U.K.’s First Black MP

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BSN: Do you think African nations and Caribbean Islands should be developing a better relationship?
DA: I think we are all part of the African Diaspora and Africa itself will be stronger if Africans across the world are strong…Just as the state of Israel is stronger because of the strong Jewish communities all over the world. People of Caribbean and African descent need to unite in Britain and the US and not allow white people to play rule and divide, and we need to build direct trade and development between Africa and the Caribbean.

Labor MP Diane Abbott was elected to Parliament in 1987, representing London’s Hackney North and Stoke Newington has the first Black female. The former journalist and public relations consultant has spoken at American universities and is still active in journalism, on talk shows and radio – this time around, as a guest for political discussion.

See below extract of exclusive on-line interview with MP Diane Abbott and she spoke about her present aspiration for the Black community, Africa and her future aspiration for the U.K.
 
BSN: In your opinion, what is the three most important challenges confronting the Black community in the UK today?
DA: I think the biggest challenges facing the Black community are economic empowerment, education of our children, and supporting Black people in the African Diaspora.

BSN: Almost a year, to the historian G8 Summit held at Scotland what is your assessment of African countries that benefited from the debt relief/cancellation?
DA: I think some of the actual debt relief/cancellation has been slow in coming so ordinary people in those countries have not felt the benefits yet.
 
BSN: Next year (2007), it would be exactly hundred years when slavery was prohibited in the U.K – Do you honestly believe that the issue of slavery is now a thing of the past?

DA: No, I do not think it is a thing of the past - partly because there are still countries where slavery still exists. Also, we are still living with the legacy of slavery and the way it impoverished us economically and spiritually.
 
BSN: Do you think African nations and Caribbean Islands should be developing a better relationship?
DA: I think we are all part of the African Diaspora and Africa itself will be stronger if Africans across the world are strong…Just as the state of Israel is stronger because of the strong Jewish communities all over the world. People of Caribbean and African descent need to unite in Britain and the US and not allow white people to play rule and divide, and we need to build direct trade and development between Africa and the Caribbean.

BSN: What can Nigerian Government do better to enhance its image in the world?
DA: The Nigerian government needs to work closely with Nigerians overseas because they can be the best ambassadors for Nigeria.

BSN: Which political party in the U.K in your opinion values the BME Community?
DA: There is no doubt that the Labor Party values BME communities more than any other party. We have more BME MPs than any other party and we have had them for nearly 20 years. Also, Tony Blair has led the way internationally in helping and supporting the African continent.

BSN: If you have one political wish, what will it be?
DA: To build a new underground station in Dalston.

BSN: Finally, if you were a political seer when do you envisage that the U.K will have the first Black PM at No. 10 Downing Street.
DA: Not in my lifetime unfortunately.

This interview was conducted for The Black Star News by Mr. Olodo, publisher of U.K.-based The Integrity Magazine. Please visit www.theintegritymagazine.org.uk

Speaking Truth To Empower.� To contact The Black Star News write editor@blackstarnews.com or call (212) 481-7745. Subscribe to this newspaper and advertise to build power.

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