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Shelley Society: Mr Ray Lewis, former Deputy Mayor of London, on ‘Ethnic Minorities in Politics’

 The Shelley Society’s first meeting of the half featured Ray Lewis, the former vicar, prison warden and deputy Mayor of London. He founded Eastside Young Leaders Academy in 2002, a graduate of which, Razak Farley, is now a sixth-form student at Eton.

 

Mr Lewis’s topic was ‘Ethnic Minorities in Politics’, but he did not let it limit him. His time under Boris Johnson had clearly left him cynical, and he showed the audience the fundamental problems with Britain and its politicians: too many were in it for themselves; everyone was straitjacketed by powerful capitalist lobbyists; and so long as backlash (such as the expenses scandal) was disorganised and un-channelled, it would never last long enough to force government to change.

 

Prompted by questions, Mr Lewis explained exactly where he thought Britain was heading, with all its problems – foremost among them, our own dysfunctional generation. We saw some of the roots of the issues, such as disconnection, disillusionment and apathy, and that too many people felt that they had no stake in the nation. The only solution seems to be to create community hubs such as Eastside across the country. These sound like things that have been said many times before, but this time it somehow made more sense, as he clarified these murky topics with an insider’s understanding. The result was an enlightening and thought-provoking evening.

 

Isaac Nugent (RJM)

DATE POSTED: 11 November 2009

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