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Tulip Siddiq for Young Labour BAME Officer

April 12, 2009 at 10:16 pm / by

I’m running for the Young Labour Black, Asian Ethnic Minority Officer position on Saturday 18 April.

My aim is to ensure that the voice of Young Labour BAME is heard. I believe that all of us should have equal opportunity to succeed regardless of race, religion, nationality or background. I consider greater participation of BAME members in politics as a social and economic imperative and at the moment, there is a serious democratic deficit because we are severely underrepresented. If I am elected I will work to increase the numbers of BAME members in Young Labour.

As BAME members of Young Labour, we need to raise awareness of issues affecting us at a local and national level. We need to highlight the inequality the BAME community faces within the political sector and society generally. I am aware that there is a common perception that Young Labour is London centric. I will work to counter that by making a particular effort to engage BAME members across the whole country.

At present, only 15 of the 646 MPs are from the BAME community. However if the number of MPs reflected the BAME community in Britain today, we would have 55 MPs. We need a Parliament which mirrors the make-up of the nation it stands for. This will lead to more effective legislation and an increase in public confidence in the democratic process.

If elected I will work to ensure that Young Labour BAME influences and participates in policy making process at all levels of the Labour Party.

We cannot allow the perspective of BAME members to be marginalised from the mainstream of political life. Our views cannot be excluded. Our requests cannot be ignored. Our presence cannot be under-represented in the decision-making process.

Amongst many other issues, I am interested in addressing the following topics:

-Islamophobia in the U.K and the issues surrounding identity in the Muslim community. 72% of Muslim women have experienced verbal abuse and threatening behaviour relating directly to their visible Muslim presence.

-Sensational and misinformed media coverage of the BAME community in the U.K including quotes from self-appointed representatives of the BAME community.

-The fact that BAME people are up to 44% more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act but are less likely to be referred by their GP than white people. A high percentage of people will get referred through the criminal justice system instead.

-The statistic that African-Caribbean people are 14 times more likely, and Asians 6 times more likely, to be stopped and searched by police than white people

-The fact that 75% of the BAME community live in 88 of the poorest boroughs across Britain

-The threat of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored. BNP leader Nick Griffin denied the reality of the holocaust and places where the BNP is active has seen a rise in racist attacks against the Jewish community.

-The very serious threat of the BNP who call for an ‘all-white Britain.’ In the North West the BNP only need a 2-3 per cent swing to their 2004 vote to win a European parliamentary seat. The danger is imminent and Young Labour need to fight it before the European elections in June.

If I am elected as BAME Officer, I will take the following actions:

-I will work to increase BAME representation in the Labour Party by setting up a mentoring scheme where YL BAME members can shadow BAME MPs or councillors. I am also discussing the possibility of an internship scheme for BAME members in Brussels with Claude Moraes MEP.

-I am a part of the ‘Be a Labour Councillor’ project which offers the opportunity of tailored support for the local election selection process through London Councils. I will ensure that BAME YL members are included in this valuable project.

-I have been working with Baroness Uddin on the ‘Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Women Councillors Taskforce’ which takes practical steps to identify individuals and support them, provides training and mentoring; holds outreach events in communities across the country and is linked to regional media campaigns. I will campaign to make this support available for BAME men too.

-I have already worked with some of the trade union reps on the national committee about how the Party and the trade unions can work together to involve more young BAME members.

-I used to work for a Labour pollster and I am qualified in conducting Focus Groups. I would like to undertake Focus Groups to find out the issues that matter most to BAME members. I will make sure that all Young Labour campaigns include these demands.

-I will organise events and workshops with BAME MPs and councillors so that we are given a chance to learn from them.

-I will work with all affiliate groups to use their BAME networks to encourage more BAME members to join the Labour Party.

-I will involve YL with the anti-fascist organisation Searchlight so that we can fight the rising threat of the BNP together. I featured on a Hope Not Hate campaign last year which strove to celebrate the diversity of London. I will ensure that more YL members are included in such campaigns in the future.

Personal Information:

– I have been Women’s Officer for London Young Labour for 2 years.
– I am on the Labour Party Action Team in King’s Cross, Camden.
– I am on the executive board of my trade union (Unite: T&G).
– I am a school governor at a very multicultural school – Beckford Primary in Camden.
– I am on the Camden Mela Committee and on the Hampstead and Kilburn Partnership Board.
– I am an occasional political reporter for my local newspaper. You can see samples of my work here.
– I was the Hampstead and Kilburn CLP delegate to Annual Conference in 2008.
– I was the council candidate for Fortune Green by-election in 2008.
– I campaigned for Barack Obama in Ohio for the 2008 Presidential Elections.
– I have worked for a number of Labour politicians including Oona King, Philip Gould, Baroness Uddin, Sadiq Khan MP and Harry Cohen MP.

Here are some endorsements from BAME politicians that I’ve worked with:

‘I’ve worked with Tulip on a range of issues and had first-hand experience of her campaigning expertise. I can also vouch for Tulip’s commitment to the Labour cause, and her willingness to fight for what’s right. She would certainly get my vote, and I hope she gets yours”

Oona King, Head of Diversity Channel 4
Former MP and former senior policy advisor to the Prime Minister on equality and diversity.

“I have worked with Tulip on issues facing Muslim women where she was extremely diligent. She is currently involved with the Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Women Councillors Taskforce which I am chairing. I think she will be a great support to others given her extensive experiences and I fully support her in her campaign to become BAME Officer for Young Labour.”

Baroness Uddin, House of Lords
Chair, Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Women Councillors Taskforce

“I cannot think of anyone else who would be better for the BAME Officer role. Tulip is a committed campaigner for the BAME community and I am working with her to increase BAME representation in politics. We need more young people like her in the Labour Party”

Claude Moraes MEP

“Young Labour needs someone as passionate and dedicated as Tulip. Having worked with Tulip in the past, I believe she is the right person to make the Labour Party more accessible to the BAME community. I am delighted to endorse her campaign as BAME Officer”

Murad Qureshi
London Assembly Member

“Tulip has campaigned endlessly in our borough on issues which are important to the BAME community and young people. I believe she will be an outstanding BAME Officer for Young Labour.”

Councillor Nurul Islam
St Pancras and Somers Town

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1 Comment

  1. saumitra sarder says:

    hi,
    just yesterday i have met with you shortly at sonargaon restaurant. i am doing my ll.b (hon,s) here. i was in charge of dhaka university law faculty students league.i have strong passion to involve in socio-political activities. so if you need any help regarding your campaign on ethnic minority issues, i would be more than happy.
    kind regards
    saumitra sarder