With just days to go until the General Election, party leaders have been scrambling to reach out to the voter group that will help decide who will occupy 10 Downing Street on 8 May.
Britain’s long-marginalized Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) voters have been the target of some serious schmoozing over the past 12 months and on Saturday it was the turn of the Conservatives to extend a hand of friendship as Prime Minister David Cameron launched his party’s’ BME manifesto.
Mr Cameron promised a raft of measures that aims to create what he called an “opportunity country” where everyone can “make the most of their talents” irrespective of ethnic background.
The promises included the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs and ensuring that 19,000 BME students are in university.
The two measures appear to address two key issues that have caused widespread anger among British Asians – the disproportionate number of long-term unemployed BME youths as well as the equally disproportionate number of young ethnic minority individuals unable or unwilling to pursue university education.
Mr Cameron also pledged that the first Asian Prime Minister will be from his party – a promise he first made at an Asian awards night in 2014 and which has proved popular among British Asians.
“We are the first party to have a female prime minister, we were the party of the first Jewish prime minister and I know one day, we are going to be the party of the first black or Asian prime minister,” he said.
It was stirring stuff, no doubt about it, but the message of engagement of Britain’s ethnic minorities was ultimately drowned out – as these things usually happen in politics – due the fact that Mr Cameron forgot which football team he supports.