Policy Development

The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain

Written by:
Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain
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In 1997 Runnymede established a Commission to consider the political and cultural implications of the changing diversity of British people. It set up five task forces to specialise in each of the following areas: democratic institutions, culture, families, employment, and safety and justice.

The Commission's remit was to analyse the current state of multi-ethnic Britain and propose ways of countering racial discrimination and disadvantage, making Britain a confident and vibrant multicultural society at ease with its rich diversity.

The commission, chaired by Lord Bhikhu Parekh, was made up of 23 distinguished individuals drawn from many community backgrounds and different walks of life, and with a long record of active academic and practical engagement with race-related issues in Britain and elsewhere. They each brought to their task different views and sensibilities and, after a good deal of discussion, reached a consensus.

The three-year project reviewed the public philosophy regarding ethnic minority communities and has made policy recommendations targeted at government, local government and other levels of leadership. The Parekh Report (as it is titled) published its findings and recommendations in October 2000. It is the product of the Commission's two years' deliberation.

Read a summary of the report and its recommendations

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The Commission

Bhikhu Parekh (chair)
Emeritus professor of political theory, University of Hull. Deputy chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, 1985–90, and vice-chancellor of the University of Baroda, 1981–4. Trustee of the Runnymede Trust. Raised to the peerage as Baron Parekh of Kingston-on-Hull in 2000. Publications include Marx’s Theory of Ideology (1982), Gandhi’s Political Philosophy (1989), Critical Assessments of Jeremy Bentham (1993, 4 vols) and Rethinking Multiculturalism: cultural diversity and political theory (2000).

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Writer and journalist. Currently a regular columnist on the Independent. Frequent radio and television broadcaster. Senior research fellow at the Foreign Policy Centre and recently a research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research. Member of the Home Office Race Relations Forum, the Forced Marriage Working Party, and the Fourth PSI Survey Advisory Committee. Publications include True Colours (1999), Who Do We Think We Are? (2000) and After Multiculturalism (2000).

Muhammad Anwar
Research professor at the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations (CRER), University of Warwick, and previously director of CRER, 1989–94. Head of research at the Commission for Racial Equality, 1981–9. Member of the BBC General Advisory Council, 1983–9. Publications include The Myth of Return (1979), Race and Politics (1986), Race and Elections (1994) and From Legislation to Integration? (co-editor, 1999).

Colin Bailey
Chief constable of Nottinghamshire Police, 1995–2000. Previously deputy chief constable, 1990–5, assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, 1986–90, and member of Lincolnshire Police, 1962–86. In the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has been chair of the Race Relations Sub-Committee and the Crime Prevention Sub-Committee.

Michael Chan
Professor of ethnic health, University of Liverpool. Director of the NHS Ethnic Health Unit, 1994–7, and commissioner at the Commission for Racial Equality, 1990–5. Chair, Chinese in Britain Forum. Non-executive director, Wirral and West Cheshire Community NHS Trust. Member of the Sentencing Advisory Panel. Recent publications include articles on the Chinese community in Britain (1999) and quality and race in the NHS (1996, 1998).

Navnit Dholakia
Chair, National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO). Formerly member of the Police Complaints Authority, and before that on the staff of the Commission for Racial Equality. Member of the Home Office Race Relations Forum and of the editorial advisory group, Howard Journal of Criminal Justice. Raised to the peerage as Baron Dholakia of Waltham Brooks in 1997.

David Faulkner
Senior research associate, University of Oxford Centre for Criminological Research. Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, 1992–9, and deputy secretary at the Home Office, 1982–92. Chair of the Howard League for Penal Reform. Publications include Darkness and Light (1996) and chapters in Relational Justice (1994) and Public Services and Citizenship in European Law (1998).

Kate Gavron (vice-chair of the Commission)
Trustee of the Runnymede Trust. Trustee and Research Fellow, Institute of Community Studies, with particular interest in the Bangladeshi community in East London. Trustee of Mutual Aid Centre, Bethnal Green. Chair, Carcanet Press. Member of the Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia.

Stuart Hall
Emeritus professor of sociology, Open University, and visiting professor, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. Professor of sociology at the Open University, 1979–9, and director of the Centre for Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham, 1968–79. Chair of the board of the Institute of the International Visual Arts (INIVA) and of Autograph, the Association of Black Photographers. Recent publications include Questions of Cultural Identity (co-author, 1996), and chapters in Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies (1996) and Revising Multiculturalisms (2000).

Bob Hepple QC
Master of Clare College and professor of law, University of Cambridge. Former commissioner at the Commission for Racial Equality and former chairman of industrial tribunals. Publications include Race, Jobs and the Law in Britain (second edition, 1970), Discrimination: the limits of law (co-editor, 1992) and Equality: a new framework, the report of the Independent Review of Enforcement of UK Anti-discrimination Legislation (co-author, 2000).

Judith Hunt
Chair of Camden and Islington Health Authority. Formerly chief executive of the Local Government Management Board, 1993–9, and of the London Borough of Ealing, 1986–93. Has served as a Civil Service Commissioner and as a member of the Economic and Social Research Council Priorities Board. Trustee of Common Purpose. Publications include Fairness or Failure: equal opportunities recruitment (co-author, 1998) and guidance for local authorities on responding to the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry and the Home Secretary’s action plan (co-author, 1999).

Antony Lerman
Formerly executive director, Institute for Jewish Policy Research, 1991–9. Editor of Patterns of Prejudice, 1983–99. Member of the Runnymede Trust Commission on Antisemitism, 1991–3, and of the Imperial War Museum advisory committee on a permanent Holocaust exhibition. Editor, The Jewish Communities of the World (1989) and Antisemitism World Report (1992–8).

Matthew McFarlane
Chief inspector, Nottinghamshire Police. Responsible for strategy and policy on race and community relations issues. Previously staff officer to the chair of the Race and Community Relations Sub-Committee of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Attended hearings during Part Two of the Lawrence Inquiry on behalf of ACPO.

Andrew Marr
(Until April 2000.) Chief political editor for BBC Television, from summer 2000. Previously columnist on the Express and the Observer and editor of the Independent. Publications include The Battle for Scotland (1996), Ruling Britannia (1998) and The Day Britain Died (2000).

Tariq Modood (adviser)
Professor of sociology at the University of Bristol and director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship. Previously a programme director at the Policy Studies Institute, principal researcher on the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities, 1993–7, and principal employment officer at the Commission for Racial Equality, 1989–91. Member of the DfEE’s Race, Education and Employment Forum. Publications include Not Easy Being British (1992), Ethnic Minorities in Britain (co-author, 1997), Ethnicity, Employment and Higher Education (co-author, 1999).

Sir Peter Newsam
Chief Adjudicator of School Organisation and Administrations. Formerly director of the Institute of Education, University of London, 1985–92, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, 1981–5, and chief education officer for the Inner London Education Authority, 1975–81.

Sir Herman Ouseley
Director of Different Realities Partnership and Focus Consultancy Ltd. Consultant adviser to Metropolitan Police Service. Chair of Caribbean Advisory Group, Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Formerly chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, chief executive of Lambeth Borough Council and the Inner London Education Authority. Council member of the Institute of Race Relations. Chair of Kick It Out Ltd. Publications include The System (1981).

Anne Owers
Director of JUSTICE and previously general secretary of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, 1986–92. Member of the Home Office Task Force on implementation of the Human Rights Act, the Crown Office Review Team and the Legal Services Consultative Panel. Previously member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Legal Education and Conduct, 1997–9, and chair of trustees, Refugee Legal Centre, 1993. Publications include Providing Protection: asylum determination systems (1997), Legislating for Human Rights (1998) and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: their implementation in UK law (co-editor, 1999).

Trevor Phillips
Broadcaster and journalist. Chair of the Greater London Assembly, 2000. Head of current affairs and executive producer of factual programmes for London Weekend Television, 1990–6. Chair of the Runnymede Trust, 1993–8. Member of the Home Office Race Relations Forum and formerly chair of the London Arts Board. Publications include Windrush: the irresistible rise of multiracial Britain (co-author, 1998).

Robin Richardson (consultant)
Formerly director of the Runnymede Trust and currently co-director of the Insted consultancy. His publications include Daring To Be A Teacher (1990), Enriching Literacy (1999) and Inclusive Schools, Inclusive Society: race and identity on the agenda (co-author, 1999).

Sarah Spencer
Director of the citizenship and governance programme, Institute for Public Policy Research. Formerly general secretary, National Council for Civil Liberties, and director, Cobden Trust. Member of the Home Office task force on implementation of the Human Rights Act and of the British Council Law Advisory Committee. Publications include Strangers and Citizens (editor, 1994), Migrants, Refugees and the Boundaries of Citizenship (1995) and Mainstreaming Human Rights in Whitehall and Westminster (co-author, 1999).

Seamus Taylor
Head of policy: equality and diversity, Haringey Borough Council, and chair, Action Group for Irish Youth. Previously held a range of posts in the voluntary sector and local government, mainly concerned with corporate planning and race equality. Adviser to the Commission for Racial Equality on research study on discrimination and the Irish community. Drafting author of From the Margins to the Mainstream series of documents (1991–4).

Sally Tomlinson
Emeritus professor of educational policy, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, and research associate, University of Oxford Department of Educational Studies. Member of the African Education Trust. Publications include Multicultural Education in White Areas (1990), Ethnic Relations and Schooling (1995) and Hackney Downs: the school that dared to fight (co-author, 1999).

Sue Woodford-Hollick
Chair of Index on Censorship, 1993–2000, and founding commissioning editor of multicultural programmes, Channel 4 Television. Vice-chair of the Caribbean Advisory Group, Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Member of the general council of the Royal Commonwealth Society and of Broadcast Diversity Network. Co-founder in 2000 of EQ, a project to increase black and Asian representation in politics.

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