LESLEY KEATING: Until we genuinely see everyone as equal, we have no hope

Could new home secretary Sajid David be a breath of fresh air?
Could new home secretary Sajid David be a breath of fresh air?
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Following the demise of Amber Rudd we now have a sparkly new home secretary in the form of Sajid Javid.

Tipped as a possible party leader, I’m hoping he’ll be a breath of fresh air in a government which seems to lurch from disaster to disaster. Maybe he’ll also wake up some of the old dinosaurs that inhabit the benches of Westminster, regularly snoring their way through parliamentary sessions.

All positive stuff so far and I am sure there are lots of great things to say about Mr Javid and the many credentials that made him eminently suitable for the role.

So, with all the wealth of material at their disposal what are the media focussing on? ‘First Ethnic Minority’ and ‘First Muslim’ home secretary were the main points.

Excuse me, but could someone please explain to me why his ethnicity is suddenly the most newsworthy issue?

Mention it by all means but don’t make it sound like a novelty.

I’d understand if he was the first home secretary to attend parliament in a tutu and fairy wings, but the fact his family are originally from Pakistan?

He was born in Rochdale and is of no faith, not a practising Muslim, incidentally...

We all say we deplore racism yet we think the need to keep highlighting difference is acceptable.

It’s not just in politics either. The music world celebrates the Mobo awards – Music of Black Origin. Where are the MOWO awards? What next? The Red Headed Music Awards maybe? (I can hear Ed Sheeran practicing his acceptance speech as I write).

OK, yes, I’m deliberately being facetious, but the whole point is that, surely, we’re all just human beings, regardless of creed or colour? Aren’t we?

As my father-in-law succinctly puts it, we’re ‘all just floating about together on this great big rock in space, doing our best to get through this thing called life’.

We all bang on about equality but until we genuinely start seeing everyone as equal and not keep referring to their ethnicity or skin colour, we have no hope at all.


The other day Mike and I watched a woman in a Renault Scenic hit the hatchback parked next to us in the car park.

Shocked, we watched her scrape it as she shunted it back and forth on her bumper, oblivious.

We pointed it out, but she rudely said: ‘Well, I didn’t know, did I?’ promising to put a note on the windscreen.

When we returned, the Scenic, however, had been re-parked further back. There was no note.

The black hatchback driver, an elderly lady, returned, clearly upset. Luckily, we were able to not only tell her about it, we also had photographic evidence on our mobiles.

So, the moral of this tale is, if you’re trying to get away with something that’s your fault, don’t.

Do the right thing. You never know who’s watching.


Wasn’t the bank holiday weather glorious? I loved having a sunny Mediterranean climate on my doorstep, albeit temporarily.

I was getting quite used to barbecues in the garden every day and not having to worry about what to make for tea.

I particularly loved the way Mike went all ‘caveman’ and insisted on cooking, making it quite clear the barbecue was his domain, not mine. He was more than welcome to it too. I had better things to do, like sunbathing.

Sadly, it’s changed a bit now, but I’m not giving in.

I did feel a bit of a twit walking through Gunwharf in shorts and a T-shirt though, the breeze whistling through my strappy sandals. But, hey, despite the goosebumps, my legs are brown so I don’t care.