Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 October 2022:
Profound history has been made today in Britain, after members of parliament of the ruling Conservative Party gave their overwhelming support to the former Chancellor of the Exchequer – Rishi Sunak to take over from Liz Truss, following her resignation as Prime Minister last week, as the country’s economy took a nosedive amid rising inflation, higher interest rate, and political turmoil not seen in decades.
Aged 42, Rishi has also become the youngest British Prime Minister in living memory. He is the first Asian and first member of the Black, Minority Ethnic (BAME) population in Britain to hold the highest office in the country.
In his previous post as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi managed the country’s finances during the Covid pandemic and introduced several support packages for struggling businesses and households throughout the lockdown.
During the first wave of leadership contest which was won by Liz Truss after a vote by the party’s membership, Rishi had enjoyed an overwhelming support of the party’s members of parliament to become Prime Minister.
Today, and once again, he has gained enough support from his party’s MPs to become the first Prime Minister from the BAME community, as well as the youngest British Prime Minister in over two hundred years.
But there are tough times ahead as the British economy continues to struggle for survival on life support. Elections are due in less than two years; can Rishi turn the economic fortunes of Britain around? Will he hang on to power until then? Or will he also become one of the shortest serving British Prime Ministers?
Congrats to our very own blood – James Cleverley- who retained his foreign secretary position in the Tory fold.
HIs position is unenviable as his intray is dominated by the present geo-politcal clanger and cliffhanger engendered by Putin’s Adolf Hitler-like military adventurism and escapade in neighbouring Ukraine. His diplomatic taste buds will also be potentially stretched by what is cooking and brewing in his motherland Sierra Leone.
The number 23 is spooky and ominous in the annals of Sierra Leone’s chequered History.
Whilst the far-right and anti-immigrant politicians are grabbing the seats of power or lurking at the corridors in continental Europe, here we are, witnessing a milestone, a momentous occasion of the UK having a non-white tenant at No 10 Downing Street.
If any ethnic minority could attain that feat of smashing such a high-level glass ceilng, it has to be the silky and smooth public school boy, PPE -Oxbridge-educated Rishi.
Why are so many UK prime ministers have degrees in PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics)? Is it the only degree that prepares you for leadership?
The selection of the the Rt.Hon Rishi Sunak as the head of Britain’s conservative party and effectively the new British Pirme Minister , the fourth since the United Kingdom, voted to leave the EU in June 2016, and the first none white British Prime Minister , is indeed a welcome milestone in British politics .No matter how we looked at it , is indeed a ground breaking moment .It would have been unheard off ten to twenty years ago when immigration was one of the dominant topics of British political discussion. And there were bombs going off all over the United Kingdom, and Europe, associated with fanatical elements from ethnic minorities .Guilty by the looks of your skin was the general feeling across minority populations .And talk of the Empire strike back , is an understatement given all what has gone on in the past .And if anything it is the past that have made Sunak’s catapult to become the first Hindu and none white prime Minister following in the footsteps of great British Prime Ministers like Churchhill and Thatcher. Just like India Africa has a lot to celebrate in the sense that both Sunak and Kawsi Kwargthen the first Black British Chancellor of the Exchequer can trace their heritage back to the African continent .The election of Sunak came fourteen years after the United States elected Obama to the US presidency. And the rripple effects of that day is still vibrating around the world .As Obama said on election night in the podium, in that Chicago field :”If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible , who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our times :who still qustions the power of our democracy to-night is your answer “.This sentiment might have been seen on the American context , but since his election as the 44th president of the Untied States , we have noticed how the Obama effects have change the way politics and policies towards ethnic minoritites and the way they are perceive are changing around the world .It might not be that clear cut , but there are changes from Brazil, to Europe, and right to the pacific. History in the making .And this is the best time to be alive and be part of it .