Black is the new Blue

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‘…Not only would (the election of Adam Afriyie as PM) make British political history, but by virtue of the fact that his victory would instantly vault him to the perch of becoming, by default, the first black leader of a European state in the annals of its continental existence, would likely deliver a louder thunderclap and convulse the planet with greater cyclonic force than the 2008 election of US President Barack Obama…

…But mightn’t Mr Afriyie’s candidacy fall victim to a slumbering British variant of America’s so-called ‘Bradley Effect’ and thus set us all up for an epic let-down come the morning of May 8th? Many feared the same prospect lay in store for one Barack Hussein Obama in 2008. Long had many an American political pundit peddled the pernicious myth that white voters, while happily telling pollsters one thing regarding their voting intentions where a black candidate was concerned, would duly turn around on Election Day and with curtains safely drawn, proceed to cast their ballots for the white guy. This turned out to be the slanderous lie many had long suspected when those self-same voters elected and then re-elected Mr Obama to two consecutive terms as their president.

And since few, if any, Tory voters jumped ship and voted for Labour’s Jim Callaghan in 1979 in response to Margaret Thatcher’s appointment as her party’s first female leader, there is reason for optimism that were Mr Afriyie to emerge as the Conservative Party’s first black candidate for prime minister such a development, far from triggering a ‘white flight’ into Mr (Nigel) Farage’s gleeful embrace, would likely inspire its opposite: to the avalanche of BME voters who would pour into the Conservative Party would be added millions of white Labour, Lib-Dem and UKIP supporters who might switch sides and vote Tory for the first time (a) because Mr Afriyie happened to be a candidate whose platform they favoured (b) as the only way to keep Mr Farage at bay and (c) because, oh heck, why not make some history while we have the chance…?

…Mr Afriyie, the mixed-race son of an English mother and Ghanaian father and who was raised in abject poverty on a council estate in Peckham, is the ultimate poster child for the Conservative Party’s aspirational credo and the supreme exemplar of the values Toryism purports to uphold. Exposed to vile racial slurs as a child, Mr Afriyie swept them aside and battled his way through a degree in agricultural economics at Wye College, eventually switching over to computer programming and UNIX code, and going on to lead a team of engineers at an IT start-up in Dulwich. He’s since built and run several successful businesses and made a multi-million-pound fortune in the process. To have done so as a black man against whom the societal odds are purportedly stacked makes him the person best suited to serve as the leader and public face of the Conservative Party ahead of the 2015 general election. He is Toryism’s walking manifesto and a man whose backstory puts Barack Obama’s to shame – to say nothing of Cameron’s, Miliband’s, Farage’s or Clegg’s…

…The implications for the Labour Party – and for the ideological Left as a whole – of Mr Afriyie’s potential candidacy are impossible to overstate. For if the supposedly reactionary and xenophobic Tory Party, having already shattered glass ceilings by giving Britain its first Jewish and first female prime ministers in Benjamin Disraeli and Margaret Thatcher, beats Labour to the punch and nominates a black man to lead the Conservatives into the next general election – and he goes on to win – this development could sound the death knell for Labour as a party and the Left as an ideology in Britain…

…Those delicate souls in Middle England who may dread the prospect of a black prime minister opening Britain’s floodgates to every illegal immigrant on Earth can rest easy. As a black man Mr Afriyie comes equipped with an ethnological Kevlar vest, which renders him impervious to the kinds of accusatory munitions that all too often perforate the thin skins of white politicians and restrain them from addressing this issue more forcefully than they otherwise would.

Unperturbed by such concerns, a black prime minister would be at liberty to act with far greater dispatch against those aliens whose documents weren’t in order precisely because of his relative immunity from the lament of ‘racism.’ Simply put, a black prime minister of Great Britain would be an illegal immigrant’s worst nightmare

…As for our national economy, Mr Afriyie’s prescriptions for addressing its woes would likely be no less radical. With a background as a computing entrepreneur and as the first British premier to have run several such companies – in an age where information technology is shaping our economic future – Britain would at last have a PM who knows his API from his C++…’

Black is the new Blue / 1st March 2014.

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