Wednesday, November 12, 2008

British Obamas? Yes we've had a few

Peter Cuthbertson has contributed an interesting post CentreRight: After Obama, could it happen here? Yes, in 1868 noting that the UK had a Prime Minister from an ethnic minority 140 years ago. But many people now no longer list Jews amongst ethnic minorities and so forget Benjamin Disraeli.

I also remember a moment of the Question Time US election special when someone in the audience said that the United States is the only place where someone raised by a single mother could become leader. Again the UK has been there long ago, when in 1924 Ramsay MacDonald became Prime Minister.

So how long will it be before we see a non-white Prime Minister? It's hard to say because leaders rarely suddenly emerge in British politics but rather spend some time in the Commons first, and to describe someone as "going to be Britain's first [something] Prime Minister" is a kiss of death to a career. But I think after the next election we will be seeing several potentials on the front benches. This country is used to being led by non-white Britons - look at sport! All we're awaiting is the right candidate in politics.

(P.S. I've been told that by the US definition of these things we've already had a black Doctor Who. Can you guess who? And no, it's not Lenny Henry.)


Anonymous said...

1 - Jews are not an ethnic group
2 - Disraeli was an Anglican
3 - The above renders your article bunk.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

1. Go learn about ethnoreligious groups. You'll see Jews are ethnic.
2. He converted to Anglicanism but that was his religion.
3. No it doesn't.

Eveleigh Moore-Dutton said...

If you insult or assault someone on the grounds that they are Jewish I think you will find that it is considered to be a racist attack!

Anonymous said...

So who was the first black doctor?

Manfarang said...

Disraeli's father,a secular Jew, had his son baptised.
Go to Isreal and you will see that the Jews are very racial diverse.Those from the Yemen look very different from those from Europe.Some of the latter have blond hair.
In England the so called "ethnic Jews",descibed in government leaflets on ethnic minorities are in fact Orthodox Jews.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, Disraeli did not convert consciously to the Church of England - Isaac D'Israeli had all his children made CofE because he fell out with the Bevis Marks synagogue who tried to make him Warden against his will.

Still the point prevails: Britain has a much more relaxed attitude to the personal curios of its leaders than supposedly more liberal countries like the States. I expect we shall elect atheist and gay PMs and whatnot before they get round to getting most such "groups" [sic] than the US, and we shall make a lot less fuss about it too.

Ben Gray said...

Disraeli was very consciously Jewish in his identity, if not his religion.


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