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

The moment of betrayal

13/1/2006

THE PROSPECT of a race committee for the new super-equalities body disappeared during Tony Blair's reshuffle after last years' general election.

cap
Meg Munn (left) and Jacqui Smith

The DTI, who are responsible for legislation to create a single equalities body under the former equalities minister Jacqui Smith, promised to look favourably at a race committee if it was proven to have strong support from Black communities.

On Monday MPs will hold the final Commons debate before abolishing the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), and creating a new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR).

Ms Smith held a meeting with Karen Chouhan, former chief executive of The 1990 Trust, early last year, during which the trade minister stopped short of promising a race committee but sent out unmistakably positive signals.

honour

Black-led human rights and anti-racist organisations are furious that those intial promises to hear the voices of Black communities have seemingly been ignored by the new ministers.

Karen Chouhan
Karen Chouhan: results of consultation with Black communities was not listen to.

The government has failed to honour that agreement despite The 1990 Trust, Operation Black Vote, the National Assembly Against Racism, AWEMA (Wales), NICEM (Northern Ireland) and BEMIS (Scotland) amongst others demonstrating overwhelming support for the idea UK-wide.

The 1990 Trust, who led the consultations, believe they were led up the garden path after publishing the consultation report 'Our Rights, Our Future' in June last year with community-proposed amendments to the Bill, only to find a new equalities minister – who was appointed in the same month – taking a different approach.

The DTI even paid towards the costs of carrying out a national consultation. The 1990 Trust and partners held ten sessions across Britain during April and May, in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow, Swansea, Leicester, Milton Keynes and London.

red herring

But the key recommendation coming out of the consultation, the need for a race committee to be part of the CEHR, has been ignored by ministers and the amendments suggested to the Equalities Bill have not been taken on board.

Keith Vaz
Keith Vaz: leading the push for a race committee

Ms Chouhan said: 'Having ensured one of the most extensive pieces of consultation, working with our regional partners and 400 organisations in the expectation that the results would be seriously considered.

'The government have demonstrated that this was an expensive red herring to keep us busy while they designed what they wanted.

'If the voices of Black communities ae not going to be listened to at this stage, what hope is there that the new CEHR will do it in future when it is set up?

'We argued from the outset that the CEHR was the wrong way to go, but went the extra mile to try and ensure Black communities could have the final say in the decision to go with it or not.

'Communities offered a lifeline to the CEHR enagagement with Black communuities, and it has been rejected. We need to seriously consider whether any sort of engagement with the new body will yield results for race equality.'

support

The 1990 Trust, Operation Black Vote and the National Assembly Against Racism called on Ms Munn to support amendments for a race committee proposed by former foreign office minister Keith Vaz MP, which is due be debated in the Commons on Monday.

Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone: ready to speak out strongly if government fails to deliver a race committee.

The debate is the last stage of the Equalities Bill before the CEHR is created and the Commission for Racial Equality's abolition is confirmed.

The anti-racist groups are also urging MPs to support an amendment by Roger Berry MP for the CEHR board to have a quarter of its commissioners from black or ethnic minority background.

Tanuka Loha, director of The 1990 Trust, said: 'The CRE is an organisation that was fought for by African-Caribbean and  Asian communities in order to ensure that the law in relation to race discrimination was enforced.

'Today, at a time when black communities are still socially, economically and legally discriminated against and disadvantaged, the government is edging towards leaving black communities with no guaranteed representative body enshrined in law.

'This is a regressive step on the part of this government and a betrayal of black communities. The absence of a race committee, with adequate resources, and guaranteed /and /credible black representation will lead to us having no confidence in the ability of the CEHR to champion or protect our rights.

'We urge the government to reconsider its position and hope that MPs across all parties will support the amendment by MPs Keith Vaz and Roger Berry calling for a race committee.'

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