Black information Link:

home campaigns act now policy & research press releases links subscribe contact us

black information link The 1990 Trust, human rights for race equality
The 1990 Trust's independent community website for black communities

SECTIONS
2007 Bicentenary of Abolition
America at war
Armed Forces
Arts&Culture
Black Elders
Black Workers
Blink Interview
Broadband
Business
Campaigns
Children
Civil Liberties
Crime & Policing
Disability
Education
Employment
Events
Government
Health
Human Rights
IT
Immigration
International
Ireland
Jobs
Legal
Links
Linux
News Digest
Northern Ireland
People
Politics
Religion
Reparations
Reports
Rural racism
Scotland
Society & Environment
Sports
Stephen Lawrence
The 1990 Trust
UK regions
WCAR
Wales
Women
Youth

Squad to design new equalities commission lacks black grassroots credibility

By Lester Holloway
23/12/2003

THE TASKFORCE responsible for creating the new single equalities commission has been criticised for lacking grassroots minority ethnic representation.

Sarah Spencer
Spencer: vice-chair of CRE but representing Oxford University on taskforce

A local council equalities officer, a humanist and the CBI are among members of a taskforce charged with working out how the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) will work.

The new CEHR will see the abolition of Britain’s top race watchdog, the Commission for Racial Equality.

The 1990 Trust, who have been critical of the changes, were unsuccessful in its’ bid to be on the taskforce, along with Operation Black Vote who have also voiced concerns.

The only organisation on the taskforce with a brief to deal with general minority ethnic issues is the soon-to-be abolished Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).

But CRE chairman Trevor Phillips has already made public his position favouring the merger into a new single equalities body embracing gender, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities, age, human rights and race.

As the taskforce was revealed, Karen Chouhan, chief executive of The 1990 Trust, said the absence of grassroots groups representing minority ethnic was a serious concern.

Who’s who on new taskforce

Gender
Amanda Ariss, Equal Opportunities Commission (EoC)
Katherine Rake, Fawcett Society

Religion
Mohammed Aziz, British Muslim Research Council
Rev John Kennedy, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
Brian Pearce, Interfaith Network
Hanne Stinson, British Humanist Association

Age
Katie Ghose, Age Concern
Patrick Grattan, Third Age Employment Network
Tessa Harding, Help the Aged

Race
Michelynn Lafleche, Runnymede Trust
Pam Smith, Commission for Racial Equality

General
Neil Bentley, Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
Sarah Spencer, University of Oxford
Colm O’Cinneide, University College London
Francesca Klug, London School of Economics
Lucy Anderson, Trades Union Congress (TUC)
Frances Butler, British Institute of Human Rights
Lorraine Gradwell, Small Business Council (DTI)
John Wilkes, Equality Coordinating Group (and EoC Scotland)
Teresa Rees, University of Cardiff
Ros Hardie Ejiohuo, London Borough of Croydon
Mandy Wright, Employers’ Organisation for Local Government

Disabilities
Nick O’Brien, Disability Rights Commission
Andy Rickell, British Council of Disabled People
Sexual Orientation
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall

credibility

She said: “If plans to create a new single equalities body are going to have any credibility whatsoever it must have a membership that can carry grassroots views along with it.

“I am extremely disappointed that the government could not find room on the taskforce for people who took a sceptical line, and those representing grassroots black and minority ethnic groups.

“From the feedback I’ve been getting it is clear a top-down imposition of these changes will not go down well at all.

“There is a lot of confusion at the grassroots about these proposals with the feeling of little consultation, and as news spreads we are getting people telling us they do not want a single equalities body.

“It is important these views are listened to if any new body is to have legitimacy.”

concerns

There are also concerns that CEHR could be an organisation focussed on promoting equalities generally rather than enforcing laws when discrimination has actually occurred.

Critics have also questioned how the CEHR would work in practice as it is not underpinned by any single equalities act of parliament, and that laws governing different equalities areas are very different.

There are also fears that a ‘pecking order’ of equalities would develop, leading to turf wars between different equalities lobbies.

Simon Woolley, head of Operation Black Vote, recently wrote an article in The Guardian newspaper headlined ‘Don’t Decommission Us’, and believes there are growing doubts over the proposals to merge seven equalities subjects together.

He warned: “Black people have fought long and hard to get the CRE and the race laws. We are not going to give this up lightly. As people become more aware of this they will demand that the agenda is set from the grassroots, not an ivory tower.”

Rev Arlington Trotman, from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, said that membership of the taskforce had “not been done very well in terms of broad representation of groups affected by the new commission.”

article continues > >

Send to a friend
Send to a friend
print document
Print document
Search

Government
London
Reports
Policing
Contact Government
Politics
Monarchy
CRE
Civil Service
Lords
Commons
Prisons
Single Equalities Commission
Citizenship & Integration

Related Stories

CRE turkeys vote for early Christmas Trevor's Rotten Empire UK needs a race-specific body Is this the man who destroyed the CRE? Trevor Phillips appointment as CEHR chairman condemned Trevor Phillips “to join the BNP soon” says mayor Ken Why we're rooting for Shami Batting both ways Fat cat Trevor won't fight for us Rights groups attack Blair's favourite for equality chair Phillips used me, says school experiment boy Equalities body will be a “discriminators charter” Trevor, do you qualify? CEHR chair “must have a record of fighting discrimination” PRESS RELEASE – Black communities reject Trevor Phillips for top equalities job Trevor Phillips would be “final nail in CEHR coffin” The 1990 Trust Response to The Equalities Review Interim Report Six days to influence review into government race policies Anti-racist organisations campaign for 'race committee' and Black representation on the CEHR Local race councils in revolt over merger United we stand Black groups abandon equalities super-body Trevor lobbies MPs for race committee Why we oppose the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights The moment of betrayal Let battle commence Vaz the way to do it Regions unite to demand race recognition in equalities body Sir Bill Morris blasts “one size fits all” agenda Lammy supports race committee for equalities super-body British Democracy failing Black Britain Charles Kennedy considering support for race committee MPs support for race committee grows Last chance to get race on single equalities agenda Jasper unleashed his wrath Lib Dems hold key but which way will they turn? Pump up the volume CEHR “a step backwards” says Diane Abbott Knowing is not believing Lobby MPs over absence of race in single equalities body proposals Upside down politics over single equality body Government shrug off concerns over all-white equality body A funny kind of equality Some more equal than others Time to sound alarm for equality Give us a piece of the pie Equalities merger body radically improved One Big Equality Mush Single equalities body still a dogs dinner Single equalities fudge fails to sweeten sceptics Single equalities body a 'dead duck' as disabilities group say no to merger Black community rejects single equalities merger CRE could survive single equalities merger CRE vote to kill off single equalities plans Trevor Phillips under pressure to oppose single equalities body Another former minister hits out at single equalities body Disappointment over White Paper on the single equalities body – no new powers or cash Government to impose single equalites body even if consultation opposes it Livingstone says single equalities body would be an ‘inaccessible monolith’ ‘Whitewash’ for single equalities body The Eagle has panned it – ex-race relations minister attacks single equalities body Single equalities body may not happen, says CRE chief Enforcement of equality law ‘off the agenda’ in single equalities Stitch-up claims over new single equalities body Squad to design new equalities commission lacks black grassroots credibility War of the equalities Big-guns blast single equalities body Opposition to single equalities body grows

Resources:

Teeth and their use

Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society: One year On

The Zahid Mubarek Inquiry

pdf Dept. for Communities & Local Government Citizenship Survey

Responses to the Equalities Review Interim Report

The 1990 Trust Response to The Equalities Review Interim Report

Equalities Review Interim Report Briefing – Addressing Race Equality

pdf Our Rights, Our Future

pdf Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society: The Government's race strategy

CRE response to DTI Statement on Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Equality and Diversity Forum welcomes the progress on a Commission for Equality and Human Rights

Summary of Changes to the CEHR

The 1990 Trust’s response to the CEHR White Paper

pdf Delivering equality and human rights for black and minority ethnic communities

Flush the academic racism in Blunkett’s office down the pan

Jacqui Smith answers questions on the Single Equalities Body

How to Contact your MP

Links:

Race and Faith and Communities

Election Memory

Catalyst Magazine

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

Published by The 1990 Trust

This website is subject to a disclaimer: Please read


Black Information Link. All rights reserved.

Suite 12 Winchester House 
9 Cranmer Road
London SW9 6EJ
Tel: 020  7582 1990
Fax: 020 7793 8269
Email: blink1990@blink.org.uk

top of pagetop of page

powered by Linux