughout our five-year legal battle the government have claimed they couldn't achieve legal limits because of the problems with the EU standards for diesel vehicles not delivering pollution reductions under normal driving conditions - but they failed to investigate why.

"Then they lobbied the EU to water down new regulations which will require new diesel cars to meet emissions limits on the road. As a consequence, new diesel cars will be able to emit double the emission limit until 2021."

And lets not forget it was the UK Government that has long incentivized drivers to buy diesel vehicles claiming they produce less of the CO2 emissions that cause climate change.

So the EU was working hard to ensure clean air and the UK was working hard to water these proposals down. Lets remember that the EU lead in exposing and holding VW to account.

Its amusing if it wasn’t taken so seriously but the vast majority of laws I hear Brexiters complaining about on a day-to-day basis, are in fact laws made by our own Government.


The European Union provides such an established structure for regular ‘free market’ collaboration and uses its strength as a huge trading bloc to maintain those standards that you and I take for granted.

The EU also ensures a number of personal protections designed to stop the invasion of personal privacy.

For example did you know that Data Protection Act, came about after the appalling abuses of privacy and personal freedoms during the Nazi and Communist regimes in Europe.   

Source: The Data Protection Directive (officially Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data) is a European Union directive adopted in 1995 which regulates the processing of personal data within the European Union.

The UK was forced to comply with the EU Data Directive on these issues.

This leads me to European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights.

As black people in the UK we have benefited form additional legal protection on discrimination on the basis of race.

Owen Bowcott the Guardians legal affairs correspondent published an article on 3rd Oct 2014 where he examined some of ruling of the EU Court of Human Rights. The EU courts, which Breixters complain of regularly, have found Britain guilty of flagrant race discrimination in its application of immigration laws, family reunion, forced deportation, asylum child detention, criminal justice, you name it.

Workers right, work time directives, health and safety regulations, holiday pay, sickness entitlement, protection of discrimination in the workplace are all laws that are enforced by the EU.

A proposed British Bill of Rights would see the UK abolish the ECHR and along with it any real commitment to race equality legislations? Why do I say that? 

Because since the introduction of the EHRC this Governments action have been to cut funding to the Equality and Human Rights Commission and propose legal amendments to equality legislation that has weakened anti discrimination law.

Who increased the cost to place a workplace race discrimination case in front of an Employment Tribunal from nothing to £1500 ? an increase that saw complaints fall by as much as 85% in the last year ?

That was our Government not the EU. 

Human Rights are important. There are 25 million Black and Musilm people in Europe.

Most of our brothers and sisters do not have passports or full rights to citizenship in their respective countries of residence.

Thankfully our people now have some protection from race discrimination. As outlined in the book, ‘Legislating equality: The Politics of Anti-discriminatory Policy In Europe’ published in 2014 by the Oxford press and written by Terri.E.Givens and Rhonda Evans Case. This book describes the combined efforts of activists in United Kingdom and the EU throughout the 90s pushed the European Union into adopting the Race Equality Directive.(RED)

I know because as Director of the 1990 Trust I was there as member of the Starting Line Group. We fought to ensure our brothers and sister inn the EU has what we had and we were successful. This is the historic leading role played by the British Black community in Europe. All over the EU Black and Muslim peoples look to us here in the UK to provide leadership in the fight against racism and fascism.  
These measures we secure required all the member states to incorporate the RED into national legislation policy in 1999 soon after the Amsterdam Treaty was signed.

These laws helped thousands black and minority people in Europe access to protect against discrimination not ordinarily have had. That is why staying in Europe is so important.

We have a duty, as Black, Asian and ethnic minority citizens in the United Kingdom, to work in solidarity with our black and minority brothers and sisters in Europe, to ensure that they get full citizenship and that the horrors and racism seen in our most recent past do not revisit our people either here in the UK or Europe ever again.

As black people all know that where race goes, today, gender is never far behind.

The RED was followed by the Equal Treatment Directive agreed in 2004 that guaranteed equal right between men and women in EU Labour markets.

You may remember the case of Birmingham City Council where women part-time workers ere paid less for same job completed by men who hundreds of million pounds in compensation.

In 2010 the Guardian newspaper published and article reporting that employment tribunal using the ETD, found in favour of female workers employed by Birmingham city council in 49 different jobs, including lollipop ladies and cleaners, who complained of being excluded from bonuses – worth up to 160% of their basic pay – paid to men.

Immigration.

By far the most contentious issue in this debate is immigration. Here is where the cognitive dissonance suffered by Brexiters strains the very sinews of logic itself. Driven by a primordial racism and dislike foreigners they struggle to hide their xenophobia beneath a thin veneer of liberal sentiment expressed by he genuine fraudster Nigel Farage and his band of miscreants in the UKIP leadership. But racism affects both the in and out campaigns.     

For example I couldn't help but laugh recently when I heard Prime Minister David Cameron refer to Nigeria and Afghanistan as "fantastically corrupt", Britain's wealth as an Imperial nation is built on theft, destruction and rape of former Commonwealth countries like Nigeria.

Great Britain, and nations who still retain overseas territories that act as illegal tax havens to launder billions of pounds worth of cash on behalf of tax avoiding multinationals, drug dealers, arms exporters and International crime syndicates is in no place lecture others on the issue of corruption.

Great Britain is a nation built on the blood sweat and tears of immigrant Nations. Immigration didn’t destroy Britain; immigration made Britain great and will do so again.

They will all blind you with facts and figures, claim and counterclaim but there is only one incontrovertible truth in relation to immigration. The British birth rate is declining to such an extent we no longer have the working age people entering into the labour market in sufficient number to maintain a level of tax income that can sustain our burgeoning health and pensions Bill.

In simple terms, there is not enough young British workers being born to fill the jobs we require today and tomorrow. Britain needs many more working migrants to ensure the necessary tax receipts paid into the Treasury, funding are hospitals schools, railways and national infrastructure.


Much was heard about from the opposition about the Commonwealth. It was suggested that leaving the EU would mean Britain could then open the doors to Commonwealth migrants instead. It has even been suggested that doing so would mean we have more money to fund African farmer’s currently penalized under European Union Cotonua Agreements that set trade tariffs for the African continent.

Lets deal with the Commonwealth first. The idea that Brexiters Nigel Farage and his party UKIP, who are the main advocates of this proposal would be standing on the white cliffs of Dover, arms open welcoming thousands of Black and Asian people from Africa, India and the Caribbean into the UK has had me laughing hysterically to the point where my jaws and ribs needed medical attention.  It was of course Farage who most famously said that he would 'abolish much of British race equality legislation' 

In relation to trade with Africa this is relates to the EU's Cotonua Agreement the main issue here is the Commonwealth Agricultural Policy that subsides EU farmers and restricts Africa imports with strict conditionalities. This is a policy that historically has been supported and by successive British governments.

Many British farmers depend on that EU subsidy as a result. The idea that these supposed savings could be passed onto African farmers is absolutely hilarious and a sign of just how desperate and increasingly shrill the leave campaign has become.

Back to the Diaspora Debate. The evening ended with a public vote. We won hands down to a ratio of 80/20.  Frankly I’m not surprised, History demanded it. Good sense ensured it. Now go and make your ancestors proud. Get out and vote.


NB. June 7th is the voting registration deadline.