Tory leader David Cameron's pledge to change the law should he become Prime Minister to ensure that members of the racist British National Party are unable to become teachers, is a vote winner for black parents like myself. The surprise, as the head of the teacher's union the NASUWT told me the other day, is that it was a Tory leader and not a Labour prime minister who took the stand.
It wasn't that hard getting Cameron's vow. All I did was ask him whether he would allow any of his children to be taught by school staff who not only negated their existence, but denied their rights to citizenship. Responding to my question at his 'meet the black folk' hustings in south London recently, the Tory leader took a few moments of rhetoric before realising that he had to make that promise there and then because gathered around him were the great and the good of the black middle-classes.
The black middle-classes are the very people he needs to attract to beat Prime Minister Brown at the polls. And for the middle-classes the issue of who your children are taught by, is of paramount importance.
BNP members are banned from joining the police force, the military and the prison service. The idea that they would be acceptable in schools suggests that we protect prisoner's rights against racists better than we protect school children. All children, white or non-white, need to be protected from racists - in the just the same as they are protected from paedophiles. And I don’t know which is worst a BNP or a paedophile teacher.
Labour don't get it. They don't get why a black parent would take such an extreme view. They don't understand that when you make sacrifices for your children's education that it is demoralising to hear the Labour Education Secretary Ed Balls, capitulate to the recommendation by a former chief inspector of schools that it is okay for the BNP to be teachers. That has lost Labour mine and other black votes. Which black parent is going to vote for a political party which says we'll let racists teach your kids?
Mr Balls, would you allow your children to be taught by someone who negates their very existence and denies their rights to citizenship? We need to know before May 6. And after that we need to make sure that Cameron doesn't back down from his promise if he is the incumbent at 10 Downing Street.