It is always a pleasure and learning experience to share time with people who have recollections of the past and what better than to meet with someone who not only has global experience but in particular, has spent time in my country of origin – Pakistan. Such was what I discovered when I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Stanley Johnson, father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson at this year’s Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
His father, a very humble person with a down-to-earth personality, with strong convictions about the Conservative party, has been a former Member of to European Parliament (1979-84). Mr. Johnson senior shared his recollections of his work in the 1960s when the Mangla dam was being built on river Jhelum. In May 1966, he recollected that he came to Islamabad as part of the World Bank team to study the Indus basin study on the river Jhelum.
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Mr. Stanley’s perspective on rivers situated in Pakistan
He was able to identify all 6 rivers of the subcontinent coming towards Pakistan, which gave the name to the Punjab province.
Mangla Dam is the sixth-largest dam in the world and still one of Pakistan’s most important sources of energy supplies. In the 1960s when the dam was built, saw old Mirpur submerged and many families including my father moved to New Mirpur and ultimately to the UK. Many Pakistanis in the UK are from this region as large numbers migrated to the UK after the flooding of their lands they received compensation. Close to 70 percent of British Pakistanis are thought to be from Mirpuri and surrounding areas.
Hundreds of thousands of people emigrated to the U.K. to better their lifestyles, and the second generations have had the opportunity to develop into top professionals in different areas of the economy. The British Pakistani diaspora has developed and integrated into society and given back to the community. We have some of the top Ministers, Doctors, Lawyers, Investment bankers, Tech specialists.
My father came in the late 1960s as a young teenager, working for the Leicestershire Transportation Team, he shortly after setting up his own business and became self-employed. Despite living as an Asian in the 1960s, the opportunities given to him enabled me and my sisters to all become professionals and aspire to play an important role to give back to modern Britain.
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Moving onto the new mindset of the new generation
As a recent entrant to the Tory party, I was able to clearly understand the values and alignment so many more young professionals are finding within the Conservative party and moving away from the old mindset of voting for the Labour party. For myself, it was the fact that I was able to resonate with the Conservative party on their stance on values, freedom, family life, business, and religion. Whereas previously the support for the Labour party was generally based on an economic class structure, as the British Pakistani diaspora have developed and gained immense traction within the society they are increasingly moving away from the traditional mindset of voting Labour.
The Conservative Party conference was filled with thousands of people, who came to take part in the conference and to meet with notable speakers including the prime minister, health secretary, and foreign minister. Taking part in Manchester City center, a Labour stronghold, which is slowly being broken with increasing numbers of Asians voting for the Conservatives. As Chairman Conservative Party Convention clearly in his introductory brief to the convention mentioned the importance of the party reflecting modern Britain.
The key agenda found within the party conference was “getting on with the job, building back better from the pandemic, uniting the country behind the Conservative vision and levelling up the United Kingdom.”
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A powerful agenda by a government determined to overcome the effects of the pandemic, pushing through on local and national businesses, developing new industries and forming new trade agreements, building the national health services, cutting crime levels and pushing the family values of the Conservatives.
The writer is currently a specialist consultant solicitor for established law firms across the UK and previously worked at the niche firm Trent Solicitors Nottingham. He is also a legal advisor to RSC Capital LLP and The Life Sciences Division Ltd and has contributed to a number of philanthropic endeavors internationally. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.