This week’s impact interview is with Albie Amankona. He is a political commentator, financial analyst, and co-founder of Conservatives Against Racism For Equality (CARFE).
Albie Amankona Interview
What led you to the world of media and policy? Tell us about your career path.
For as long as I can remember, politicians and broadcasters have always excited me, whether that was watching David Cameron and Tony Blair spar at Prime Minister’s Questions in the 2000s or seeing expert broadcasters like Andrew Marr, Piers Morgan, Iain Dale, Andrew Neill or Jo Coburn hold leaders to account by asking the big questions for the public on television and radio. For me, a career in politics and media had a certain inevitability to it. I’m often asked by my colleagues in finance, “When are you going into politics?”, “When are you going to have your own show?” I’m thrilled I can finally say, “Now”!
You’re a British political commentator and a co-founder of the organization Conservatives Against Racism For Equality (CARFE). What do you think the future of British conservatism looks like?
The future of British conservatism is in our hands. Either we go down the culture-warring, conspiracy-theory-romanticising road of our transatlantic cousins in the GOP — protectionism with a dash of populism — or we rediscover what conservatives have done for centuries: Find common sense solutions to the issues of the day, get out of the way and let people live their lives on their own terms with a slim but effective state, smart regulation, competitive taxes and a patriotic, aspirational mind set. Modern conservatism can’t be exclusive as it was in the past, with a fast growing ethnic minority and LGBT+ population in Europe and the US, the future of conservatism must be effective, inclusive and attractive. I’d argue, there has been a lot of un-conservative nonsense on both sides of the Atlantic since 2016. We must get back on track, and I am going to help us get there.
How did Young Voices help you become a more well-rounded person and writer?
When I joined Young Voices I had already been a commentator for about a year, whilst I was confident in my abilities, I had never received much feedback. Jason and the team gave me the feedback and tools needed to excel and succeed in the world of political media.
You’ve appeared many times on major British media outlets including the BBC, Sky News, ITV, and TalkTV. And now you’re even hosting a show on GB News! What’s your advice for pro-liberty young people pursuing a career in media?
As a young person you’ll be constantly questioned over your support for libertarian principles as the assumption is you’re a socialist or a social democrat. Stick to your principles; don’t compromise your principles by caving to authoritarians who want to control what people think and do. And remember: “Anti-woke” traditionalists are as much of a threat to liberty as “woke” progressives. Always be polite and have something unique and well-researched to say. Producers can always find someone to say something ridiculous for clicks and views. If you want longevity, you must demonstrate skill and diligence.
Which published works or media appearances Young Voices placed for you are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my appearances on Times Radio Early Breakfast with my friends Calum Macdonald & recently Rosie Wright since Calum moved to weekend Breakfast. It’s an early slot, and not many people like doing it, but it’s one of my favourites. It’s one of the first slots Young Voices UK books you on when you are getting started. You’re one of the first voices people are hearing in the morning. The day’s news agenda is yet to be set, and so to some extent, that’s up to you and the presenter.
You’ve become a panelist for the primetime GB News Show Saturday Five. Can you tell us a little bit about the show and your role?
It’s a new prime time show on GB News, similar in format to Fox’s The Five or Sky News’ The Pledge. There are 4 regular presenters, Emily Carver, Darren Grimes, Benjamin Butterworth & myself; then a guest every week. We each have a minute to make an argument and then moderate a debate afterwards. It’s fast paced, young and punchy. I am always a bit scared one of us will forget we’re on live TV and say something inappropriate as it can feel like you’re down at the pub with friends having a debate! I feel lucky to have been given this opportunity. The show’s brainchild, Ben Briscoe, is great, and I have learnt so much. Ben previously launched Good Morning Britain on ITV and Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV/ Fox Nation/ Sky News Australia. We are in good hands, and I am excited to see where things go.
Thanks so much to Albie for his thoughtful answers! Stay tuned for our next impact interview.