One of the Ad-vans used in the campaign
The great Bobby Kennedy once said. “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.”
I have been an advocate for social justice throughout my career. In policing language you would call it my key priority.
This week, we celebrate the third Windrush Day. A day that marks the huge contribution made by Caribbean migrants and their descendants to Britain’s economic, social and cultural history. A contribution that we see every day.
The day provided a stark and poignant reminder of the discrimination meted out to so many people in the black community here in the UK. Just imagine the shock, indignation, disappointment, hurt, anger, and a whole host of other emotions resulting from the Government’s thoughtless ‘Go home’ campaign. For me, this was one of the biggest injustices of recent times.
Migrants from the Caribbean have been settled in this country since 1948. They are established, loved, and respected members of our community. Out of the blue, their right to be here was questioned. What makes it worse is that they were invited here, to help our country recover from the second World War. If this is how this country treats its friends, there is little hope for our enemies.
And this travesty of justice is not yet over. A Compensation Scheme was set up but only £640,000 has been paid out with many residents still chasing payment. Wendy Williams’ report included 30 recommendations. Two years on from publication, the Government has yet to implement them. No wonder the Home Secretary is busy apologising.
But words are not enough. We are talking about real people and real lives. They helped us rebuild our country, they have helped us face the pandemic, they will help us through the recovery over the coming months and years. It is outrageous that anyone should be treated this way.
As we keep saying, we stand together. I think the clue is in the word together. I am grateful to live in a community with people from many different backgrounds; all of whom I count as friends. The only things that need to ‘go home’ are injustice, hate, discrimination, and prejudice of any kind.
So, mulling all this over, I was delighted to see that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Highfield Rangers, a football team founded by the Windrush Generation right here in Leicester. All good things in life come back to the beautiful game.
26 June 2020
Posted on Friday 26th June 2020