[EMERGENCY UPDATE: Should Rishi Sunak win the Tory leadership election to become Britain's first prime minister of colour, he could go into the next general election with the support not only of a unified Tory Party but the millions of Asian and Black voters who would leave the Labour and Lib-Dem parties and vote Conservative for the first time could give Sunak a historic landslide that would make him the most successful politician in British political history - surpassing even Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher themselves - P.B., 19 July 2022]
Boris Johnson’s departure from Downing Street as Britain’s first Catholic premier may have paved the way for his succession by Europe’s first ever Muslim (or Hindu) one.
If one were called upon to conjure the single event that could transform British politics at a stroke, placing the United Kingdom on the front page of every newspaper on Earth and dominating commentary for years to come, one could do worse than elect Britain’s first Muslim (or Hindu or Buddhist) to succeed Boris Johnson as leader of the Tory Party ahead of the next general election.
The possible anointing of either Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman or Nadhim Zahawi as the next leader of the Conservative Party — and what would be Britain (and Europe’s) first ever Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim prime minister of colour — would represent the single most significant electoral feat in world history and one that worked absolute wonders for the Tory brand.
Unlike the 2008 election of Obama which was a milestone in solely racial terms, the 2022 appointment of a non-Christian person of colour to serve as the Tory prime minister of Great Britain would constitute an ethnic, religious and philosophical watershed. That a party of the Right had selected a leader from a racial and religious minority so often cast as the helpless victim of ‘right wing’ hate would deliver a spectacular victory for conservatives the world over and deal a fatal blow to one of the most enduring canards of the global Left.
For unlike the Labour Party whose former chief, Tony Blair, deceived the British people into a falsely premised and barbarous invasion of Iraq, the Tory Party could be poised to place an Iraqi-born Muslim into Downing Street.
A 2013 study by the British Future think-tank revealed that then-Prime Minister David Cameron could have spared himself a coalition with the Liberal Democrats and formed a Conservative majority government in 2010 had he successfully secured 500,000 additional votes from the so-called Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) electorate. This indicates that, were the Tory Party to succeed Johnson with either Zahawi, Sunak or Braverman ahead of the next general election, their potential to become our country’s first prime minister of colour could rally unprecedented BME support behind the Tories and win over scores of white centrists from Labour and the Lib-Dems to deliver the single biggest landslide in British political history.
The case for such a transformational Tory candidacy finds further support in a 2015 survey by the Operation Black Vote organization. According to its findings there are 241 constituencies across the country (of which 168 are key swing marginals) where the BME electorate was larger than the majority by which the sitting MP secured victory in 2010. And while that grouping does not constitute a unified voting bloc, the prospect of a prime minister of colour emerging from the Tory leadership election would likely inspire BME voters to flock to the party and help to form an unstoppable Tory juggernaut not unlike the bipartisan coalition that swept Obama into the White House in 2008.
Labour’s woke apparatchiks, for all the copious lip-service they pay to ‘diversity and inclusion’ (while persistently appointing white men to their top leadership posts), could see the Tory coronation of Britain’s first ethnic minority prime minister drive a stake through the heart of their virtue-signalling sanctimony.
What, after all, would they have to offer in response to a party which, having previously appointed the first ever British Jew (Benjamin Disraeli), females (Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May) and Catholic (Boris Johnson) to №10, had scored yet another ‘social justice’ touchdown by placing one of the ‘persons of colour’ whom Labour purports to champion into Downing Street?
For all of its empty platitudes about equity, the Labour Party’s stubborn message to those of its members who may aspire to lead the movement has been a consistent one since its founding in 1900: only white male Anglicans need apply.
Were the Tory Party to appoint a son (or daughter) of the Commonwealth to the top job in the ‘Mother Country’, the avalanche of goodwill that would cascade Britain’s way could see its member states throw wide open the doors of their collective $13 trillion market to British businesses in a manner that consolidated Brexit and boosted our GDP to heights hitherto unscaled.
Selecting the Iraqi-born Muslim Zahawi, in particular, could produce a cost-of-living windfall for the UK by triggering a wave of euphoria across the two billion-strong Muslim world which, in turn, might spur its oil rich sheikhdoms to reward Britain by raising oil production in a manner that brought down those soaring fuel prices that have aggravated the public’s recent economic hardships. Such is the compelling economic case for a Zahawi candidacy and one which should incentivise Tories to summon the courage to shatter this final glass ceiling.
So bold a gesture of political courage by the Tory Party would skyrocket the regard in which Britons were held across the globe and make our country a shining good news story in a world beset by so much that isn’t. And Johnson could yet leave office bathed in the glory of his having been the most consequential prime minister since Churchill should he place what remains of his political capital behind a Sunak, Braverman or Zahawi candidacy.
Since no previous occupant of Downing Street has ever appointed so ethnically diverse a set of personalities to their cabinet, Johnson could rightfully lay claim to his having made as much history upon his departure as he made during his tumultuous yet iconoclastic tenure.
For by leaving Downing Street as Britain’s first ever Catholic prime minister, Johnson may have just cued up his succession by Europe’s first ever Muslim (or Hindu) one.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Bitakaramire is an experienced ecommerce and marketing professional as well as a published writer whose articles have appeared in Britain’s Spectator magazine and elsewhere. He lives in the north of England and can be followed on YouTube.