Follow Up Events
Government and Parliament
The report was welcomed on behalf of the Government by the Home Secretary on the day of publication (11 October 2000) and by Baroness Amos on the following day. A transcript of the Home Secretary's speech was published in The Runnymede Bulletin, as were substantial extracts from the speech presented by Baroness Amos. Both speeches appear on the Commission's website.
On Thursday 19 July 2001 there was a debate about the report in the House of Lords, opened by Baroness Uddin. Some of the speeches repeated errors and distortions which had appeared in the press. But most were thoughtful and positive. A response on behalf of the Government was made by Lord Rooker, Minisier of State at the Home Office. All the speeches are on the Commission's website.
The report has been considered at the Home Secretary's Race Relations Forum, a meeting of Labour peers and a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Race and Community.
In the House of Lords debate on 19 July it was announced by Lord Rooker that in September 2001 Bhikhu Parekh is to meet formally with the new Home Secretary, David Blunkett.
In addition, Lord Rooker announced that the Government will make a formal statement from time to time about progress in implementing the report's recommendations.
The report has been considered formally by many local authorities, several local authority organisations, and many racial equality councils. The Local Government Association issued a supportive statement, and there was substantial support in Public Finance, Local Government Chronicle and Equal Opportunities Review.
A lecture about the local government dimensions of the report, The Devil is in the Detail and in the Big Picture Too, was given by the report's editor to senior officers of Birmingham City Council in summer 2001. The text of this is on the Commission's website.
The report has featured at several conferences for headteachers and education officers. The organisers have included the local education authorities of Barnet, Brent, Brighton & Hove, Cheshire, Coventry, Derby, Ealing, Greenwich, Isle of Wight, Lewisham, Medway, Redbridge, Staffordshire, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, Windsor & Maidenhead, Wokingham and Wolverhampton.
In addition there have been training events in individual schools and the report's editor gave a lecture at the University of London Institute of Education relating the report to the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG). The text of this is on the website.
There is extensive reference to the report in a handbook entitled Equity and Excellence: good practice in our schools, published in July 2001 by Windsor & Maidenhead Education Authority.
At the time of publication there was substantial coverage of the report in the Times Educational Supplement and in Multicultural Teaching.
Organisations which have covered the report at conferences or seminars include the Association of Muslim Social Scientists, Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia, Humanities Association, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Institute for Jewish Policy Research, National Union of Journalists, Royal Festival Hall, Society of Education Officers and World Congress of Faiths.
In April 2001 the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust organised a day seminar about the report for public bodies and authorities in West Yorkshire, and in June for national organisations in the voluntary sector. The keynote speakers at both of these occasions were Bhikhu Parekh and Stuart Hall.
Academic discussions and treatment
The report is on the reading list for many undergraduate and graduate courses, and has been the subject of a range of lectures, seminars and symposia in higher education. It has been reviewed in several academic journals, and an international symposium, edited by Malcolm Cross, appeared in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies with articles by Michael Banton (UK), Will Kymlicka (Canada) and Charles Weston (Sweden).
Other academic treatments of the report include an article in Prospect by Alan Wolfe and Jytte Klausen in December 2000, and a lecture by Amartya Sen at the British Academy in November 2000. Both these severely misunderstood and misrepresented the report and Bhikhu Parekh replied to the criticisms in a pamphlet entitled Integrating Minorities published by the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA). The report was also misrepresented in an article in Political Quarterly.
In his keynote presentation to the annual conference of the Political Studies Association in April 2001, Bhikhu Parekh discussed the report in relation to issues in political philosophy. The text of his lecture is on the Commission's website.
The report received positive and thoughtful coverage in several newspapers, including The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Express and Sunday Telegraph.
It also was seriously misrepresented by several newspapers. A formal complaint was made to the Press Complaints Commission about journalists' unprofessional behaviour and false statements. A lengthy article about the coverage by the report's editor, entitled 'Children Will Be Told Lies', was published in The Runnymede Bulletin and is available on the website.
In his keynote lecture to the annual conference of the Political Studies Association in April 2001, Bhikhu Parekh re-stated the themes of the report, particularly in relation to political philosophy, and discussed why the report was so seriously misrepresented and misunderstood by some sections of the media. The text of the lecture, 'Reporting on a Report', is on the Commission's website.
Many articles and letters were published which countered the falsehoods, and these too can be read on the Commission's website. The authors of articles explaining and defending the report include, amongst others, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Stuart Hall, Maya Jaggi, Clifford Longley, Peter Newsam, Bhikhu Parekh, Samir Shah, Gary Younge and Hugo Young.
In summer 2001 The Guardian published an article by Minette Marrin about the Oldham disorders. The article criticised the Commission's report and claimed that it is inflammatory. In this connection it 'quoted' words from the report which do not in fact appear in it, and attributed views to the report which it does not in fact contain. Subsequently The Guardian printed an unreserved apology.
In July 2001 Index on Censorship published an article about the media coverage by Professor Julian Petley of Brunel University and Society Matters, published by the Open University, contained a rather briefer article on the same topic by Robin Richardson.
There was an excellent summary for school students of the report's discussion of Britishness in Education Guardian, linked to a Channel 4 programme.
The report was high on the non-fiction best-sellers list in the days following its publication, and a second edition, incorporating a few small corrections, was in bookshops from 9 November.
Summary leaflet and discussion extracts
Five thousand copies of the summary leaflet were requested in the weeks following publication, and due to demand the leaflet has been reprinted. It has proved particularly useful at conferences and training events, and for committees and working parties.
Several discussion extracts from the report have been placed on the Commission's website. They can be downloaded, and edited and customised as appropriate, for use at training events and meetings.