The start of a political journey

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Ashley Burton-Lynch evaluates the OBV Parliamentary Scheme and catches up with two of its graduates.

A couple of weeks ago aspiring MPs from the OBV Parliamentary Shadowing Scheme graduated in a wonderful celebratory ceremony in the House of Lords.

But this is not where the story ends for the graduates or the scheme. For me, the great thing about the scheme is that the actual shadowing, whilst a hugely informative and important experience, is just one key pillar of the scheme. Another is the capacity of the scheme to act like a lighthouse guiding motivated individuals who want to do that bit more for their communities to a harbour full of like-minded individuals.

I have followed the progress of the Shadows with much interest and can say with conviction that the scheme is not there for just anyone with an interest in politics, who might have a bit of free time. It is demanding and in turn demands that those on it demonstrate by deeds as well as words their commitment to realising their political ambitions of making the communities they live in a better place.

The great expectation, placed on the Shadows, to actively serve their communities, is what sets the scheme apart. On speaking to two of the Shadows before the graduation, I am in no doubt that they dutifully rose to the challenge.

Chandni Tanna, who was one of the graduates, passionately told me how she can trace her commitment to creating positive social change back to her involvement as a member of the Newham Youth Parliament (NYP).

Chandni says that her involvement with the NYP took her to countries like South Africa and Brazil, allowing her to see how young black people across the world were determined to “take responsibility for themselves and make a difference to their community”.

The experiences gained at NYP inspired her to bring these positive youth led messages of agency back to London – the result – ‘loveLife Generation UK’, a youth focused social enterprise.

Chandni has been active in developing a passion into a product with real output – ‘loveLife’ has been involved in the Mayor of London’s ‘Breaking the Chains’ event, marking the abolishment of slavery  as well as working in partnership with local agencies to deliver peer-led, motivational youth programmes.

Fellow, OBV graduate Zena Agha’s spirited campaign against the selling of illegal West Bank goods aptly demonstrates the positive outcomes that can be achieved when ordinary members of the community actively engage with MPs.

Zena worked with her mentor Fiona McTaggart MP to raise awareness amongst local shopkeepers in Slough of the illegal nature of Israeli products from the West Bank. Zena successfully helped to encourage Sabar Hussein, a local shopkeeper, to refuse to stock these goods.

The Shadows might have graduated and the formal shadowing of the MPs might have come to an end, but one thing that is guaranteed not to stop is their tireless efforts towards building a better society.

Ashley Burton-Lynch is a University of Nottingham politics graduate with a keen interest in social justice.

Main picture: Fiona McTaggart and shopkeeper Sabar Hussein

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Operation Black Vote-A misguided focus

Humanity's history is one of complete perpetuating lies. So you see yourself as being black, so tell me what is black in the context of any definition or understanding, what reference would please you? In my journey of critical analysis in any worded dictionary has revealed how most certainly full of indoctrinated ignorance those who identified themselves as "Black" really are. Yet with an intriguing nature I have to ask you what exactly is "Black politics"?
And how does that serve the audience which you're trying to engage? what exactly are your bench marks? what element of purpose would you identify? Nothing in politics has been achieved except to enslave mankind. Just raise those "black" ideology spectacles you are wearing and gaze on the historical portfolio of politics. Tell me what do you see? What awarded merit would you place upon it?
Well I see a living breathing Frankenstein. Man (the then master creator) who created politics is now being ruled by its creation. He created this organism (now very much alive) which goal is now bent on its survival at all cost and will. Egypt being just one characterisation of many episodes, which the opportunistic media seeing the capitalising viability to reveal it to the world. But this event as optimistically inspiring as it may seem is nothing more than a cyclic cause and effect by proxy for the next dashed of hope and promises by the next political enterprise to follow.
The very nature of politics on this planet has served so few (10%) at the expense of many (the other 90%). One rule for those 10% and another for the 90%. Being so called black or white is irrelevant. But tell me "Black Politics" how much different would you be, what promises would you make and keep? -ha ha.
Politics should be given a long awaiting death with prejudice and responsibility should follow.
Be responsible as men and women with the moral fibres that lay dormant in the depths of our denied consciousness. Adopt the universal law of not causing Lost or Harm to your fellow man/woman kind.
Stop allowing our precious children to be wards of the state via a birth certificate. Stop allowing our children to be indoctrinated by corrupt non-education system that usurps the potential for them to be fine men and women, they could be. Stop looking for someone to save you. Stop choosing sex mates and start choosing soul-mates. Stop looking externally and start looking inwards. Stop being takers and start being givers of yourself and others. Stop being repeaters of hearsay and be cultivators critical thinkers. Stop being the victim of minds and start being the victors of action. Stop Stop Stop -Think, then Act. Stop identifying yourselves as being "black" or "white" and start identifying yourselves as being humanity-man/woman kind. Stop seeing yourselves as being Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Baptist, Pentecostal and so on and start seeing yourselves as one divine spiritual consciousness of universal love. Stop seeing yourself as residence of England, America, France, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Barbados, India, Iraq, Israel and so on and start seeing yourselves as residence of planet Earth. Stop wanting to be in this club politics and be in club humanity -No politics required!
Start being sceptical of everything and gullible and cynical of nothing.
Black Politics is just another trade mark awaiting its fill at the round table of exploitation. Not so, then how so? How different is your mould? Ha ha.
Politics is a well fine tune lie regardless of the of the so called coloured allegiance. Politics has cause most things and solve nothing. Even as an experiment it has most certainly achieved what it was created to do! Polis: Greek; politikos; Politicus: Latin; Politique: French; Politics: English -things concerning the STATE.
Tell me who is the STATE? Is it you, is it me, is it we? Pounder on that obvious clarification.
And finally, humanity; united we stand, divided we fall! Politics will not save humanity! Neither will "Black politics"!
Thank you for your indulgence.....goodbye!

Operation Black Vote-A misguided focus

You have listed your name as David. Will you be David Stuart by any chance?

Wow

No Yinka it was not. Given the support for and defence of OBV with several trolls on here, I'm baffled why you think I would waste my time, never mind make these arguments.

Mind you it isn't like you haven't baffled me before.

Tongue and Teeth.

"Given the support for and defence of OBV with several trolls on here, I'm baffled why you think I would waste my time, never mind make these arguments."

I don't know if you've heard of the relationship between the tongue and teeth. Even though they dwell in the same abode, they have their moments too. Nothing surprises me in life anymore.

The start of a political journey

David,

"Stop identifying yourselves as being "black" or "white" and start identifying yourselves as being humanity-man/woman kind."

White people are always the first to remind me of this fact when I have discussions with some of them on very general subjects. So, there is no escaping there.

"For me, the great thing about the scheme is that the actual shadowing, whilst a hugely informative and important experience, is just one key pillar of the scheme. Another is the capacity of the scheme to act like a lighthouse guiding motivated individuals who want to do that bit more for their communities to a harbour full of like-minded individuals."

From that definition, it is clear to see what this scheme is about. I fail to see where it has made any reference to "Black Politics" as you have referred to. Peharps, you will like to expound on that a bit more with references to substantiate your points?

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