Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:26 pm on 21st April 2021.

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Photo of Lord Hannan of Kingsclere Lord Hannan of Kingsclere Conservative 1:26 pm, 21st April 2021

My Lords, to an extraordinary degree we see racial questions in this country through the prism of the American south—a subculture anomalous within North America, let alone within the wider English-speaking world. We saw that in some of the atrocious and shocking language directed at the authors of this report. One MP posted a picture of a Klansman and the authors were called “Uncle Toms” and worse. These are not words with cultural resonance in this country. Will the Minister join me in thanking the authors for giving up their time from a sheer sense of service and patriotism to produce this forensic and factual paper? Will she add her voice to mine in saying how important it is that these issues are not be left to race professionals, but should allow people like the authors of this report—who have distinguished themselves as scientists, educators, economists, and in all the fields that enrich our national life—to have their voices heard?