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NEWS & VIEWS SPICE BUSINES S


Community set for key role in GENERAL ELECTION


RECENT photographs in the papers of the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, dressed in traditional Indian dress during official visits have given a strong indication that voters with a background in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are likely to be key targets for politicians in the run-up to the general election in May 2015. The Deputy Prime Minister was in India for a three-day trade mission, to help seal a ‘special relationship’ with India, during which time he made a visit to a


The spice


restaurant business in particular is likely to be influential in the election, as many curry restaurants are at the heart of their communities, and are respected. A lot of restauranteurs are active in charities and the voluntary sector, while many have also given up their time to become councillors in local government. It is only natural that politicians will seek to ’curry favour’ with them.


With around 10,000 spice Sikh temple.


David Cameron himself has made three trips to India as Prime Minister. While the personal contacts are designed to ensure economic and trade relations with India remain on track, the PR machines surrounding the politicians have certainly had one eye at least on voters back home.


restaurants, employing 80,000 staff, and generating an annual turnover of £3.6 billion, the curry restaurant industry is not just an important part of the UK economy in general. It has become an integral element of its social, cultural and culinary fabric. Perhaps because of this,


restaurateurs and their staff tend to be very politically aware. Compared with the general population they are more likely to know who their local MPs and


councillors are, since their business needs support and strong community involvement tends to bring them into contact with politicians. Restaurant owners often provide a platform, through charity events and other occasions, for them to get their political message across to local people. Restaurateurs have become ‘political’ often without even realising it. There is one party that


stands out for its consistent support of our community, and that is David Cameron and the Conservative party. He has proved to be a good friend to the industry, has attended the BCA on two occasions and has offered help in many areas. The Conservatives still have to deliver on some of the promises they have made, and the chef crisis is still an issue


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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014 ISSUE 52


MAY 2015


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