Trevor Phillips OBE's essay from Bright Blue's latest publication Conservatism and human rights: an essay collection has been published in The New Statesman today.
Here's an excerpt:
The brutal truth is that it has always been smart politics for mainstream Conservatives to avoid thinking about race, and to ignore the votes of people of colour. To start with they have been dogged for almost half a century by the disastrous legacy of Enoch Powell. Silence always seemed the better part of valour. And, anyway, until recently there haven’t been that many non-white votes to be had. People of colour were less likely to register to vote. Of those who did register, many didn’t turn up on the day. Of those who did, the vast majority invariably sided with the Labour Party. And the most compelling argument for remaining tight-lipped about race - for both left and the right - was that conspicuous efforts to appeal to minority voters were thought likely to lose more white votes than they gained from people of colour.