I’ve always said that a promise worth making is a promise worth recording! So the promise Vince Cable made to improve Black, Asian and other minority ethnic political representation in the Lib Dems is one we should remember.
Campaign group Operation Black Vote quoted the business secretary here.
I hope that Cable holds to his pledge regardless of whether he is party leader after the next general election. He was, until the last election, chair of the Diversity Forum which informs the work of the diversity unit at party HQ.
Rather than wait until after the next election, the Lib Dems need to do more now to ensure we get Black MPs in 2015.
As I wrote earlier this month, I’m not the greatest Cable fan and feel that Simon Hughes would be a better choice to succeed Nick Clegg should he stand down.
Clegg can be criticised for many things but I remain convinced that he cares about diversity, including the lack of BAME MPs, more passionately than any past leader.
But while initiatives like the Candidate Leadership Programme have been put in place I am not convinced this is enough to make the much-needed breakthrough at the next election. We need all-Black shortlists to guarantee that the party take a step forward at the next polls.
The reason is simple. Our brand is taking a hammering within Black communities due to lack of representation and coalition policies. We cannot afford to emerge from the next election with another all-White Commons team. Do to so will be to reinforce an image of the party that will stick for a long time.
To avoid becoming the ‘nasty party’ when it comes to race we need to rapidly escalate efforts to address this now, not wait until after the election.
By Lester Holloway @brolezholloway