ASSEMBLY `RULED BY WHITE MASTERS' the National Assembly Will Be without a Member from the Black and Ethnic Minority Community for the Second Successive Term. Political Correspondent Richard Hazlewood Asks Why
Byline: Richard Hazlewood
RACIAL equality campaigners today accused political parties of institutional racism and the National Assembly of being run by ``white masters''.
The failure to elect an AM from the black and ethnic community for the second election running risks alienating a new generation of voters and proves parties have not taken the issue seriously, they claim.
The All Wales Ethnic Minority Association (Awema) and Operation Black Vote (OBV) say the assembly's drive to promote equal opportunities largely ignores the ethnic minority community.
Yesterday, Clare Short's resignation as International Development Secretary gave Tony Blair's Cabinet its first black female member as Baroness Amos was named as her replacement.
Only three black and ethnic minority candidates fought first-past-the-post seats on May 1, none of them winnable. Cardiff councillor Cherry Short was best-placed to become the assembly's first black member after being placed top of Labour's list in the Mid and West Wales region but also failed to be elected. ``For the first eight years of its life the assembly will have a white face. It reinforces the concept of white masters,'' Awema director Naz Malik said.
``Labour at Westminster set targets saying five per cent of Dyfed-Powys Police should be from the ethnic minority com-munity and yet not one MP from Wales is from the black and ethnic minority commun i t y. '' An Awema assembly election exit poll in Cardiff Central found that 84 per cent of black voters switched from Labour to the Liberal Democrats, most in protest at the war in Iraq. …