Sewell Commission falls at first hurdle

Tony Conway, convenor of the Communist Party Anti-Racist Anti-Fascist Commission writes, “The Sewell led Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities which reported on 31 March one day prior to the traditional April Fools’ Day was always likely to be a smokescreen and it proved to be so.

This was the Government’s response to the mass young working-class black-led demonstrations during the summer of 2020. It has certainly come up short and has rightly been condemned by a wide number of anti-racist and civil society groups.

This Government it must be remembered has fostered division. Its anti-refugee policies stoke the flames of racism and this report will now be used by racists to justify their position that Black Lives Don’t Matter, when we all know that if you are Black you are more likely to die in our hospitals, including when in Childbirth as reported recently; be stopped by the police and be unemployed.

The Communist Party accepts that Britain is Institutionally racist – this doesn’t mean that people are racist, but that its state institutions operate in a way that discriminates against black citizens. The Report is frightening in glorifying Britain’s Slave trade and how this has assisted in developing a modern Britain and Africa 

The Report says on teaching of colonial history as argued by Education Unions as negative, “The ‘Making of Modern Britain’ teaching resource is the author’s response to negative calls for ‘decolonising’ the curriculum. Neither the banning of White authors or token expressions of Black achievement will help to broaden young minds. The report argues, against bringing down statues, instead, the authors want all children to reclaim their British heritage. They want to create a teaching resource that looks at the influence of the UK, particularly during the Empire period. They want to see how Britishness influenced the Commonwealth and local communities, and how the Commonwealth and local communities influenced what we now know as modern Britain.

The Left and Anti-Racist Movement must respond to the continued attacks on our Class. The Home Secretary’s continue attacks on our right to protest, the use of the police to stop legitimate protests linked to this report show that the Government is keen to ensure that all forms of protest and opposition are removed from the picture. We must unite across our communities and into our workplaces. The Popular Front is needed today to build a movement that is necessary.