At the end of last week and over the weekend as a result of the Barack Obama victory there has been a lot of commentary about representation of different groups in Parliament. Specifically, Trevor Phillips from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, who say in a Times interview that political parties were institutionally racist and it's "no coincidence that there were only 15 ethnic-minority MPs".
Here's the thing though, as Croydonian mused, "when [were] Jewish folk airbrushed out of ethnic minority status in these parts?" A pretty good queston I thought, so I gave the Equality and Human Rights Commission a call yesterday to ask one simple question.
Are Jewish people considered an ethnic mintory in the UK in the view of the Commission? The answer was that they are both a religious group and a race and therefore the answer is yes, the Commission does indeed consider them an "ethnic minority".
So how does that ethnic minority fair in the politics of Britain? Well, we;ve had a Jewish Prime Minister; the current Foreign Secretary is Jewish, and his brother is at the Cabinet Office. not to mention a number of MPs from all sides of the House and Peers too.
So here's another question that follows on from Croydonian's musings. Is it not a little bit worrying that the top man at the Commission for Equality and Human Rights should, in an interview with a national newspaper, completely ignore an ethnic minority that his own Commission acknolwedges?
Or, is it more the case that "ethnic minority" is really just a euphemism for "non-white"? So much for equality huh?
Update: Forgot Ed Miliband had moved to be Secretary of State at the new Climate Change department. Point stands though.