The landslide December election victory for the Conservative Party, and therefore for Brexit, has hit the diaspora African community hard. Nevertheless, there are good reasons to be cheerful as the new year unfolds.
Be of good cheer. St Valentine's Day, the festival of love and romance, is just around the corner--and Shrove Tuesday (Carnival), when we (or some of us) surrender to our physical passions, is merely a week or so away.
Let's burn our boats for Brexit and leave all that is secure behind and sail on the unknown sea to a haven in which reports of increased racism--from politics and the police to football--abound by the day and intolerance grows.
Boris Johnson and our Brexiteer friends are leading us towards a golden future, or so I am told. Friends? Well, Jesus told us that we should love our enemies, and as I have no intention of loving those who have set the people of this country at odds with each other, they must remain my friends!
You may remember me writing a year ago (NA, March 2019) about Loretta, a young South African lady in south-east London, who told me that while accepting all the arguments that the UK should Remain in the European Union, she had voted Leave in the referendum because as Johnson and Nigel Farage had a quip and a laugh, it seemed to her it might be rather jolly to travel with them on their adventure.
The leading scribes agree. Commentators contend that it was Johnson's bonhomie, compared to the lean, hungry and morbid mien of his opponents, particularly Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, that won the December general election for him.
Diaspora Africans are liable to be among the worst-hit victims of a campaign of singular ineptitude by his opponents. With Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader, hidebound by sectarian tradition, and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, wrapped in her own hubris, these two parties, by fighting against themselves instead of against the common foe, somehow handed even Kensington, location of the Grenfell Tower disaster, to the Conservatives, where months before, their name was anathema in the aftermath.
Leading African politicians Chuka Umunna and Sam Gyimah were cut down in the bonfire of 'centre party' vanities. Nevertheless, as the song goes, "don't worry, be happy".
Chinyelu Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, spoke some good sense on the night of the election. As her constituency was the first to declare, she was able to make herself heard before the tide of...