Manc Uni book: ‘Black PM is possible’

TOLERANCE: Prof Fieldhouse believes Britain could soon have a black prime minister

A NEW book written by a Univeristy of Manchester professor has suggested that Britain has the right preconditions to elect a black prime minister.

‘Age of Obama’, which was written by Prof Ed Fieldhouse along with Harvard University professor Robert Putnam and Guardian journalist Tom Clark, has claimed that that a ‘deepening tide of tolerance’ means that the UK would elect a black prime minister.

The findings emerged in survey data which tracked 50 years of attitudes on both sides of the Atlantic – including feelings about mixed marriages, working for a black boss and voting for non-white politicians.

They show that racial prejudice in Britain and America has been declining during that period – thanks to the greater tolerance of younger generations.

“Despite the continuing racial divides in America, we have seen how a slow and deepening tide of tolerance made possible the election of a black president a little over a year ago,” said Prof Putnam.

CHANGE: Prof Putnam believes that Barack Obama has inspired black politicians

“In addition, a new generation of black politicians in America – that goes well beyond Barack Obama – has emerged, and is starting to seize the opportunities this change presents.

“As we approach the UK General Election, the minimal representation of non-whites in the House of Commons and in local government will clearly continue to be a significant bar to the arrival of a British Obama.

“But the most obvious question for the British is whether the Obama phenomenon could happen in the UK.”

Prof Fieldhouse added: “The good news is that in terms of the underlying attitudes of the majority, Britain is becoming more tolerant, just as they are in the United States.”


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