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How fair is Britain?

EHRC: reporting on fairness in Britain

This is the question posed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in its 700-page anatomy of disadvantage in the 21st century. With the spending review little over a week away, the report couldn’t be more timely.

But in this report what does it say about the race penalty? In recent weeks a plethora of Black individuals from Tony Sewell, to Munira Mirza, to the ‘darling’ of the Tory conference school teacher Katherine Birbalsingh, have all argued, one way or another, that there no longer exist a race penalty in the UK.

The mountain of evidence in this report states otherwise, albeit at times nuanced.

Here are a few articles that begin to outline issues raised in the report:

What’s important is that we engage with it. Critically, I would ask you to outline what do you think should be the response to the race disadvantage from, the State, both national and local government, institutions, community groups, and individuals?

If we don’t engage by outlining solutions, our detractors – who have a whole range of proposals for us, would surely make a mockery out of fairness.

By Simon Woolley

OBV Director & Race Champion Commissioner for the EHRC

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7 Responses

  1. Britian today is a very unfair country to non-whites; with a very special attention meted out for black people. Is it likely to change in the forseeable future? The answer is: No.

    Ed Milliband followed in the foot-steps of a previous New Labour leader when he announced his shadow cabinet. I saw neither change nor progress on that front. The Equality and Human Rights Commission was formed in the image of New Labour. Made and designed for duplicity and deception.

    When New Labour came to power in 1997, they had three known gay ministers and no non-white person in the cabinet – even though Lord Boateng was qualified enough.

    Having had a cursory read of the EHRC online summary, it has become clear to me that EHRC has gone out of its way to highlight issues surrounding gay people over the rest of us. Please read this excerpt:

    “There are few large-scale data on the labour market experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people. However, we do know that LGB adults are around twice as likely to report experiencing unfair treatment, discrimination, bullying or harassment at work than other employees. This is also mirrored in the nature of the queries received by the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s helpline, many of which relate to harassment in the workplace for this group”

    This is far from the truth. I wrote to the Employment Tribunal Service to provide – under the freedom of information – details of unfair dismissal claims, the outcomes of the claims and the racial background of all claimants. My request was rejected. Mr. David Latham – President of the Employment Tribunals Service – is running an unfair operation. The purpose of the rejection is to cover up the illegal operation of racism that is going on in there.

    The time has come for the EHRC to look into the Employment Tribunal Service – who are currently failing claims from black and minority ethnic claimants. I still like to believe that the EHRC is independent of the government; I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.

  2. When are government offices in this country going to recognise the United Kingdom for what she is today? Three white openly gay minsters under New Labour have abused their positions as government ministers to influence a situation like this. There is a huge difference between the prejudice black people face to the one’s that homosexuals do.

    We are again faced with another nasty legacy of New Labour.

  3. To be frank Yinka you are talking out of your backside and as a black gay man it proves just again the prejudice faced from my own community.

    I have a double wammy of being both black and gay. Actually in the new shadow cabinet there is only one gay individual – Angela Eagle.

    To be frank that is under representation – and the ONS figures can be disputed with re: to the size of the gay population..a gay website has 2.1 registered users and the ONS only says 750,000 gay people in the whole of the country? How did that happen..I know many black gay men have to hide and use sites like this in order to fit in.

    I suspect the real figure is the 5% as used by the last Government which means of the 19 shadow cabinet – we have 2.6% black population – so that would be 1 place in cabinet we need ( as 2.6 would be less than 1), Asian 5.5%…1 place..and gay population – we have the 1 place..so the actually cabinet does apart from 1 place reflect thr rest..we could have 1 more poistion to represent other BME groups..is this the style of Government we need.

    To be honest as shown by the death of a gay man in central London – kicked to death I might have you know by three black and mixed race individuals

    Its clear that there is faults in the justice system and in mental health. With regards to local Government – the Guardian article seems to say mist bugger off to the civil service and private ector when they can.

    How about Lambeth – it says the BME population is 38% which means 62% is white but all the staffa are mainly BME..so yes its clear that there needs to be more staff in senior managemtn but more junior staff representing other groups!!

    I think what we see here is class..Asians have a larger middle class of professionals.. while unfortunately with only say 2-4% of the population we don’t..we have a smaller pool

    We have to ask why Chinese and Indian people do well..even better than white men it seems on levels of salaries…

    I think the issue here is one of social mobility which impacts us more

    And going back to the issue of Gay people — you only have to look at the issue of all these teens suicides and for a gay balck teen it is even worse in British schools..look at Dimilola Taylor — who was killed because he was clever and considered – gay

    I think you Yinka just proved as people we shouldn’t through stones

    • Darren,

      When people revert to insults, it is very possible they have actually missed the very point or points I have raised. With a little bit of research coupled with an open mind, you will eventually arrive at my point.

      I have no prejudice at all towards gay or any other racial or religious group/s. Most of my grievancies has always been about the refusal to enforce proper equal opportunities at all levels. I have continuously castigated the old New Labour government for being totally racist. I have faith in black and other minority ethnic groups. That’s why I want a total 0 tolerance towards those who refuse to practise equal opportunities at all levels. Why? I have a strong belief in black people. Muhammad Ali is black; Pele is black. Their achievements has still not been equalled to date.

      Now, I will try and respond to your relevant points as best as I can.

      “To be frank Yinka you are talking out of your backside”

      I based my points on facts and as I see them.

      “as a black gay man it proves just again the prejudice faced from my own community.”

      Unfortunately, I can’t speak for the rest of the black community as they have not elected me as their leader. One advice I can give, is to ask them why they are behaving in they way they are and you might learn something from them.

      “Actually in the new shadow cabinet there is only one gay individual – Angela Eagle.”

      In 1997, New Labour had the following in ministerial positions – rights we (black and minority ethnic citizens) are still fighting for today – Nick Brown (Chief Whip), Chris Smith (National Heritage) and Peter Mandleson (Minister without Portfolio). Immediately after their appointment Section 28 was repealed on 17 November 2003 and racism continued. Civil Partnership Act 2004 introduced. Now we have this findings by the EHRC which is very questionable. My feel on that one is simply because they are spending more time on homosexual issues rather than on everyone on an equal level. As for the present Labour Party, I thought they were doing away with all the New Labour ideals?

      “To be honest as shown by the death of a gay man in central London – kicked to death I might have you know by three black and mixed race individuals”

      That is bound to make front page news to further demonise black people rather than show us in a positive light. Most racial attacks on non-whites very rarely make the news.

      “And going back to the issue of Gay people — you only have to look at the issue of all these teens suicides and for a gay balck teen it is even worse in British schools..look at Dimilola Taylor — who was killed because he was clever and considered – gay”

      How can a child who probably doesn’t know anything about sex be considered gay? I think that’s a ludicrous statement.

      I like to conclude by asking you a question. My question is simple: What makes you think that the white gay law makers are thinking of you, other non-white gays or your interests?

  4. Darren, apart from the insults, which doesn’t take the debate anyway other than the gutter, you do make some valid points.

    I do however, strongly disagree that the problem most black people face is the class barrier. The data within the criminal justice system, health, employment, education, housing etc, clearly demonstrates a penalty over and above class.

    Of course within all these dynamics there are complexities: our different histories, cultures, language, and lets not forget the old ‘divide and rule’. When the system allows a few faces through they can beat the rest of us by saying if they can do it why can’t you.

  5. Do we really know what it is like to step into the shoes of someone that is different to us? There is alot of anger. The gay community within Asians remains hidden, can I just say also that some gay people have tried to bully me into submission; therefore I would not expect someone that is White to understand what it is like being Black or Asian.

    Equally I have no idea what it is like being gay. But and there is a but; sadly even I have been accused of being homophobic even though I have helped gay people many many times. Am I homophobic because I am not gay? In terms of race the biggest hitters against Asian people appear to be White women in power; (HR), just my experiences.

    • Sergeant Twining,

      Some of the reasons you have made are why every government should enforce equal opportunities at all levels. Only then will we have anything that’s remotely close to a level playing field.

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