Diving deep into the relationship between statistics and politics can be a slippery slope. In the UK, Labour have a lead across the country in terms of votes from ethnic minorities. The Conservatives however, are gaining ground, especially amongst the UK Asian population. The Conservatives are currently the favoured party for Sikh’s and Muslims. Black people make up 3-5% of the UK population so don’t really have a huge amount of influence and is probably why there isn’t much black representation in politics. The politicians do not need to pamper to the needs of black people because the black vote is not a significant demographic when it comes to politics. The demographics that count are white, old, corporate and immigrant.
During the past few elections, there has been a large focus on getting young people to vote and getting black & asians to vote also. There are many reasons why black people don’t seem to have the same passion for voting as white or even asian people, but lack of knowledge and not being able to identify with politicians are huge factors. The knowledge issue is broad based (not purely racial) and is highlighted significantly during Brexit, where the issues were clouded by opposing interpretations of the potential consequences. No one knew for sure what would happen and as a result voters became confused, as everything was fuelled with emotion instead of facts. Black people need a politician to get behind who understands where black people are and will focus on trying to improve the poor situations many have to grow up in. To do this we have to look at statistics.
Statistics can be a double edged sword, but if you take a look at the issues affecting black people you will get a better idea of what qualities to look for in a political leader.
Employment – Black people are by far the most likely to be unemployed in all age groups. – Statistics can be found in the ‘Unemployment by ethnic background paper 27-04-16 by Jeanne Delebarre’. At a time when more people are finding employment in the UK the rates of unemployment for black and asian people are disproportionately higher. So this an area that needs to be looked at. The youth figures are especially shocking, and this could be linked to education.
The independent published an article back in 2015 headlining ‘Must do better? Black pupils did, with best improvement in exams.’ Outlining how black pupils are eroding the gap between them and their peers in terms of GCSE results. It looks like every race is actually achieving better results at secondary schools and primary schools but black children are still at the bottom of every chart, when compared to Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and Asian counterparts.
Black school leavers are less likely to attend top universities, extremely likely to be long term unemployed and that ones that leave school with A-levels typically get paid nearly 15% less than their white peers. The list goes on.
In terms of crime, I don’t think I need to outline where black people are in terms of arrest rates, criminal records, victims of crime, prison time spent, most likely to be stabbed, shot and caught selling drugs. If you look at the systemic issues that black people face from the time they leave the womb, it’s an upward hill struggle even if you don’t factor in racism and the psychological issues faced. Realistically, politicians don’t stand a chance. There’s not much they can do so it really doesn’t matter who black people vote for because no politicians policies are based on changing the systemic structure, but on perpetuating it. Change has to come from within, the mind.