How to heal a divided Britain

Today the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have produced a strong report that describes race inequality in Britain. What is particularly refreshing is that the report argues against piecemeal responses which focus on only one part of people’s lives. For example, it reinforces the point that we’ll struggle to make a significant dent on inequalities in the criminal justice system unless we also look at how ethnic minorities are treated by mental health services. This is important stuff. Public agencies often struggle to coordinate their efforts on issues like this and the EHRC have asked us to step back and look at the bigger picture. The report also makes a strong case for better i

From Benign Neglect to Citizen Khan

A number of cities – from Plymouth to Sheffield to York – have held fairness commissions in recent years to understand why entrenched inequalities persist. As useful and, in some cases, penetrating as these commissions have been they have tended to ignore the nuts and bolts of how public agencies ‘do’ equality – how they go about tackling discrimination, eradicating social patterns of disadvantage, and fulfilling their legislative equalities duties. This is a serious gap. Understanding why these approaches have failed may go some way to explain why serious inequalities continue. This report tries to fill that gap by: exploring how one city – Birmingham – has approached equalities issues over


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