Black voters urged to take part in election by church

 
Services at the New Testament Church of God in Ladywood, Birmingham Black-led churches are growing in size and influence

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Black church leaders are launching a campaign which they say could inspire a million more black voters to go to the polls in the next general election.

Non-party lobby group Operation Black Vote has recruited church leaders to persuade people to register and vote.

It says having more black voters making their voice heard will end discrimination against the community.

And it says it is confident of meeting the target in time to affect the outcome of marginal constituencies.

The BBC's religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott said community leaders had long struggled to persuade black people to vote.

Significant numbers of people among some sections of the community - such as black Africans - had never registered to vote and a lack of confidence in the democratic process meant turnout was often very low, he added.

Operation Black Vote claims black people face discrimination which is built into the social and economic system - illustrated by poor housing, poverty and a 55% unemployment rate among young black men.

But in communities which often suffer high rates of deprivation, black-led churches have been a success story.

Their leaders say they can harness the churches' energy and organisation to create a powerful new electorate that politicians cannot ignore.

Operation Black Vote, which focuses on voter registration, lobbying politicians and mentoring schemes says it seeks "to inspire black and minority ethnic communities to engage with our public institutions in order to address the persistent race inequalities we face in areas such as education, health and employment".

 

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  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 263.

    Good on them. The keystone is that they are leaders in communities and are able to inspire and give direction. They may also have a "Heineken" factor of being able to reach a few of those who others don't and/or can't. This is because they have a gravitas from a moral compass. It will be interesting to see how many from other ethnic backgrounds they might influence too.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 262.

    #260
    Actually, just abolish all of the leftist, PC "equalities" jobs in government. They do nothing but constantly remind us how "institutionally racist" the country is. Yet positive discrimination isn't?
    I object to a "Minister for women and equalities", as if men aren't victims of sexism in the form of militant feminism. Just like everyone but whites benefit from "positive" discrimination.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 261.

    Why shouldn't black folks organise themselves politically? White folks will join in with them when they see the benefits of such common purpose.

    We need politics to come up from the street into the debating chambers. We need the realism of everyday life in our politics. It is time the `plebs' got themselves organised.

    If the black churches want to take on a lead role then good luck to them.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 260.

    248.krokodil

    254.Steve

    "So what is the idea behind it that black people don't vote?
    There are a lot of other coloured people who don't vote or don't know what to vote for, not just black people."

    Make this man your Equalities Minister immediately!

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 259.

    228 Bibi

    Actualy with one black Chief Constable you are more likely to be a chief Constable if you are black than if you are white.

    Statistically there would be less than one.

    Don’t suppose you saw the black woman on a bus on you tube then. Did she get 5 months for racial abuse? The white one did.

    Black people are not facing discrimination in this country for being black.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 258.

    "Where's operation white vote?"
    ---
    It's called 'operation black vote' for the same reason other people invoke 'white'. It's to corral members of the electorate into a bloc vote. It's hard to see how anything could be done about the practice unless we're willing to forgo political parties who benefit from the economies of scale by marketing themselves to voting blocs.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 257.

    We need PR in order to get smaller parties in, so that the people actually may be better represented. Yes, that'll mean more coalitions but at least over 50% of will be happy. Perhaps a none of the above option would help find whether it is because of unrepresentative parties or just people who can't be bothered.
    Positive discrimination is not the answer.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 256.

    We'll be voting 'round the mountain when we come.
    We'll be voting 'round the mountain when we come.
    All together now.

  • rate this
    -6

    Comment number 255.

    253. Bibi
    It appears the EDL have all got home from their march and are all now typing furiously


    God your witty. Have you got out of bed today?

    And happy birthday Mrs Thatcher! I hope you have many more to frustrate those pathetic socialists.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 254.

    -

    So what is the idea behind it that black people don't vote?
    There are a lot of other coloured people who don't vote or don't know what to vote for, not just black people.

    I fail to see how this is linked to skin colour. What's behind this again then? I'm sure people will be smart enough to question this.

    -

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 253.

    It appears the EDL have all got home from their march and are all now typing furiously

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 252.

    Where's operation white vote?
    Why is positive discrimination ok in this PC world, yet only for minorities?

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 251.

    It's truely laughable to think this a non-partisan based drive. This will be targetted at marginal seats that Labour can win. This mirrors what was done in the US, by Obama with the Baptists. By calling out a specific group it's plainly obvious this is not about ending discrimination and division but harnessing it for socialist ends. Unions have lost power so move on to another 'repressed' group.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 250.

    @245

    Sadly politicians feeling the need to tell lies/make omissions can partly be blamed on the electorate.

    Too many of us react to politicians being honest about a situation or their policy by not electing them. Hence in the 2010 election none of the parties giving any specifics on any of the cuts they would have to make.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 249.

    2. Minnie Q. The only means I have of expressing my view of our democracy ... that it comprises arrogant, corrupt, self-seeking incompetents ... is to not vote at all. Low turn-outs = a message that change is needed. However, as the system suits those with the power and enough people blindly support it, that change will never happen.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 248.

    I wonder how many hys users who say they don't and won't vote use the ratings system on here?

    I like to think of people with furrowed brows, earnestly hitting the down arrow on my comments. A slight hint of satisfaction gained from adding a minus.

    I don't bother. There are getting on for 60 million UK residents. Being rated up or down on here is no great shakes. :o)

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 247.

    @2 that is the most idiotic comment that has ever been on HYS.

    What about those that feel that there are no parties that represent them. I mean, c'mon we have "safe seats" for certain parties. These seats have been safe for almost 100 years. That should not be allowed, and makes a mockery of the entire voting system

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 246.

    The author of the article implies that black people never fully integrated into our society.

    I observe the same applies to some degree with MOST other immigrants.

    I question if the harmonisation experiment of multiculturalism has worked.

    An alternative opinion might be that it was done deliberately to fragment the minions and Serfs... divide them and we still RULE.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 245.

    Lie — a deliberate untruth.Telling or containing lies; deliberately untruthful; deceitful; false: a lying report. Synonyms: deceptive, misleading, mendacious, fallacious; sham, counterfeit

    Maggie

    Major

    Blair

    Brown

    Cameron

    Cleggy

    That's why people don't vote.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 244.

    219
    bitofrealism

    Recently saw that episode and although very enjoyable, was full of hyperbole and simplistic assumptions. First of all Belgium functioned very well without a central government for a over a yr. Second, politicians take most of the credit for the work done mainly by well trained, apolitical civil servants. If all politicians suddenly disaapeared all gov institutions would continue

 

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