Today I spoke on and voted for the motion on “Racial Justice Can’t Wait” at the Liberal Democrats digital conference.
On moving the motion, Christine Jardine, the party spokesperson for women and equalities cited the death of George Floyd, the inequalities seen during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Windrush generation. It is clear that the numerous reports into race and racism have been about words and not action.
More than 50 years ago Britain’s first-ever race relations law, the Race Relations Act came into force in 1965.
Although it made it a civil offence it was not a criminal offence to refuse to serve a person or to intentionally delay serving or overcharging someone on the grounds of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins in public place
I know because my dad as a young man working in the East End often waited for hours for a cup of tea or at the shop for groceries. And though the act broke boundaries it did not tackle discrimination in housing and employment until 1968.
I know because when my dad tried to buy his first house in this country he was refused and had to take his white foreman to verify he really did have a job.