This is a huge blow to the government’s credibility. One of the so-called ‘independent’ Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparity has said Downing Street rewrote its report that claims the UK has no institutional racism.
Kunle Olulode, an anti-racism activist and director of the charity Voice4Change, reckons evidence was cherrypicked, distorted and denied in the final document.
Another commissioner, who wished to remain anonymous, accused the government of “bending” the work of its commission to fit “a more palatable” political narrative and denying the working group the autonomy it was promised.
The Observer, in its article, said it has been claimed that significant sections of the report were not written by the 12 commissioners who were appointed last July – or even read by them before it was published.
The group was not given an opportunity to sign off the document, nor were they made aware of its 24 final recommendations. Instead, the finished report, it is alleged, was produced by 10 Downing Street.
The revelations mean the report has lost any authority it may have had, with claims that it was produced independently of the government now thoroughly discredited.
The newspaper report goes on to remind us that the document had been commissioned by Samuel Kasumu, No 10’s most senior black special adviser, who resigned on the day it was published, in shock at its findings.
And the race commission itself seems to have set itself against its own commissioners, with a spokesperson asserting that they “are deliberately seeking to divert attention from the recommendations”.
I disagree. It seems to me that they have attracted attention to those recommendations – by rejecting them.
It is clear that the report isn’t worth the cost of the paper it was written on and nobody should take any action on its recommendations, or base their behaviour on any claims it contains.
If the government won’t withdraw it, then it should be ignored.
Let it hang around Boris Johnson’s neck like a millstone – a constant reminder of his arrogance and incompetence.
After all, he’s the prime minister who refused to even shake hands with black people:
Video – Boris Johnson will not shake hands with Black people. That's what you call Racism. pic.twitter.com/oGmiTVB8LW
— Luqman Khan Power concedes nothing without Demand (@luqmankhan555) February 18, 2020