Camden Momentum Motion passed unanimously on 19th April 2021
Proposer: Shezan Renny
The report should acknowledge that institutional racism is real and disparities exist in every aspect of society. The legacy of slavery and colonialism has to be acknowledged to be able to dismantle the existence of institutional racism.
The report is flawed from a research methods perspective and failed to consider key areas such as history and social science, the impact of the media and representation through media. There is also issues with misused evidence.
Camden Momentum demands that the Labour Party takes all forms of racism seriously, we must take steps to challenge and actively root out anti-black racism from within society and our institutions, including the Labour Party.
Actions: Send the motion to
- the Leader Of The Opposition office
- Keir Starmer, MP of Holborn & St Pancras
- Tulip Siddique, MP of Hamstead & Kilburn
- Momentum HQ
- Labour Black Socialists (LBS)
Background to the motion
The Race and Disparities Report, commissioned by the Government, was published on 31 March 2012. Among other things, the report suggested that Britain was a post racist nation and that institutional racism did not exist in the UK. Following criticisms of the report, the Commission on Race and Disparities issued a statement on 2nd April. However, the report is widely seen as a ‘whitewash’. So far Labour Leader, Keir Starmer has not made a statement condemning the report. There are also concerns about racism within the Labour Party and demands for it to be addressed and for the Forde Enquiry , which is investigating a leaked instances of shocking racism, misogamy and sexism in the highest offices of Labour Party employees to be published. And now a FOI (Freedom of Information) request has revealed that Forde Inquiry had no contact with ICO before shelving report – or after!
Reactions to the report …
On 31 March 2021, The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities released its report looking at racial inequality in education, employment, crime and policing, and health in the UK.
Rethink Mental Illness
Brian Dow, Deputy CEO of Rethink Mental Illness responded:
“The Commission’s report is a missed opportunity to address the valid concerns of people from ethnic minorities on the impact of racism and inequality. Some of the report’s conclusions, for example the disproportionate rate at which Black men are detained under the Mental Health Act, are at odds with the evidence it presents. While we welcome the inclusion of mental health in the report, it is not the milestone which heralds the sea change in approach that we need. As a charity that is committed to becoming an anti-racist organisation, we know that the most important first step in that journey is listening to people who have experienced racism. The reaction and distress we have seen today in response to the report should give both the Commission and the government pause to think again about their conclusions.”
Source: Rethink.org website
The report from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, 3 months overdue and 9 months after the Commission’s inception, is a script that has been written for 10 Downing Street. The people involved in this Commission had no interest in genuinely discussing racism, but even this Government does not go as far as to say that we are post racial. The least the Commission could have done is acknowledge the very real suffering of Black and minority ethnic communities here in the UK.
Source: Runnymede Trust website
NHS Employee Statement
NHS Employers agrees that racism in the workplace is multi-dimensional and impacted and affected by many variables, however our recently published race infographic clearly shows that differences and disparities between the experiences of white staff and BAME staff still exist.
The NHS Confederation’s BME Leadership Network co-facilitators Joan Saddler and Wayne Farah responded to the report with this statement ‘Race is a function of racism; we ignore that reality at our peril’.
Read full statement: NHS Employees website
Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy commented via a Twitter thread with evidence of the impact of institutional racism on the black community – higher deaths rates from Covid-19, higher rate of job losses, higher deaths in pregnancy and childbirth, higher incidences of use of force by police, higher levels of exclusions from schools, higher homelessness.
The impact of institutional racism is still felt across every single area of UK society. It is a government’s job to change these facts, not to ignore them. Overlooking the evidence and denying people’s experiences of racism deprives us of the fairer country we all deserve.Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour Party MP
UK race commission amends line on slave trade after criticism
Aamna Mohdin Community affairs correspondent [31 April 2021]
Source: Guardian website – read full article here
The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has amended a controversial line on the slave trade in the race report this week after widespread criticism.
The report, published in March, was condemned after it claimed there was a new story to be told about the “slave period”, which was not just about “profit and suffering”.
A footnote has been added to clarify “this is to say that in the face of the inhumanity of slavery, African people preserved their humanity and culture. This includes the story of slave resistance”.
When the report was initially published, the commission was accused by critics, including Labour, of glorifying the slave trade, an allegation which the commission’s chair, Dr Tony Sewell, fiercely denied.
The “leaked” internal report and the Forde Enquiry
There are questions about how allegations of racism are addressed within the Labour Party. Especially in light of attitudes and conversations alleged to have occurred by high-ranking Labour Party employees in the leaked report and the delays to publication of the Forde Enquiry.
Exclusive: Forde Inquiry had NO contact with ICO before shelving report – or after – and party now moving to withhold it permanently
BY SKWAWKBOX (SW) 01/05/2021
Source Skwawkbox website: Read full article here
Freedom of Information Act request reveals no contact – and suggests right-wing staff contacted inquiry to put brakes on
13 April 2020
Source/ read full article on Guardian website – Comment is Free
The dossier paints an unattractive picture of the anti-Corbyn faction in party HQ. Peace between rival camps is the new leader’s big challenge.
The report is the result of an internal investigation into the work of Labour’s governance and legal unit in relation to antisemitism. Created by party staff, it pulls together an estimated 10,000 emails, thousands of messages exchanged on work accounts, and the contents of two WhatsApp group chats apparently created by senior management in Labour headquarters. However, it will not be submitted to the Equality and Human Rights Commission that is currently investigating antisemitism within the party, as party lawyers have reportedly decided that it is not within the scope of the external probe.
The parts of the document that have gained most attention are those focused on the “hyper-factional” environment existing within party HQ between Corbyn’s election in 2015 and previous general secretary Iain McNicol’s departure in February 2018, according to the report. It paints a truly horrible picture of an atmosphere dominated by politically motivated cruelty. There will be party members who recognise the nastiness of comments from the heated debates in their own local parties. But the report is shocking because the messages are alleged to come from senior staffers. It says the comments made about colleagues include “total mentalist”, “bitch face cow” and “pube head”, while Diane Abbott is mocked for crying in a toilet. There is also evidence that purports to show a staffer hoping that a named young member with mental health issues “dies in a fire”.
11 February 2021
Source/ read full article on Labour List website
The Forde Inquiry was tasked with looking into an internal report, leaked online last year, on Labour’s handling of antisemitism complaints. It was written by party staff amid the Equality and Human Rights Commission probe into Labour antisemitism.
The party’s ruling body decided that the scope of the inquiry would cover: the allegations contained in the report; its commissioning and how it was put into the public domain; the structure, culture and practices of the party.
Submissions of evidence to the inquiry closed on August 7th. Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and other former shadow ministers sent in a submission supporting the report’s accusation that staffers sabotaged the 2017 election campaign.
The formal submission sent to the inquiry by ex-staffers, seen by The Guardian, said the messages in the report were used selectively and edited to give a false impression. They called on the inquiry to be abandoned.
12 February 2021
Source/ read full article on Guardian website
Two shadow cabinet ministers among nine Labour MPs to voice serious concern about decision
The abuse contained within the [leaked] report and the issues it seeks to address are incredibly serious and must be part of our attempts to ensure the Labour party is an inclusive and tolerant place.The Labour MPs‘ statement