Fighting a British Institute with Institutions

Photographer: Mica Theiner

Photographer: Mica Theiner

As the day draws to a close, I finish with these thoughts which The Independent newspaper and Pink News report on my evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry into ‘Leadership and Standards in the Police’.

If there’s one thing I am guilty of, it is using my democratic rights as a Briton to bring about change so that ‘where possible’ others do not suffer because of their race and/or sexuality.

I’ve always been of the belief that challenging discrimination within the Metropolitan Police should be done in the courts, and not via the media. This is why, I never gave an interview about my experiences until last month in The Guardian.

Four years since, first becoming unwell.

I have now been through an Employment Tribunal and an Employment Appeal Tribunal with regards to my experiences of racism and homophobia at Scotland Yard, so now it’s time for me to raise real awareness of the problems that exist within the Police Service.

This is so that, those we choose to represent us can bring about change – so that, we have a constabulary that all communities can have confidence in. Not just some.

My aim (if, I can call it that) has always been to make the service better, and not to damage it. However, when those who lead it do not listen or want to hear – sometimes, you have to do what you have to do to get the message through.

Nothing will change, if nobody takes a stand – regardless, of the loss they may suffer.

My Fight for Justice is not political, as I’m a member of no party and do not support any.

I have however been fortunate enough that, my MP is Emily Thornberry – a strong female, and Shadow Attorney General of the Labour Party.

My challenges are about the rights and wrongs of discrimination, all discrimination, in a modern forward-thinking Britain.

A country where, one day I can be proud again.

As Brits, we expect our Members of Parliament to do the right thing by us in the public interest. It is for this reason, I felt it important to give evidence to the parliamentary select committee into the police service.

As a gay/black man, I had to have faith in the British Judicial System too. Because if I didn’t/don’t, what hope is there for people like me.

As I write, both the courts and parliament – the oldest of Britain’s institutions – have taken my fight against discrimination seriously, so that people can be who and what they are without fear of prejudice.

I don’t say it lightly, but discrimination does ruin lives.

Only people standing together, can truly rid our society of it.