After the 2015 General Election – towards election 2020

 
The 2015 General Election was a notable one, not least due to the failure of the pollsters to accurately predict the result, and because of the way that the Scottish National Party swept all before it north of the border. 
The election of a majority Conservative government is significant too. 
 
It is an outcome that will create anxiety amongst many Voice4Change England members, and in Black and Minority Ethnic populations more widely, because of manifesto commitments to eliminating the deficit and reducing immigration from outside the European Union.
 
These fears may have been further increased as David Cameron’s reboot of ‘One Nation’ Conservatism has been coupled with a robust assertion of ‘British values’ and spotlight on extremists acting in the name of Islam in ways that may serve to alienate Black and Minority Ethnic people and mark us out as somehow unBritish.
 
Voice4Change England will return to this idea of Britishness after the Queen’s speech later this month when government priorities will be clearer. Whatever the upcoming policy agenda, we in the voluntary and community sector also know that we cannot rely on this or any government to look kindly upon our work. We can and must make it impossible to ignore our vision for and contribution to a society that works for all. 
 
To this end, Voice4Change England has recently developed a new strategic plan that will take us to the 2020 General Election. One strand of the plan is to raise the profile of Black and Minority Ethnic voluntary and community sector organisations.
 
Even more crucial is a second strand to revitalise Black and Minority Ethnic voluntary and community sector organising and organisations – including our own. This means championing a process of reflection and renewal centred on connecting to young activists; engaging with shifting patterns in minority demographics, identity politics and racial injustice; and linking struggles in Black and Minority Ethnic civil society to other campaigns for social justice.
 
This is an ambitious plan – but one that is absolutely essential if we want racial justice and the Black and Minority Ethnic voluntary and community sector to matter. 
 
Next steps for Voice4Change England include writing to Nicky Morgan – Minister for Women and Equalities – to request a meeting, to listen, and to discuss our agenda and our members’ needs. We shall also be facilitating conversations between funders and voluntary and community sector organisations to discuss resourcing renewed action.
 
We welcome your input over the next five years and look forward to learning about and spreading the word about your contribution to building a democracy, society and economy that works for everyone.